The latest version of Google Chrome, Build 67, is now live across most systems around the world. This build reportedly will use about 10% more RAM than before, thanks to new fixes against Meltdown and Spectre.
In a Google Blog post, software engineer Charlie Reis says that Chrome now uses Site Isolation to protect Chrome from these exploits. “Site Isolation does cause Chrome to create more renderer processes, which comes with performance tradeoffs. There is about a 10-13 per cent total memory overhead in real workloads due to the larger number of processes.”
This 10% overhead will definitely be felt on systems running with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Furthermore, this memory overhead is across Windows, Mac and Chrome OS so everybody will feel the impact. It should prevent Spectre-based attacks on the majority of systems, but users will have to bear with the added memory cost.
Even Android is expected to get Site Isolation soon, as engineers work on how to incorporate it into future Android Chrome builds. While available RAM will be detrimental to PC performance in the short term, it is better than the alternative where Spectre and Meltdown bring down your system with your critical data.