I'm a big fan of Google's Chrome browser. What I'm not a fan of is its voracious appetite for eating up system memory. Just check your system resources each time you open a new tab. Part of the reason for consuming memory is for security reasons as many of the browser functions are isolated in separate memory "sandboxes." In order to obtain stability, Chrome splits every tab, plugin, and extension into its own process, so that if one thing crashes it won't take down the whole web page. This type of architecture consumes more RAM.
Google modified Chrome to deal with the Spectre vulnerabilities that were discovered in various chips used in the manufacture of computers. The security fixes were dealt with by software updates. According to Google, the security fix means more RAM consumption.
Site Isolation is a significant change to Chrome's behavior under the hood, but it generally shouldn't cause visible changes for most users or web developers (beyond a few known issues). It simply offers more protection between websites behind the scenes. Site Isolation does cause Chrome to create more renderer processes, which comes with performance tradeoffs: on the plus side, each renderer process is smaller, shorter-lived, and has less contention internally, but there is about a 10-13% total memory overhead in real workloads due to the larger number of processes. Our team continues to work hard to optimize this behavior to keep Chrome both fast and secure.
While using more RAM will probably impact those users with older machines that are short on resources, it's a good thing that vendors are continuously looking for ways to protect access to user's data.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 703.359.0700
Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology