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Old 10-14-2012, 03:39 AM   #1
Zoom123
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Default What is most important for having 100 Tabs Open?

Hello,

I usually work from my desktop (overclocked i7-2600K with 8GB of RAM) but I now need to go abroad for a few weeks and I am looking to buy a laptop.

The most demanding thing I will do while abroad is something that involves having almost 100 Firefox tabs open at the same time, and being able to switch between them quickly without any sort of delay.

I can do this with my current computer without any problems, but I remember my previous PC (core 2Duo @ 2.8GHz with 2GB of RAM) would often choke when opening more than 40 Tabs or so. (but this could also be due to Firefox memory leaks which supposedly have now been fixed)

Now, what is the lowest spec Laptop I can get that will let me do my work without any delays. I really don't want to spend more than I need on a laptop because it is not going to be used much after I return home.

Is CPU speed more important than RAM? (I guess graphics performance should not be relevant).

For example, would I be better off with a B960 CPU and 6GB of RAM, or an i3-2330M with 4GB RAM (running win7). Or do I need something more powerful, like an i5 with 6GB of RAM? Also, there are some quite cheap older ultrabooks that have HDD and a small 16GB SSD for caching, would that offer any advantage in my case?

Thanks
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:25 AM   #2
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Depends on the content of that tabs I'd think.

If it was loading 100 tabs that are all just large blocks of text and seamlessly switching between, you'd just need a nice large amount of RAM. If every tab has something that involves CPU activity like graphical ads, or charts, etc. then CPU speed matters as well as having enough RAM.

So it depends on what it is you plan on having on those 40 tabs. What I'd honestly suggest is going for a stronger CPU over RAM and just looking for a laptop that has all the spec you want but with the possibility of adding additional memory if you need it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:30 AM   #3
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RAM capacity is probably the most important thing to consider. 4GB is probably not enough for 100 tabs, depending on what those tabs contain.

Disk performance is pretty important as well given that laptops typically have 5400RPM hard disks. If your desktop doesn't have an SSD but only a 7200RPM drive, and you're fine with the responsiveness, 5400RPM could be OK...

Laptops with high RAM capacity and an SSD are typically very expensive. It would be less expensive to buy low spec laptop and install 2x4GB RAM on it yourself, then optionally install an SSD if needed
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:42 AM   #4
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Thanks. My desktop has an SSD drive for the OS. The open tabs contain various types of websites, definitely not just plain text. I could certainly install a plugin to stop flash content though.

For some reason SSDs seems to come only with higher end Laptops and I would prefer not to pay that amount of money since I am not going to use the laptop all that much.

Would a Laptop with 500 HDD +16GB SSD and 4GB RAM be better than one with just a HDD and 6GB RAM?
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:58 AM   #5
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I just opened another browser window and loaded a folder with over 100 tabs.

Memory usage went from 2GB to 3.5GB. CPU Usage was about 15% when loading the tabs, and now that everything is open is about 5% going to about 10% when switching between the tabs.

If anybody reading this has a laptop with specs similar to those I consider maybe he could open 100 or so tabs in Firefox and tell me how his system responds when switching between the open tabs? That would be a great help!
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post
my previous PC (...) with 2GB of RAM) would often choke when opening more than 40 Tabs or so.
That was the issue. It would have done fine with enough RAM.

<- still using a Conroe @ 3.24GHz w/ 8GB RAM, no SSD, even, and regularly keep such large browser sessions going

Quote:
Memory usage went from 2GB to 3.5GB.
Somewhat incorrect, I will all but guarantee. Most, if not all, of your spare RAM, should be taken up by file caches. These caches contain a combination of pushed data from Superfetch (if not disabled, which it may be with an SSD), and recently-used files by applications, including the browser's cache files and cookies.

Quote:
For some reason SSDs seems to come only with higher end Laptops and I would prefer not to pay that amount of money since I am not going to use the laptop all that much.
1. Buy laptop.
2. If it does not come with discs, make recovery discs through included software.
3. Buy SSD.
4. Install SSD.
5. Install OS.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post
Thanks. My desktop has an SSD drive for the OS. The open tabs contain various types of websites, definitely not just plain text. I could certainly install a plugin to stop flash content though.
I would recommend NoScriptand ABP.

Quote:
For some reason SSDs seems to come only with higher end Laptops and I would prefer not to pay that amount of money since I am not going to use the laptop all that much.

Would a Laptop with 500 HDD +16GB SSD and 4GB RAM be better than one with just a HDD and 6GB RAM?
What is the difference in cost? If you don't need a lot of disk space, it'd be pretty cheap to buy the laptop with 6GB RAM and replace the HDD with a 64GB or 128GB SSD.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the answers.

I currently have a crucial m4 64GB SSD in my desktop which I use for the OS. Will this drive fit in any laptop?

If it will then maybe I will buy a new bigger SSD for my desktop and put my old one in the laptop. (I don't need much disk space on the laptop)
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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"What is most important for having 100 Tabs Open? "

Honestly, I can't think of anything important enough justify so many open tabs. <LOL>

Yes, your M4 will fit in a laptop.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post
Thanks for the answers.

I currently have a crucial m4 64GB SSD in my desktop which I use for the OS. Will this drive fit in any laptop?

If it will then maybe I will buy a new bigger SSD for my desktop and put my old one in the laptop. (I don't need much disk space on the laptop)
The SSD will fit in most "normal" laptops. "Normal" meaning not an ultrabook or any other ultra-thin machine that uses mSATA drives.

This ASUS A54 is the least expensive machine that I found on Newegg that comes with 6GB of RAM. The included 5400RPM drive is likely pretty dire, but that won't matter if you replace it with an SSD.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #11
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I just opened over 100 tabs in Chrome on my laptop and had no problem flipping between them very quickly. I currently have an HP Elitebook 8560w w/i7-2670QM and 8GB RAM. It only has a 500GB 7200 drive, but it doesn't seem to be holding anything back with the browser.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:06 AM   #12
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My old build managed 250 tabs in Chrome, several of which were Youtube, streaming videos concurrently. The specs were QX9650 @ 3.2Ghz, 4GB RAM, 8800GTX Ultra and an OCZ Vertex SSD.

CPU usage remained low, as did the GPU even though it was doing most of the work. Opening further Browser windows or tabs was fine so i never did reach a point where the PC ran out of steam. To test further i also ran an instance of the RTHDRIBL graphics demo along with a full virus scan using MSSE.

With all of the above running the PC was still perfectly usable. Further Programs, Browser windows or Tabs still opened without much fuss. I did have a screenshot of this that i posted here at the time but it was lost along with my PB account.

My conclusion at the time was that 4GB of RAM could handle more than people think, and that Hardware Acceleration is a great think to have in a Browser!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:06 AM   #13
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I think ram is important for tabs
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:49 AM   #14
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I think ram is important for tabs
And so is 64-bit.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DirkGently1 View Post
My old build managed 250 tabs in Chrome, several of which were Youtube, streaming videos concurrently. The specs were QX9650 @ 3.2Ghz, 4GB RAM, 8800GTX Ultra and an OCZ Vertex SSD.

CPU usage remained low, as did the GPU even though it was doing most of the work. Opening further Browser windows or tabs was fine so i never did reach a point where the PC ran out of steam. To test further i also ran an instance of the RTHDRIBL graphics demo along with a full virus scan using MSSE.

With all of the above running the PC was still perfectly usable. Further Programs, Browser windows or Tabs still opened without much fuss. I did have a screenshot of this that i posted here at the time but it was lost along with my PB account.

My conclusion at the time was that 4GB of RAM could handle more than people think, and that Hardware Acceleration is a great think to have in a Browser!
Maybe this was due to the SSD?
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:32 PM   #16
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And so is 64-bit.
Yes exactly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:43 AM   #17
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Noticed this Thread ... and the factors most relevant to having a large number of Tabs always open and being able to switch between them quickly without any sort of delay whatsoever is something I've always wanted to know.

Let's say you've got 120+ Firefox/Nightly tabs open in one instance/window and another 30 open in another. You can even throw in another Window with another 30 tabs open.

So lets imagine plenty of Tabs, say 180 over 3 windows of Firefox.

Now what factors will most help this kind of usage?

- 16GB RAM over 8GB RAM
- i7-3770k over i5-3570k
- discrete gfx card over HD4000 IGP (more RAM on card make any difference?)
- Paging File - is size & location relevant?
- SSD - any functions best left on or turned off?

I know a few people have asked about the type of content on the open Tabs. Normal type web pages - newspapers, forum pages, stocks, etc, etc - all pages today are fairly laden with graphical content.

In my experience, I've also noticed that how well a system handles large numbers of open Tabs is affected by whether it's always on or set to sleep. Whenever a system comes out of sleep, Firefox seems to handle the many open Tabs less well.

So, would appreciate any informed comments on which factors will most help a system with a large number of Firefox tabs always open - and also one that is set to sleep.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:31 AM   #18
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1. Depends on the content of the pages. Two schools of though on how to proceed: buy 2x8GB because RAM is cheap. Buy 2x4GB now, and if it turns out to be insufficient, upgrade to 4x4GB.

2. Switching tabs is not very CPU intensive. However I don't know which browsers if any support heavy multithreading in the first place.

3. Switching tabs is not GPU intensive. Also I don't think the GPU should be doing work on tabs other than the open tab.

4. With enough RAM, you can disable it altogether. It is only used when there's no RAM free.

5. None.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:56 AM   #19
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Its not uncommon for a web page to consume 50-60MB in chrome. That really starts to add up when you have 100 of them, but even then that is only 6GB.

I don't know how you open your tabs but I tend to use chromes open all feature for daily read sites. So I will get a simultaneous 10 tabs loading at once. CPU usage is often 50% which means 6 fully utilised cores for a few seconds. But scrolling up and down a page with the others in the background isn't any harder on the usage.

My core 2 duo with 4GB RAM on the other hand maxes out in the same scenario, the mouse cursor goes unresponsive while they load and render.

8GB is likely enough for a hundred tabs and depending on how you open them a basic dual core should be enough. If you open on mass like me then lots of cores also help to smooth it out.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:04 AM   #20
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Many of us, power surf nowadays. Ram is probably the most important. I am still getting by on 4gb. I see it getting high % usage , I usually close, and start again. I also use, Adblock plus and Noscript with the latest firefox release.
Just my experience
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #21
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I use a lot of tabs, but having a hundred opened wound probably drive me crazy. The single most thing I notice when having a lot of tabs opened is memory, basically no matter what I'm doing. That's any browser too.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #22
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To people who have lots of tabs open: Why not just have multiple firefox instances with a limited number of tabs each? I would find it incredibly annoying to use the drop down list for switching tabs, especially when it gets so full that you need to scroll down. Having multiple instances would also make it easier to manage groups of tabs
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:51 PM   #23
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To people who have lots of tabs open: Why not just have multiple firefox instances with a limited number of tabs each? I would find it incredibly annoying to use the drop down list for switching tabs, especially when it gets so full that you need to scroll down. Having multiple instances would also make it easier to manage groups of tabs
I guess I'm just used to tabbed browsing. Funny thing is I never used to use it. I always opened in a new window. Then one day I started and cant go back. Dont know if Ive have had THAT many opened that I went to a drop down list. If I did though Id open a new instance because that would drive me crazy too.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #24
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Many of us, power surf nowadays.
I now feel my life is "less"...
How can I join this Power Surfer club?
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #25
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For some reason SSDs seems to come only with higher end Laptops and I would prefer not to pay that amount of money since I am not going to use the laptop all that much.
Buy a model with a spare drive bay or remove the optical drive and install a bay converter and fit a SSD yourself. Saves getting boned by manufacturers for last seasons SSDs at thirce the price.
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