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Best browser for computer with 256MB of RAM

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Zer0_II    3

I have an extra computer that I'm using simply to take care of homework while my girlfriend uses the main computer. Since I will primarily be using the computer to take online college courses and write papers I would like to have the quickest browser possible. It doesn't matter which brand, build, version the browser is, or whether or not it is portable. I just need to know which browser would run quickest on a system with only 256MB of RAM. The only type of browser I'm against using is a text browser, such as Lynx. My school's website requires me to have flash enabled, and possibly a few other plugins, so I can't use a browser that is too barebones. Aside from checking my school's website, I won't be doing much else with the computer. Please give me some recommendations, and thanks in advance.

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Zer0_II    3

I have an extra computer that I'm using simply to take care of homework while my girlfriend uses the main computer. Since I will primarily be using the computer to take online college courses and write papers I would like to have the quickest browser possible. It doesn't matter which brand, build, version the browser is, or whether or not it is portable. I just need to know which browser would run quickest on a system with only 256MB of RAM.Although I'm all for hearing people's arguments in favor of the major browsers, I am particularly interested in discovering some of the lesser known browsers.

The only type of browser I'm against using is a text browser, such as Lynx. My school's website requires me to have flash enabled, and possibly a few other plugins, so I can't use a browser that is too barebones. Aside from checking my school's website, I won't be doing much else with the computer. Please give me some recommendations, and thanks in advance.

Edit: The machine is a Dell Dimension 8200. I have tried finding cheap RAM from reputable vendors, but it is simply too expensive to warrant buying in my opinion. Last time I checked, I believe it was more than $100 for 500MB of RAM. Aside from that, my financial situation isn't very good at all. I can't afford to spend $22 at the moment, or in the foreseeable future, let alone $100.

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Tech Star    254

Chrome. Uses the least resources and memory.

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Paul Ferson    51

When in the same position, I used Chrome on that computer. However, you might also like to dig around online and see if you can find other alternatives. Chances are, there are some extremely small browsers out there that are relatively obscure.

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ILikeTobacco    839

I have an extra computer that I'm using simply to take care of homework while my girlfriend uses the main computer. Since I will primarily be using the computer to take online college courses and write papers I would like to have the quickest browser possible. It doesn't matter which brand, build, version the browser is, or whether or not it is portable. I just need to know which browser would run quickest on a system with only 256MB of RAM. The only type of browser I'm against using is a text browser, such as Lynx. My school's website requires me to have flash enabled, and possibly a few other plugins, so I can't use a browser that is too barebones. Aside from checking my school's website, I won't be doing much else with the computer. Please give me some recommendations, and thanks in advance.

May want to check with those random plugins. I know Chrome is incapable with the plugins my schools accounting software uses leaving only IE as an option.

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PreKe    147
Chrome. Uses the least resources and memory.

Actually, that is incorrect. it uses more of it by design (multi-process).

I would probably go for an older version of Firefox, or maybe Opera. Opera has always worked very well on even low-end systems.

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brentaal    404

Chrome. Uses the least resources and memory.

Is that supposed to be a joke?

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Raa    1,593

Just stick with IE, and really, try and get 512mb ram in that pc!

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c3ntury    133

Chrome. Uses the least resources and memory.

Are you kidding? IE uses less then Chrome and Firefox usually.. Chrome running for me is using a fair amount, well over 100mb.

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Seizure1990    252

Chrome might very well be the heaviest of the big four, if anything...

There are tons of browsers out there, some of them with very tiny footprints. Just google "lightweight browser" and you'll get more results then you know what to do with.

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cloaked    5

this is a bit offtopic but geez, I remember not so long ago (2001?) that 256mb of ram was good, 512mb was solid and 1gb was on the high end. Now systems are coming with 4gb standard and I personally have 8gb on my laptop. :( makes me think what the ram requirements will be in 2020.

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Fluxii Media    7

Chrome imho. It's ran a lot faster on my sisters old laptop that has 256mb ram. Despite it apparently using more resources (firefox and ie both have always used more for me) it's still snappy and responsive.

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OuchOfDeath    26

I think Opera might be the best bet here.

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Dom    2

Back then i used to use K-Meleon, very, very light, but had some compatibility issues, dont know the state of it as of today.

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SoapyHamHocks    99

Firefox 1.5/2.0 should be pretty light on memory usage.

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Zer0_II    3

Thank you for all the suggestions. For those recommending a browser, could you also recommend the version of that browser which you believe would be the fastest. Also, would portable versions of say Chrome or Firefox be faster than their installable counterparts? Thanks and please keep the suggestions coming.

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Zer0_II    3

I mentioned in my original post that I can't use such a barebones browser. It wouldn't be compatible with my school's website. Aside from that, I find text-based browsers to be entirely too tedious to use, despite their extremely small footprint. Thank you for the suggestion though.

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Max    52

If you are running Windows XP: Internet Explorer 8. It starts faster than any other browser from boot. Chrome would be my next choice if you are fussed about JS performance.

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pickypg    313

Actually, that is incorrect. it uses more of it by design (multi-process).

I would probably go for an older version of Firefox, or maybe Opera. Opera has always worked very well on even low-end systems.

Firefox 1.5/2.0 should be pretty light on memory usage.

Both Chrome and IE use more memory by design through their multi-process, sandboxing paradigm, but they are both safer and less prone to memory leaks. Any version of Firefox newer that 1.5 and you can fully expect big memory leaks that will make the system grind to a halt. Firefox 4 has started to reel these problems in, but I have still noticed it ratchetting up (it's one of the few reasons I went back to Chrome).

In fact, to test it, I loaded up a few pages to test, and Firefox never freed the memory after I closed the tabs (according to Chrome's "about:memory", which shows other browser's memory consumption alongside its own). While typing this, and with Firefox in the background, Firefox jumped up 10 MB for no reason.

Suffer the extra few megabytes of RAM lost to using Chrome or IE. And if you do use IE, then download IE 9. Do not stick with IE 8. If all you use it for is truly for school work, then you should be okay with either browser.

The real key is to use no plugins, in any browser, and to turn off the plugins that come with them. Turn off Java. Turn off Flash when you don't need it. If you use Chrome, then I'd suggest that you get "Flash Block" to preemptively stop websites from launching Flash (a processor, battery and memory hog), except when you want them too (you can manually launch Flash on a per page, or even per Flash item basis). Firefox has a similar addon that is much lower quality, but it is still worth it. IE probably has something, but I do not use it.

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Amarok    132

I'm told that K-Meleon is an extremely light weight browser. I tried using it on my laptop with 256MB ram and it worked out much better than Firefox/Chrome/Opera did for me. Admittedly I never tried IE.

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Udedenkz    51

What about K-Melon?

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Zer0_II    3

I'm told that K-Meleon is an extremely light weight browser. I tried using it on my laptop with 256MB ram and it worked out much better than Firefox/Chrome/Opera did for me. Admittedly I never tried IE.

Do you know which version of K-Meleon would be the fastest? I know a lot of people assume that the most recent version of a program would be the fastest, but that isn't always the case, especially with a system such as my own that lacks much RAM.

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Raa    1,593

If you are running Windows XP: Internet Explorer 8. It starts faster than any other browser from boot. Chrome would be my next choice if you are fussed about JS performance.

This is my vote too.

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