Last Updated on August 20, 2020
There’s really only 2 web browsers I’d recommend for the RPI4. They’re Chromium and Vivaldi. Forget about Firefox as Raspbian only offer a really old version. And when it comes to web browsers, you don’t want to use old versions.
Out of Chromium and Vivaldi, only Chromium is open source software. I’ll therefore focus on that program.
There’s no getting around the fact that Chromium is a massive memory hog (OK, no surprise there). Even with a single tab viewing a fairly basic web page, Chromium consumes 267MB of RAM. Factor in the desktop is using 158MB, and only just over half the RAM of the 1GB model is left spare. That’s not a lot.
How many people surf the net with a single tab open though? I never do. On my main desktop machine, I can often have 20 tabs open at a time.
The chart below shows memory usage with 1-7 tabs open.
For the chart, I’ve limited the tabs to 7. With 7 tabs, just the web browser itself is using over 1.2GB of RAM. If you frequently have more than 7 tabs open, even the 2GB RPI4 won’t be sufficient, as the kernel, desktop and other applications will consume memory. In this situation, I’d recommend the 4GB model. If you surf the net with only a few tabs open, the 2GB model may be sufficient, depending on what other applications you keep open.
Obviously, memory usage of a tab depends on what’s being viewed. When compiling the chart, I was accessing the following web sites:
Tab 1 – Viewing BBC home page – this is not too resource intensive.
Tab 2 – Streaming HD video from YouTube.
Tab 3 – Accessing my Amazon account.
Tab 4 – Viewing an article from Daily Mail. This web site is one of the more intensive web sites from a memory (and CPU) perspective.
Tab 5 – Streaming video from CNN.
Tab 6 – Accessing my GMail Inbox.
Tab 7 – Logged into my Twitch account.
Read all my blog posts about the RPI4.
|Raspberry Pi 4 Blog|
|Week 36||Manage your personal collections on the RPI4|
|Week 35||Survey of terminal emulators|
|Week 34||Search the desktop with the latest version of Recoll|
|Week 33||Personal Information Managers on the RPI4|
|Week 32||Keep a diary with the RPI4|
|Week 31||Process complex mathematical functions, plot 2D and 3D graphs with calculators|
|Week 30||Internet radio on this tiny computer. A detailed survey of open source software|
|Week 29||Professionally manage your photo collection with digiKam|
|Week 28||Typeset beautifully with LyX|
|Week 27||Software that teaches young people how to learn basic computing skills and beyond|
|Week 26||Firefox revisited - Raspbian now offers a real alternative to Chromium|
|Week 25||Turn the Raspberry Pi 4 into a low power writing machine|
|Week 24||Keep the kids learning and having fun|
|Week 23||Lots of choices to view images|
|Week 22||Listening to podcasts on the RPI4|
|Week 21||File management on the RPI4|
|Week 20||Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio) on the RPI4|
|Week 19||Keep up-to-date with these news aggregators|
|Week 18||Web Browsers Again: Firefox|
|Week 17||Retro gaming on the RPI4|
|Week 16||Screen capturing with the RPI4|
|Week 15||Emulate the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST on the RPI4|
|Week 14||Choose the right model of the RPI4 for your desktop needs|
|Week 13||Using the RPI4 as a screencaster|
|Week 12||Have fun reading comics on the RPI4 with YACReader, MComix, and more|
|Week 11||Turn the RPI4 into a complete home theater|
|Week 10||Watching locally stored video with VLC, OMXPlayer, and others|
|Week 9||PDF viewing on the RPI4|
|Week 8||Access the RPI4 remotely running GUI apps|
|Week 7||e-book tools are put under the microscope|
|Week 6||The office suite is the archetypal business software. LibreOffice is tested|
|Week 5||Managing your email box with the RPI4|
|Week 4||Web surfing on the RPI4 looking at Chromium, Vivaldi, Firefox, and Midori|
|Week 3||Video streaming with Chromium & omxplayerGUI as well as streamlink|
|Week 2||A survey of open source music players on the RPI4 including Tauon Music Box|
|Week 1||An introduction to the world of the RPI4 looking at musikcube and PiPackages|
This blog is written on the RPI4.