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Future Chrome for Mac update may solve problems with memory, performance

A test build of Google's forthcoming Chrome 46 makes substantial improvements to the performance of the Web browser on the Mac, according to one early glimpse at the software.

The build appears to halve Chrome's memory consumption, and make formely slow tabs much faster, The Next Web commented on Thursday. At the same time, the browser also appears to consume fewer CPU and power resources.

The changes are the result of a variety of under-the-hood improvements, including closed memory leaks, better Javascript performance, and Mac graphics enhancements. Google has also been working on porting a Chrome OS feature called tab discarding, which can force a tab to "sleep" if memory is running out.

The latest stable version of Chrome is actually Chrome 44, but 46 is already available through Google's Chrome Canary program. New Canary builds are released daily — and sport the absolute latest Chrome features — but are so early into development that they can be prone to crashes and other bugs.

Mac owners have regularly complained that their version of Chrome is inferior to the Windows and Chrome OS editions, often consuming gigabytes of memory and chewing up notebook batteries.