UPDATE: In the latest version of this study, Windows 10 trounces Ubuntu and macOS.
Some caveats on what follows:
- Testing was done on Firefox only. Howeve since Firefox is open source, very actively developed, and has prioritized low RAM usage, it’s a good representative of well-engineered multiplatform apps.
- The developer’s conclusion is based on the factor by which RAM consumption changes. My conclusion is based on the total RAM consumption, period.
- The Windows results are for Windows 7. Since subsequent versions of Windows are known to use progressively less RAM, it’s safe to assume RAM consumption is better on Windows 10.
That said, below are the results for Firefox on all 3 OSes:
Clearly, if client application RAM consumption is your major concern, Linux is the OS for you. Windows comes second, while OS X brings up the rear. Feel free to use this as ammo in the nearest OS flamewar.