Which uses fewer resources: N browser tabs or N iframes in 1 tab?

Modern web browsers use multiple processes, as can be observed with an OS-level task manager.

Given that, which does it make sense to expect to be more performant:

  • N websites opened in separate browser tabs
  • N iframes of different websites

I can imagine hand-wavy arguments for both sides:

N iframes is better since you don't have the per tab overhead. The iframes can ... share resources probably.

N tabs is better. Per tab overhead is probably trivial, and iframes have to be equivalent to full pages.

Is this the kind of thing that might scale differently in different browser engines? Or does the web specification determine the performance characteristics here?

Read more here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/68463029/which-uses-fewer-resources-n-browser-tabs-or-n-iframes-in-1-tab

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