http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/07/07/1452211/firefox-notably-improved-in-toms-hardwares-latest-browser-showdown

Quote:
"Tom's Hardware did another benchmark showdown, since several releases of both Firefox and Chrome came out since their last one. Did Mozilla clean up its act and listen to its users? The test results are listed here. Firefox 13.01 uses the least amount of RAM with 40 tabs opened, while Chrome uses the highest (surprisingly). Overall, Firefox scored medium for memory efficiency, which measures RAM released after tabs are closed. Also surprising: IE 9 is still king of the lowest RAM usage for just one tab. Bear in mind that these tests were benchmarked in Windows 7. Windows XP and Linux users will have different results, due to differences in memory management. It is too bad IE 10, which is almost finished, wasn't available to benchmark."


I've always thought that FF was the biggest hog of them all, eating RAM like it was jellybeans at easter. This might require an upgrade.
seana11 wrote:
I've always thought that FF was the biggest hog of them all, eating RAM like it was jellybeans at easter. This might require an


An... What? An investigation? Another look at firefox by Chrome users? An hero?

Hmm, I haven't used Firefox for ages -- namely, since version 3.x. I'd consider using it again if it's actually improved it's efficiency -- it used to be just a souped up, slightly faster version of IE, much slower than Opera 10.x and Chrome.
Ashbad wrote:
seana11 wrote:
I've always thought that FF was the biggest hog of them all, eating RAM like it was jellybeans at easter. This might require an


An... What? An investigation? Another look at firefox by Chrome users? An hero?

Hmm, I haven't used Firefox for ages -- namely, since version 3.x. I'd consider using it again if it's actually improved it's efficiency -- it used to be just a souped up, slightly faster version of IE, much slower than Opera 10.x and Chrome.


Well, I was going to say upgrade, but I paused to inset a link and forgot about it.
Just get opera. I dont think firefox has improved enough to warrant going back.
flyingfisch wrote:
Just get opera. I dont think firefox has improved enough to warrant going back.


I adore Opera, but Adblock Plus makes all the difference. And a lot of stuff doesn't work *quite* right in Opera.
from the last page:

  1. Chrome: 19
  2. Firefox: 18.5
  3. Opera: 15
  4. IE: 11
  5. Safari: 7


A perfect score (In which every category is won) is 31.5. If a program gets "Strong" in everything, the score is 23.
FF may not be a memory hog anymore, but IMO (and being a Linux user) I feel it is more sluggish than Chrome. It also renders certain things, mostly fonts with CSS effects, in a strange way (see the headings of my URL shortener website with both Chrome and Firefox, for instance) - but I admit, this is just my personal opinion.

Chrome(ium) uses a lot of memory, but in a computer with 8GB RAM I prefer speed over reduced RAM usage. I'm all in for the WebKit rendering engine, because as I said already, there are tiny details on Gecko's rendering which I don't like.

So, what are the alternatives? I think that for Windows, IE9 (and soon, IE10) are quite decent alternatives but I wouldn't recommend them when e.g. Chrome(ium) is available (plus, IE9+ isn't available for Windows XP). For handheld and low-resource devices, Opera has quite good solutions - a shame it isn't open-source. WebKit also does good on embedded devices, but it is always a memory hog when compared to Opera.
(I can't get any WebKit browser to run on a phone with 20 MB RAM available. Opera Mobile runs happily with over three tabs)

Another browser which I pretty much enjoy using is Midori. It uses a WebKit engine, is lightweight and has a sleek UI which (because it's GTK) goes well with your OS theme. It also has thing like an optional ad blocker built-in.

The conclusion I take is that there is no universal browser that "just works" with anything and anywhere - these browser wars and benchmarks are pathetic, to some extent. Some browsers will always be better for certain types of web browsing (one thing is checking the news and recipes, another is playing with WebGL and HTML5), and some will always be more adequate for certain computers/devices than others.

On the developer side, IMHO most web browsers (except old versions of IE) are already "smart" enough to let you develop a website without much concern it won't display correctly for some visitors - just make sure to get people away from IE8 and older.
gbl08ma wrote:
FF may not be a memory hog anymore, but IMO (and being a Linux user) I feel it is more sluggish than Chrome. It also renders certain things, mostly fonts with CSS effects, in a strange way (see the headings of my URL shortener website with both Chrome and Firefox, for instance) - but I admit, this is just my personal opinion.

Chrome(ium) uses a lot of memory, but in a computer with 8GB RAM I prefer speed over reduced RAM usage. I'm all in for the WebKit rendering engine, because as I said already, there are tiny details on Gecko's rendering which I don't like.

So, what are the alternatives? I think that for Windows, IE9 (and soon, IE10) are quite decent alternatives but I wouldn't recommend them when e.g. Chrome(ium) is available (plus, IE9+ isn't available for Windows XP). For handheld and low-resource devices, Opera has quite good solutions for these - a shame it isn't open-source; WebKit also does good on embedded devices, but it is always a memory hog when compared to Opera.
(I can't get any WebKit browser to run on a phone with 20 MB RAM available. Opera Mobile runs happily with over three tabs)

Another browser which I pretty much enjoy using is Midori. It uses a WebKit engine, is lightweight and has a sleek UI which (because it's GTK) goes well with your OS theme. It also has thing like an optional ad blocker built-in.

The conclusion I take is that there is no universal browser that "just works" with anything and anywhere - these browser wars and benchmarks are pathetic, to some extent. Some browsers will always be better for certain types of web browsing (one thing is checking the news and recipes, another is playing with WebGL and HTML5), and some will always be more adequate for certain computers/devices than others.

On the developer side, IMHO most web browsers (except old versions of IE) are already "smart" enough to let you develop a website without much concern it won't display correctly for some visitors - just make sure to get people away from IE8 and older.


I love midori. I only have 2 issues: It doesn't have my (extensive) browsing history, and it has almost no addons. If it had addons, I would be completely sold.
seana11 wrote:
I've always thought that FF was the biggest hog of them all, eating RAM like it was jellybeans at easter. This might require an upgrade.


Firefox hasn't been a memory hog since like version 2 - that got fixed a looooong time ago. The article is also surprised at Chrome's memory usage, but Chrome's memory usage has always been very high. There was pretty much never a point where Chrome used less memory than Firefox, but Firefox got the bloat & memory hogging label anyway. There have been many such tests like this over the years - they've all shown the same thing with Firefox being one of the best in terms of RAM usage, and Chrome being one of the worst.
Kllrnohj wrote:
seana11 wrote:
I've always thought that FF was the biggest hog of them all, eating RAM like it was jellybeans at easter. This might require an upgrade.


Firefox hasn't been a memory hog since like version 2 - that got fixed a looooong time ago. The article is also surprised at Chrome's memory usage, but Chrome's memory usage has always been very high. There was pretty much never a point where Chrome used less memory than Firefox, but Firefox got the bloat & memory hogging label anyway. There have been many such tests like this over the years - they've all shown the same thing with Firefox being one of the best in terms of RAM usage, and Chrome being one of the worst.


Eh, I guess it has to do with using an old computer, anything over 100 mb ram is waaaay too much. I find that MemoryFox really helps with the bloat, though. There's also a slight leak problem where ff will gradually eat up more and more ram, even when nothing new is opened.
Kllrnohj wrote:

Firefox hasn't been a memory hog since like version 2 - that got fixed a looooong time ago. The article is also surprised at Chrome's memory usage, but Chrome's memory usage has always been very high. There was pretty much never a point where Chrome used less memory than Firefox, but Firefox got the bloat & memory hogging label anyway. There have been many such tests like this over the years - they've all shown the same thing with Firefox being one of the best in terms of RAM usage, and Chrome being one of the worst.

The problem is that Firefox uses very little bits of memory at a time and never gives them back. I've observed this behavior as recently as version 8 or so, but I haven't paid awfully close attention since then, since it no longer tells me when it's updating and I've taken the behavior for granted for so long.

Though the addition of about:memory is at least a helpful sign that they're TRYING to do something about it.
On my system, Flash (when I go to YouTube) usually uses a lot more RAM than Firefox. And it doesn't release it when I'm no longer using it, nor does it ever pay me rent, so I just do a “kill” and evict it on occasion. Razz
elfprince13 wrote:
The problem is that Firefox uses very little bits of memory at a time and never gives them back. I've observed this behavior as recently as version 8 or so, but I haven't paid awfully close attention since then, since it no longer tells me when it's updating and I've taken the behavior for granted for so long.


That's called a cache + history back stack. Unless Mozilla is completely incompetent, any actual memory leaks have long since been squashed - there are plenty of tools on the desktop that easily identify them.

Or if you have extensions, those extensions can be "leaking" memory (in that they never free it, not that they are actually leaking it). Those "fancy" AJAX web sites can have similar behavior (I've seen pages using over 1GB of RAM in Chrome after being left open for a while)
I've read discussions about a lot of the problem also having to do with heap fragmentation, which appears to be another thing they worked on/are working on improving.

Personally, I've never had major problems with Firefox VM usage even after a lot of use over many days. The usage can go up rather high, but not normally enough to cause excessive swap thrashing.

My main complaint had been sluggish UI, particularly during page loading, due to it all being handled in a single thread—really painful on a system like I was stuck with back in the mid-2000s with a 400-or-so MHz Celeron. This largely became a non-issue once I had the finances to finally upgrade to a modern system, though even today it's not always quite perfect.
Chrome has always been o huge memory hog for me, far more than other browsers I use. I used to have Chromium on my LiveUSBs, but I've long since switched back to Firefox (the default browser) because Chromium barely worked on my old laptop.

And same here Travis—probably the biggest reason I'm still using Chrome for the most part (besides the apps) is that the Firefox UI keeps lagging. In middle school we were encourages to use Firefox (because somehow the tech guys managed to make a bunch of important school pages not work in WebKit), but I still stuck with Safari (they were Macs) because loading up Firefox, then loading pages, was just painful with Fx3.5.

I think it was Fx5 that spread out the initial loading so the wait time before browsing actually became reasonable, but I still find Firefox to hang a lot more often than Google Chrome.
gbl08ma wrote:
FF may not be a memory hog anymore, but IMO (and being a Linux user) I feel it is more sluggish than Chrome. It also renders certain things, mostly fonts with CSS effects, in a strange way (see the headings of my URL shortener website with both Chrome and Firefox, for instance) - but I admit, this is just my personal opinion.
I haven't been watching the benchmarks, but I think a few versions back (around Fx13) Firefox basically caught up to Chrome in raw page loading speed. The difference is that Chrome has some extra features like DNS pre-fetching (where it does DNS lookups for your favorite sites beforehand) and pre-loading web pages (where it starts downloading and loading a page before you even hit Enter) that really makes Chrome feel fast.
gbl08ma wrote:
Chrome(ium) uses a lot of memory, but in a computer with 8GB RAM I prefer speed over reduced RAM usage.
That's basically my verdict now. If I can run Chrome, I run Chrome.

Google seems to feel that way too from what I've seen. There's Chrome the memory hog, but there are also things like the mobile website for Google Plus, which doesn't even load in Mobile Safari anymore because it requires so much mem. Seems like Google is pushing something like "a better UI at all costs," no matter how much memory it would require. Again, it sure feels good.
gbl08ma wrote:
I'm all in for the WebKit rendering engine, because as I said already, there are tiny details on Gecko's rendering which I don't like.
From what I've seen it's usually Gecko that does it right, according to spec, and WebKit the one that's toying with alternate implementations that seem to make more sense. Almost playing a Microsoft card here.

By the way, Kllrnohj (or someone else who knows), when would a script start stealing memory like that? Just wondering, since I've never really looked at memory usage in JS before.
I've always used firefox, and I've always had terrible computers(only 2 years ago did I get one with more than a gig of RAM). Never have I really had a problem, unless I've left it on for a while(which I try not to do anyway for all sorts of reasons). The case has been closed for me for a while now.
Here are some screenshots of the details that differ in WebKit and Gecko rendering. I don't quite like the effect the headlines get with Gecko.

Firefox 13 @ Ubuntu 12.04:



Chrome 18 @ Ubuntu 12.04:



These are, of course, not the only examples of differences in text rendering.

Another thing I hate in the newer FF versions is the smooth scrolling. To be honest, I didn't search for a setting to disable it, but still, me and my friends find it very annoying even if it is just an option enabled by default.
gbl08ma wrote:
Another thing I hate in the newer FF versions is the smooth scrolling. To be honest, I didn't search for a setting to disable it, but still, me and my friends find it very annoying even if it is just an option enabled by default.
Yeah, I found that to be pretty annoying when they enabled it recently (in Firefox 12 IIRC). There's an option to disable it in Advanced>General>Use smooth scrolling.
Very nice changes coming for FF15 for us add-on users: https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2012/07/19/firefox-15-plugs-the-add-on-leaks/
Huh, I didn't realize the add-on memory leak problem was that bad. I don't have any addons because I run Firefox Portable and I just want it to run as fast as possible.

But they mentioned Firebug as one of the culprits (I see the Firebug developers themselves admit it too), and although I don't have the full add-on, I use Firebug Lite (basically the core features of Firebug in a JavaScript bookmarklet) all the time. I wonder if that can cause memory leaks too, or if it's only the actual add-ons that have the problem
  
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