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Firefox 3 to be faster than the competition

Firefox 3 to be faster than the competition

Firefox 3 beta 4 - things seem to be getting better with each successive Beta.

Mozilla’s Vice President of Engineering, Mike Schroepfer, has stated that with each beta version of Firefox 3.0, Mozilla is gradually increasing performance. Currently at beta 4, this claim has been put to the test in a couple of simple benchmarks.

Firstly, Javascript performance: In Sunspider Javascript Benchmark, Firefox 3 beta 4 is currently twice as fast as Opera 9.5 beta and Safari, nearly three times faster than Firefox 2 and almost six times faster than Internet Explorer 7. Mozilla also claimed that with every successive beta, the performance has improved - between betas three and four there was a twofold improvement.

Another improvement, and one many of us have been after for a while, is the lower memory footprint.

Using Web 2.0 specific sites saw a 10 percent drop, and closing web pages actually frees 15 percent more memory now. No activity also sees a memory release as well. The only negative performance recorded was when surfing “regular” web pages saw a 9.5 percent rise in memory use.

You can check the specific results and even how to reproduce the tests on the Mozilla Links website. Obviously, personal usage will vary this – but if you work like Tim and have a million tabs open at once, it could provide some significant memory savings. (I might upgrade now - Ed.)

With Firefox 3, the developers claim to have concentrated on developing the browser for more complex web applications than basic web pages, as well as better graphic and text rendering architectures in Firefox’s core engine, Gecko.

If you’re interested in trying it out – Firefox 3 beta 4 is available here – let us know how you get on in the forums.

31 Comments

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cjoyce1980 13th March 2008, 11:51 Quote
about time too! firefox 2 is a mess
The Chugnut 13th March 2008, 12:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
about time too! firefox 2 is a mess

Define "mess."

I think we're using two different programs here.
ChromeX 13th March 2008, 12:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Chugnut
Define "mess."

I think we're using two different programs here.

Yeah i've had no problems at all with FF2 :)
The Chugnut 13th March 2008, 12:54 Quote
Unless that was clever use of sarcasm that somehow went straight over my head. I would feel ashamed. :O
Firehed 13th March 2008, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Chugnut
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
about time too! firefox 2 is a mess

Define "mess."

I think we're using two different programs here.

Everyone's had really mixed experiences with it. Sometimes it would crash all the time for me, and sometimes it ran perfectly for the longest time. For a beta, FF3 seems in very good shape other than my extensions being incompatible.

I never pay attention to memory use though - there are so many factors that go into it, not least of which being how much RAM the system has. All of the systems I use day-to-day now have 4GB, so 150-250MB out of there is not only a fairly small percent, but it wouldn't be used in any other way so if it can speed up the browser then so much the better.
Kode 13th March 2008, 13:10 Quote
firefox 2 isnt great for memory usage, thats probably what he meant.

Im a PHP Web Developer, and use firefox to develop, as well as any other websites i have open at any one time, before a couple of weeks ago this machine only had 512mb in it, and would frequently freeze as the system was using 600-800mb (plenty of paging going on) with firefox taking up between 300-500mb, its now got 1.2GB in it and is much happier, but firefox is still almost always the number 1 user of memory, at the moment i only have 2 instances open, one with 2 tabs, and one with 6 tabs and its using 146mb, only program beating it is photoshop which is consuming 170mb
TreeDude 13th March 2008, 14:10 Quote
I have not had a memory issue with FF since version 1.5. FF2 has been great for me. It does use a bit more memory that I would like, but it has been rock solid for me since it came out. I am now using FF3 b4 though. The first 2 betas crashed pretty often, but beta 3 and 4 have been very solid. I am however getting the Vista styled buttons in XP, not sure if that is a bug though.
HourBeforeDawn 13th March 2008, 14:33 Quote
Personally I prefer FF2 to FF3 but Im sure it will get better also why did they drop the back and forward nav buttons, granted you can just use your keyboard to do this but still wondering or am I over looking it completely?
Brett89 13th March 2008, 14:44 Quote
I love firefox 3, i'm using it on all my computers, fast. The redesigned UI is different, but now I'm used to it.
UncertainGod 13th March 2008, 15:09 Quote
If you think FF2 or 3 uses to much memory just set the memory capacity for your machine;

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.cache.memory.capacity
wuyanxu 13th March 2008, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed

I never pay attention to memory use though - there are so many factors that go into it, not least of which being how much RAM the system has. All of the systems I use day-to-day now have 4GB, so 150-250MB out of there is not only a fairly small percent, but it wouldn't be used in any other way so if it can speed up the browser then so much the better.

yeah, with 4GB, even if Firefox takes up 1GB of space, and Vista takes up 2GB, i've still got 1GB free for even the most demanding game. (Crysis use typically at 1GB, at most, is Dx9 mode, uses 1.5GB)

how's reliability of Beta 3?? shall i upgrade or wait until it's released?
Nexxo 13th March 2008, 15:34 Quote
I have always used IE as it is good enough (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), but FF3 Beta 4 is admirably fast when dealing with Java-based page-apps like Gmail. I may be tempted to convert.
naokaji 13th March 2008, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I have always used IE as it is good enough (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), but FF3 Beta 4 is admirably fast when dealing with Java-based page-apps like Gmail. I may be tempted to convert.

Come to the dark side and give opera a try, we have a cookies.
Solidus 13th March 2008, 15:43 Quote
I do prefer firefox over internet explorer definately but it has issues. It has crashed numerous times on websites and wont respond - The nvidia website is one i can recall from the top of my head and restarting the explorer or computer didnt fix it either.
I have both explorers - Internet and firefox installed and i use internet explorer only when firefox screws up a page which happens often enough for me to warrant to keep it.

Im looking forward to FF3 however and hope these issues dissappear!
phuzz 13th March 2008, 17:49 Quote
Been running FF3 since B1 (mind you, I started using Phoenix at 0.6 as my daily browser so...) an loving it, the only downside for me has been the lack of plug in support (Google Browser Sync I'm looking at you!). The speed is there, it's stable (for me at least on XP and Vista), and the new Places features are nice.

Wish they hadn't stuck those bloody vista buttons on it in B4 though :(
Cupboard 13th March 2008, 18:51 Quote
I have a strange problem with Firefox that causes music from Foobar to sometimes jutter. A quick restart of FF sorts it out and it only occurs when I have had lots of tabs open for ages (like around 20). It is still a bit worrying though. It never uses more than 300MB of RAM though.
Hamish 13th March 2008, 19:05 Quote
FF2 never crashes on me but it does do some weird **** sometimes
sometimes it likes to think i've got a US keyboard layout all of a sudden, which isquite annoying :p

however decided to try ff3 b4 and see if enough of my extensions work on it yet, turns out they do
and woah, it really is a lot faster
its actually noticeable, maybe my ff2 was just really bogged down or something but do want!
UncertainGod 13th March 2008, 19:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phuzz
Wish they hadn't stuck those bloody vista buttons on it in B4 though :(

The new rss Icons are awful to look at, I wonder if there is a 'classic' theme available yet...
Anakha 13th March 2008, 19:49 Quote
I'm sitting here using the FF nightlies (Updated each night with the very bleedingest version). It's just getting better and better, IMHO.
Mentai 13th March 2008, 21:35 Quote
FF3 B4 decided that my free download manager plugin was no longer safe and disabled it automatically D:
Other than that, it's good lol
Vash-HT 13th March 2008, 21:36 Quote
I liked IE7 better than FF2, but only marginally (I actually use both), but my experiences with IE8 so far have been pretty crappy so I may switch to using FF3 exclusively, jsut gotta actually try it first.
Mr T 13th March 2008, 21:38 Quote
Ive been using beta3/4 at work for a while now but had to revert back to ff2 because it kept rendering h tags and random form elements incorrectly. Anyone with a 123reg account try logging into that its all over the place :) I also found today that if there's an invalid character in the page rather than showing a small square like ff2 does it causes the entire page to go mental. I'm sure they will get these fixed before final release :)
specofdust 13th March 2008, 21:57 Quote
If you want fast, there's a link in my sig...

It already exists. It's already out. And it generally is just firefox 12 months earlier.
cpemma 13th March 2008, 22:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
how's reliability of Beta 3?? shall i upgrade or wait until it's released?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Nitot
Mozilla has taken the wrapping off Firefox 3 Beta 4, and the makers of the open-source browser say there'll be more to follow.

To the disappointment of users expecting an imminent full release, Mozilla says there will be at least another beta in order to iron out remaining bugs.

Firefox 3 has already endured a protracted development cycle in comparison to Firefox 2 which went through only two betas before release, however, Mozilla is refusing to rule out even more beta releases past five.
I'll wait, at least till RC1. FF2 works well for me, I don't have stupid numbers of tabs going and restart occasionally (usually by accidentally clicking the wrong cross).
notatoad 13th March 2008, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
...Java performance...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
...Java-based page-apps like Gmail. I may be tempted to convert.

java != javascript
Nikumba 13th March 2008, 23:48 Quote
Used to use FF at work as it looked better on my CRT than IE did, but at home on Vista just use IE as I found it to be better and quicker for me than firefox, the other thing is, unless ive looked in teh wrong place, there is no 64 bit version of firefox.

Kimbie
Woodstock 14th March 2008, 00:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikumba
Used to use FF at work as it looked better on my CRT than IE did, but at home on Vista just use IE as I found it to be better and quicker for me than firefox, the other thing is, unless ive looked in teh wrong place, there is no 64 bit version of firefox.

Kimbie

there deffinatly is 64 bit compatible firefox
koola 14th March 2008, 04:28 Quote
Meh, I'll stick with Camino. Runs quick and is light on resources :P
Dreaming 14th March 2008, 05:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
Come to the dark side and give opera a try, we have a cookies.

Opera has always been my favourite pure browser that I'd happily use in a terminal kind of machine / at school / in a library (unfortuntely dont normally have the choice to). It's just so far ahead of everything else... nice and simple. Want to zoom in, everything gets bigger. You can actually just zoom in youtube videos, which is useful for those of us with massive resolutions and so get tiny videos in the middle of the screen.

But firefox's customisation won it over for me. I've got it set up exactly how I want, and better yet it automatically syncs with my google account so if I format, I just login and hey presto it's back. I've got a program so whenever I see rapidshare links I just select them all and bang, they're in a folder on my hard disk. It's faster than torrents! Opera tends to struggle with download managers.

I haven't tested 9.5, I will do soon but I still don't know if it will be so utterly customisable as firefox.
Bauul 14th March 2008, 11:08 Quote
The thing about IE is that because it's Microsoft, many of the core processess needed to operate the browser automatically launch with Windows anyway, they're shared with Explorer. As such, IE never seems to use that much memory. I've three instances open right now, each with a dozen tabs, and the memory usage is about 50Mb in total, which is all good news. It may not be as efficient as Firefox (does look a damn sight better though. And don't talk to me about skins, I don't want to use yet more memory just to make the thing look pretty) but it is less of a system hog under a Windows environment.
Dreaming 14th March 2008, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
The thing about IE is that because it's Microsoft, many of the core processess needed to operate the browser automatically launch with Windows anyway, they're shared with Explorer. As such, IE never seems to use that much memory. I've three instances open right now, each with a dozen tabs, and the memory usage is about 50Mb in total, which is all good news. It may not be as efficient as Firefox (does look a damn sight better though. And don't talk to me about skins, I don't want to use yet more memory just to make the thing look pretty) but it is less of a system hog under a Windows environment.

Well you've got to tailor the software you use to what you want vs the hardware you have. Personally I like having software that I feel is really effective at letting me do what I want to - firefox is very customisable and mine is nearly unrecognisable from the stock one - performs the way I want. No doubt it uses tonnes of memory, but memory was so cheap I just bought a tonne.

On other PCs I prefer opera because it's slim, cut down, fast and just works brilliantly.
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