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Comparing Memory Usage of Firefox 2 vs 3

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  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:42AM (#21433955)
    How much does it use on Linux... err... does it run... damn!

    Sorry, I'm new at this....
  • And Opera (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:43AM (#21433959)
    is using 34mb (winXP)
    • Re:And Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:56AM (#21434073)
      I'm assuming you loaded the exact same 5 pages with the same ads that the ZDnet testers did?
    • Re:And Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:56AM (#21434079) Homepage Journal
      Is it just me or does it seem like 60MB or even 34MB is a LOT of memory for something that browses Web pages?

      I mean, people used to make fun of GNU Emacs, saying things like it stands for eight megabytes and constantly swapping or eventually malloc()'s all computer storage. Emacs takes somewhere around 10MB or so on a RHEL4 box, and that thing is practically an operating system. It reads mail! Firefox doesn't even read mail, and it takes 60MB. Opera reads mail, but still 34MB seems just too big, too.

      Maybe I'm just getting to be a cranky old man. Now you kids get offa my lawn!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jarjarthejedi (996957)
        Not for modern webpages. A single flash ad requires a couple of megs, tack on the capability to have multiple pages open in a single browser (that adds to the memory usage a little), a bunch of these ads, and the actual page content and it's pretty small.

        Actually something of interest I've noticed is that since I got NoScript my FF ram usage has dropped considerably. I rarely get about 83MB with FF2 now, because it doesn't have to load the plugins and such.
      • Re:And Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:08AM (#21434193)
        IANAWBD (Web Browser Developer), but... there's just so much data for web pages now. You've got plugged-in interpreted flash code, graphics that need to be kept in RAW formats in memory because of speed, the full length and width of the page on an in-memory surface to pan through on a window.

        Even then it still needs a dynamic layout for CSS and scripting on the fly. And even then some scripting is safe, some is not, so there are rules that the code has to implement like pop-up blockers, password managers, warnings on insecure pages, warnings on cross-site scripting, etc. All that and the browsers STILL need to be able to sensibly parse and display completely borked pages with invalid HTML.

        Nevermind maintaining history, cache, cookies, referring pages, bookmarks.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        But Emacs doesn't display images (somebody will probably correct me on this). Just the cached copies of all the images can take up quite a bit of memory. And from what I remember, it has to basically uncompress them to bitmaps, and keeps those in memory, so that can eat up a lot of memory. Also, all the CSS, DOM, and other information that a text editor doesn't have to keep loaded all the time probably uses up a large amount of memory also. Not to mention plugins like flash and other things that probably
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by muyuubyou (621373)
        It's the "interwebs" what's really bloated. My Firefox executable here is taking just 7.3MB, but then you open several web pages that take MBs each, and some more in uncompressed, parsed form. Then some browsers cache other stuff like rendered pages in memory, and you get those figures we're talking about.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        There's no point RAM sitting there, not being used. It might as well be used to speed up page loading etc. rather than doing nothing.
        • Re:And Opera (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @12:53PM (#21436515)
          Yes, but it's equally inefficient for Firefox to have to swap this sort of thing in and out when the OS is under memory pressure.

          What we really need is a mechanism for e.g. Firefox to use large amounts of memory to speed up page loading when there's plenty of memory, but to optimize for a small memory footprint when I've got ten zillion Gimp windows and Picasa open.

          Why should Firefox behave in exactly the same way in two totally different situations?

          • Re:And Opera (Score:4, Informative)

            by rtaylor (70602) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @06:05PM (#21440823) Homepage
            Unfortunately that is an operating system problem.

            We need a way to tell the operating system that some memory is important and other segments can be dropped at any time (cached or precalculated data) provided the application is told so it can rebuild it when necessary.

            The OS scheduler would choose which applications are idle to the user and dump some of the applications data.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tepples (727027)

        Firefox doesn't even read mail
        citation needed [google.com]
      • Re:And Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

        by forkazoo (138186) <(wrosecrans) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @12:23PM (#21436079) Homepage

        Is it just me or does it seem like 60MB or even 34MB is a LOT of memory for something that browses Web pages?

        I mean, people used to make fun of GNU Emacs, saying things like it stands for eight megabytes and constantly swapping or eventually malloc()'s all computer storage. Emacs takes somewhere around 10MB or so on a RHEL4 box, and that thing is practically an operating system. It reads mail! Firefox doesn't even read mail, and it takes 60MB. Opera reads mail, but still 34MB seems just too big, too.

        Maybe I'm just getting to be a cranky old man. Now you kids get offa my lawn!


        I used to browse the web on a machine with 8 MB of RAM. Total, including the OS. At the time, real time decoding of a JPEG was extremely difficult, but my current CPU has 100 times the clock speed and is 64 bit and has vector processing features. Yet, browsers still seem to make the same class of CPU-memory tradeoffs that made sense on a 68030. For example, I may have ten tabs open in a window. I can only see one of them at any given moment, but the fully decoded images are all sitting in memory for all ten web pages, despite the fact that the page could be re-rendered almost instantly on a modern system.

        Since browsing a few web pages is seldom the only thing I do with my computer, I go and do other stuff in Lightwave, Blender, Photoshop, whatever, then I come back to my web browser, and I wait while the whole working set gets swapped back in. Then, I click on the tab I want, and I wait while the working set for that tab gets swapped back in. If it just rerendered the page from the original bits, rather than using cached decoded images sucking up RAM and whatnot, it'd have almost nothing to reload and worst case performance would be orders of magnitude better. Hooray for "optimisation!"

        Oh, and can we get some ninjas to fucking kill Flash. Seriously, I shouldn't need a bunch of script blocking and flash blocking extensions just to be able to browse the fucking intarwebs without having a seizure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by naasking (94116)
        Is it just me or does it seem like 60MB or even 34MB is a LOT of memory for something that browses Web pages?

        But a browser doesn't just browse web pages. A browser is a limited form operating system, as it has an execution language (Javascript) and environment (the DOM). A mail client is relatively simple as it's just a texty protocol. A browser is HTML + XML + CSS + HTTP/S + JPG/PNG/GIF/etc renderers + embedded plugins + caches, and in case of FF, it has XPCOM and various other extensible subsystems.
    • by bmartin (1181965)
      Opera's no saint. After running Opera and Firefox 2 with no plugins for quite some time, they used the same amount of memory on my computer (Linux). I've been running FF w/ no plugins for a very long time on my machine due to its limited memory (512 MB).

      While the rendering engine has an obvious need for memory, it's nice to see that they're cutting down on memory usage; it has been one of the biggest drawbacks of using Firefox. There's really no need for a web browser to use more than 100MB of memory. Fo
    • is using 14 MB (Ubuntu)
  • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:44AM (#21433975)
    I'm sure that low memory usage bug will be fixed by the first release candidate.
    • The things is, there're real efforts to reduce memory fragmentation (which allows to free memory) that have been developed recently and are not included in this beta.
    • by beh (4759) * on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:29AM (#21434393)
      Actually, that 'low memory bug' has already been fixed - I've downloaded the beta and installed it on WinXP - after looking at 2 pages, Firefox 2 memory usage was at about 45MB; Firefox 3's memory usage was up to about 750MB after less than 5 minutes (and the same 2 pages; in two tabs, just as with Firefox 2.0.0.9), completely bringing the machine to a crawl (1GB mem; and apart from Firefox, Outlook, Eclipse and SquirrelSQL were open)...

      I'm reverting back to Firefox 2 for the time being, and will file a bug report once I have some more time to find out what's causing the issue...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Try creating a new firefox profile and see if you get the same thing.

        I've been running nightly FF3 pre-beta builds for a few months now, and even on the occasional day where a new patch causes regular crashes I've not seen this happen.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jnaujok (804613)
          Really? Because I can do it in one page. I tried out FF3 yesterday. Opened our local search page (about a 4K page with very little other than text) and let it sit for 2-3 minutes while I worked on something else. Suddenly the machine slowed to a crawl, the drive went to 100% on, and by the time I could finally get Task Manager open a minute or two later, Firefox.exe was at 635MB and climbing.

          I can reproduce it every single time.
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:46AM (#21433991) Journal
    Are they using the handy dandy Task Manager? If so, this is not even remotely accurate. In the age of managed memory, this is an estimate at best. Don't believe me. Open up internet explorer, run it a while and look at the memory usage. Now minimize IE. Watch the number drop like a lead balloon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vally_manea (911530)
      From what I've heard this is common practice at MS. When the app gets minimized it releases/caches a lot of memory. There was a story on a MS person's blog but I'm to lazy to find it out.
    • by Lemmingue (788112) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:01AM (#21434127) Homepage
      The Working Set (physical memory) size will drop, but the memory consumption (Private Bytes, Virtual Memory) will be the same. When a window is minimized, Windows mark the memory pages as candidates to be relocated in case of memory shortage. When you restore IE focus the Working Set size will return to the previous size.

      Task Manager sucks, use Sysinternals' Process Explorer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wile_e_wonka (934864)
      I don't believe this is only IE--when I listen to music on my computer on an airplane, I minimize the music program because it uses less memory, and therefore less battery (from my tests, Winamp Lite minimized uses the least RAM when minimized of all the players I tested. It was better than Foobar and mplayer, etc).

      In fact, I just tried the same thing with Opera--it dropped from 60,000 to 11,000.

      I don't think it's an estimate--I think the program really uses less RAM when minimized.
      • Do this experiment.
        1) Browse with IE for a few minutes.
        2) Look at the memory usage
        3) Minimize IE.
        4) Look at the memory usage
        5) Maximize IE
        6) Look at the memory usage.

        Compare #2 and #6. I've found that #6 is lower than #2.

        • by volpe (58112) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:21AM (#21434297)
          When you minimize, the working set size is reduced. This causes pages to be swapped out to the pagefile. When you maximize (or restore), the working set size is increased, meaning that the application is *allowed* to use more physical memory, but that doesn't mean it's going to immediately start loading back the same pages it swapped out. It's going to wait for page faults to compel it to do so. That is why #6 is lower than #2.
        • by astrosmash (3561)
          So, what's your analysis? Why is #6 less than #2, and what does than mean?

          Where does the memory go when an application is minimized? Where does the memory come back from when you restore the application?

          Hint: the application isn't doing anything. It's an OS trick.

          Bonus Question: Why do you think Firefox disables this trick?

          • My assumption is that that is related to managed memory. An object is marked as being ready for disposal, but is not actually disposed. When a minimize event occurs, garbage collection occurs.

            Now, I could really be off on this, but I have not seen anyone give a reason for this behavior that explains everything I see. If you have a better conclusion, I am all ears :)
            • by quanticle (843097)

              To echo a previous reply, the reason #6 is less than #2 is that when the application is swapped to disk and swapped back, the OS doesn't fully restore all objects that the application had in memory. It only restores the objects that the application is using, and doesn't restore the rest until the application requests some swapped objects. Given that most browsers are coded in C++, rather than Java or C#, garbage collection is a non-issue.

      • by nxtw (866177)
        How does minimizing a program / using less active memory cause less power draw? I would imagine that the power you save would be from not having to render the visualizations, resulting in less CPU work. Memory chips aren't going to be shut off or anything like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jandrese (485)
      That behavior drives me crazy about Windows, so much so that I will often resort to forcing the page file down to 2MB just to keep it from swapping my applications out when I Minimize them. I hate having a system with 2GB of memory and having to wait 30 seconds for it to page some application back in (slow laptop HDDs don't help) just because it thought I might want a lot of free memory for some reason.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:47AM (#21434003) Journal

    Firefox 3.0 b 1:

    Loading a five pages into the browser - 38,644KB
    Loading a single page and leaving the browser for 10 minutes - 63,764KB
    Loading 12 pages into the browser and wait 5 minutes - 62,312KB
    I wonder what would have happened had he loaded 12 pages and let the browser sit for 10 minutes -- would the memory usage still be less than the single page/10 mins test?

    Seems to me that memory usage must still spiral under 3 beta, otherwise how would the single page/10 min usage be less than the 12pp/5 min test? Sure, it's not as bad, but that number really caught my eye... more testing is in order if I can get some time away from the in-laws over the holiday.
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:58AM (#21434097) Homepage
      Also, seems like a pretty crappy test to me, especially considering that most of the complaints with Firefox are with memory leaks, and not memory usage from opening a few pages. What happens after an entire work day of using the browser? Is there a significant difference in memory at that point? People who open their browser and look at 10 pages, then close it again will rarely ever have a problem with memory usage in Firefox. However, those of use who leave it open for days at a time, doing web development, and constantly looking at new pages are the ones who need to worry. It's like comparing the performance Visual Studio 2003 to Visual Studio 2005 on a project that only has 5 classes.
      • by stony3k (709718) <stony3k&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:12AM (#21434221) Homepage
        Form the tests that the developers have been running, most of the memory leaks in Firefox itself seem to be fixed (there are probably still some left). However, memory usage still remains a problem. I think this blog post [pavlov.net] summarizes their findings. They've been using dtrace and other tools to find out exactly what is going on.

        Unfortunately, I think the damage to Firefox's reputation is already done. There are many people who have had negative experiences with Firefox who keep on harping about the "memory leaks" and I don't see how Mozilla devs can change this public perception.
        • by bunratty (545641) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @12:40PM (#21436307)

          I don't see that memory usage remains a problem for most users. It's just the vocal few who are having memory problems. The main problem is that these users assume this is part of the "normal" experience of using Firefox, so they complain that every user must also be seeing the same thing. They take no steps to fix or report their problems, as they consider the problem to be "well-known" and think developers must be idiots for not being able to see it.

          If you're still having serious problems with Firefox, try creating a new profile [mozillazine.org] and installing the Firefox 3 Beta [mozilla.com]. If you still have problems, discuss them on the MozillaZine Builds forum [mozillazine.org]. If the problems do not get resolved, just switch to another browser. It's not normal to experience serious problems when browsing, so I don't see why anyone accepts it as part of the "normal" experience.

          I agree that the damage to Firefox's reputation is already done. I've found that no matter how many reports come out that Firefox doesn't have a severe and obvious memory problem, the few reports that show a problem are the ones that become popular. If any of them just included instructions to reproduce the problem on other computers, those reports would be productive. Somehow, they always seem to leave that part out.

  • firefox 3 doesn't have any plugins yet, last i checked it was plugin writers who were blamed for all the memory issues by Mozilla

    btw i did same test in IE7 and Opera9 and only got 30-40MB usage
    • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:53AM (#21434047) Homepage Journal
      From the article:

      Both Firefox 2.0.0.9 and Firefox 3.0 b 1 were installed fresh using a standard install.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      last i checked it was plugin writers who were blamed for all the memory issues by Mozilla

      Which to me sounds eerily similar to Microsoft blaming 3rd party software for taking down the operating system.

      • If an extension starts allocating megabytes of memory, should a browser stop it? How much is too much? Should this be a limit set by the user (god help my dad, in that case)?

        If an extension crashes, I'm not even sure if the browser is supposed to stay open, or crash with it. Certainly an OS should not crash regardless of what a browser does.
      • >last i checked it was plugin writers who were blamed for all the memory issues by Mozilla

        Which to me sounds eerily similar to Microsoft blaming 3rd party software for taking down the operating system.


        Except "taking down the operating system" is very different, both in severity and root cause, from leaking memory. If you're going to allow extensions to run as part of the browser, you don't really have any control over what they do with the browser's RAM usage. An OS has the luxury of being able to partit
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      firefox 3 doesn't have any plugins yet
      All my old plugins, flash, vlc's movie plugin and so on still work in this Firefox 3.
    • by ToLu the Happy Furby (63586) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:14AM (#21434241)
      You can enable extensions not explicitly marked as compatible with Firefox 3 beta by going to about:config and adding an entry for extensions.checkCompatibility : false. I'm running the same extensions and usage pattern as with Firefox 2 and performance is MUCH improved, especially AJAX performance on Gmail and shutdown/session recover speed. Of course, it has only been one day since my last FF restart. FWIW, I'm running about 8 extensions and have about 50 tabs open across 5 windows; currently on my 2GB machine Task Manager shows Firefox 3 using 235MB, where in the past Firefox 2 would easily consume ~450MB or even 600MB+ under similar workload. (Of course in the past I only checked Task Manager once FF's performance became noticeably slow, so this is not necessarily a good comparison.)

      Another point regarding your IE7 and Opera9 tests: as far as I know, all modern browsers choose to allocate more or less memory depending on how much memory the OS reports as available (certainly Firefox does), so users on different boxes can show very different results.
  • What I really care about is how it has changed on the linux platform (where I've never had an issue with it). Is it going to be an improvement there too?
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:59AM (#21434109) Journal
    Come on, this is not a fair test. When I go to bookmarks/open all in tabs in a folder, I usually open anywhere between 18 to 30 tabs. In fact the first thing I do is to open all the editorial cartoons bookmark folder under "open all in tabs". By the time I am done with email, I will have the 21 cartoons ready to be perused.

    BTW I never found old FireFox's memory consumption as annoying as intransigence of some sites in refusing to support Firefox and the lax/laisse-faire coding for IE only. May be because at work I usually have a couple of four processor 16GB machine for development/testing. I used to have a dedicated 2GB machine exclusively for Firefox. But that old machine's hard disk started squealing with an annoying noise so I had to throw it away. Even at home with my puny 512MB 4 year old desktop or the 1GB 2 year old laptop I get by without any serious memory issues.

  • not an issue (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SkankinMonkey (528381)
    Memory usage really isn't a huge issue for most end-users. Sure if it was sucking up 800 meg with 2 or 3 tabs open people would complain but right now people are just starting to get used to the idea of tabs much less use 12 of them. The memory usage now is hardly a system stopper for most people who only run their browser and mail client and maybe an office suite and picture viewer.
    • by tji (74570)
      It becomes an issue when the memory grows at the alarming rate shown in the test. Considering the browser is the one app I have open all the time, and keep open for days/weeks at a time, memory usage does become a concern.

      Also, considering some other applications I often have open are memory hogs too (Microsoft Word / Excel / Powerpoint, Apple Mail, VMware Fusion) memory efficiency becomes more concerning. Even with 2GB of RAM, I run into problems at times.

  • by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377@gmail ... om minus painter> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:06AM (#21434161) Homepage
    Either I got a bad build, or I've got a weird system setup. FF3b1 was using 180 megs (yes, 180 megs) of memory to load my intranet page, and would try and scream upwards from there before my poor IBM laptop (P3 800, 320 megs of ram) ground to a halt. FF 2.0.9 was using 30 megs.

    I wish I could have submitted a bug report, but my machine would freeze before firefox actually crashed.

    (and no, it does also take me 15 minutes to move a 20 meg file on my mac.....)
  • by JeremyGNJ (1102465) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:11AM (#21434213)
    Seems like the author is playing up to some feature in FireFox 4 that releases un-viewed pages from memory after a certain amount of time.

    I bet if he re-clicked on each of the 12 tabs after the 5 minutes was up, that memory usages would go back up again.

    "using less memory" isnt always desirable. I have 4 GB of RAM in my system and i'd rather if the applications USED THAT RAM, to keep application response "instant", rather than un-caching stuff, only to pull it back into memory again when I want to see it.
    • by niceone (992278) *
      "using less memory" isnt always desirable. I have 4 GB of RAM in my system and i'd rather if the applications USED THAT RAM, to keep application response "instant", rather than un-caching stuff, only to pull it back into memory again when I want to see it.

      A good point! And firefox does seem to take this into account. I am running Firefox 2 on Ubuntu (right now!) on a Thinkpad T20 with 256MB of ram - it works fine.
  • Yet flash.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by webmaster404 (1148909) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:18AM (#21434277)
    On Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 if you install the flash plugin nonfree package from apt-get flash works fine but whenever you try installing it from Adobe's site or the auto plugin installer, FF grinds to a halt on it using around 100 CPU on anything Flash related like Youtube or Slashdot's ads, disabling flash solves it, however on my other computer that is not much more powerful (slower clock speed of CPU but higher bus speed) when I installed it from the auto plugin installer it works fine getting only around 50% of CPU Max. Firefox or Adobe needs to fix this so Linux people can test the binary that requires you to install the auto-plugin and doesn't work with flash-plugin-nonfree. However, Firefox 3 is my preferred browser on my other computer and it was on Windows even more. My question is, why can't Firefox produce either a sane way to compile it (its a pain to compile it already...) or supplying .deb and .rpm for the builds to make it easier to install? Linux seems to be neglected by Firefox lately, with more strategy of stealing IE's market share then making a better browser on Linux. And Konqueror is painfully slow when on XFCE or GNOME (or just about anything thats not KDE) but perhaps KDE 4 will fix that....
    • by guruevi (827432)
      Same happens on Mac OS X with a PowerPC G4. Adobe's plugin will eat up 100% cpu for something as simple as a video or a game while other things like Java plugins or real video doesn't take anything.
  • by keraneuology (760918) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:30AM (#21434407) Journal
    If I don't shut down Firefox when I leave work for the day my system will be at a dead crawl in the morning - it shouldn't do this. (The only other program that acts like this is MS Streets & Trips). I am annoyed that Firefox is painfully slower to load certain pages - I do a lot of work for an in-house Quickbase application and MSIE blows firefox out of the water performance-wise, to the point where the same page in MSIE will load 3-5 times faster than it will in Firefox.
    • by 0123456 (636235)
      "If I don't shut down Firefox when I leave work for the day my system will be at a dead crawl in the morning - it shouldn't do this."

      Let me guess: your company runs virus scans or similar on your PCs overnight, so Windows swaps out all your applications to cache the files the scanner has just finished scanning?

      That's why I found that quitting and restarting Firefox was much faster than leaving it running overnight. It's not Mozilla's fault that the Windows disk cache was designed by a retard.
    • I am going to guess that you have a couple dozen extensions installed on firefox and most of them you don't ever use (or even think about). Get rid of the extensions you're not actively using and see if that helps both the memory and speed problems you're seeing.

      Alternatively, you could use Opera.
  • Won't be going back (Score:3, Informative)

    by scubamage (727538) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:31AM (#21434411)
    So I started using the beta yesterday, and I can say that I won't be going back to IE or FF2. It runs extremely fast, stable, and is nice and polished. It seriously reminds me of the early releases of FF, but much, much faster. I've got about 14 tabs open right now, and its still running screaming fast. The earlier /. article is no lie, it installs in a heartbeat, opens fast, closes fast, even browses fast (as would be assumed given that it uses a smaller memory footprint, though I could be wrong about that). I reccomend.
    • I'm feeling the same (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nicolay77 (258497)
      But I'm testing Opera 9.5 Beta and I have 42 tabs open.

      Checking RAM usage, it's using 237MB right now, as reported by Process Explorer.
    • by Nazlfrag (1035012)
      Betas can be surprisingly stable, but I'd give it more than a cursory glance before recommending it widely. Until you've played with it for at least a week, you won't see its weaknesses. That said, I'm sure responsiveness and memory usage are better because they were two of the glaring flaws in the package and an obvious site for improvement. As for the rest, well who cares if other little issues remain, if they did fix those two glaring flaws and kept the rest tight it should be the de facto browser fairly
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Installed and fired up firefox 3 beta 1. Went to visit www.speakeasy.net/speedtest, couldn't even hit enter. The default page wasn't even loading. My system slowed to a crawl. I checked the availible RAM, and of the 1GB I have in this system I had 2 megs free. Here Firefox was using 707.13 Megs of RAM... don't think the memory leak has been complete fixed (yes this was a windows machine...)
    • by magicsquid (85985) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:48AM (#21434603) Homepage
      I wish I had mod points, because this needs to be brought to people's attention. Everyone seems to be claiming victory over the memory bugs, but for me (and you and many others) there are still random problems.

      My system exhibits the exact same problem you describe. My Firefox will spike from around 66 MB of RAM usage to 700 then 800 then 900 and will just sit there chewing up more RAM until I kill it. I'd love to know the cause and even better, the solution to this problem.

      It is happening in FF2 and in the 3 Beta. It doesn't happen on the same site every time. It happens most frequently when using JavaScript, but not always. I can't seem to narrow it down unfortunately.
  • How much RAM did the Firefox 3 box have free after leaving it running a few hours?
  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:01AM (#21434755)
    FC 6 .. kernel 2.6.22.. Firefox 1.5.0.12 vs 3.0b1

    I created a new user, logged in and loaded up FF 1.5.. opened up 12 tabs and logged into these sites

    www.bbc.co.uk
    www.slashdot.org
    www.dailykos.com
    www.news.com
    www.abc.com
    www.foxnews.com
    www.freep.com
    www.youtube.com
    www.youporn.com
    www.liveleak.com
    www.rawstory.com
    www.drudge.com

    Here are the numbers for ff 1.5. The first line is when it loaded up with 12 empty tabs. The second line is the 12 websites loaded initially.. and the third line is 12 minutes afterwards

      3876 perfume 20 0 175m 54m 38m S 0.0 14.5 0:18.19 firefox-bin
      3876 perfume 20 0 348m 124m 49m R 72.0 33.2 1:47.83 firefox-bin
      3876 perfume 20 0 338m 135m 49m R 46.8 36.0 7:30.93 firefox-bin

    I logged out, rm -rf ./.mozilla then logged back in and fired up FF 3.0b1.. same procedure, same 12 websites and 12 minutes of idling on them

      4231 perfume 20 0 202m 58m 38m S 3.6 15.6 0:11.79 firefox-bin
      4231 perfume 20 0 273m 106m 40m S 59.7 28.4 1:31.37 firefox-bin
      4231 perfume 20 0 254m 107m 40m S 1.3 28.5 2:27.26 firefox-bin

    CPU usage seemed to be much better with FF 3B1 as well.. not sure why the difference but everything was clean...

    • by Tango42 (662363)
      Why are you comparing to an old version?
  • by Toad-san (64810) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:04AM (#21434797)
    After about 2 minutes of use, 2 or three different pages online .. the new 3.0 slowed down my entire system to a crawl, and finally to a lockup. Had to pull the plug.

    Rebooted (Win2K, 2.8 MHZ Pentium 4, 1GB RAM), manually fired up ye olde Firefox, went to same pages, ran fine.

    Closed, re-ran 3.0 .. same problem.

    Sorry boys, not ready for Prime Time IMHO.
  • Memory leaks are of course always bad and should be fixed, however, I have to say that a much more pressing issue is the tendancy for the interface to lock up ( especially on less powerful systems ) if one tab gets stuck loading or has to deal with a poorly coded javascript.

    Mind you it is perfectly possible that the two issues are related, and since my knowledge about the inner workings of firefox are, to put it very mildly, limited, I suppose I can't really judge what kind of changes would be hard to imple
  • Still giving issues (Score:3, Informative)

    by kryliss (72493) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:06AM (#21434849)
    I just downloaded and installed FF3beta, opened up slashdot and BAM....

    http://home.windstream.net/slashdot/pics/firefox3beta.jpg [windstream.net]
  • by Danathar (267989) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:25AM (#21435191) Journal
    Although I'm sure there are some Slashdotters who run Firefox on a 350 Mhz PII with 256Mb of memory, that is really not issue for me. Most people with a recent PC probably have over a Gig of memory and more like 2 onboard.

    CPU utilization where the browser all of a sudden is sucking down 100% of your CPU or of a single core and/or crashes are just as important (or more). More than likely the memory leaks have related browser stability issues that can be addressed with single fixes but if the browser continues to have runaway CPU issues and crashes it will not matter HOW small a footprint of memory it uses.
  • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @06:28PM (#21441109) Homepage
    I think we've got to the root of the problem that you and some other Firefox 3 Beta 1 testers are seeing.

    Starting yesterday, we began receiving reports, like yours, of a new memory/cpu usage issue that happens shortly after a normal startup and can spike the CPU and chew up hundreds of MB of RAM. This is apparently happening to people with new profiles or in profiles that have a very outdated list of bad sites for the Phishing Protection feature.

    What's going on is that soon after Firefox is started, Firefox tries to fetch updates to the site forgery list -- the lists of bad sites that allows Firefox to warn users about suspected Phishing attacks. If the profile has very outdated or no local list, as is the case for a new Firefox profile, Firefox is trying to bring down a complete, rather large, list in one big chunk rather than slowly in small chunks. This causes Firefox to consume large amounts of CPU and memory and can slow the users machine to a crawl.

    This problem is due to the change in the "SafeBrowsing Protocol" which only affects Firefox 3 Beta 1 and nightly build users. If you're on Firefox 2, this isn't going to affect you.

    The work-around for this problem was for us to throttle it on the server side. We've done that and if you try Firefox 3 Beta 1 again, it should be fine.

    - A

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