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Firefox was and is The Resource Hog!


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#1 MedEvil

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:13 PM

I used to use FF1.5 because with its Bookmark.html, it's just the easiest to use bookmarks in any other browser too.

Unfortunately FF1.5 can only be used for short browsing sessions, because it's RAM usage goes up and up and up and never comes down again.
A FF1.5 used heavily for a day and then all but one tab closed, can easily still have a RAM usage of above 1 GB.

So much to the past. Tested the latest stable (3.6.15) since yesterday.

I was very, very, very impressed that RAM usage did no longer skyrocket. Even better, when i closed a tab, the RAM usage actually droped, like in other browsers. :clap:

Today i noticed, that programs were unresponsive and caused a lot of harddisk activity, when switched to. Which usually means, lots of swap file usage, because all RAM is used up.

Checked for FF. But no, he was behaving, less than 400MB.

Checked Performance tab in taskmanager and i almost got a heart attack. Free RAM 17MB, swapfile almost full and nothing saved yet.

Turned out, FF is still a resource hog and an even worst one than before, but it doesn't show it as easy as before.
FF has a new process called plugin-container, which does the hogging for FF.exe now.

My verdict:
Stay away from FF till Mozilla.org finaly learns a thing or two about programming and memory management.

On the other hand, if you have a machine with a couple of dozend GB RAM, FF might be just the program for you, to make use of it.


:cheers:

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:52 PM

Yes, I stopped using Firefox also for the same reasons. It was making the machine act too slow.

Ended up using Chrome more often nowadays.

#3 MedEvil

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:09 PM

I still like Opera best.
I just wished, they weren't so determined to screw the user interface up.
It turns out to be more and more work, to get it usable again, with each new version.
Now one even needs to download skins. :clap:

Wished there were browser guis for Opera like for IE.
IE6,7,8,9? Who cares? I start my trusty Maxthon and the world looks sooo much brighter. :cheers:


:unsure:

#4 snowdear

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:27 PM

Sorry, that's just browser bashing. I don't know what you do with your Firefox, that it seems to slow down your PC. Is it running 24/7 with dozens of open tabs, continously reloading pages? Or is it the plugins (Flash, Silverlight, other Adobe stuff, etc.) that use up your memory? Please be more precise for we know that Flash is a proven "resource hog"...

Please, just please, don't feel urged to spread such bu****it for it doesn't help anybody. Of course, Chrome and Opera are fine browsers, but bashing Firefox for alleged resource consumption is cheap. BTW, version 4 is out. You interested? Or do you prefer flaming? Firefox isn't perfect, will never be, i know.

To Nuno: As much as I respect and appreciate your work for these projects, I would have expected a little more than simply agreeing with this seemingly unfounded bashing.

#5 MedEvil

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:08 PM

Firefox was used out of the box, without installing any Addons and just Flash as a plugin.
Everything very basic.

All day sites were opened and closed, especialy sites in this and two other boards and ebay. No flash site was used, all day.

When i pulled the plug on FF, 15-20 pages were still open. RAM usage 973MB and about 1,7GB swapfile.
When i restarted FF it opened the same pages. RAM usage was about 200MB and swapfile about 300 together with plugin-container.

This is a long standing problem with FF, that it just dosn't free RAM up fully after use again. Disabling javascript helps, but then it becomes useless


If you don't believe, try yourself.
Choose one page to open. Make note of RAM and swapfile use of FF and plugin-container, with just this one page open.
Now clone it into 9 other tabs and close those 9 tabs again.
Do that 10 times and check, if ram and swapfile usage is anywhere near, what FF used, when you started.

Or are you afraid Fanboy? :clap:


:cheers:

#6 paraglider

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 12:13 AM

Don't know what they did with the fonts in firefox 4. Everything looks terrible and indistinct.

#7 Nuno Brito

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 01:59 PM

To Nuno: As much as I respect and appreciate your work for these projects, I would have expected a little more than simply agreeing with this seemingly unfounded bashing.

My apologies if my comment seems plain bashing. It is ok to have different opinions as long as mutual respect between participants is meet.

Back to topic: I wanted to use firefox, I like firefox. What I really don't like are memory abuses.

This has been a problem that I've felt personally since version >1.5 (when I moved to use it as default browser).

Mozilla seems to be aware about this issue (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Memory_Leak), but I guess that a speed-wise trade-off exists.

Personally, I'd prefer to see an option for indicating how much memory I would allow the browser to use.

If memory is clearly so dear to so many who raise a voice, a possible solution could be allowing to selectively keep in RAM the most frequently used data and store the remaining data above a limit on disk.


This is possible on modern DB systems. There is a speed loss but on my case I'd opt having my RAM available for other programs while also using intensively the browser. (if other browsers like Opera and Chrome do this so well, why can't FF do it as well by now..)

Sorry if it seems like a bash, it is a rant and hope that this is better managed in the newer versions.

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:14 PM

Nuno the page you linked, is an insult to anyone with an IT background.

In addition, memory becomes fragmented as memory is repeatedly allocated and deallocated.[1]This general increase is normal.

Though it is true that allocating and deallocating will fragment RAM, it will not cause any process to increase RAM usage.
This is like saying a fragmented file will be bigger on disk, than a non fragmented one. :)
And calling it even normal is the icing on the cake!

WindowBlinds can dramatically increase memory use.[2] To continue using WindowBlinds and Firefox without memory issues, add Firefox to WindowBlind's exclusion list.

I can see, how many windows will cause WindowBlinds to use a lot of RAM. But how WindowBlinds should cause FF to use lots of RAM, if FF is working properly, is beyond me.
WB is not a dll, that get's loaded into FF. It is a own process and uses hooks to overlay FF elements with own ones. So the two processes stay seperated.

Restarting Firefox

If you find that Firefox's memory usage continues to grow after long periods of being open, you may want to consider periodically restarting Firefox to bring the memory usage back to reasonable levels

With other words: "We're too stupid to deallocate our RAM properly, but Windows can do it!"

That people are not too ashamed, to publish such nonsense these days. :unsure:

:cheers:

#9 pscEx

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:36 PM

I use (always the latest) FireFox as standard browser, and until now I did not recognize any ressource killing behaviour.

Maybe it depends on my 4 GIG (In spite there is the rumor, that XP cannot use more then 2 GIG).

I'll try to observe a bit next days ...

Peter

#10 Nuno Brito

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:40 PM

Nuno the page you linked, is an insult to anyone with an IT background.

You get offended easily.. :)

It is a simple page to help users to reduce the memory usage but which indicates nicely the points where memory is not managed so well.


Though it is true that allocating and deallocating will fragment RAM, it will not cause any process to increase RAM usage.

You're assuming that for an application using a modern garbage collector.

If the good Firefox people say that their garbage collection is not perfect, I'd be bound to trust their opinion as they likely implemented it by hand. Under C# or Java the garbage collection is so nice that we hardly think about it.

#11 snowdear

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 04:03 PM

Yes, I admit, I'm a fanboy :-) In my opinion, Firefox (Firebird, Mozilla Suite) were the first to fight back the IE-dominance. Now, with Safari, Chrome, Opera, Firefox as competitors, the web got and still gets more and more standard-compliant again. I just got upset by the first post, sorry about that.

In this discussion, we talk about two different things:

1st normal memory usage: the amount of memory that Firefox uses for caching reasons. This can be configured in about:config. For most people and me, the presets work well. I never have noticed any slow downs of the whole OS (XP, 7) YMMV.

2nd real memory leaks: these are caused by bad garbage collection (say poorly written code) and/or by an unsuitable language (as Nuno suggests). I'm not a programmer but my impression is that this got better with every version of Firefox.

#12 MedEvil

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 04:08 PM

You get offended easily.. :)

:unsure:

You're assuming that for an application using a modern garbage collector.

Actually i assumed, that they write proper code, like we dinosaurs used to.
Come on, Mozilla is a multimillion dollar enterprise and they can't fix those peasky memory leaks, in what, 6-7 years?

:cheers:

#13 Nuno Brito

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 04:45 PM

1st normal memory usage: the amount of memory that Firefox uses for caching reasons. This can be configured in about:config

Nice tip, thanks.

I've looked up and filtered the entries with cache on it, I see settings to change the cache on disk but didn't recognized one specific for limiting the overall RAM usage.

Perhaps many of them are related to RAM saving but it would be nice to see this feature available for "normal" users to change in a single control.

Actually i assumed, that they write proper code, like we dinosaurs used to.

I'm not involved in the coding process so I can't tell what happens underneath the hood. What I do often see is that people are very resistant to change code considered as base line or they follow guidelines and a rationale to keep things working in a specific manner that we (as users) are not aware of.

Nobody wants bad publicity and this is a stain for Firefox since a long time.

#14 MedEvil

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 05:22 PM

Yes, I admit, I'm a fanboy :-) In my opinion, Firefox (Firebird, Mozilla Suite) were the first to fight back the IE-dominance. Now, with Safari, Chrome, Opera, Firefox as competitors

Just for the record.
There was a time when Netscape was the dominant Browser and IE the underdog.
And how did IE beat out the competition? Simply by being free, which the others weren't.
Also, Opera started development before IE and does not belong into the list of new competitors. :)

Have a look here and here.

:unsure:

#15 carloscape

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:32 PM

Just for the record.
There was a time when Netscape was the dominant Browser and IE the underdog.
And how did IE beat out the competition? Simply by being free, which the others weren't.
Also, Opera started development before IE and does not belong into the list of new competitors. :white_flag:

Have a look here and here.

:clap:

Netscape was also free. IE got ahead by becoming an integral part of the OS. It became easier for users to use the installed browser than to download another that had problems working with the OS. That led to both Europe and the US to sue Microsoft for abusing its monopoly power.

Back on the issue, I really like Firefox 4, no slowdowns so far.

#16 Nuno Brito

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:20 PM

Back on the issue, I really like Firefox 4, no slowdowns so far.

Very good. Hadn't got a chance to try it out yet. Still happy with version 3 but curious to see how the new one goes.

:cheers:

#17 paraglider

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:31 PM

Hate the graphics handling in version 4. Out of the box the fonts look terrible. By messing with hidden settings it can be fixed. Had to use this addon:

https://addons.mozil...-tuner/?src=api

#18 i

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:51 PM

Opera USB here! Remains same on every firadisk OS reboot, remains same on every version of Windows, simply... rocks :) :)

#19 sbaeder

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 07:42 PM

Don't know what they did with the fonts in firefox 4. Everything looks terrible and indistinct.

it is the hardware accelleration...as also posted, there are 'fixes', but mostly it just disables the HW accelleration :)

#20 felix

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:30 AM

Using FF4 with 8 tabs of the same youtube video playing, a news page and this forum discussion open.
No slowdowns or "memory usage burst" scenarios.

Screenshot

PS: I use both FF4 and Chrome 10 and both don't cause me problems

Edited by felix, 11 April 2011 - 09:31 AM.


#21 Nuno Brito

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:10 PM

Thanks for sharing the screenshot, the new firefox has a very clean interface. I like it.

:ph34r:

#22 paraglider

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 01:49 AM

You are joking - your Firefox is using nearly 500mb of ram.

#23 MedEvil

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:37 PM

Wow! Almost 500MB with just 8 virgin tabs. That's a new low. Or high! :happy_dance: Depending on your point of view.

:cheers:

#24 felix

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 12:31 PM

I used to go up to 900mb with FF3 :cheers:. Well I was stressing it a bit with all those youtube videos at once.
Normally it stays at level 200mb. Can't live without some addons though :)
For old machines you guys are right, it gets painful.
However on a modern PC that is not a problem.

I confess I'm still not convinced on using FF on a WinPE though (Opera@USB is just fine)

#25 MedEvil

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:52 PM

Independent from what one considers little or much RAM. I think we can all agree, that it is not good, when the amount of RAM used, goes higher and higher the longer a browser is used and if closing a webpage, does not return the RAM usage to the value before the webpage was opened.
Both are sadly points FF fails at.

Has anyone noticed yet, that the regular freeing of RAM, in the newer FF, does not include freeing up used "space" in the swapfile? Could have sworn, that is considered RAM too, by applications.

:thumbsup:




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