Browsers, E-mail, & Web Apps forum


Improving Firefox resource management or move to Chrome?

by Andunemir / March 26, 2013 1:51 AM PDT

I love Firefox but I think they've completely lost the plot with the latest versions and the way it manages add-ons and resources. I have a very powerful PC with 32GB of RAM but Firefox still struggles to make correct use of them and It's virtually impossible pushing the boundaries a bit without Flash making the browser die irreversibly, apart from a dozen other problems. You watch a couple of YouTube videos here and there and it's like the good old days, everything slows down as if you were using a dial-up. And it's not like you can ask it to release memory so Ctrl+Shift+D has become routine to me to close and re-open my session where I left it.

Thing is I really can't stand Chrome. Chrome or any piece of software that has the words "simple", "sleek" or "intuitive" attached to them by default (I guess that means no Windows 8 for me). I like buttons and menus and submenus that allow me to constantly modify things without having to guess or being surrounded by Google's spectacularly flawed cloud computing.

So my question is do I stand a chance at making Firefox work properly (I'm perfectly happy if that requires some sort of dumping process to clear memory from time to time) or is there a way I can make Chrome work/look like Firefox? Having the browser bar at the top would be a good way to start...


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All Answers

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That seems to grind on some.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 1:54 AM PDT

The concept of using a lot of RAM seems to upset folk. RAM beats disk access every time so why not use RAM?

About FLASH. I find disabling the flash hardware acceleration to fix it most of the time.

And what about SeaMonkey?

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Re: Improving Firefox resource management or move to Chrome?
by Andunemir / March 26, 2013 2:14 AM PDT

Thing is I have plenty of RAM available and my system doesn't really seem to struggle, that's not the problem. The problem is as soon as Firefox goes beyond 750MB it starts punching itself in the face and past 1GB and it can't manage itself. So you better have the Task Manager running constantly because as soon as you get there you'll have to drop everything. Seriously annoying...

Does all the Flash environment still works alright without the hardware acceleration?

Didn't know SeaMonkey. It looks interesting although it's already annoying me with having the "close tab" button all the way to the right instead of on each tab. I'm guessing that can be changed somehow...

Thanks for the quick reply.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 2:31 AM PDT

But the flash issue is so well discussed the prior answers speak volumes. Why duplicate this again?

As to the close tab. Different for me and I find it annoying to have it moving around. Then again I rarely use that but use Control+W.

I have not seen the issue you speak of in Firefox or SeaMonkey. But I only have a paltry 8GB RAM.

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Closing tabs
by Andunemir / March 26, 2013 7:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry.

I use Ctrl+W a lot but I can have 50-100 tabs open between 2 windows so the option of closing tabs without having to select them is perfect for me. With Firefox (or Chrome) I just need to click on the close button that each tab has, no need to select them first as you'd need to do to use Ctrl+W. Same thing with having one single close button. It's half-arsed programming assuming that everybody's going to be happy with that because it looks less cluttered. Anyway, I just saw a lot of people have complained about the same thing and there's an extension for SeaMonkey to fix it.

Regarding Flash it doesn't cost a penny sharing the same info on different topics because, first, you're actually targeting the solution (my problem doesn't need to be the same as somebody else's problem and my original question doesn't have anything to do with Flash for starters). Second, it makes it easier for new users to find if there's a lot of topics dealing with that as a solution for different problems (when I searched I only found 2 or 3 of your messages saying you weren't going to repeat it, so not helpful; at least paste the link to one of those extensive topics if you're familiar with them). And, third, lots of those posts talking about hardware acceleration are quite old and both Firefox and Flash have changed a lot since then so there might be new fixes or new bugs justifying the recent problems (I didn't have these problems of crashes until recently).

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Nice to read that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 7:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Closing tabs

I was not aware that any PC would stand up to 100 tabs open. At most folk have the usual quad core i7 so that's only 8 threads so a single computer would indeed buckle under that use.

This should be nothing new here. I'm sure you've had very long discussions about this with many folk by now.

I'm thinking the cure will be in some future PC with many more CPU cores as well as being sure to use more than one instance of the browser.

Again, I feel you know a lot more than you have revealed and know why we would not open so many tabs in one instance of an app.

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by mal_aus / March 29, 2013 12:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Nice to read that.

Why would anyone want that many tabs open at the same time ?? Basic common sense to keep rubbish to a minimum if not being used/accessed.

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I understand this area.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 29, 2013 3:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Why

Mostly the newer users that didn't know there were limits to the current PC. 100 tabs could have scripts running in each tab and even if you had that spiffy 12 thread 6 core Intel i7, you are pressing your luck.

Most folk find little support in this area as we need to dive into computer architecture, OS and more.

It's like your Model t driver way back when. Not only did they drive the car, most could do most repairs.

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by Andunemir / April 2, 2013 5:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Why

I process a lot of data simultaneously so I do need to have them all open.

But you're picking on the wrong thing since, as I said before and sf54 perfectly understood down there, that's not the cause of the problem and I've never had any issues by running between 50-100 tabs simultaneously or even more. And definitely not with the older versions of Firefox.

The problem is the way Firefox manages resources. And it's Firefox-specific since it doesn't happen with Chrome. It's not a question of having a lot of things open at the same time it's having opened a lot of things without closing the program over a period of time. Especially if it's YouTube or anything with a heavy presence of Flash. For some reason Firefox is unable to release those resources once you've closed that tab (or window if you have several open). And that's the problem I need a solution for. Or to make Chrome look more like a program for adults rather than My Little Pony's browser.

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Then the solution is simple.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2013 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Multitasking

Older versions are easy to find.

As you can guess that folk are freaking out over security the changes can result in edge use issues.

Your post reminds me of early math PC users where they would complain about the compute speed of Excel and more but not dive in to write their own analysis apps. Here you have all these web pages open on a personal computer. Maybe you need to re-think this with solutions that work such as versions that work or getting one of those 12 core Mac Pros maxed out to do such work?

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Not a tab issue
by Andunemir / April 2, 2013 5:33 AM PDT

Seriously, you just can't listen. It's not the number of tabs that's killing my Firefox. Usually I have 4 or 5 open when this happens. Right now I have 2 windows of Firefox open (75 tabs total), plus one of Chrome, plus Spotify, plus Windows Explorer and everything is working just fine and will do for ages unless I start messing with YouTube, Facebook and other Flash-heavy sites and then Firefox will die whether I have 5 tabs open or 123.

And if I do it with Chrome I don't have any problems at all so it's obviously Firefox having issues.

Older versions of Firefox will cause me all sorts of trouble (starting with security issues), especially with pages designed to work with more recent versions and with particular add-ons so that wouldn't solve it at all and it's the Mozilla people who should get their act together, not me.

My question as it clearly says on the title of the topic is: is there a solution for the way Firefox manages resources or to clear resources that are not used anymore? That's it.

If you think it's the hardware acceleration direct me to one of those topics with solutions because I haven't found a recent one. If you think it's scripts, let me know if there's anything I can do to improve how Firefox deals with them that makes it crash but not Chrome. Otherwise, seriously, stop. You're not only dismissive but incredibly unhelpful just by the simple fact you're not bothering to read.

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I did listen.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2013 1:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a tab issue

And the Firefox issue will get worse plus I supplied the cure. So how is that not listening?

Read this and can you tell me something -> (quote)
"Mozilla Firefox 20.0 Released

First offered to release channel users on April 2, 2013

What's New:

• FIXED - 20.0: Security fixes can be found here
• NEW - Per-window Private Browsing. Learn more.
• NEW - New download experience. Learn more.
• NEW - Ability to close hanging plugins, without the browser hanging
• CHANGED - Continued performance improvements around common browser tasks (page loads, downloads, shutdown, etc.)
• DEVELOPER - Continued implementation of draft ECMAScript 6 - clear() and Math.imul
• DEVELOPER - New JavaScript Profiler tool
• HTML5 - getUserMedia implemented for web access to the user's camera and microphone (with user permission)
• HTML5 - <canvas> now supports blend modes
• HTML5 - Various <audio> and <video> improvements
• FIXED - Details button on Crash Reporter (793972)
• FIXED - Unity plugin doesn't display in HiDPI mode (829284)

For a complete list of changes: "

Here's the question. Do you think this will improve performance?

As to me being dismissive, I disagree. I offered a solution. You must be not reading the replies.

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same problem here
by sf54 / March 30, 2013 11:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Nice to read that.

I have the same problem with firefox. I have a bookmark folder with 75 ebay searches in it. I have 16gig of ram in this machine. When I open firefox, I go that that folder and hit "open all in tabs". Go away for a couple minutes then come back to have them all loaded and I can go through them pretty fast then. But if I wait for too long, when I come back the computer is pretty much locked up. Some earlier versions of firefox did not do this. Once the memory allocated to firefox is over 1gig, it just almost stops.

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Neat to read such things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 30, 2013 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: same problem here

Not to sound dismissive but there's a lot of reasons for this to happen and it does not have to be the browser's fault. As I see more scripts running on the sites, that script change can swamp a machine easily.

Some control scripts with No-Script and more.

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