Mozilla Firefox Gets Major Memory Improvements
Memory usage has always been the Achilles' heel of the Firefox browser for part of the user base. Mozilla acknowledges that and is currently working on optimizing the browser's memory usage significantly.
Gregor Wagner analyzed the behavior and noticed that about 30% of the 1 Megabyte chunks could not be deleted because of small files that were still in use in the chunks.
Wagner implemented a patch that separated long and short lived objects by "placing system and user objects into separate chunks". He defines long lived objects as browser elements that do not come from web pages. The core benefit of this approach is that chunks can be emptied a lot quicker which means that they can be returned to the operating system.
An improvement of about 30% was noticed on average on patched versions of the firefox web browser.
Closing all tabs after surfing:
- 108,003,328 B â€” js-gc-heap (without patch)
- 20,971,520 B â€” js-gc-heap (with patch)
Memory footprint of the whole browser:
- 310,890,496 B â€” resident (without patch)
- 219,856,896 B â€” resident (with patch)
That's an impressive improvement which will likely make its way into the upcoming Firefox 7 browser.
Nicholas Nethercote posted a summary of Firefox memory improvements on his Mozilla based blog which includes information about George Wagner's optmizations, but also information about other parts of the browser that get optimized.
Firefox users can look forward to the next but one version of the browser that ships with all those improvements. In related news, the first Firefox 8 Nightlies have been spotted on the Mozilla server.Advertisement
thats was very needed
The Toms Hardware WBGP 5 is out….Firefox cannot still compete with IE and Chrome in terms of memory management. It gets totally destroyed…
What are you talking about? That site has Firefox second best when it comes to memory use for 40 tabs:
Really great news, Do you think that the add-on memory fox (and look a likes) are still needed, to let the memory consumption go down quickly?
I’d say they become less effective.
Is this a typo: Firefox users can look forward to the next but one version of the browser that ships with all those improvements.
I don’t understand “forward to the next but one version”
“Firefox users can look forward to the next but one version of the browser that ships with all those improvements”
i don’t understand what this says. Please elaborate
Will not be available in Firefox 6, but in Firefox 7.
You can always try Aurora 70.0a2 which Nicholas Nethercote confirms is the first semi-stable release to get this new memory management code:
This is only a part of the problem. The ram usage increases endlessly even if I do not open any tab. It increases even if I do nothing at all.
Sounds like its an addon problem. At home I use 25-35 tabs 24/7 and only restart firefox about once a week when I reboot and it generally stays between 550-650MB of ram.
That is too much RAM for normal use. My Firefox slows to crawl above 600MB Ram. Thankfully I stay under 12 tabs and do not have to restart Firefox more than once a day(on normal day)
Unfortunately Nicholas Nethercote says that disclosing Add-On memory usage is something that they really have no idea how to do:
“measuring add-on memory consumption is hard, unfortunately. Firefox lets add-ons hook their claws in so deeply itâ€™s difficult to know where Firefox ends and the add-on starts. I wish I knew a way to do it, because it would render the â€œare you running add-ons? have you disabled them?â€ routine moot.”
How about some tests with the add-on enabled and disabled to find out?
I use Firefox 3.6 with 40+ addons along with Stylish(40+ user styles). I’ve
been using the Minimem memory management application by Kerkia and use
around 80k – 150k with 10 tabs open and around 15k – 30k with 1 or 2 open.