Menu
Firefox 3.0 wins memory battle, claims tester

Firefox 3.0 wins memory battle, claims tester

Mozilla's Firefox 3.0 browser uses memory much more efficiently than its rivals, according to an independent tester who wrote a memory-monitoring utility to track usage by Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), Flock, Opera and Safari.

In a lengthy post to his Web site, .Net developer Sam Allen spelled out the data he collected from the "Memory Watcher" application he wrote specifically to track Web browser memory use.

Although Allen acknowledged that the testing was unscientific -- he ran each browser between 2.69 hours and 2.91 hours, for instance, and didn't claim to have visited the exact same pages with each -- he claimed that the trend lines drawn by Memory Watcher were valid. The results, he said, "Are not a direct comparison in any way, but they offer a visualisation of trending in the memory behaviour of the layout engines and interfaces."

Firefox 3.0 was the clear winner, not only because it used the least amount of memory of any of the tested browsers, but its memory use didn't noticeably grow over time. "This browser exhibits memory usage that is by far lower than the others," Allen said of Firefox 3.0. "It releases memory to the system and the trend line is nearly flat."

The poorest marks went to Apple Inc.'s Safari 3.1 for Windows -- Allen tested only the Windows versions of each browser -- which consistently consumed more memory the longer it was used. "Safari on Windows shows extremely poor memory management," he said.

Other browsers, including Microsoft Corp.'s IE 8 Beta 1, Flock Inc.'s Flock 2.0 and Opera Software ASA's Opera 9.5, were in the middle, memory management-wise, he argued. While their memory use crept up over time, the increase was much more gradual than Safari's. "IE did well...although a worrying trend in the data could indicate that it[s memory usage] would keep escalating," Allen said.

Browsers are regularly dinged for "memory leaks," the term used to describe the increase in memory use the longer an application is used. In some cases, the memory load becomes big enough to degrade the overall performance of some computers.

Older versions of Firefox, including Firefox 2.0, for example, were assailed for rampant memory leaks, criticism that drove Mozilla to reduce the browser's memory footprint in the just-released Firefox 3.0.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Firefoxmozillaoperainternational newsIE 8 Beta 1Flock 2.0

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments