Friday, March 14, 2008

Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 Memory Use

One of the things that annoys me the most regarding Web Browsers is that its memory use tens to grow dramatically over time.

In my particular case, as I have my computer on 24/7 for months, usually with a couple web browsers (Maxthon and Firefox) with dozens of tabs open, it's rather easy to see that happening.

While I can keep Maxthon open for months at a time (it starts using more memory, but it regularly "cleans up" and is able to maintain a manageable memory footprint) Firefox was a whole other matter.

It was hard to keep FF open for more than a couple of days without memory use starting to get over 300/400/500MBytes.

Of course, closing FF and running it again, and even opening the exact same pages it had, fixes the issue - reducing the memory use from 500MB to the more usual 100MB range.

That's why I'm so interested in Firefox 3.0 - one of the major improvements is indeed memory use/fragmentarion and memory leaks.

However, up until beta 3, I wasn't able to notice that much difference from the previous version.

Fortunately, this last 3.0 beta 4 has finally started to show its magic:

According to the developers:

Obviously, although these improvements will benefit everyone it will be extremely important for everyone using their browsers for days/weeks at a time.

I'll still be testing it for the coming weeks, but according to the experience I had after the first couple of days - Firefox 3.0 is definitely on the right track.

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