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The new firefox uses way too much RAM when compared with Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Posted

Before an administrator responds, please read, as I have noticed that many times concerning this issue, in other threads, the admins will respond like cartoon characters, not really listening to what people are saying. I have no extensions or add-ons in Firefox (latest version), Chrome (latest version), and Internet Explorer. When I have a blank page open, and only one page, Chrome is using 52M of RAM, IE is using 47M, and Firefox is using 153M. It is a freshly-reinstalled copy, I have no preferences at all, no bookmarks, nothing. Can anyone explain why Firefox is required to use three times as much memory as the other two competitors?

Before an administrator responds, please read, as I have noticed that many times concerning this issue, in other threads, the admins will respond like cartoon characters, not really listening to what people are saying. I have no extensions or add-ons in Firefox (latest version), Chrome (latest version), and Internet Explorer. When I have a blank page open, and only one page, Chrome is using 52M of RAM, IE is using 47M, and Firefox is using 153M. It is a freshly-reinstalled copy, I have no preferences at all, no bookmarks, nothing. Can anyone explain why Firefox is required to use three times as much memory as the other two competitors?

Chosen solution

The problem was that # of tabs was directly proportional to RAM (1 page ~ 120M, 2p ~240M, etc). I have a fast computer but was limited to three tabs, and then everything became boggy. I actually discovered what it was. A Flash video downloader extension was directing inappropriate requests to the JAVA plug-in. I have no idea why this was happening, as the GUI for the flash video downloader didn't require JAVA, and the site I was downloading from is a medical website which uses flash as an embedding protocol for their video playback. Anyway, weird, but solved. If anyone else seems to have a random problem with the new version of FF, it may be flash-video downloader. One page of fairly random crap (Yahoo homepage) is now only accessing 72M of RAM, a reasonable amount all things considered. And forgive my aggressiveness. I frequently forget not everything is life and death.

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/29.0.1547.62 Safari/537.36

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kobe 441 solutions 5048 answers
Not sure, can you test in Windows safe mode with Networking? See: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-start-windows-in-safe-mode/ Windows 8: http://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/boot-windows-8-into-safe-mode/
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8687 solutions 71011 answers

If this is not causing a problem, it might be better to discuss it on a technical mailing list than in the support forum.

If you open a new tab and type or paste about:memory and press Enter, you can generate a diagram showing how memory is allocated among different browser components.

However, the people who can really explain what's happening, and to indicate whether you are seeing anything abnormal, tend not to be the same people volunteering here in the forums.

If this is not causing a problem, it might be better to discuss it on a technical mailing list than in the support forum. If you open a new tab and type or paste '''about:memory''' and press Enter, you can generate a diagram showing how memory is allocated among different browser components. However, the people who can really explain what's happening, and to indicate whether you are seeing anything abnormal, tend not to be the same people volunteering here in the forums.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Sorry but we do not discuss development issues on this forum. If you do find a suitable mailing list and discuss this it would be interesting to have a link as others may well have a desire to follow your discussion elsewhere.

Out of curiosity I tried something similar myself and note with a blank tab and about:memory open I am using around 80MB so less than you but more than your results for alternative browsers. I am not knowledgeable on this subject, but am guessing your results are probably nothing outlandish.

This; as Jeff mentions; is not really a support issue, unless you are seeing other problems.
(If that is the case it is possibly best to start a new thread with full troubleshooting information and a suitable title, please use /questions/new)

I do not wish this thread to continue as a comparison of web browsers. That is not something within the scope of this support forum and should be discussed elsewhere. However you may be interested in these articles explaining why that is not necessarily the best method of attempting browser comparisons:

Note

Sorry but we do not discuss development issues on this forum. If you do find a suitable mailing list and discuss this it would be interesting to have a link as others may well have a desire to follow your discussion elsewhere. Out of curiosity I tried something similar myself and note with a blank tab and about:memory open I am using around 80MB so less than you but more than your results for alternative browsers. I am not knowledgeable on this subject, but am guessing your results are probably nothing outlandish. This; as Jeff mentions; is not really a support issue, unless you are seeing other problems. <br />(If that is the case it is possibly best to start a new thread with full troubleshooting information and a suitable title, please use [/questions/new]) I do not wish this thread to continue as a comparison of web browsers. That is not something within the scope of this support forum and should be discussed elsewhere. However you may be interested in these articles explaining why that is not necessarily the best method of attempting browser comparisons: * https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2011/08/29/browser-x-is-using-y-mb-of-memory-with-z-tabs-open-is-a-meaningless-observation/ *https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2012/07/09/how-to-compare-the-memory-efficiency-of-web-browsers/ Note *N Nethercote is a Firefox developer leading work on some aspects of Memory use and reporting. *some of the mailing lists can be found from <br />http://www.mozilla.org/about/forums/#general-development <br /> I am not sure which if any of the those would consider this an on topic subject.

Question owner

Thank you jscher2000 for the response. Can you point me to the forum where best I can find out more about this in a technical sense? I am ready to scrap Firefox, which is sad because it used to be the fastest, most reliable browser for me. Chrome smokes it now.

Thank you jscher2000 for the response. Can you point me to the forum where best I can find out more about this in a technical sense? I am ready to scrap Firefox, which is sad because it used to be the fastest, most reliable browser for me. Chrome smokes it now.

Question owner

I didn't mean to offend everyone by posting here. It (I would assume the algorithm you encounter when you sign up for these forums) automatically sent me to this forum when I signed up.

I didn't mean to offend everyone by posting here. It (I would assume the algorithm you encounter when you sign up for these forums) automatically sent me to this forum when I signed up.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

No offence c9912.

It is just that the forum is for support questions and is designed for single support issues per thread. The algorithm merely allocates tags and classifies the thread by topic. We just do not have any suitable discussion forum to point you to.

Unfortunately this sort of question often quickly degenerate into rather none productive arguments about alternative browsers, interspersed with support questions asked without supporting facts. I needed to make this point understood before the thread starts filling with posts.

I did list some other Mozilla resources you could try. I also imagine this sort of topic may be open for discussion on one of the Mozillazine fora:

Jeff may well have better & specific suggestions for somewhere to discuss this.


if you have serious quantifiable and reproducible performance issue with Firefox, please:

  • Start a new thread by using /questions/new
  • Post using Firefox, and follow the prompts to include full troubleshooting information.
  • Give the post a suitable, short, one-line, descriptive title.
  • In the body of the question try to give examples of public sites that you have problems with.
No offence c9912. It is just that the forum is for support questions and is designed for single support issues per thread. The ''algorithm'' merely allocates tags and classifies the thread by topic. We just do not have any suitable discussion forum to point you to. Unfortunately this sort of question often quickly degenerate into rather none productive arguments about alternative browsers, interspersed with support questions asked without supporting facts. I needed to make this point understood before the thread starts filling with posts. I did list some other Mozilla resources you could try. I also imagine this sort of topic may be open for discussion on one of the Mozillazine fora: * http://forums.mozillazine.org/index.php Jeff may well have better & specific suggestions for somewhere to discuss this. ----- if you have serious quantifiable and reproducible performance issue with Firefox, please: * Start a new thread by using [/questions/new] * Post using Firefox, and follow the prompts to include full troubleshooting information. * Give the post a suitable, short, one-line, descriptive title. *In the body of the question try to give examples of public sites that you have problems with.

Question owner

Hi. Thanks for your replies. I have decided to forgo ff for now. I am sure it will soon be back to snuff.

Hi. Thanks for your replies. I have decided to forgo ff for now. I am sure it will soon be back to snuff.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

You have merely demonstrated that your installation uses more memory with one tab open than does IE or Chrome. That may not change and may or may not have anything to do with any Firefox code change.

What I think we can be sure of we can be of is that any process using only 50-200MB of RAM is unlikely to a have any significant impact on most modern computers. Not something where we expect to see Memory Problems occurring.

You also mentioned

I am ready to scrap Firefox, which is sad because it used to be the fastest, most reliable browser for me. Chrome smokes it now. 

You have made no attempt to elaborate on that and we have no idea of the circumstances of that comparison or whether that is related to Firefox in general or your specific installation.

You have merely demonstrated that your installation uses more memory with one tab open than does IE or Chrome. That may not change and may or may not have anything to do with any Firefox code change. What I think we can be sure of we can be of is that any process using only 50-200MB of RAM is unlikely to a have any significant impact on most modern computers. Not something where we expect to see Memory Problems occurring. You also mentioned ''I am ready to scrap Firefox, which is sad because it used to be the fastest, most reliable browser for me. Chrome smokes it now. '' You have made no attempt to elaborate on that and we have no idea of the circumstances of that comparison or whether that is related to Firefox in general or your specific installation.

Helpful Reply

Like I said, the admins seem to respond in ways that just aren't helpful. I have seen this issue discussed in multiple threads. There is OBVIOUSLY an issue. Pretending it isn't, or saying I haven't demonstrated X, is silly. If this is how FF addresses obvious problems which are affecting people, it seems that it isn't the best use of resources, but what would I know? I'm only a surgeon.

Like I said, the admins seem to respond in ways that just aren't helpful. I have seen this issue discussed in multiple threads. There is OBVIOUSLY an issue. Pretending it isn't, or saying I haven't demonstrated X, is silly. If this is how FF addresses obvious problems which are affecting people, it seems that it isn't the best use of resources, but what would I know? I'm only a surgeon.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Sorry if you are not happy with the response.

We have nearly 1/2 Billion users, there are bound to be thousands of reports of Memory problems, or for that matter almost any other issue you try to search for. That does not necessarily indicate the issue is actually causing problems for a sizeable minority of users. Also Firefox is highly customisable and some problems result from the customisations or the websites used.

Developers have a project working on memory issues and there are probably hundreds of individual memory related bugs, some being for enhancements some genuine problems, and probably many just unreproducible or down to third party issues.

As a surgeon you will be aware that correlations do not always demonstrate causation, that symptoms may have one or multiple causes, and that you do not consider listing someone for costly exploratory open heart surgery just because they have a possibly trivial symptom such as palpitations.

Also as I said upthread this forum's purpose is to solve support problems for individual users, not to discuss Firefox development or enhancements.

Additionally I linked to information explaining from a developers viewpoint the problems of browser comparisons.

Sorry if you are not happy with the response. We have nearly 1/2 Billion users, there are bound to be thousands of reports of Memory problems, or for that matter almost any other issue you try to search for. That does not necessarily indicate the issue is actually causing problems for a sizeable minority of users. Also Firefox is highly customisable and some problems result from the customisations or the websites used. Developers have a project working on memory issues and there are probably hundreds of individual memory related bugs, some being for enhancements some genuine problems, and probably many just unreproducible or down to third party issues. As a surgeon you will be aware that correlations do not always demonstrate causation, that symptoms may have one or multiple causes, and that you do not consider listing someone for costly exploratory open heart surgery just because they have a possibly trivial symptom such as palpitations. Also as I said upthread this forum's purpose is to solve support problems for individual users, not to discuss Firefox development or enhancements. Additionally I linked to information explaining from a developers viewpoint the problems of browser comparisons. * https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2011/08/29/browser-x-is-using-y-mb-of-memory-with-z-tabs-open-is-a-meaningless-observation/ * https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2012/07/09/how-to-compare-the-memory-efficiency-of-web-browsers/
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17467 solutions 157849 answers

How much physical memory do you have installed?

If there is enough memory available then there is no reason why Firefox wouldn't use it to speed up things. Thing would be different if almost all memory is been using up and the OS would crash because if that (we sometimes see crash report with over 90% system memory being in use).

Note that extensions can add to the memory usage and can cause memory leaks.
So best is always first to try a new profile (not a reset that would transfer data) to check for any problems with the current profile.

Another test can be to boot the computer in Windows Safe Mode with network support (press F8 on the boot screen) to check for possible issues caused by other (security) software.

How much physical memory do you have installed? If there is enough memory available then there is no reason why Firefox wouldn't use it to speed up things. Thing would be different if almost all memory is been using up and the OS would crash because if that (we sometimes see crash report with over 90% system memory being in use). Note that extensions can add to the memory usage and can cause memory leaks.<br /> So best is always first to try a new profile (not a reset that would transfer data) to check for any problems with the current profile. Another test can be to boot the computer in Windows Safe Mode with network support (press F8 on the boot screen) to check for possible issues caused by other (security) software.

Question owner

I have 8g of memory installed. I understand that one blank page isn't real life, all I know is that the slowdown across myriad situations was palpable. I will repost this to a different forum, I just have a feeling I will be told to reset and reinstall and everything else I have done, without being told the reason that the new FF is slower. And to John, stick to computers. We do consider opening people up, as palpitations can be trivial or deadly.

I have 8g of memory installed. I understand that one blank page isn't real life, all I know is that the slowdown across myriad situations was palpable. I will repost this to a different forum, I just have a feeling I will be told to reset and reinstall and everything else I have done, without being told the reason that the new FF is slower. And to John, stick to computers. We do consider opening people up, as palpitations can be trivial or deadly.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

ok the world is safe ;-) No intentions of taking up Medicine, although I did qualify

 just because they have a possibly trivial symptom such as palpitations. 

Personally I did not notice a slowdown or memory problems with Firefox 23.
I am only trying to get something that we could test or reproduce, &/or something where you are demonstrating an impact on performance. I would have hoped a 64 bit system with 8GB should cope easily with running Firefox

I have not mentioned it yet but did you turn on telemetry that collects anonymised data about real world performance. The system was developed & introduced; I understand; mainly because with Firefox 4 developers did miss a regression causing Memory problems

It is less likely a Firefox 23 regression would go unnoticed now with telemetry and also the input feedback. Sure it is possible we are missing some edge case problem but I doubt; if there is any regression; that is hitting anything more than a very small minority of users.

  • Did you try both of cor-el's suggestions ?

Note even a freshly installed copy of Firefox is likely to register plugins, and if you have a pre-existing profile with extensions they also will be used.

ok the world is safe ;-) No intentions of taking up Medicine, although I did qualify ''''' just''' because they have a '''possibly '''trivial symptom such as palpitations. '' Personally I did not notice a slowdown or memory problems with Firefox 23. <br /> I am only trying to get something that we could test or reproduce, &/or something where you are demonstrating an impact on performance. I would have hoped a 64 bit system with 8GB should cope easily with running Firefox I have not mentioned it yet but did you turn on ''telemetry'' that collects anonymised data about real world performance. The system was developed & introduced; I understand; mainly because with Firefox 4 developers did miss a regression causing Memory problems * see [[Send performance data to Mozilla to help improve Firefox]] ** note public data here http://telemetry-dash.mozilla.org/ (just so you can see it is not spyware collecting personal details ) It is less likely a Firefox 23 regression would go unnoticed now with telemetry and also the ''input'' feedback. Sure it is possible we are missing some edge case problem but I doubt; if there is any regression; that is hitting anything more than a very small minority of users. *Did you try both of ''cor-el'''s suggestions ? Note even a freshly installed copy of Firefox is likely to register plugins, and if you have a pre-existing profile with extensions they also will be used.

Question owner

Thanks for the feedback. I did turn on telemetry, and I have also turned on all other anonymous feedback. I am typing this using Firefox, and am wondering if it is too late to somehow so the experts can see what they need to see. It's mostly gibberish to me. Perhaps I haven't (or have) toggled some radio button which is causing my problems. Again, I am huge FF fan, and am not shilling for C or IE, it's simply with the number of tabs I have to have open at any given time, or that I dl 2G image files (such as CT or MRI snaps), the browser needs to be fast.

Thanks for the feedback. I did turn on telemetry, and I have also turned on all other anonymous feedback. I am typing this using Firefox, and am wondering if it is too late to somehow so the experts can see what they need to see. It's mostly gibberish to me. Perhaps I haven't (or have) toggled some radio button which is causing my problems. Again, I am huge FF fan, and am not shilling for C or IE, it's simply with the number of tabs I have to have open at any given time, or that I dl 2G image files (such as CT or MRI snaps), the browser needs to be fast.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Sorry I am not sure I understand what you are asking in your last post (Shows as Today 10:38 PM - but that is my localtime)

 I am typing this using Firefox, and am wondering if it is too late to somehow so the experts can see what they need to see. It's mostly gibberish to me. Perhaps I haven't (or have) toggled some radio button which is causing my problems. 

Is it the page that you were typing in that was gibberish. If so and it happens again

  1. Save what you have typed so far ( Ctrl+A , Ctrl+C - with cursor in the text box)
  2. Reload the page without cache ( Ctrl+F5)
  3. Paste the info back (Ctrl+V)

Depending on the problem it may help.

Sorry I am not sure I understand what you are asking in your [/questions/969886#answer-475292 last post] (Shows as Today 10:38 PM - but that is my localtime) '' I am typing this using Firefox, and am wondering if it is too late to somehow so the experts can see what they need to see. It's mostly gibberish to me. Perhaps I haven't (or have) toggled some radio button which is causing my problems. '' Is it the page that you were typing in that was gibberish. If so and it happens again #Save what you have typed so far ( Ctrl+A , Ctrl+C - with cursor in the text box) #Reload the page without cache ( Ctrl+F5) #Paste the info back (Ctrl+V) Depending on the problem it may help.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17467 solutions 157849 answers

Helpful Reply

If Firefox is using 'only' 153 MB and this amount stays steady over time if you open and close tabs then I shouldn't worry. Only if the memory usage increases steadily and doesn't decrease when you close tabs then something is wrong. A memory usage of 153 MB is not too high depending on how much history you keep and other personal data. Some extensions can also cause extra memory usage.

If Firefox is using 'only' 153 MB and this amount stays steady over time if you open and close tabs then I shouldn't worry. Only if the memory usage increases steadily and doesn't decrease when you close tabs then something is wrong. A memory usage of 153 MB is not too high depending on how much history you keep and other personal data. Some extensions can also cause extra memory usage.

Modified by cor-el

Chosen Solution

The problem was that # of tabs was directly proportional to RAM (1 page ~ 120M, 2p ~240M, etc). I have a fast computer but was limited to three tabs, and then everything became boggy. I actually discovered what it was. A Flash video downloader extension was directing inappropriate requests to the JAVA plug-in. I have no idea why this was happening, as the GUI for the flash video downloader didn't require JAVA, and the site I was downloading from is a medical website which uses flash as an embedding protocol for their video playback. Anyway, weird, but solved. If anyone else seems to have a random problem with the new version of FF, it may be flash-video downloader. One page of fairly random crap (Yahoo homepage) is now only accessing 72M of RAM, a reasonable amount all things considered. And forgive my aggressiveness. I frequently forget not everything is life and death.

The problem was that # of tabs was directly proportional to RAM (1 page ~ 120M, 2p ~240M, etc). I have a fast computer but was limited to three tabs, and then everything became boggy. I actually discovered what it was. A Flash video downloader extension was directing inappropriate requests to the JAVA plug-in. I have no idea why this was happening, as the GUI for the flash video downloader didn't require JAVA, and the site I was downloading from is a medical website which uses flash as an embedding protocol for their video playback. Anyway, weird, but solved. If anyone else seems to have a random problem with the new version of FF, it may be flash-video downloader. One page of fairly random crap (Yahoo homepage) is now only accessing 72M of RAM, a reasonable amount all things considered. And forgive my aggressiveness. I frequently forget not everything is life and death.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17467 solutions 157849 answers

That is a good reason to keep the Java plugin disabled and only enable it on trusted website that require this plugin.

That is a good reason to keep the Java plugin disabled and only enable it on trusted website that require this plugin.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Great to hear that you have resolved the issue. Thanks for posting back.

I have marked your last post as the solution and added Java and Flash tags to the thread.

Great to hear that you have resolved the issue. Thanks for posting back. I have marked your last post as the solution and added <s>Java and</s> Flash tags to the thread.

Modified by John99