Question

Firefox is using beyond-excessive amounts of memory while doing almost nothing.

I have 16GB of RAM, and according to htop, Firefox is using about 6.5% of that, and libflashplayer is using about 3.5% of that. So in total firefox is using over 1.6GB of RAM, with about 15 tabs open, and all but 3 of them are using no plugins. This is just ridiculous. I've noticed that ever since Firefox 4, memory usage has been increasing exponentially, especially since about Firefox 11. This isn't just on Linux, but on Windows 7 too.

I would like to know why this is? In 2006 I had a Pentium 3 mobile at 1GHz and 192MB of RAM, on Windows XP, and with a couple dozen tabs open, my system barely touched the swap. Why does half the number of tabs take 10 times as much RAM?

To put this into perspective, I can run two complete OPERATING SYSTEMS, doing something like compiling firefox, inside of 2 VMware instances while using the same or less RAM. What gives?

This isn't just a bug that I'm experiencing, it happens accross all builds and all recent versions, across all systems; anything more than three or four tabs use stupid amounts of RAM.

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