Hello FireFox Fans, For fast checkout go to 3rd paragraph titled "The situation I'm addressing is :". In the past few years my browser of choice was/is FireFox because o… (read more)
Hello FireFox Fans,
For fast checkout go to 3rd paragraph titled "The situation I'm addressing is :".
In the past few years my browser of choice was/is FireFox because of its well-known widest configurability via plugins. As far as it worked me flawlessly for years, I got used to leave tabs open with pages left for later reading, todo, or reference. Nowadays the number of tabs I leave open regularly has exceeded one hundred. I've counted them it's 132 today. I congratulate for the developers, FF scales pretty well under this extreme workload :-) Strictly speaking scalED well in the past for most of time, but recently I started to encounter performance/stability issues,
As far as I've been working as computer developer for at least a decade, I hopefully found a new course on web development that starts in March this year. The training lasts 4 months, and after that they offer adequate job positions with 1 or 2 years of contract. The training is completely free for participants, because the companies pay the training costs out of the value of my productive work in top of an acceptable salary they pay for me during the contract period. It seems there's a high need of skilled web developers on the job market today - at least in my country. I decided to accomplish this new project despite I haven't done any web development before, nor have any detailed info on what will be taught exactly, but my first impressions of the project are good enough to jump in.
I decided to make my FireFox Rock Stabe before the new course starts at March 20.
The situation I'm addressing is :
With 100+ tabs open, FireFox memory usage constantly increases up to 1,5 GB, and at this point it slows down dramatically until it finally hangs or crashes, if I don't exit it manually in time. It seems that even unopened tabs use considerable resources, I have the "Don’t load tabs until selected" option always enabled. If I click on tabs one-by-one after starting FF, it takes no more than 30-40 tabs to display before it reaches the limit of 1,5 GB and things get awfully wrong. Even if I use just a few (<10) tabs extensively for a long time, the characteristic is quite the same despite it takes longer to reach the final point. It's especially true with facebook - no need to open more than 3 tabs of facebook, sooner or later FF crashes if I use facebook extensively. During this at least 1 GB of RAM is always free for any application in Windows. FF doesn't utilize all available RAM. Co-symptom is that CPU usage also quasi linearly increases with the number of tabs open, AND the page (re)load count
I suppose the normal behaviour would be that no increase in long term resource usage should occur when refreshing just one page for an unlimited number of times, or using just one tab to load pages one after another (for example by clicking links). But that's not true unfortunately, especially with facebook. For a rough estimate, it seems that each page load increases FF resource usage by about 1% (either memory AND CPU), regardless of whether it's just the reload of the current one, or navigating to another page in the same tab, or opening a new page in a new tab. The latter case the percentage is much higher.
I've counted my hardware to find any bottlenecks maybe existing : ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe motherboard LGA775 Core2Duo CPU 2x3,0 GHz 4x1 GB Geil DDR2 1066 Dual Channel on FSB:DRAM 1:1 ratio Ati Radeon All-In-Wonder X800 GT Kingston SSD SVP200S360G 60GB WinXP SP3 - this will be replaced by Win7 SP1 asap
I'm afraid it's finally time to upgrade some parts of my system, and the FF problem seems to be another good reason for that. I found that the graphic card maybe limiting overall performance since it's the oldest one and doesn't provide any desktop performance enhacements like recent ones do. I researched the topic "GPU computing" and found that a new card capable of either CUDA or OpenCL making possible to enable hardware acceleration and WebGL in FireFox should help a lot. I cannot update graphics drivers since newer drivers doesn't support my old card.
MY QUESTION IS :
What's the minimum card that provides all hardware features the latest FireFox version is capable of using ? I don't wanna spend hundreds of dollars on high-end graphics since I rarely use my PC for gaming. Is it good practice to buy 1-2 grade higher hardware in order to support future features that decent graphics cards are capable of today but FireFox is not using them yet ? (I primarily mean GPU computing with CUDA or OpenCL) What's the development roadmap regarding graphics acceleration ?
Question 2 : Will FireFox benefit from changing the CPU from Core2Duo 3,0 GHz to Core2Quad 2,5 GHz ? Core2Quad 3,0 GHz chips are still expensive on the used market since they are the top for the LGA775 platform. Or it's better to get the top Core2 at 3,33 GHz ? (I found a cheap one near me)
For first sight I will try the followings until I got better advice :
1. Install a fresh Win7 onto another partition on the SSD, install the same version of FireFox, copy all the personal settings and see what happens. 2. I have an almost same aged nVidia card here at home (GeForce 7200 GS), I'll try it under WinXP. 3. Will upgrade to the latest FF version. (The last one I hadn't done before for a good reason that I momently forgot ... probably it was plugin compatibility.)
Hope to get reasonable advice/opinions before I accomplish all the 3 tasks above. Will post the results regardless of that. Hope I was clear enough.
Thanks a lot :-))
Cheers : Peter