Safari vs Firefox RAM usage

Discussion in 'macOS' started by OldCorpse, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #1
    I'm sure you've all read about the Firefox memory leak brouhaha. Firefox 1.5+ is supposed to suck down memory like there is no tomorrow.

    Someone made this challenge:

    http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/

    "If you keep opening tabs in Firefox — say, more than 10 or 15 — the browser starts to slow to a crawl. See how many tabs you can open, but participate at your own risk! Oh, and uh... be sure to save all of your work first."

    Well I ran that test. I opened 33 tabs in FF 1.5.01 on my iBook (see sig). FF doesn't bat an eyelash, no slowdown whatsoever.

    Now for the interesting part. I sparked up the Activity Monitor and took a gander. So, FF is using 137.73 MB of RAM - that's with 33 tabs! OK, now get this: Safari, with ONE window, no extra tabs uses: 187.91 MB of RAM!

    OK, I've been continuously amazed at how Safari sucks up RAM - I can restart the computer, and within minutes of light use, I've got Safari at around 400MB of RAM used! The only reason apparently it uses only 187 MB is because I wasn't using it, it just sat there, while I put FF through its paces with 33 tabs and heavy use of graphics etc. Amazing.

    That, and the daily hanging and crashing every couple of days, makes me somewhat disappointed in Safari. I still like it very much, and use it as my primary browser (and it is quite fast most of the time), but I really wish Apple fixed Safari... they didn't do it in 10.4.5... oh well.
     
  2. Project macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    #2
    something about this test doesnt seem right. Safari very rarely uses up 187mb for me, with all my tabs open, let alone no tabs.

    It also seems he's getting a memory leak and using up a lot of memory mixed up. the issue of the memory leak is not giving the memory back to the OS after tabs/the program has been closed. Safari isnt guilty of this.

    Try opening a single tab in Firefox (Windows anyway, I dont use it on my Mac), and leaving it overnight. The memory will be considerably higher when you return despite doing nothing
     
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    With one tab open, safari only uses about 55 MB or RAM for me.
     
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I keep giving Safari a try because I really want to like it, but it always causes my computer to slow to a crawl within a fairly short time, no mater how I am using it. This happened on 10.3.9, so I decided to wait until Tiger and try it again. Guess what? It is even worse than beore! In the meantime, FireFox has only gotten better to the point that I no longer notice any real slowdown problems. I like to open a browser and just leave it open for days or weeks on end without ever restarting, just like I do the OS; I can do this fine with FF, but I can't manage more than half a day with Safari. Safari on 10.4.4 slows to a crawl within an hour or two, and clicking on a menu item takes several seconds to register. Am I doing something wrong? I have exactly the same tabs open in both Safari and FF (typically about 6 tabs). Any suggestions?
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    I just opened 5 windows in Safari with 5 tabs open in each. (for a total of 25 tabs). I used a wide variety of different websites (I'm not sure if it matters). One of the websites was even playing a movie.

    Total RAM usage for Safari - 160 MB.
     
  6. Project macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    #6
    Best bet is to use Shiira, which I think is better than both Firefox and Safari
     
  7. Project macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    #7
    Im using a 1.33ghz iBook, 512MB of RAM.

    Just opened 33 tabs in Safari, and browsed a few pages in each to make sure that Safari was utilising the cache.

    Total RAM used just over 100mb. Was Safari slow? Selecting different tabs yes, but what do you expect with 33 on 512MB of RAM lol. But actually browsing in each of the tabs was fine, especially considering I had a lot of other apps open.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Project,
    Would you post your results again in a few hours? At first Safari is fast for me too, but it slows way down after a short time, while FF never does.
     
  9. Project macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    #9
    Yep, sure. Its definitely going to increase though, as it would with all browsers as it caches the pages you visit so that when you hit back/forward it loads up quicker.

    The point I was trying to prove though is that with 33tabs open it only took just over 100mb of RAM.
     
  10. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    Yes, I realize it will increase with time, but there should b e a limit to how much it increases, and I don't think there is from my experience. FF limits itself to allow enough free RAM so that the computer can still operate, but Safari seems to eat up all available RAM and then everythings slows down to a crawl. Perhaps it is just my 512MB limited RAM, but if FF can work within the limit, then why can't Safari? I'm not going to upgrade again just for Safari to work right.
     
  11. rdf8585 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    #11
    re

    Interesting topic.

    FF 1.5.0.1 is usually between 80-180 MB (take the middle) for me, with 1 tab open. Sometimes two, rarely more.

    I've had Safari open for 2 hours now - max of 3 tabs, but mostly just one. RAM = 253.58 MB. I can also attest to some kind of Safari slowdown after prolonged use in a given day.

    Camino is prob the most RAM-efficient 10.4 browser I've used.
     
  12. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #12
    Thank you, this is exactly the kind of thing that I am seeing. Safari becomes almost completely unuseable (or at least very painful and sluggish) after it has been running for a day or so, but FF just keeps on ticking! There are some things that I like about Safari, and I would really like to stay with Apple apps where I can, but this is just not practical. Come on Apple, fix your browser!
     
  13. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    I've seen safari use some ram, but nowhere near as bad as your is. I usually have lots of tabs open, at the moment I opened 5 new tabs with relatively complex websites like IGN and tomshardware. And my Sarai isn't using more than 100mb. (I have 1.5gb free)
     
  14. jer2eydevil88 macrumors regular

    jer2eydevil88

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    Feb 6, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #14
  15. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    #15
    When I start getting a good amount of windows open, Safari spikes to around 101% cpu. Not fun.
     
  16. gelatin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #16
    i have 2gig of RAM
    1 window open and its taking up 600mb of ram :mad:
    that aint normal is it?
    does this quite often
     
  17. the Otter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    #17
    Old thread, I know, but…

    My wife uses the web with relative insanity. Right now she’s got nine windows open with a total of 38 tabs, but that’s really low for her; she’ll often have over 100 tabs open, and has occasionally even hit 200. (She spends a lot of time on forums, and since Safari isn’t able to overwrite the frontmost tab….

    Anyway, the point is that right now, with 9 windows and 38 tabs open, she’s using 1.36 GB of real memory and 1.61 GB of virtual memory.

    MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X v.10.6.4, Safari 5.0.2.
     

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