Firefox 4

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by r0k, Jun 3, 2011.


How is Firefox working for you on OS X?

Poll closed Nov 30, 2011.
  1. Fine. No problems at all.

    16 vote(s)
  2. OMG what EPIC FAIL. I've moved on to... (please specify)

    3 vote(s)
  3. I tried FF 4 and had to go back to version... (please specify)

    2 vote(s)
  4. I use FF 4 and have minor problems... (please specify)

    2 vote(s)
  5. I'm a Chrome user (never use FF)

    2 vote(s)
  6. Other answer (please post)...

    1 vote(s)
  1. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I've searched/mroogled and googled for this and I still think it deserves a thread. I have FF 4.01 and so does my wife. We both have Chrome 11 and Safari 5.05. If I leave FF 4 running on either of our machines, it eventually bleeds memory all over and has to be force quit just to make the machine usable. She has an Intel Mac Mini with 1 Gig of RAM. I have a early 2008 Macbook and had 2 Gig of RAM the last time I tried FF. I think I'll give FF 4 another try but for now Chrome is my main browser.

    On my work-issued Win 7 machine, I can have FF open with 100+ tabs and it never "takes over" the machine. I have to reboot that machine for other reasons. But on OS X, if I leave FF 4 running for days at a time, and sometimes as short as hours at a time, it goes completely awry. I've submitted a bug over at mozilla about this and subscribed to updates but apparently they don't have it fixed yet.

    I've seen some posts that people are having no problem with FF 4 and I'm wondering if there's something I'm doing wrong. For one thing, I enabled sync and can't seem to find a way to shut it down. Back when I first started having these problems, I shut off sync and it got better. For now I use xmarks as it allows me to take my profile from FF to Chrome to Safari and even (cover your eyes for this next bit) IE.

    Both my wife and I are on 10.6.7 with the latest updates and when we run FF, it's the latest version (4.01 I think). To some extent this is a moot point as the reason I keep trying FF in the first place is Chrome was not rendering some sites properly. That was Chrome 10. I haven't found one site in Chrome 11 that doesn't work right. Chrome's update pace is blistering. FF seems ancient by comparison. Still, this point mostly out of curiosity I'd like to find out from this esteemed group whether my experience with FF 3.6 and now FF4 is typical...

    So how about it? What am I doing wrong or is FF just permanently gimped? I think I'll also make this a poll...
  2. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    ffox blows. It's starting to feel like an android phone bloated with crapware. the fox takes up tons of memory. chokes on the easiest of loads. takes years to open and at this point is just a crappy hybrid of chrome and safari. I used to love it but now the benefits are all gone. I'll stick with safari and use ffox and minimally as possible for when safari isn't supported.
  3. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Your problem may be Flash and other scripting. I'm not joking, snarking or hating: my Firefox and Safari both became significantly more stable when I removed Flash. I keep Chrome around because it has an integrated and sandboxed Flash interpreter, so I can pull it up when needed.

    I run Firefox with NoScript, switching to one of the other browsers when scripting is needed. And Flash is gone from my machine, save for the version integrated into Chrome.

    Instructions for removing Flash:

    I use FF4 more than the other two browsers combined. It is considerably (and I mean considerably) more stable when lots and lots of tabs and windows are open. This is the case on Windows, too, incidentally.

    Since I'm a pack-rat for tabs, that's a key functionality. But other aspects of FF4 are superior, too, IMHO:

    • Copying from web pages into a Gmail mail-composition form is much cleaner
    • Cursor behavior is more predictable
    • The designers' choices for focus when opening a new tab or window are just a little better thought-out
    • It tends to be stable over days and days.
    • I trust its privacy provisions and behaviors much more than I do Chrome.

    Eventually, through many openings and closings of my MacBook Pro and with dozens of tabs open, FF4 may become unstable or use too much CPU after several days of usage. Okay: quit, wait for it to unload fully, then re-open. It'll load all your pages again. Even with that glitch (which is significantly mitigated by using NoScript) it holds up better than Safari or Chrome with dozens of tabs open. Both of the other browsers will summarily quit if too many tabs are in use. To keep things lively, it's never quite clear when you're approaching "too many," too.

    Between its comparative solidity (when NoScript'd) and superior user interface, FireFox is the browser I turn to most.
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Try camino. It uses less RAM than any other popular browser, at least in my experience.
  5. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010

    +1 for everything above, especially NoScript. And, I always block Flash and only occasionally enable it. Trust me, every browser works better without Flash ;)

    I sometimes have over 100 tabs, and, FF 4.0.1 keeps on working -- in 64-bits. I do note that I have 4 GB memory, and, after 3-4 days and 100+ tabs, (private) memory usage grows to ~1 GB. Obviously, this would be a problem on a 1, or even 2 GB machine. With 3-4 GB, no problem.
  6. Bumflake macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I tried FF4 but since it starts up the nvidia card on my MBP I downgraded to 3.6.17 which only uses the integrated intel card.
  7. LukeWorm macrumors member


    May 8, 2010
    I use gfxCardStatus to decide myself which graphics card is used.

  8. Macsaurus macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    FF4 was running awesome for me. I had one memory leak on the first day (used 1.1 GB out of my 1.5GB) but it has been running awesome since. And I will add, a LOT better than FF 3.6 (it's faster and doesn't crash/slow down to a crawl after several days of not restarting it).

    However, I have fortunately moved on... to the Firefox 5 Beta!:cool:

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