Firefox 54 Promises Faster Browsing on Macs With Limited RAM

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Mozilla yesterday announced the release of Firefox 54 web browser with new multi-process architecture that promises to make browsing with multiple tabs open faster and more stable, especially on computers with 8GB of memory or less.

    With the latest release, Firefox uses up to four processes to run web page content across all open tabs. This means that a heavy, complex web page in one tab has a much lower impact on the responsiveness and speed of other tabs, according to Mozilla:

    In Mozilla's own tests comparing memory usage for various browsers, it claimed that Firefox used significantly less RAM in macOS than both Safari and Chrome. The group has published an article on Medium explaining how the new E10s architecture works.

    In one section titled "Why Chrome gets too hot when Firefox does not", Mozilla writes that Chrome's method of creating separate processes for each open tab can end up with each one consuming hundreds of megabytes of RAM, whereas Firefox reuses processes and content engines to limit memory usage.
    Mozilla claims that Firefox's considerate memory usage means users with 8GB of memory or less can browse the web without the browser hogging resources, allowing them to do other things on their computer. Meanwhile, users with more than 8GB of RAM can bump up the number of content processes that Firefox uses to make it even faster.
    Users can test out the claims by downloading Firefox 54 for free from the Mozilla website.

    Article Link: Firefox 54 Promises Faster Browsing on Macs With Limited RAM
  2. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    Since when is 8GB considered low RAM for browsing?
  3. Zirel, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    It uses less memory because only a smaller part of the page is rendered.

    Safari uses a little bit more of memory, but when you scroll, it's already rendered while on Firefox you have to wait...

    Safari is better, also much better performance in JavaScript.

  4. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    That's a start, but still not much use if it continues to peg the CPU of a brand new MBP on any page using a significant amount of javascript (which these days is all of them).

    If you have a dozen or so tabs open at once (which is a low number for me), some of them to apps instead of flat content pages, it's easy for a browser to eat up a few GB of RAM. FF often breaks 5GB for me, and my 8GB laptop is in a constant state of memory starvation because - shocker - I usually have other apps open too. (The 16GB one usually has about 1.5 GB free.)
  5. miknos Suspended


    Mar 14, 2008
    So basically ALL Macs since none of them comes with more than 8GB!
  6. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Since 16GB became cheap and 8GB is the most basic scraped models.
  7. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Oct 28, 2016
    firefox is dead, long live safari or chrome or even edge
  8. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    Part of this problem is because of the switch to Intel processors.
    I remember running the exact same universal app on my power pc and intel and the ppc used half the amount of ram. TFF still works great with 2GB of ram with no swap files being created on my G4PB17"
  9. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.

    So basically what??
    * = Effects, is that what you want to say!

    Not true, it doesn't effect mine, I installed 16 GB.

    Might be that the Intel runs 64 bit, the PPC is 32 bit.
  10. foobarbaz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2007

    Even seemingly static websites have become more complex than most local apps we're running. However, while Activity Indicator clearly shows wasteful apps, wasteful websites are hidden behind fat browser processes, so nobody in the industry optimizes their web site for RAM usage.

    Browser tabs are literally taking hundreds of megabytes. (I'm looking at you Slack!)

    At the same time, websites keep insisting on opening links in new tabs, so unless you constantly clean up behind yourself, you'll quickly find yourself with dozens of open tabs.

    Go ahead and checkout how much your browser is really using. Chances are, you'll be surprised. (Use "View > All Processes, Hierarchically" to see all additional processes)
  11. batchtaster, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    batchtaster macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2008
    .... I can't tell if you're joking or serious.

    Attached Files:

  12. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Has nothing to do with it. Back in that day a highres wallpaper was 1024x768, now it is 3840×2160. A webpage was 1Kbyte html + a few blinking gifs and a 12k jpeg picture, macrumors frontpage is now 7MB of data.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2017 ---
    Those are not "Macs", but "Macbooks" on the Apple site.

  13. batchtaster, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    batchtaster macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2008
    ..... I still feel like you're joking here. A MacBook is not a Mac. Right.....
    If that's the case, then Firefox's memory usage on it is a non-issue, since it's not "a Mac" and therefore won't run the "Mac" version of Firefox.

    Also, those are iMacs, not Macs. That's how it works, right?

    I guess the Mac Pro is also not "a Mac", even though its name suggest it's a Pro version of a Mac.

    Please inform Apple, as their website's "Mac" header is apparently wrong.

    When I buy "a Mac" in your world, which model do I get?

    Attached Files:

  14. rurza macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    lol, macOS 10? What is it? 10.10 Yosemite? Maybe they comparing the default version of Safari on Yosemite?
  15. Sasparilla, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    Nice to see Mozilla is continues to update Firefox. I often use it in combination with Safari (which rules on the Mac) and don't want to see us reduced to a webkit (or webkit forked - Google) mono-culture.

    For those interested here is a plug-in compatibility checker for Firefox. If the Firefox installation detects that one of your plugins isn't multi-process compatible it won't enable multi-processing for Firefox on your Mac.

    Adblock and Ghostery were okay for me - but the User Agent Switcher was not, part of Firefox (so I can run more than one instance of Firefox on my OS X desktop with different settings - i.e. different users).

    Checking "about:config" in the address bar (say Yes), then go to "dom.ipc.processCount" in the address bar to see how many multiprocess threads you're allocated. Should be 4 if everything is good.

    Because of my OSX User Agent Switcher conflict I only have 1 for my processCount. The Windows version of task switcher is compatible, BTW. Mozilla needs to update the OS X version (and probably Linux - they often share alot of code) of the User Agent Switcher to be compatible as well.
  16. tardegrade macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2009
    Devon, UK.
    I'm a total tab whore. I currently have 102 tabs open over 4 Firefox windows. Using 3.67GB of Ram and a steady 26% CPU usage. It's the CPU usage that seems to be the biggest issue. Most of which can be fixed by removing unnecessary plug-ins and extensions and updating those that remain to newer alternatives. ...and errr I guess closing some tabs as well. Eek.

    But even when I close down the windows and a lot of tabs to a sensible number and restart, the CPU usage is still consistently much higher than Safari.
  17. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    Gainesville, Fl
    To be honest, I used Chrome the most for website testing while Safari for speed and FF website design test. I like all of them.
  18. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    What is "macOS 10"?

    Is it talking about 10.10, OS X Yosemite? Or 10.12, macOS Sierra, or 10.13, macOS High Sierra?
  19. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Nice. Now running with 4 processes enabled and multi-tabbed browsing does actually feel "snappier". ;) If you can't get it to work (check Activity Monitor for multiple "Firefox Web Content" processes), install Mozilla's Add-on Compatibility Reporter and check if any of your extensions don't support multiprocessing.
  20. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    May 15, 2015
    near Boston, MA
    I have 2012 MBP running on 8GB, still run FF from time to time but it has been hanging a lot lately on intensive websites.

    Safari gets disoriented if you scroll long enough on Yahoo's home page
  21. Brien macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    54.0? Do version numbers mean anything anymore?
  22. CPx macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2013
    Ok but will they fix their color management for wide color macs?
  23. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    Looks like your plates are out of alignment.

  24. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  25. sudo1996, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    I hate Slack. Messaging should take at most 100MiB total, not 300MiB PER TEAM, so basically gigabytes for normal usage. It's like they're running 6 virtual machines in there. And it's glitchy. And it lags no matter what. People need to stop hiring hacks to write their code.

    A couple of years ago, I had Messages handling all of my messaging needs (iMessage + AIM + Facebook + XMPP/Jabber), and it was great. But then Facebook decided to be jerks and remove Jabber support, then Slack became popular.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2017 ---
    What does Intel have to do with it, other than the 64-bit architecture, which would at most double the consumption?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2017 ---
    Yes, a classic tradeoff. Taking advantage of RAM for caching can reduce processing. Firefox's solution just sounds like a battery-waster.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2017 ---
    Dead how? They update it. If you look at which browsers support which web standards, Firefox is ahead of Safari.

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