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firefox become new memory leaker?

elf69

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
487
Cornwall UK
We all know chrome is bit of memory hog.

but since last update of both chrome and firefox I found that firefox is a major memory hog now.
using 2 or 3 times that of chrome!

First time since had machine my macbook air was unable to load word file I wanted to work on.
Looked at the activity monitor and ram was in red! and 1.1GB swap.
First time seen this, ok only got 4GB but still.

Firefox with 2 or 3 tabs (cannot remember exactly now) one was this forum another was another forum and possibly owners club site for my car.

It was using only just shy of 800MB ram.

I killed firefox and worked the word file before trying firefox again.

As i write this firefox has the mac forum and one car club forum open and 646MB used memory.
Chrome has 4 tabs open, mainly google docs and 164MB in use.

my ram guide is green as i write this though.

This is really just an observation.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
1,761
1,068
Arizona
Firefox has been a notorious memory-leaking bloated pig for decades. It doesn't surprise me that things haven't changed.
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,758
4,378
Perth, Western Australia
I gave up on Firefox when v4 was released. I check it out from time to time and am regularly unimpressed.

Personally i don't have any major problem with Chrome memory usage, but to be honest the only machines i ever use it on are my home desktop PC with 32 GB of RAM and my work desktop PC with 64 GB of RAM, so maybe i'm an outlier :D

On mac, i just don't see the point. I run a macbook so i like my battery life and nothing beats safari in that regard. Certainly nothing chrome (or firefox) offers is enticing me to give that up.
 
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elf69

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
487
Cornwall UK
i was using firefox as had it on my windows machine and when moved to mac when sign in there all me favorites etc
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
487
Cornwall UK
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 13.51.50.png

From this screen shot even safari uses more ram and each tab seems to have its own allocation of ram. Each tab seems have a lego brick icon next to it in the screen shot. all added together it almost as much as firefox.
Having said that there seems to be more ram overhead today swapping to safari.
At bottom ignoring middle memory used number as i know it misleading. but the number on far right are smaller than before
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
1,761
1,068
Arizona
View attachment 709174
From this screen shot even safari uses more ram and each tab seems to have its own allocation of ram. Each tab seems have a lego brick icon next to it in the screen shot. all added together it almost as much as firefox.
Having said that there seems to be more ram overhead today swapping to safari.
At bottom ignoring middle memory used number as i know it misleading. but the number on far right are smaller than before
The amount of RAM an app uses is no indication of how well it performs. Under macOS, apps will take as much RAM as the system alots them... but they don't necessarily use it all, and they release it for other apps to use when they aren't using it.

"Memory leaks" are when an app doesn't release the unused RAM, even after quitting the app.

And yes, each tab is a separate "process" – which is why Safari & Chrome don't crash completely when the website in one tab goes haywire... only that tab crashes.

Sorry if you knew all that. If so, perhaps it'll help someone else.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
1,761
1,068
Arizona
I did not know that, thanks :)

I'm still fairly new to mac, more of user than tinkerer
CPU use is more important to you. If you see an app using large chunks of CPU that aren't actually doing much, there could be a problem. Swap is also important, but probably less so for "non-tinkerers."
 
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