Firefox helper ram hog just an observation

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by elf69, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    We are all aware that firefox can hog ram, right?

    I cured this in my macbook by disabling firefox helper.

    But I noticed on my imac I did not need to disable the helper and it runs fine.
    My imac has only 4GB ram but my macbook with 4GB ram kept crashing in firefox.

    Disabled helper and it is ok, but up ram to 6GB then 8GB and no more bugs.

    Is it normal for desktop to behave differently to notebook?
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It depends on a few things. Well, many many different things! Here are just a few off the top of my head:

    1) The operating system each system is running. Mavericks (OS X 10.9) utilised compressed memory, which prevented the OS from paging to the HDD as much.

    2) The spec of the machine. If your iMac is a 2011 or earlier, it would have a 3.5" drive, which have slightly faster read/write speeds and lower access times than their laptop (2.5") counterparts. Otherwise if your iMac has a Fusion/SSD drive, the performance deficit when paging to the disk will be considerably less.

    3) Either drive could be corrupted or slowing down naturally with age/wear/usage, compounding performance problems, especially noticable when paging.

    4) The number of tabs open on each Internet browser. The content on each Internet page (Flash/Java). The CPU performance can also affect whether the browser crashes, depending on how high the usage is when processing this content.

    5) The RAM speed.

    Basically I wouldn't worry, but since you've already upgraded the RAM, I'd look towards throwing an SSD in your MacBook for optimum performance & futureproof it.
  3. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    OK here is specs of machines when was crashing side by side.


    2007 20" model
    4GB Ram DDR2 667MHz
    250GB 3.5" HDD
    one tab open on browser (


    2009 13.3"
    4GB Ram DDR3 1067MHz
    240GB SSD
    one tab open on browser (

    Both HDDs are new (2-3 months old at most)

    I tried to keep both as much the same as I could to try be fair and find out why the macbook kept freezing.
    However I do not know what background processes where running, I know laptops generally have a few more than a desktop.

    After a few days discovered it was firefox helper.
    Disabled it in the macbook but NOT on the imac.

    Imac today still runs ok now 10.11.6 and still 4GB ram (6GB upgrade planned but £36 I cant spare at min)

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