Which browser: Chrome or Firefox?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MacNoobGuy, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    hey guys i've been using Firefox for close to 10 years now and it's still great, however it's starting to use up so much memory on my Mac... right now it's using just under 1.8GB at the moment and the other problem is that Firefox isn't available for the iPhone/iPod so i've been thinking of switching to Chrome.

    i'm using Firefox mainly because of its extensions and it's awesome 'cloud sync' function where i can access everything on a different machine with no problems, but Chrome has this also right? and Chrome is available for the iPod/iPhone.

    what do people recommend? Chrome seems great because it's made by Google so it has a lot of financial backing.

    does anyone have a list of the pro's and cons of using each browser?

    my main machines are OSX/Windows and iPod.

    i don't want to use Safari.
    thanks for any help!
  2. superriku11 macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2012
    United States
    Honestly, Safari is a really nice browser. Similar interface to Firefox. Uses Webkit, which is a nicer engine in my opinion. And uses less memory than Chrome in my personal usage tests.

    But if you don't want to use it, okay.

    If you care at all about privacy, especially with this recent NSA obscenity, you would not consider using Chrome for a second. Personally I'm not a fan of its interface either and I'm not sure why anyone is. Other than its privacy invasive "features" and interface though, the most off-putting problem is probably how frequently it updates, the fact that it installs background processes to handle updates that run without your prompt or even consent, and that it includes Flash Player integrated, instead of allowing you to maintain a separate version as a plugin.

    If none of those glaring issues bother you though, feel free to use Chrome. But remember it also has worse memory usage than Safari 5.1.7, at least for me.
  3. Oudinot macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2013
    Birmingham, AL USA
  4. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    ok thanks, but i'd rather stay with firefox or chrome.

    can anyone tell me if it's possible for me to move all my user data like bookmarks etc from firefox and into chrome?
  5. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Should be able to. U can always move manual, it's just HTML right?

    I keep FF, because am used to it from Windows, and the bookmarks are more logically organized to me, but that's not my main browser. SAFARI is so insanely smooth, that's what I used and only go to FF when I need to.

    If you haven't got bitten by SAFARI, you have not made full use of multitouch gestures. :)
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Unlike some other people I despise Safari because of its atrocious usability. It is IMO just terrible in that department with any other browser being far and above.

    IMO choose a browser based on features and usability and learn how to use it properly. Speed differences are marginal today and memory is cheap.

    Chrome won't help you with memory usage. In OSX it is one of the worst offenders especially because it just keeps growing with tabs and doesn't limit.

    In Windows with just one tab Chrome is one of the least memory hungry. With lots of Tabs Firefox is the least memory hungry. FF is also the only browser company that really tried to tackle memory consumption lately.
    In OSX Safari, Chrome both use rather little with one tab. With tons of tabs Opera stays lowest. With FF I don't know how it does in the newest incarnations. It should be lower than Chrome though.

    Generally memory use is a trade off. You trade cpu processing power for memory. And a little also stability. Chrome separates more of its processes which is inefficient memory wise. It doesn't really matter though with an SSD today. Most memory use will just be bound up by lots of tabs in the background. Swapping those out really doesn't hurt speed at all, it just gets lots of people get worked up about swap use. It is not actively used and return to working memory in split seconds if you switch to that tab.
    Mostly it is wasteful on battery life because swapping creates more load for cpu and ssd. Performance is only an issue if swapping is constant because there is frequent need of the memory and not just some usage pattern of just opening tons of tabs and then working your way from one to the next.
  7. sunnysweet macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2013
    I installed both firefox and chrome in my computer, but use firefox more usually.
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    I have virtually every available OS X browser installed on each of my Macs. There is the occasion when I use Firefox or Chrome because a specific website requires a specific browser. However, Safari is far and away the most usable of my browsers installed. It is the one that I use 99.9% of the time.
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I use Chrome as my primary browser on OS X and Windows 7 since I can sync all my bookmarks and such between the OS's. I like Safari, but won't use it on Windows. On iOS I use Safari over Chrome only because Safari performs better than Chrome, which is due to Apple's restricting alternate browsers ability to perform as good or better than Safari.

    I also like Firefox and use that for certain sites that perform better on it and for some of the plugins too.
  10. MLinneer, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    MLinneer macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2013
    Sherman, TX
    I've been testing all 3 on my Macbook Air and older iMac. I have Safari set as my default but use all 3 about equally... just because I can :)

    Safari 6.0.5: Pros: Definitely the best OS X integration. Uses system spell-check, auto-complete, dictionary, and gestures. Fastest scrolling using TheVerge as a test site. While generally #2 in benchmark testing, Safari is the fastest at Flash and Quicktime throughput, especially when streaming live feeds from CNN, FoxNews, and I've been watching the fire coverage on KKTV.com.

    Cons: The thing I hate most about Safari is the wide tabs. I use Glims to fix that and add favicons to them. I also hate how Safari reloads pages when swiping back, but doesn't if you use the back arrow. On my iMac running 10.7 Lion, I have to force Safari to sync bookmarks while my MBA 10.8 Mountain Lion and iOS6 devices sync without problems. Safari generally behaves itself memory wise on the 2Gb iMac but on my 4Gb MBA, it will quickly eat up to 1Gb RAM and easily get to 1Gb of swap file. But, it's never crashed on either machine due to low memory.

    Chrome 27: Pros: Better interface than Safari, better tab management, built-in task manager, and supports some OS X services like gestures and dictionary. Has it's own spell-check but doesn't auto-complete. Best built-in PDF support of the 3. Better search features from the omnibar as long as you use Google. Seems to be better optimized for Google services like search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Google Now. The voice search does work very well. Lots of add-ons and themes available but still falls short of Firefox for extension support. Chrome's built-in PepperFlash is just a tad faster than Adobe's Flash plug-in, but also uses more threads and CPU cycles and doesn't have the throughput of Safari.

    Cons: The separate process model Chrome uses makes it the most memory and CPU intensive of the 3. The more tabs and plug-ins you use, the more memory it will eat, but it releases memory better than Safari or Firefox when you close tabs. Chrome also wants to use the GPU for everything, driving up temps 20-30 degrees on my MBA. Chrome is also 32Bit so it doesn't support Java 7.

    Firefox 21: Pros: Arguably the best interface, or at least it's my favorite. This will change when version 25 is released and Mozilla implements the Australus theme. Excellent tab and bookmark management. Extensions, extensions, extensions. Best memory management of the 3. Better PDF viewer than Safari (when it works). Best developer tools built-in and FireBug is a killer extension.

    Cons: Consistently and measurable the slowest of the 3 but it's the least prone to Flash crashes, at least in my testing. Will sometimes hang on heavy javascript pages and auto-updates pages like Facebook and WUnderground's animated radar, especially when in background, like the front tab takes priority. The Gecko engine also doesn't render as accurately as Safari and Chrome which use Webkit. I really had no idea of the rendering differences until I ran them side by side. No print preview.

    Attached Files:

  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Chrome is the most memory and processor intensive of Firefox/Chrome/Safari. How ofter do you restart your browser? Depending on how you use your browser, restarting it once a day can help a lot with memory usage.
  12. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Take it for a spin and decide for yourself. Nothing beats first hand experience for questions like this. Pros and cons are very subjective depending on preferences and priorities. It's not like you have to pay for either one. If you don't like Chrome then uninstall it.
  13. Hildegerd macrumors regular


    May 12, 2013
    I will not reccomend none of them since I am not a user. I have Opera, Roccat and Maxthon on my mac.
  14. hunkim macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2014
    2015 Browsers update?

    Been a while since this was revisited on the thread - I started using FF on my Windows laptop for better battery life (based on general consensus that Chrome is a battery/CPU hog in Win8) - was wondering if things have changed for the Mac side lately?
  15. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    I don't think so. Safari is still the best browser.
  16. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I use Chrome as my default browser. That said, I have Firefox as my backup. Safari has it's purpose, it supports my home security DVR which Chrome and Firefox don't seem to support.
  17. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England
    I like Firefox best for its extensions...Chrome isn't bad either...Safari is horrid.
  18. AleXXXa macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2015
    Have you tried Chrome recently? It's actually pretty good now and has tons of extensions. A lot faster than Firefox, but eats more RAM.

    P.S. Safari really is horrid. Can't believe they can't make a good browser. And it came out in 03.
  19. UAV macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2015
    since i have an android phone i use chrome. because i love the mighty text extension. which mirrors your phone for stuff like text and calls. so if you do alot of texting then give mighty text a try. then no matter which computer you use you will always have the option to send and recv text from that computer
  20. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    I want use firefox as it syncs with my computer at work but it tends to slow down after awhile and really gets sluggish. videos are glitchy all the time on the mac,
  21. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England
    Recently I tried them both side by side and didn't really notice any speed difference, at least for my needs. As for RAM, I haven't really checked on that, mainly because I haven't run into any RAM issues on my system. I do like Chrome, but still prefer Firefox.
  22. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I'd continue using FireFox if I were you OP. Still the best browser in my mind. Also, Mozilla aren't going to sap your computer for information. Safari, regretfully, is still kinda laughable, but at least it works.
  23. solaris macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I have uninstalled Firefox and switched to Safari or Chrome at least three times, and every time I end up reinstalling Firefox... :confused:

    There is always something that does not work as expected, which I can't find a way around.
    Perhaps because I am way to accustomed to Gecko browser, as that is all I have used for 11 years. First some 7-8 years with Camino and later Firefox. R.I.P. Camino!

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