Browsers Memory Battle

By | June 30, 2008 | 10 Comments

Browsers Memory BattleThere is an article in ComputerWorld.com called “Firefox 3.0 wins memory battle, says tester“. Sam Allen was testing Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), Flock, Opera and Safari web browsers to see who wins in the memory management. “Test” is quite funny. There are no graphs at all and basically nothing… I guess this is what quality article is all about.


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Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • lettlurt

    Once again this is tested by a Firefox fanboy:)

    IF you like to real test yourself:
    - Open all your browser(Firefox, Opera, IE, Safari) and let all of them be running.
    - Then open this link in all browsers: http://nontroppo.org/timer/progressive_raytracer.html
    - Click on the “Basic Render” several times in each browser
    - Open Task Manager and look at the Memory

    Result:
    After 4-5 times click on the “Basic Render” in each browser, Firefox 3 get slower and slower and eating up all your memory.

  • Cody

    Well, on my PC Opera 9.50 uses less RAM than Firefox 3. I’m sure that there are still some meory leaks in FF3, some websites eat up so much RAM!

    WinXP SP3, 1GB RAM.

  • http://megascore.biz Morbus

    Sorry buds, but there are at least three different independent tests WITH GRAPHS that show Firefox 3 beats Opera in memory usage. Sure, at FIRST Opera is lighter, but as you browser and open tabs and stuff, it goes way up…

    It seems to me (IMHO, I’m sorry if I sound rude) that Fav Browser is the fanboy here. Sure, the review is badly done, but so what? It’s true…

    Why don’t you newspost this instead? http://dotnetperls.com/Content/Browser-Memory.aspx

    No, seriously, I mean it. Why don’t you newspost it? It’s for informative, for starters, and has GRAPHS!!! zOMG?=!

  • Toblakai

    There is no good way to measure this, at least I’ve not seen it done anywhere.

    Anyone will agree that using 250 mb of memory is neither better nor worse than using 150 mb, given the situation that you have plenty of memory available anyways, and using 250 mb don’t impact the rest of your system. This was the situation in the “memory watcher” test referred to above. By aggressively reducing memory usage in such a situation, you just increase the chance that you will reduce speed (as can be confirmed: let browsers run for a while, then start using the backwards and forwards buttons…). I’m quite sure Opera try to use some percentage of available memory. In a 3Gb system there are plenty! Using more memory to increase speed is GOOD, as long as you don’t impact the rest of the system.

    It is in limited environments you must test memory management. You can run Opera 9.5 on a P3 with 128 mb of ram with no problem at all, Opera really likes to get 50 mb of RAM, but then it’s satisfied even though you browse multiple tabs for a long time. I’ve had Opera open for 3 months, 24/7, in such an environment, with javascript/flash pages open and also multiple IRC tabs open (main reason why I kept the browser always running). The browser uses 50-60 mb of ram steadily. Mind you, this was an earlier 9.5 snapshot, not the final, running in fluxbuntu.

    Try do that with firefox…

    Also, I know there are some, but I know of none that uses Firefox with only out-of-the-box functionality. 90% of the pro-firefox arguments in any browser-war-debate uses firefox extensions as a main argument in favor of Firefox vs Opera. Now, load up firefox with 8-10 extensions and repeat the memory test…

    Anyways: testing memory-management in an environemnt with surplus resources is plain stupidity. There is NOTHING gained from aggresively reducing memory usage in such a situation, and a huge risk of impacting speed for no good.

  • Pingback: Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Beta 1 vs. Safari 3.1 vs. Firefox 3.0 vs. Opera 9.5 vs Flock (Firefox 2.0) - Browsers Memory Battle #2

  • blah

    Keep in mind, that Opera, by default, reserves a specified amount of memory for cache. That default is set in percentage of total available physical memory(15% IIRC). So if the testbed is a 3Gig Rig, then Opera can take up as much as 300-500 MB of Ram just for ram-caching your web pages. So, as somebody mentioned, either you _disable_ ram caching i all browsers, or you set it to a fixed value, the same across browsers, if you don’t, the test is inconclusive.

  • blah

    Oh, and on my old 256MB rig Operas memory usage floats around 80 MB and doesn’t rise much above that.

  • http://megascore.biz Morbus

    I have 83 extensions installed in my Firefox. My memory is never above 20MB than a normal firefox, except when I use IE TAb, which I don’t, really… IE Tab has a memory leak.

  • mrm

    @Morbus
    somehow I find that *very* hard to believe…

  • http://www.cerjlalonde-prints.com jason

    Question:

    I am running Chrome currently but need to switch between this and another browser so I can run two facebook accounts, two gmail acounts etc. at the same time with out having to log out and log back in. What is the best auxiliary lightweight browser which can be run on an ACER Aspire One?

    Thanks.