Today, Mashable decided to report on the newly released Firefox 7′s memory usage. They based it on Flash running and Flash not running. They used Hulu HD video streaming for the Flash test and they used a Mac running Lion. Lifehacker reported on Firefox 7′s memory usage vs Opera 11, Internet Explorer 9 and Google Chrome 14. They chose to leave out Safari “since they are using Windows,” which makes no sense since Safari is for sure, still on Windows. So I’m here to fill that gap.
“(all tests were done on Windows, so we’ll be ignoring Safari here)” -Lifehacker
I’ve posted about Safari recently after having a run-in with its ridiculous memory usage. It’s officially, a RAM killer. This following test told me that Safari only folds under immense pressure. I’ll explain later. When you have more than a few windows open, each with a few tabs, you’re going to get a huge overload using Safari. Google Chrome seems to deal with immense pressure pretty well. So far I’ve only had it crash on me two or three times with the same windows open as Safari did. Safari on the other hand, had crash at least three times a day.
So, I figured that even with a couple of windows open using Flash, its performance would be going down the drain. This test proved me completely wrong. It seems that Safari holds up pretty well when you’re not pushing it to its limit.
The test (with SCREENSHOTS) after the break:
The Test (Keeping it very simple)
I made this test so simple, it’s ridiculous. The tests are accurate because I snapped the screenshots back to back. Sure, memory usage statistics in the Activity Monitor are always changing, and rapidly at that—but I wanted even the dummiest of dummies to be able to take a quick look, and know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’ve taken 2 screenshots with the Activity Monitor application. (Apple’s Task Manager)
The first screenshot highlights Safari using 53.3 megabytes of real memory.
I was quite surprised to see Safari under Firefox, and under Chrome. My first thought was simply, why is Firefox above all of the other browsers? This is even more crazy than you’re thinking right now.
Lets look at the facts.
- In Chrome during this screenshot, was running 3 pages with Flash
- 7 windows total
- at least quadruple that number, in the amount of tabs
- Firefox 7′s only real new feature, is a leap in RAM usage
- Safari and Firefox are both only running 2 pages, with flash
Number 4 is quite ironic after seeing the facts, eh? I’m blown away after seeing that Safari and Firefox were both only running 2 windows (with no extra tabs)—and they were above Google Chrome, which was running about 10x the amount of pages and windows.
I think Mozilla just lied to us. Maybe not. I believe they designed it slightly like how I was describing Safari, above. Maybe it’s built to use much less memory when it’s under immense pressure. You know, what Chrome seems to be doing right now—running what would crash Safari in the blink of an eye.
The second screenshot highlights Firefox using 113.1 megabytes of real memory.
There it is. The new Firefox 7 claiming to drastically reduce its memory usage. This whole update is based on that feature. And there it is, sitting just one process away from bring on the very top of my shit list. Unbelievable. This deserves a more thorough test to really be able to determine how this all works.
I’m flabbergasted (just wanted to use the word) at the fact. I’m going to look further into what the other tests online are coming up with. But like I said, I’m sure it’s designed to withstand the pressure that Safari cannot take. If it was doing what Chrome was doing (with tons of tabs and windows open) I’m sure it could take it.
I’d go further into detail, but in this case, I’m not a Firefox fan anymore so I can’t spend too much time with it. Chrome might get jealous. Chrome seems to be the golden boy in this congregation. The winner of it all. Chrome can withstand what I’m throwing at it, and even when operating a single Flash site, it’s barely making itself known at the bottom of my Activity Monitor.
For the record, Safari loaded the pages first. So it’s performance is still top notch.
Readers: What’s your experience so far with Firefox 7? Officially, what is your choice of browser?