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Kraigmo's avatar

If you have Firefox 4.0, do you like it? Is it a RAM hog? Is it faster or slower? Does it Crash?

Asked by Kraigmo (8178points) June 19th, 2011

Every new version of Firefox disappoints me because the RAM situation gets more and more out of control. Firefox is now asking all users to upgrade to 4.0. Should I?

Does your Task Manager ever routinely tell you that Firefox (along with plugincontainer.exe, which is basically still Firefox) is using more than 400,000K?

Should I keep my Firefox 3.0 (having regretting even going forward from 2.5) ?

I originally went to Firefox for speed, but in the last 3 years, its value seems to be the plugins, but not speed at all. Have you noticed the same thing?

I use Windows XP, if that’s relevant.

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21 Answers

perspicacious's avatar

I have V. 3.6 and it’s using 80,000 right now. I have been ignoring the upgrade, myself.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I have firefox 4.0, and every so often Norton tells me about its high ram usage, so . . .

Kraigmo's avatar

@perspicacious, Wow, my plugin container alone is running 90,000 and the main Firefox is at 193,000 . I’m not running any videos at all either. But i do have 5 tabs open, none of them any much more intensive than Fluther. I do have about 15 plugins and add-ons though.

El_Cadejo's avatar


meiosis's avatar

My FireFox 4 runs to over 1Gb on occasion. It’s a terrible memory hog. However, FireBug is such a good tool that I stick with it for work purposes…

downtide's avatar

Yes its a horrible memory hog (running at 199,000 at the moment, and that’s only been on for ten minutes), but I haven’t had problems with it crashing and I can’t tell any difference in speed.

I’d use Chrome if it wasn’t (a) made by Google and (b) useless for accessibility for people with visual difficulties.

Plucky's avatar

I had been using Firefox for the last month but recently switched back to IE. I do not know which Firefox (whichever was the newest). I got rid of Firefox because it would slow my browsing to a halt. Then my PC tower would beep…then everything would freeze up. This happened about 5 times (the freezing part). That was enough for me to switch back to IE. I’m running Windows XP as well.

perspicacious's avatar

@Kraigmo I have tabs disabled—I hate them. If I want two windows open I open the browser twice. That’s rare for me though.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Kraigmo I use Chrome on my Eee PC with 1GB RAM. I can have up to 10 tabs open before it noticeably slows, unless one of those is Facebook. If it is purely speed you are looking for, and a few decent plug-ins, it is the best bet.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yes, it’s a memory hog – but 4.0 is a little bit less of a hog than 3.x. Plus, if you just close out and reopen it (and refrain from having 20 tabs open, like I do), it’s pretty easy to keep the memory down.

erichw1504's avatar

Honestly, I liked Chrome better than Firefox.

Paul's avatar

I tend to use Pale Moon, it’s basically Firefox 4 but omtimsed for use in windows, not sure about RAM usage but it is definitely faster.

Vincentt's avatar

Pretty good for me, plugin-container can get out of hand now and then but luckily it’s easy to kill that without bringing down Firefox. Apart from that it’s great on features and a lot faster than previous versions :)

jerv's avatar

I resisted at first since the Beta versions of 4.0 had quite a few issues and the Android version was/is unusable. The reasons I use FF are reasons that require a large screen and a physical keyboard to take advantage of; two things my Droid X lacks. However, with the PC version, all of the issues that I had were resolved by the time 4.0 Final came out. I made the move and, so far, have been happy I did.

I have yet to crash it. As for being a RAM hog… well, I guess it still is, but my laptop has 3GB and my desktop has 6GB so I don’t notice the hit since I never really notice; I always have at least a Gig (and plenty of CPU) that I’m not using. If you are using an older system then you might have issues since an SU4100 or a Core i3–530 will fare much better than a Pentium 4, but you probably already knew that running today’s software on many-years-old hardware is always dicey at best.

@PluckyDog Are you sure your system isn’t infected? In fact, the beeping implies the possibility of a hardware fault. Somehow, I think there is more to this than just Firefox.

@erichw1504 To each their own. but some people also prefer bare, white rooms while some of us like furniture, color, and maybe things that add functionality like a big-screen TV or a stereo. Due to Chrome’s lack of features (and even some basic functions), compatibility issues, and crashes, I prefer Firefox. If you can deal with (or prefer) the spartan nature of Chrome and haven’t had the issues I’ve had with it, more power to you.

Plucky's avatar

@jerv I have no idea ..I certainly hope not. It always happened when I’d go to scroll down a page, with 3–5 tabs up as well. I’d go to click and move the scroll bar down ..then blamo, it would beep then freeze. I tried the “alt-ctrl-del” but it never worked in those instances. I’d end up hitting the power button on the tower then rebooting. I am not a computer wiz but I know my basics I guess. The original reason I kept using Firefox over the years was because IE would get so slow. I find Firefox much faster than IE.

Vincentt's avatar

Oh, by the way, you can leave off the ”.0”, Firefox 5 has just been released as it has moved to a quicker release schedule :)

jerv's avatar

@Vincentt That was fast; I wasn’t expecting it for another couple of weeks! It seems that 5 is a little lighter on RAM too, but we’ll see how long that lasts as I flog it >:)

Vincentt's avatar

Hehe, I know, they’re making up on their promises. 6 is supposed to be even better for Panorama users like me. Anyway, it seems like version numbers aren’t going to matter that much anymore, now you’re just using Firefox and it better be the latest version.

sahID's avatar

What an enjoyable trip down memory lane. This answer is being added to the thread over three years down the road, in October, 2014. If memory serves me correctly, I first installed Firefox 3 years ago, and I still use it as my default browser.

It is true, for several years Firefox tended to run slow, and it still takes a little bot of time to fully load all pinned App Tabs. However, since the major UI reinvention released in version 29, Firefox has, at least for me, become indispensable. The latest version, 33, released yesterday, and I absolutely love it (and its wealth of plug ins and add ons.) All of the issues with slowness have been resolved, and the themes and personas now look really great on an HD monitor.

Now that Firefox includes an ePub reader as a free add-on, and with the App Tab flexibility and customization made possible by the Tab Mix Plus add-on, Firefox is, hands down, the best browser for Windows.

Vincentt's avatar

For Linux, OS X and I’d even argue Android as well :)

Kraigmo's avatar

I’m still using Firefox. I like Chrome’s quick loading time and its speed, but its plug-ins remain choppy feeling compared to the abundance of smooth running plugins on Firefox. I have extensions that Disable Backspace Navigation as well as Classic Theme Restorer which fixes something stupid that occurred but I forget the real reason at this point. Back when I first posted this question, I was on DSL at 1 mpbs speed. Now I’m on cable with 50 MBPS. I imagine in 12 years, there won’t be any computer delays at all anymore except on futuristic applications we don’t have yet. When we boot up, it will be ready to go within 1 second.

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