Firefox 3.7 will be fast, really fast

Chrome and IE8 both support multiple processors. In addition, both browsers run each tab as a separate process, thereby isolating crashes and improving overall speed. Firefox, unfortunately is lacking in these departments, but fear not: it's in the pipes and looking very promising. My Outsourced Brain put up a post called "Firefox in Parallel - A Pre-Release Version," where an un-released version of Firefox 3.7 was put through its paces. Keep in mind, this is still a very unstable and early version of Mozilla's upcoming browser.

The pre-release version contains the first stages of what Mozilla calls, Electrolysis. In essence, it's multicore support, yet not to the same degree that Chrome and IE8 currently embody (individual tabs won't be individual processes until Firefox 4). In short, the results showed that Firefox 3.7a1 was about 3 times faster than Firefox 3.5.6pre in the SunSpider javascript performance test. Chrome 4.0.221.1 still clocked in around 50% faster, which is a relatively small amount when you consider that Chrome outperforms current versions of Firefox by about 300%.

All the testing was done on the same Linux system. While performance may vary depending on the OS, the testing was done just to get an idea of what kind of speed improvements we can expect from Mozilla with its upcoming release. It's fast, and will only get faster before its final release. Very promising indeed.

Here are the overall SunSpider scores:

  • Firefox 3.5.6pre - 4554.4ms +/- 2.0 %
  • Firefox 3.7a1 (with Electrolysis) - 1849.2ms +/- 4.5 %
  • Chrome 4.0.221.1 - 1211.6ms +/- 3.9 %

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I couldn't care less about firefox taking 2 or 3 seconds to open up the first time, really (mine opens in like 1 or 2 seconds) but I really like about firefox that the browsing is very fast. Nno so fast as Chrome you would say, but really fast for my tastes and needs.

Them came the add on, Firefox let me absolute everything that I need with add on, I have 21 and Firefox still do an impressive job.

So I guess I will really enjoy 3.7 and 4.

Keep going the Browser war, At the end the only beneficed is the end user

I agree. The end user really wins out.

I think Firefox does a pretty job of doing a lot of different things. It's relatively fast (Maybe not the fastest), and it brings more features and customization options to the table than anyone. It's stable, relatively secure, etc. Overall I think it's a great browser.

I don't know why people are always gushing about Chrome speed. I tried to use it but it seems a tad slower to me. Maybe it's because I have FF tweaked for speed with addons like Memory fox and Greasemonkey. Sure I want the sandboxing of tabs and suport for multi-cores but FF hasn't given me any trouble since day one.

I used to be a Firefox user, since about version 1.5. When it got into version 3, it became slow and sluggish, and in fact, I'm sure it had some kind of memory leak around 3.3/4

Now I use Chrome 4, it's fast, extensions are being made rapidly and so I'm happy. The own pitfall of Chrome is that some websites still don't take it as a usable browser, "This website is only available in Internet Explorer and Firefox". That annoys me.

ArKeYa said,
Welcome to the world of Opera lol. Good thing Opera at least have a 'mask as IE/FF' per site option.

does it just mask or use trident /gecko instead?

James Brooks said,
I used to be a Firefox user, since about version 1.5. When it got into version 3, it became slow and sluggish, and in fact, I'm sure it had some kind of memory leak around 3.3/4

Now I use Chrome 4, it's fast, extensions are being made rapidly and so I'm happy. The own pitfall of Chrome is that some websites still don't take it as a usable browser, "This website is only available in Internet Explorer and Firefox". That annoys me.


Wtf are you talking about; neither 3.3 or 3.4 even existed, and the memory leaks that were a problem were in Firefox 2, and most fixed in Firefox 3. The new memory mgmt in Firefox 3 was a main feature in it, and Firefox 2's ~400 MB's of RAM usage suddenly started hovering around ~150 MB.

True Firefox did get sluggish and I too went to Chrome for awhile... even subscribed to their dev builds to get early releases.

But Chrome -although being faster- didn't have the plug-ins that I wanted or a lot of web sites didn't support that browser and some of them were Microsofts. Submitted bugs along the way and recieved some comments that I should report compatibilty issues to the web owner etc. (Dont think so! I dont mind reporting bugs but don't expect me to fix them for other people when those people are getting paid to do that). Chrome has a very long way to catch up to Firefox and I'm afraid thats going to take years.

So I'm back with Firefox and happy browsing.

As far as I'm aware Electrolysis has nothing to do with the SunSpider test being faster. ATM Electrolysis is only going to allow plugins to run as their own process. The SunSpider improvements the author is seeing is simply because the latest version of firefox has a more developed JS engine in it. Nothing to do with Electrolysis. (And of course, the SunSpider test suite doesn't use any plugins anyway.)

The Jambo said,
FF 3.5.7, released today tests at a blistering 820.6ms.

Suck it, Trolls.


You cannot compare tests between different PCs. Only different browsers on the same PC.

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