Teneo !!!

Aaron’s blog on Networking, and Enterprise Technology

Firefox vs IE memory usage

Being the Network Operations Manager, one of my duties is to decide on policies and standardization across the Desktop and Server infrastructure.  For the longest time, I’ve had to weigh and determine whether we should drop IE and move to Firefox.

Why the hard decisions?  Well, although Firefox is certainly more secure (and more productive to use in my opinion), the fact remains that many 3rd-party companies are still designing applications to the IE spec.  I won’t go into detail why that is wrong in around 100-different ways.  The fact is, we must keep IE.

However, I do encourage users to try Firefox, and use it if they can.  The only downside it has had, was the huge memory usage it would take.  The more tabs and windows you used, and the longer it sat, the more memory it would use.

Apparently, that has changed, according to some tests prominently displayed and explained on Pavlov.net’s blog.

They tested three different browsers.  IE7, Firefox2, and Firefox3-beta.  The results were shocking to me.  Basically, they opened 30 webpages, each using their own window, and did that 11 times.  Each window that was opened, closes the other window.  At the end, the last window remained opened, and they let the browser sit awhile.

Check out these results (blatently taken from Pavlov’s site):

This shows that not only has Firefox3 have BETTER memory management than it’s predecessor,  but check out IE7!!  It didn’t even reclaim the used space of all those windows after sitting!!

This is proof in the pudding!  Not only does IE SUCK at CSS, but it also SUCKS at memory usage.  No wonder why Vista has such steep memory requirements!  It’s not for the eye-candy, or advanced graphics and tools.  It’s to keep browsing the internet!!!

Here’s the link to the article, in case you missed it above:

Firefox 3 Memory Usage « pavlov.net

4 responses to “Firefox vs IE memory usage

  1. John May 2, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I tend to use IETab for certain clients that require IE to run certain applications such as ActiveX based among other things. Basically it allows you to set certain pages to load IE inside of Firefox such as WindowsUpdate.

  2. Dan May 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I tend to use Opera for anything I tend to leave open for long periods of time. Despite the lack of compatibility with some things, it tends to be very good at managing memory usage. The one thing problem I have seen with Opera is certain sites that are more ‘interactive’ with the browser (Facebook is a prime example) will give Opera fits within an hour or so. Other sites that are simpler (more HTML than anything else) tend to be fine.

  3. horia July 11, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I am not shure that your beautiful graph about the firefox vs. IE ram usage is right.
    my experience, with firefox 2 & 3, is that it climbs up to more than 100 MB after about 30 minutes, and is aready at 80 MB after start.
    Contrary, IE 7 is constantly at about 40 MB and has no significant growth.
    I am personally a fan of firefox, but my tests do not show anything positive about it.

    Maybe after hours of work, firefox will be better in ram usage.
    But I still miss a difference at the beginning of your graphs: I would like to see there a higher usage of firefox ram at the start of the graph, that goes down under the line of IE 7, after some time. But you are showing a constantly better line for firefox.

    what is your opinion?

  4. Aaron Paxson July 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm


    I give full credit and research to pavlov.net. See the link at the bottom of the post, to follow along their research and testing.

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