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Firefox 18 Posts Speed Gains Over Chrome, Mozilla Says

By - Source: Mark Côté | B 38 comments

Mozilla's Mark Côté has reminded us that the arewefastyet page, which the browser maker launched prior to the introduction of Firefox 4, is still alive and is now tracking the progress of Mozilla IonMonkey JIT.

Though not an official statement made by Mozilla, Côté says that Firefox 18 (with IonMonkey) is now 16 percent faster than Chrome 21 in Mozilla's own Kraken benchmark, while it remains behind Chrome in V8 and behind Chrome in Sunspider. Mozilla's own test page suggests that IonMonkey has improved from a time of 1991 ms with the first release of IonMonkey in Firefox in mid-August to currently 1933 ms. Chrome has improved from 2038 ms to 2019 ms in the same time frame.

Mozilla does not yet support Google's latest browser benchmark Octane in its comparison. In a recent evaluation on Mozilla Hacks, Alon Zakai argued that Octane has some flaws and that there may be, for example, too much emphasis on Mandreel, which Google uses in its Chrome Web Store but may not be so important on web pages overall.

Zakai noted that "Octane is an interesting new benchmark that, even with [some] problems […], does contain good ideas and is worth focusing on." Yet he points out that no single benchmark is perfect and we "should always be aware of the limitations of any single benchmark, especially when a single benchmark claims to represent the entire modern web."

 

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  • 32 Hide
    Pherule , September 29, 2012 7:12 PM
    Good. Now focus on the UI latency. Having the entire browser (Firefox) freeze up completely while a background tab is loading is not right. It's not the fault of single-process either, because Opera is also single-process and doesn't have the freeze problem.
  • 12 Hide
    Shin-san , September 29, 2012 7:22 PM
    Nice, but we're still at v15
  • 10 Hide
    vittau , September 29, 2012 7:43 PM
    PheruleGood. Now focus on the UI latency. Having the entire browser (Firefox) freeze up completely while a background tab is loading is not right. It's not the fault of single-process either, because Opera is also single-process and doesn't have the freeze problem.
    Yeah, on Linux I've had it freeze so bad because of a script, that I had to kill the process.
Other Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Pherule , September 29, 2012 7:12 PM
    Good. Now focus on the UI latency. Having the entire browser (Firefox) freeze up completely while a background tab is loading is not right. It's not the fault of single-process either, because Opera is also single-process and doesn't have the freeze problem.
  • 12 Hide
    Shin-san , September 29, 2012 7:22 PM
    Nice, but we're still at v15
  • 10 Hide
    vittau , September 29, 2012 7:43 PM
    PheruleGood. Now focus on the UI latency. Having the entire browser (Firefox) freeze up completely while a background tab is loading is not right. It's not the fault of single-process either, because Opera is also single-process and doesn't have the freeze problem.
    Yeah, on Linux I've had it freeze so bad because of a script, that I had to kill the process.
  • 8 Hide
    srap , September 29, 2012 7:53 PM
    PheruleGood. Now focus on the UI latency. Having the entire browser (Firefox) freeze up completely while a background tab is loading is not right. It's not the fault of single-process either, because Opera is also single-process and doesn't have the freeze problem.

    One of the few Projects that get constant progress reports is Snappy (related to responsiveness of FF), you may take a look at it here. It may not be much of a consolation, but it shows that they are working on it seriously.
  • 9 Hide
    tipoo , September 29, 2012 7:59 PM
    I agree with the UI speed comment, no matter how fast Firefox gets in benchmarks it never FEELS as fast as Chrome or Opera, things like opening a bunch of links in background tabs never feels as snappy, often lagging and appearing to freeze, the startup time isn't as fast, it doesn't stay as snappy over days of leaving it open, etc.
  • 4 Hide
    tipoo , September 29, 2012 8:02 PM
    That said, I wish Chrome had Firefoxs GPU acceleratoin, smooth scrolling, and smooth font rendering. Give it those things and it would be near perfect.
  • -2 Hide
    sarcasm , September 29, 2012 8:24 PM
    tipooThat said, I wish Chrome had Firefoxs GPU acceleratoin, smooth scrolling, and smooth font rendering. Give it those things and it would be near perfect.


    Chrome does have GPU acceleration. Smooth scrolling you can download an extension. Smooth font rendering, well I'm still looking for that one.

    I might have to give FireFox a whirl again.
  • 1 Hide
    nebun , September 29, 2012 9:00 PM
    i really like firefox but lately it's been acting up....a lot
  • 8 Hide
    Thunderfox , September 29, 2012 9:26 PM
    Just stop Firefox from freezing up on scripts and Flash. I keep Flash disabled for that reason more than anything.
  • 2 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 29, 2012 9:40 PM
    If I load one too many Flash stuff onto version 15 Firefox or Aurora (or Waterfox), it has a tendency of freezing or crashing...
  • 4 Hide
    s3anister , September 29, 2012 9:44 PM
    Shin-sanNice, but we're still at v15

    Officially, yes. You could, however, use Beta (v16), Aurora (v17), or Nightly (v18). Personally having used all of them I find Aurora to be stunningly stable and all around more enjoyable to use than any other browser. Stay away from Nightly, though, it's a plague of epic bookmark deleting proportions.
  • -3 Hide
    bison88 , September 29, 2012 10:19 PM
    To further add to the bitching above. Lets get it together Mozilla and focus on the important stuff. Drives me nuts having a pop up message say the browser needs to restart because something I can't see supposedly crashed less than 5 minutes after I open it almost daily. Thankfully this isn't like days of old where it would automatically shut it down and you can cancel out of it, but it's rather annoying.
  • 3 Hide
    ShadeHaven , September 29, 2012 10:51 PM
    tipooThat said, I wish Chrome had Firefoxs GPU acceleratoin, smooth scrolling, and smooth font rendering. Give it those things and it would be near perfect.

    Chrome does have smooth scrolling. Under chrome://flags/ just enable Smooth Scrolling.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2012 10:54 PM
    Just image how fast will firefox 34 be...
  • -5 Hide
    bytehead , September 29, 2012 11:17 PM
    Hi-larious, since today the Firefox 18.0A1 64-bit build is bricked out of the box with today's build.

    I updated it today, and the 64-bit (and I think the 32-bit may also be) version shouldn't have been released (today), since it doesn't even run. And since I run that version as my default browser, oops!

    (And yes, obviously I have backup browsers for just this kind of case, in fact, I'm currently running the release version of Firefox, so yes, I think I have a pretty good handle on things, tyfm...)
  • 1 Hide
    Jay-Z , September 30, 2012 12:53 AM
    Haha, I downloaded chrome this morning after using firefox for 2 years, and this is one of the first pages I open up :) 
  • 5 Hide
    omnimodis78 , September 30, 2012 1:16 AM
    I don't care what anyone says, Chrome just never feels right for me - basic (in fact, Tom's) websites don't seem to render correctly - I go crazy just comparing how pages are rendered in IE, FF and Chrome, and Chrome is the all-around loser...but, Chrome does feel really fast and responsive. I've never really noticed this infamous FF slowdown some of you keep bringing up, but maybe if I stuck with Chrome and then went back to Firefox I'd have a more objective comparison.
  • 9 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 30, 2012 4:37 AM
    Ever since Chrome got NoScript, I switched from Firefox and never looked back...

    ...said no-one ever.

    Seriously, NoScript or GTFO.
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , September 30, 2012 5:31 AM
    And yet internet explorer is still stuck at version 9 and you wonder why soo many people have went to firefox or chrome over the past few years.....
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , September 30, 2012 6:49 AM
    Whats the difference between Firefox 4.0 and 18? Not much.
    Isn't this actually Firefox 4.66?
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