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Firefox 16 Now Faster With Incremental Garbage Collection

Mozilla's Firefox browser hit version 16 today, bringing with it a new feature called incremental garbage collection. Mozilla said that it has worked on this major feature for over a year and that it will improve performance in responsiveness as well as smoothness.

Firefox's garbage collection collects memory that JavaScript programs are no longer using. In earlier versions of Firefox, the garbage collection function would run for hundreds of milliseconds, essentially freezing the browser. Incremental garbage collection divides the work into smaller chunks.

"Rather than do a 500 millisecond garbage collection, an incremental collector might divide the work into fifty slices, each taking 10ms to complete. In between the slices, Firefox is free to respond to mouse clicks and draw animations," Mozilla wrote in a blog.

Download Firefox 16 from the links below:

Windows

Mac OS X

Linux

Linux x64

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Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • CaedenV
    meanwhile the latest version of Chrome is annoyingly unstable! Hopefully the update that was pushed through last night will help things, because otherwise I am seriously considering moving back to FF.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    A more optimized version of Firefox is Palemoon. I am using that. It has compiler optimizations to target new processor and CPU instructions. Also, the program is Profile-guided-optimised.
    Think of Palemoon as Overclocked Firefox. :)
    Reply
  • Menigmand
    But when will they make scrolling work (by trackpad or arrow keys) while watching a youtube video or other flash? The flash captures the controls, breaking the scroll. Can't believe I'm the only one with that problem?

    If I met that girl, I would ask her.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    I'm using Waterfox, and I noticed slightly better performance in flash games.
    Reply
  • Regor245
    Downloading :P
    Reply
  • jojesa
    CaedenVmeanwhile the latest version of Chrome is annoyingly unstable! Hopefully the update that was pushed through last night will help things, because otherwise I am seriously considering moving back to FF. I already moved back to FF since is faster and very stable.
    I don't know what's going on at Google but Chrome has become an unstable piece of sh!t.
    Reply
  • digiex
    She's foxy indeed.
    Reply
  • Regor245
    Responsive and pages load faster.

    Reply
  • ojas
    CaedenVmeanwhile the latest version of Chrome is annoyingly unstable! Hopefully the update that was pushed through last night will help things, because otherwise I am seriously considering moving back to FF.What? What version? I'm using 22.0.1229.92 m and have had no probs...
    Reply
  • Botia
    Chrome has become unstable and Firefox has issues with Flash. These shorter release schedules are nice for getting new features out, but the regression testing does not seem to be there. Every month or so I end up switching browsers to avoid bugs that significantly impact me. At this point I'd prefer a stable build and stick with it for 6 months. Some kudos to IE. While not quite as nice as Chrome or Firefox, it has caught up significantly and has had fewer issues like this.
    Reply