Skip to main content

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

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

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.