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Why does firefox use so much memory?

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joe123
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Post Posted November 10th, 2004, 11:06 pm

Right now, with only this tab open, firefox is using 56MB of memory and an additional 45MB of virtual memory. What is up with this? Internet explorer usually uses around 20MB.

bytemaster

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Post Posted November 10th, 2004, 11:09 pm

First of all, if you have been using firefox for a long time without creating a new profile, then, create a new profile! Somewhere arround here is a list of files that you can copy over to your new profile to keep saved passwords, etc. In any case, this usually speeds things up and reduces memory ussage.

Secondly, the Task Manager is not the best judge of memory usage.

Third, you assume that programs have a fixed limit to their memory ussage. People used to servers may be familiar with the way programs like MS SQL server and Exchange server manage memory. These, like firefox, will grab available memory for their own use if they can use it.

If the memory is available and not needed by another program, firefox will grab it to increase performance. It also will release it when it is needed by other programs you may start.

In other words, the more RAM you have, the more memory firefox will appear to take, if you aren't running anything else.

Of couse, this is the theory. It is not perfect in practice, but seems to work fairly well.

(Originally posted here: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=146596 )

Also, in addition to the above, depending on your windows version, a good portion of IE's core is acutally loaded with the operating system. For example, if you have active desktop turned on, IE's rendering engine is already loaded to handle that. Thus, because of the way the task manager reads how much memory a task is using, some of the code that IE is using is already counted in other processes, plus the core, "hidden" processes.
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christie129

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Post Posted November 10th, 2004, 11:18 pm

<b>Yeah...it's very disapointing :| I only have 128mb of RAM available! </b> :shock:
~*Christie*~

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LeRoi
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Post Posted November 10th, 2004, 11:23 pm

Mine's using 22.6MB RAM, no virtual memory, but I have conservative swapfile use enabled (in Windows).

I have 512MB RAM and 384MB "permanent" swapfile.

bytemaster

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Post Posted November 10th, 2004, 11:28 pm

My recommendations for swap file size in NT (2000/XP).

Minimum: 2x your ram (1024 for 512Mb ram)
Maximum: 3x your ram (1536 for 512Mb ram)

This seems to give the best performance if you usually have a few applications open at once (e-mail, browser, etc).
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aconbere

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Post Posted November 11th, 2004, 2:17 am

one of the big differences that people who are just switching form IE don't realise is that IE runs many other processes than the IE bowser. it's is in the windowing system of windows, and explorer.exe thus when you open up a browser window, and go check out the ram it's using... you only see a small fraction of what's going on.

Anders

dipa

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Post Posted November 11th, 2004, 2:41 am

Anders is right, Task Manager doesn't give you the big picture about IE.

chuq
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Post Posted October 22nd, 2009, 1:03 am

dipa wrote:Anders is right, Task Manager doesn't give you the big picture about IE.
Just get an Apple!

trolly
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Post Posted October 22nd, 2009, 1:14 am

Locking this old thread from 2004.
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