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Best Cache size?

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Producer
 
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Post Posted August 5th, 2008, 12:46 pm

Hi everyone,

Probably a dumb question, but what is the best size for the Cache setting? Do most people leave it at the default of 50MB, or will Firefox perform better if it's 100MB or more?

Thanks very much.

kstahl
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Post Posted August 5th, 2008, 2:07 pm

Unless you completely turn it off I doubt you'll notice any difference whatsoever. In other words, don't worry about it.

Alan Baxter
 
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Post Posted August 5th, 2008, 9:33 pm

If you have enough disk space, I guess it doesn't hurt to make it a lot bigger. I've had mine set to 1000 MB for months without noticing any problem. Firefox limits the number of entries in the disk cache to a maximum of 8192, so it's unlikely that mine will ever reach its maximum size in MB. Here's what about:cache shows on my computer.
Number of entries: 8192
Maximum storage size: 1000000 KiB
Storage in use: 107235 KiB

Omega X

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Post Posted August 6th, 2008, 7:09 pm

It only makes a difference if the sites you visit uses big files, like YouTube videos.
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Post Posted August 6th, 2008, 7:24 pm

Making your disk cache larger can significantly improve performance on certain sites, especially if you are on a slow connection such as dialup. When my disk cache is 50 MB, it fills up in less than a day so that when I go back to some sites I visited just yesterday, I can see the images downloading instead of being read from the cache, even though I have a broadband connection. If you want to use offline browsing, a large cache is even more important because any data that is evicted from the cache cannot be viewed offline.

Scarlettrunner20

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Post Posted August 7th, 2008, 1:21 am

I have always set the cache to zero. Even when I use dialup it is set to zero. I don't want a cache. (I don't want superfetch cache in Vista either).

schapel
 
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Post Posted August 7th, 2008, 4:45 am

Why don't you want a cache?

kindofabuzz

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Post Posted August 7th, 2008, 4:55 am

Paranoia
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GrailKnight

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Post Posted August 7th, 2008, 5:42 am

Producer wrote:Hi everyone,

Probably a dumb question, but what is the best size for the Cache setting? Do most people leave it at the default of 50MB, or will Firefox perform better if it's 100MB or more?

Thanks very much.


I set mine at 100mb although just leaving it at the default is fine.
I doubt you will notice any difference with either amount used.
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact". - Sherlock Holmes

Scarlettrunner20

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Post Posted August 7th, 2008, 9:08 pm

schapel wrote:Why don't you want a cache?


I don't need a cache. I have broadband. Yeah, a cache might be useful on dialup but I don't often need to use dialup as Road Runner doesn't go down very often. I don't think about the fact that I don't have a cache when I use dialup so I don't think to enable one for while I am on dialup. A cache would only really be useful on dialup on graphics intensive pages which I avoid, if possible, when on dialup.

schapel
 
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Post Posted August 8th, 2008, 7:38 am

I find that even on broadband and non-graphics intensive web pages, the disk cache can reduce page load times from several seconds to one second. One reason you may not notice this is that with a 50 MB disk cache, it's likely storing less than a day of browsing. If you go back to a site you visited yesterday, it's not in the cache, so the disk cache provides no speedup. That's why I often set the cache to 100 MB instead of the default 50 MB. The speedup is dramatic on pages with lots of graphics, but also very noticeable on normal web pages.

Scarlettrunner20

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Post Posted August 9th, 2008, 5:07 am

I have never seen any difference when a cache large or small is kept. Speed is the same. Keeping a cache is worthless and it loads stale data. You always want Fx to check each and every time for a new page. If you have Broadband use it!

schapel
 
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Post Posted August 9th, 2008, 5:31 am

Scarlettrunner20 wrote:I have never seen any difference when a cache large or small is kept. Speed is the same. Keeping a cache is worthless and it loads stale data. You always want Fx to check each and every time for a new page. If you have Broadband use it!

I see the difference even on a 3 MB connection. It's very noticeable. Loading Slashdot takes one second if I was there recently. If I clear the cache, it takes several seconds. Perhaps you have a proxy cache on your network?

I never see Firefox load stale data. It does check every time for a new page. I have the problem you mention with Opera; it is very annoying. I'd certainly notice it if it were a problem with Firefox. The default for browser.cache.check_doc_frequency is set up this way: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.cache.check_doc_frequency

Broadband is fast, but it's orders of magnitude slower than loading content from the disk. As I've said, I need to set the cache to 100 MB to have it work for sites that I was at the previous day. With the default of 50 MB, the cache fills up in hours and will help for only the very few sites that I go back to within that time.

Omega X

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Post Posted August 9th, 2008, 12:05 pm

Not to mention, driving up bandwidth costs on sites you visit often. Firefox hardly ever has to redownload graphics on a site if they never changed. It just pulls it all from cache.
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Post Posted February 27th, 2009, 7:21 pm

Anyone who completely disables browser caching (or SuperFetch for that matter, but that's a different deal...) is ignorant. Here are the facts.

Before Firefox (or any browser) downloads ANYTHING, it checks to see if the content is changed. Yes, if even the parent HTML document itself exists in cache, it will not be downloaded if the local copy is the same. The file size may be negligible, but there's a lot more involved than a mere file download. There are DNS lookups, network routes, etc., not to mention the time it takes on the server at the other end to do what you could have just as easily done on your machine. However, if the content HAS changed, the new version will be downloaded, regardless. There are NO downsides to caching but for more storage required on your PC (like 3 Kb matters on a 300 GB hard drive) and the possible privacy issues if someone has that kind of access to your machine.

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