Tag Archives: Firefox

Firefox Performance Tweaks

Over time I have been collecting various Firefox tweaks… this is my collection of performance tweaks that i used to tame down Firefox 2.x on Mac. These work on all platforms but they really helped with the mac version too :)

Firefox Excessive Memory Usage

1. Within Firefox, enter “about:config” (minus the quotation marks) in the address bar

2. Scroll down to the entry “browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers” and double-click it.

3. In “Enter integer value” field, type..

* “0″ to disable the cache

* “1″ through “8″ to set the maximum cache as 1 through 8 previously-viewed pages

* “-1″ to return the cache to its default

Max Total Viewers

To improve performance when navigating (studies show that 39% of all page navigations are renavigations to pages visited < 10 pages ago, usually using the back button), Firefox 1.5 implements a Back-Forward cache that retains the rendered document for the last few session history entries. This can be a lot of data. It’s a trade-off. What you get out of it is faster performance as you navigate the web.

For those who remain concerned, here’s how the feature works. Firefox has a preference browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers which by default is set to -1. When set to this value, Firefox calculates the amount of memory in the system, according to this breakdown:

RAM Number of Cached Pages

32MB 0

64MB 1

128MB 2

256MB 3

512MB 5

1GB 8

2GB 8

4GB 8

(reference: nsSHistory.cpp)

No more than 8 pages are ever cached in this fashion, by default. If you set this preference to another value, e.g. 25, 25 pages will be cached. You can set it to 0 to disable the feature, but your page load performance will suffer.

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Browser Stress Test: Featuring Firefox 3.0 Beta 1

With the release of the new Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 it was time again for my usual 30 tab browser stress test. My test consists of loading the same 30 tabs in all of the browsers tested.
In this test: Opera 9.24, Netscape Navigator (Firefox codebase), Safari 3.0.4, and Firefox 3.0 Beta 1. In previous tests Navigator 9.x beat Firefox 2.x but now the new Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 seems to beat Navigator 9. The surprising part is how badly Opera did… it seems it didn’t even attempt to recover at all. For the most part Safari 3 is quite effecient but the new Firefox 3 beta has improved largely improved over Firefox 2.0 on mac. Note… these results may vary.

30 Tab Load test(Lower memory usage is better)

Check out the Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 @ http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/3.0b1/releasenotes/

AM-DeadLink: Free Bookmarks/Favorites Cleanup Tool

When I moved to using Safari as my default browser I found my bookmarks it had imported were in major need of cleanup… tons of duplicates,dead URL, etc. I have been doing them manually for the last day or so… or at least until i found AM-DeadLink.

AM-DeadLink detects dead links and duplicates in browser bookmarks and text files. If a bookmark has become unavailable you can verify and delete it permanently. Additionally you can download Favicons for all your Favorites and Bookmarks.


The best part is: AM-DeadLink is freeware!

Check out AM-DeadLink

Safari For Windows: Stress Testing

Next stage in my Safari testing was the stress test. My test was to load the same set of 107 tabs in both browsers in clean sessions to make sure they had empty RAM cache. The results were quite interesting… here are the results.

Safari Results
Firefox Results