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Does FireFox use less memory if tabbed?

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
Does anyone know if FireFox uses less memory if you open multiple windows in tabs instead of separate windows?

I have tried both but can't seem to tell a difference.. I might just need to buy some more RAM.. :(
 

Mr_Snipes

Registered Member
I think that using tabs instead of separate windows does use less memory, but not enough to really notice. How much RAM do you currently have?
 

Thermal

Registered Member
I don't think there is any, or atleast very little difference in using tabs versus new windows. The recent releases of Firefox has significantly increased the memory used over time due what seems like memory leaks. You can try limiting the memory use that Firefox uses by:


Code:
Open up Firefox or new tab, and type about:config in the address bar.
Right-click and click New->Integer. 
Type browser.cache.memory.capacity for the name and 16384 for the value.
Next, completely restart firefox (make sure no firefox instances is running in task manager)
Another setting is to tell firefox to clear memory (down to 10MB) when you minimize it:

Code:
Create a New boolean key (Right-click, New->Boolean)
Name: config.trim_on_minimize
Value: true
Hopefully that'll help minimize the memory use.

Links:
Reducing memory usage
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
Thanks for the suggestions Thermal. Just entered both of those. Will post an update here after running FF for a few days with the updated config. :)

--

Ok, so far it seems to work to cut the memory use when I minimize FF, but I noticed that when I minimize it, the memory use drops to around 3000-5000K, but oddly enough continues to rise. I just tried this now and it started at around 3,000K and within 2 minutes it rose to over 10,000K.. just sitting minimized..

If this keeps up I may have to go back to IE until FireFox get's this memory leak sorted out.. From the looks of things it seems like that's what the problem I am experiencing is related to.. :(
 

Thermal

Registered Member
You could try Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 (or up) if you haven't already. It has tabs, which would be hard to live without. Memory usage doesn't seem that bad compared to firefox; I get around 27 to 35MB using up to 5 tabs, and around 3MBs when minimized. The interface is a bit different than IE6, but I really like.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
I just downloaded IE7 right now to try it out and I have to say I am not very impressed... First of all I don't like that you can't move the buttons around. I like having the refresh button on the left side of the address bar..

Anyway, IE7 seemed to use about 40,000K for a single window... That's not gonna fly. :)

I guess if anything it's nice to have the latest for cross browser compatibility testing, but I'll definitely stick to FireFox.
 

Spinlock

Registered Member
I've noticed that changing out for a new profile helped my Firefox memory usage/speed considerably. My old profile actually caused the browser to always exit with some form of error.
 

JohnR

Registered Member
Yea it does. If you have several windows open, it is better to tab. Serveral windows open is like having serveral FF's open.
 
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