Mozilla claims Firefox 3.5 to be "twice as fast" as 3.0

By Justin Mann on June 2, 2009, 3:15 PM
At the end of April, Mozilla made the most current stable version of Firefox 3.0.x available alongside the latest beta of it successor, Firefox 3.5. We can always expect a software company to play up the advantages of newer code over older code, but Mozilla is putting a lot of weight into the development of its next version of Firefox.

According to their blog, the upcoming 3.5 branch will supposedly be ten times faster than Firefox 2 and twice as fast as Firefox 3.0. They are so excited about these prospects that they've started a new viral marketing campaign inviting Firefox fans to upload videos in which they are doing something “very fast.” It's an increasingly common approach to marketing, though still a novel one.

Of course, fast is a relative term. How exactly does Mozilla come up with figures like ten times as fast or twice as fast? Many are curious and have asked just that, with Mozilla saying little aside from “wait for more details.” Are we talking rendering speed? Code execution speed? They did mention SunSpider being used as one of their benchmarks, which is specific to JavaScript execution. It is clear Mozilla doesn't want to lag too far behind Google and Apple, both of whom have browsers with impressive script execution specs. You can always snag the betas if you want and try them out, but I hope Mozilla elaborates further on their plans for Firefox 3.5.




User Comments: 24

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yeah, but is it as fast as Chrome? ;-)

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

nothings as fast as chrome Tom lol

Guest said:

**** chrome

try removing googleupdate.exe as a running process on your xp system. no...go ahead, try all the prescribed methods, i dare you.

**** google. google is evil.

tw0rld tw0rld said:

Chrome. I don't know if this will ever take off. I can get speed with firefox, IE, Opera, and Safari plus additional benefits.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but if FF 3.5 is ten times as fast as FF2 and twice as fast as FF3, then FF3 is five times as fast as FF2. As an avid Firefox user I can tell this is blatant exaggeration that does more bad than good to the browser.

tw0rld tw0rld said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but if FF 3.5 is ten times as fast as FF2 and twice as fast as FF3, then FF3 is five times as fast as FF2. As an avid Firefox user I can tell this is blatant exaggeration that does more bad than good to the browser.

I didn't recognize the difference in speed with the upgrade from FF2 to FF3. As a matter of fact FF2 seemed alot faster than FF3.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

PC World tested all the current browsers. Chrome was the fastest, by almost a second as I recall. That having been said, they concluded that the difference between 1 1/2 seconds to load page to just under 3 seconds to load a page, makes almost no difference in real world use. I'm good with their assessment. In fact, I'm still good with FF version 2.0.20

tengeta tengeta said:

Dear god... a second?!

I'll still pass.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I will take that one second advantage... the sad part is that the benchmarks that Google and Mozilla test with do not represent overall usage or even heavy tabbing/multitasking, but testing the engine on some concept benchmarks for heavy-duty java script .

That may be fine for certain web applications and the future of the web as a platform, but not quite enough for present usage where browsers are still not resilient enough under normal multitasking scenarios.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I find that I wait more on web servers (ad servers usually) then on browser rendering.

Guest said:

I agree completely. FF2 was faster than FF3 in my experience.

I've used FireFox as my main browser for the last 4 or 5 years and I've always been a big fan. It's been brilliant.

But I'm afraid I've just switched to Google Chrome. I'm still getting used to chrome and I don't particularly like the lack of options! However, my reason for switching is that FireFox is becoming a nightmare. For no reason it will hog CPU (made my machine overheat even!) And yes, I've disabled Java and I've installed the flashblocker extension... still hogging CPU (up around 95% - 97%). It quite simply makes the machine unusable. It also takes an age to start. So, I'm afraid I've been forced to switch browsers because of FireFox's poor behaviour. :-(

netcat2003 said:

as I recall Microsoft also toots Vista as being twice as fast as XP

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

I've never fully understood this "speed mania". So what if Chrome is a split second quicker than the Fox. I'll continue to very gladly keep FF with the vast array of really useful add-ons and sacrifice a split second. Opening a web site a split second faster is meaningless if you don't have the tools to do those interesting unique things once you get there.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@DarkCobra: Not to mention that those "tools" may allow the user to regain a second lost during rendering by boosting the speed in which they're able to complete a task.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Me Too, I Say "Hooray for FF Two...!

I agree completely. FF2 was faster than FF3 in my experience.
I couldn't get bookmarks to go into alpha order, so out went FF3. Besides, I like the themes I have that only work with FF2, so I keep it. Other than a decimal upgrade, I never allow Mozilla to install updates. I use another browser to visit their website, then download and save the installer package. This is of course a moot point for me, since all support for FF2 has ended.

However, my reason for switching is that FireFox is becoming a nightmare. For no reason it will hog CPU (made my machine overheat even!)
I have not had this experience with FF. True enough I get high CPU usage with it, but not until I have at least 60 tabs open. Even then, I don't get the CPU usage that you do! Suggest a check for malware, or a total reinstall.

And yes, I've disabled Java and I've installed the flashblocker extension... still hogging CPU (up around 95% - 97%). It quite simply makes the machine unusable. It also takes an age to start. So, I'm afraid I've been forced to switch browsers because of FireFox's poor behaviour. :-(

OK, if you install only the "No Script" extension, it takes out flash, and Vibrance ads also. There is no need for "Flashblock" whatsoever. Here's the link for "No Script", http://noscript.net/ It should also be at FF Central under extensions.

Aolish Aolish said:

I'm pretty sure performance will differ from person to person. Its always been like this. Firefox has been an app nightmare for some people, while others say firefox has been the best browser exp they have ever had, while some say FF2 was faster then FF3 or vice versa OR FF is to slow or FF freezes to much etc etc etc etc. This performance difference is even more confusing with everyone having a different system configuration. From personal exp, not only has FF3 has been faster then any other prior version before it, its simply one of the most stable. Besides a few freezes here and there (in which all apps suffer from) its been 100% rock stable, I'm even using it on Win7 and its great.

Docnoq said:

Originally posted by Guest:

I agree completely. FF2 was faster than FF3 in my experience.

I've used FireFox as my main browser for the last 4 or 5 years and I've always been a big fan. It's been brilliant.

But I'm afraid I've just switched to Google Chrome. I'm still getting used to chrome and I don't particularly like the lack of options! However, my reason for switching is that FireFox is becoming a nightmare. For no reason it will hog CPU (made my machine overheat even!) And yes, I've disabled Java and I've installed the flashblocker extension... still hogging CPU (up around 95% - 97%). It quite simply makes the machine unusable. It also takes an age to start. So, I'm afraid I've been forced to switch browsers because of FireFox's poor behaviour. :-(

I was having this problem with FF a few months back. Turned out the culprit was Norton Antivirus. I normally don't bother with antivirus programs at all because I have yet to find one that doesn't hog resources, but my roommate gave me a free copy of Norton that I put on. A few days later, every time I went to start FF my CPU usage jumped up to 99-100% and the processes never closed when I exited the browser. After I did a bit of research, I found Norton was to blame. I uninstalled it and my problems vanished. Yay Norton.

Guest said:

Anyone using Chrome, has to love using spyware, because thats exactly what it is. Google is far worse than even Microsoft when it comes to adding spyware to their software/services. And they keep that info forever.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Anyone using Chrome, has to love using spyware, because thats exactly what it is. Google is far worse than even Microsoft when it comes to adding spyware to their software/services. And they keep that info forever.
Certainly, witness"googleanalytics", which is the tracking cookie they're always trying to set! "No Script" bloks that sucker too! Now IE6 with Norton AV was a nightmare of epic proportion! with that combo, it was like you had a bit torrent direct from the spyware factory.

I'm pretty sure performance will differ from person to person. Its always been like this. Firefox has been an app nightmare for some people, while others say firefox has been the best browser exp they have ever had, while some say FF2 was faster then FF3 or vice versa OR FF is to slow or FF freezes to much etc etc etc etc. This performance difference is even more confusing with everyone having a different system configuration. From personal exp, not only has FF3 has been faster then any other prior version before it, its simply one of the most stable. Besides a few freezes here and there (in which all apps suffer from) its been 100% rock stable, I'm even using it on Win7 and its great.

I've managed to lock up FF2, but it was my own stupid fault. Something on the order of 100 tabs open, then opening 10 or so more with 2MB photo files on them. Still, I can't say exactly if I ran out of RAM, page file, CPU, or internet bandwidth. Hard to blame the browser for an episode like that. Oh, plus I had a couple of Explorer windows open also, not to mention Photoshop Elements, which is a memory hog in it's own right.

Guest said:

Using chrome 1, I get a rough SunSpider time of 1450 ms after several runs.

Using and tracking the various Firefox 3.5 betas, and now 3.5pre i have consistently seen times around or under 1400 ms. The new version *is* significantly faster at rendering and executing script... especially script intense sites like Facebook (which feels like its more than 2 times faster)

Using a chrome 2 beta, the sunspider tests were done in around 850 ms, which is sharply quicker. however, I'm sure chrome 2 has bugs and as the bugs get worked out the code will get more complex and slower.

However, i do feel chrome has the upper hand in JS despite these times (despite Fx being 'faster') as a lot of apps on chromeexperiments.com just run better in general. Im not sure if this is because they are simply MADE to take advantage of certain functionality unique to chrome (unlikely) or the trace monkey engine which still could use some better methodology (likely).

Firefox 3.5 is going to be great!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but if FF 3.5 is ten times as fast as FF2 and twice as fast as FF3, then FF3 is five times as fast as FF2. As an avid Firefox user I can tell this is blatant exaggeration that does more bad than good to the browser.
I noticed this phenomenon with car insurance companies, every one is 10% cheaper than the other. While your premium wouldn't ever go to zero, you surely could get one heck of a deal, if you shopped around enough.

Anyway, am I the only one who had the word "Opera" in a post, hyperlinked to the M$ IE8 download page? That's rude bordering on illegal. I was even using Opera at the time.

Guest said:

im using the beta right now. its much much faster than chrome, witch i also have. particularly with dynamic code like java script . but also due to the efficiency elsewhere, deta transfer has improved noticeably too. where talking about streaming videos and downloads. the important things.

Guest said:

Yes, it is. Try Firefox 3.5 RC1 released today:

[link]

Guest said:

I just tried Firefox 3.5 and can feel that it's faster. I have no benchmark, but it's really faster. I have one of the fastest PC's you can get running at 3.5ghz. Not the fastest, but it ranks up there. I wonder if because my system is newer and faster if it can somehow take advantage of some of 3.5's benifits more than an older computer. I click on things and it's like zip, zip, zip... Very instant.

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