Speed Up Firefox

By pkroks · 7 replies
Oct 7, 2005
  1. I found this on some other forums and it really helped me out. I definetly suggest you guys with broadband do this and you will definetly notice an improvement. Keep in mind I am not taking credit for this because I did not find it out nor write it up, Im just passing on the info .

    Here's something for broadband people that will really SpeedUP Firefox:

    1. Type "about:config" into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:




    Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

    2. Alter the entries as follows:

    Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"
    Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"

    set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

    3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it recieves.

    If you're using a broadband connection you'll load pages 2-3 times faster now.
  2. Victor587

    Victor587 TS Rookie Posts: 47

    thanks! I do notice a difference.
  3. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Just to clear things up here before they get out of hand (The following is from our Firefox guide);

    network.http.pipelining. (Boolean) HTTP/1.1 pipelining is a feature that allows multiple HTTP requests to be issued simultaneously. Without pipelining, HTTP requests are issued sequentially, with each further request not being issued until the previous has been completed. While this may seem like a more optimal approach, it’s not without its detractors (Be sure to check out the Comments). Firefox also contains an internal listing of servers that don’t support pipelining & disables it for those to avoid problems (This isn’t necessarily definitive of course). As such, you might find some experimentation worthwhile with this feature rather than just assuming it’s always beneficial (As others guides seem to believe). As stated on W3C’s Network Performance Effects of HTTP/1.1, CSS1, & PNG;
    HTTP/1.1 implemented with pipelining outperformed HTTP/1.0, even when the HTTP/1.0 implementation uses multiple connections in parallel, under all circumstances tested. In terms of packets transmitted, the savings are typically at least a factor of 2, & often much more, for our tests. Elapsed time improvement is less dramatic, but significant.
    Set this to true to enable pipelining, false to disable. Further information can be found at Mozilla.org’s Pipelining FAQ.

    network.http.proxy.pipelining. (Boolean) This feature performs exactly as per the above (true to enable, false to disable), albeit it applies to connections over a proxy. As before, this is a feature you may want to experiment with to determine its benefits, if any.

    network.http.pipelining.maxrequests. (Integer) This specifies the maximum number of requests in a pipeline, the default being 4. If you’ve set both network.http.pipelining & network.http.proxy.pipelining to false this option can be ignored. The Pipelining FAQ makes the following point on the matter, pipelining many requests can be costly if the connection closes prematurely because we would have wasted time writing requests to the network, only to have to repeat them on a new connection. Moreover, a longer pipeline can actually cause user-perceived delays if earlier requests take a long time to complete. So while in general it would make sense to set a higher value (With the limit being 8; values above 8 are ignored), it may also be something you should experiment with to determine an optimal value.

    nglayout.initialpaint.delay. (Integer) This value specifies the amount of time, in milliseconds, before Firefox should attempt rendering a page (Default of 250). This is perhaps the most misunderstood setting in Firefox, with numerous websites recommending you set this to 0 for fastest browsing. Somewhat ironically this actually increases the total time rendering a webpage, as explained by Asa Dotzler:

    Setting the initial paint delay at 0, may get you some content on the screen faster, but it's worth noting that it will dramatically slow down the time it takes the entire page to display. Here's what's going on. Gecko, Firefox's rendering engine, is trying to optimize between the cost of waiting for a bit more data versus doing more painting & reflows as new data comes in. Waiting a bit longer before it starts painting the page gives Gecko a chance to receive more content before chewing up CPU cycles to render & reflow the document. If you drop this value down to 0 or near 0, that means you'll see the page start displaying a bit earlier, but not having received much data in that short interval, you'll have a lot more paint & reflow cycles to complete rendering of the page.

    So if you don’t care about overall rendering time then yes, setting this to 0 can result in some content being displayed immediately (Giving the perception of improved speed). If however, you’d prefer improved overall page rendering time then you’ll want to adjust this value based on bandwidth available. Low bandwidth (dial-up) connections can benefit noticeably by increasing this value, with 750/1000 (The former being what I use currently) proving good. High bandwidth connections should be just fine at the default (250) – besides, is ¼ second really “that” noticeable a delay anyway?
  4. Victor587

    Victor587 TS Rookie Posts: 47

    So you're saying that just the pictures on the page will load faster and not the data?

    Good info.
  5. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Depends on the site really, like it says, you might get partial content immediately, but that entails having to redraw the page more.
    It'd be like going into a restaurant, ordering a meal, but telling the waitress you want something in the next minute (rather than waiting the normal 5 minutes instead for the soup), so she runs of comes back with a breadroll & a fork. Sure you got something quickly, but it's not really too much use (How can anyone eat rolls without their soup? ;)). She then of course has to run back & get the soup, an unnecessary trip if you were to have waited.

    Sorry, that's the best analogy I can do in 3 minutes
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    not all websites support this, so be aware.
  7. Victor587

    Victor587 TS Rookie Posts: 47

    lol I understand, it was a good analogy too :)
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    btw miss - can I get a cup of coffee?

    oh.... and my fork is dirty too.....

    and um,....... the kids need a kiddie menu....
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