See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

Summary: Just how much faster is Firefox 8.0.1 compared to Firefox 3.6?

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TOPICS: Browser
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Mozilla is to try to persuade Firefox 3.6 users to upgrade to the latest Firefox 8.0.1 release. One of the key selling points of the upgrade is improved performance ... but just how much faster is Firefox 8.0.1 compared to Firefox 3.6?

There's only one way to find out - FIGHT!

Check out the ‘The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 15 vs Opera 11 vs IE9 vs Firefox 8 vs Safari 5

Here are the tests that the two browsers will face:

  • SunSpider JavaScript 0.9.1 - A JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla with a focus on real-world problem solving.
  • V8 Benchmark Suite - A pure JavaScript benchmark used by Google to to tune the V8 JavaScript engine.
  • Kraken 1.1 - Another JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla. This is based on the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark test but features some additional enhancements.

All testing carried out on a Windows 7 64-bit system running a Q9300 2.5GHz quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 260 graphics card.

Image credit: dullhunk

The tests -->

SunSpider JavaScript benchmark results

A JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla with a focus on real-world problem solving.

  • Winner: Firefox 8.0.1- Nearly 4x faster than Firefox 3.6.24

V8 benchmark results

A pure JavaScript benchmark used by Google to to tune the V8 JavaScript engine.

  • Winner: Firefox 8.0.1 - Almost 9x faster than Firefox 3.6.24

Kraken benchmark results

Another JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla. This is based on the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark test but features some additional enhancements.

  • Winner: Firefox 8.0.1 - More than 3x faster than Firefox 3.6.24

CONCLUSION

And the winner is ... by a knock-out punch, Firefox 8.0.1!

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24 comments
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  • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

    Um... who cares ... I'm using IE 9 anyway :) I tried Firefox (can't say the same from Chrome, that thing do'nt tocuhes my HDD) but it's slow on facebook games..
    DJK2
    • System memory is mysteriously missing

      ... whenever Firefox is running, be it 3.6 or 8.0.1
      LBiege
      • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

        @LBiege
        Both are subjective opinions.
        Neither of them are correct of my PC.

        You just have to check if FF is good for you!
        (and there are some big improvements in pipeline in FF9/10 for both areas)
        przemoli
  • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

    I've been won over by Chrome in recent months, but i might just have to give Firefox a second look.
    dsf3g
    • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

      @dsf3g

      At least Firefox does not have integrated Google spyware. If you can stand the lack of tab flexibility with Chrome, at least use Chromium, the open source version.
      jorjitop
  • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

    That's why I stick with the latest Firefox. Gives me the speed and extensions I need. Although it doesn't want to upgrade to 8.0.1 for some reason.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

      @Loverock Davidson: Me either but 8.0.1 only has two bug fixes. One for Mac (I'm guessing you're running Windows or Linux?) and one for a third party Password Manager (which I'm guessing you're not running). My guess, it checks and only offers it, if you actually need it.
      bradavon
      • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

        @bradavon
        That would make sense, and I'm running it on Windows and don't have any password managers installed.
        Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

      @Loverock Davidson-
      I am running Beta 9 version 3 and it is insanely fast!!
      MichaelWells
  • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

    Erm, was there ever any doubt? What's the point of upgrading if everything gets worse instead of better?
    Aerowind
  • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

    "but just how much faster is Firefox 8.0.1 compared to Firefox 3.6?"

    Nobody cares. The people who are using 3.6 aren't there because of JavaScript. They're there becasue of memory usage.

    Right now, the battle in Firefox is for memory, not speed. Firefox has been pretty terrible at memory handling for a while, and it's not until 7 or 8 that they really started addressing the memory issues.
    CobraA1
    • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

      @CobraA1

      The memory problems seem to be a Windows phenomenon. I am writing this on a MacBook Pro, on Firefox, with about 2000 (that is not an extra zero) tabs open and have no memory problems. With Windows, XP and 7, things get unstable somewhere between 100-200 tabs.

      I have to use FF3.6 on some Windows machines because certain financial sites will not run FF8 yet. A problem with JVM's.
      jorjitop
  • Performance isn't everything

    There are other factors to consider like removed features and options, less configurability, constantly breaking addons, unproductive UI changes and stability (4.0 and newer isn't stable on my PC).
    xp-client
  • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

    Ah, the need, the need for speed. pfffft. I'd rather have .... stability! The recent FF releases crash too often, and they seem to be getting worse with each release. 3.6 is quite stable. Chrome and Safari are even more reliable. Firefox is yesterday.
    tiredofpickingusernames
  • The comments are interesting

    There are people complaining about memory usage.

    So I decided to see what Chrome, IE9, and Firefox used on my system. All 3 browsers opened with 6 tabs with the exact same websites loaded into each tab.
    Chrome = 327,453k
    IE9 = 284,009k
    Firefox = 298,420k

    I wouldn't call the new Firefox a memory hog by any stretch.

    Then many others have referred to Firefox's stability. The memory results above were from a fresh launch of Chrome and IE9 vs. Firefox that has been running for days. I have left Firefox 8 running for days at a time without a single instance of problems. Firefox on Windows 7 64 bit is just as stable as Chrome or IE9.

    I was mostly using Chrome until Firefox 7 launched and I have found myself mostly using Firefox since.
    dragosani
    • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

      @dragosani

      Most negative comments regarding performance are utter cr@p. The reasons are varied but include people commenting on experience from ages ago, i.e. not the current version of a browser. Or (changing context for a moment) as the Apple App Store comments show, placing blame that is unwarranted. Namely, when people will give a piece of software 1/5 stars when the software developer explicitly says their old hardware isn't supported. This an example of "unwarranted blame". In the case of Firefox, some people had some cr@phole Firefox plugin installed at some point years ago and "Firefox sucks" is what they evangelize. A good contemporary example of this would be the piece of dung Skype plugin which has been known to severely impact Firefox's performance. Again, blame that isn't warranted (directed appropriately) a.k.a. ignorance.
      betelgeuse68
  • And if you run noScript to avoid JavaScript altogether?

    What exactly is the benefit of upgrading if you don't allow JavaScript into your life in the first place? The last time I upgraded, Firefox broke all of my plugins. I don't feel like dealing with that again. .
    akritchie
    • RE: See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1

      @akritchie Firefox didn't break anything. Your plugins aren't being actively maintained and the developers did not list them as being compatible with the version you upgraded to. Firefox has a plugin now that let's you activate these plugins anyway and then report back to Firefox if they worked or not, which Firefox will use to update its plugins database. It can't get much simpler than that. I believe a few months ago Firefox was reporting 95% of plugins working and something like 98% of the top 100 plugins working.

      How do you use the Internet without Javascript? How do you even post on this site without Javascript? :-)
      jgm@...
    • Your PICNIC problems

      @akritchie ... don't make it "the truth" for everyone using FF. I've not had any addon / plugin issues with FF 8.0.1 - and i've been on the release channel for the last month or more.
      thx-1138_
  • I only need one test: Firefox crashes

    Firefox 3.6 never crashed on me once.

    Firefox 8.0 crashes on me (and I mean disappears entirely, requiring me to re-launch it because I'm a masochist) at least once a week. AND I have twice the RAM that I had with 3.6.
    rgcustomer@...