[Hendrix] Firefox 3's memory management causes stutters and pauses like Java garbage collection

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keong lim

Jul 22, 2008, 11:40:47 PM7/22/08
Name: keong lim
Email: klimatfastwire-groupdotcom
Product: Firefox
Summary: Firefox 3's memory management causes stutters and pauses like Java garbage collection

During normal usage of Firefox 3, it eventually reaches about 315MB of
memory usage and 480MB of VM size. From time-to-time it will also do
about 9000-11000 pagefaults per second to perform whatever memory
management it needs to do. Unfortunately, these pagefaults usually
occur at the most in opportune time because it causes the whole browser
to pause for a couple of seconds and it also causes stutters in
otherwise smooth performance like scrolling pages and playing streaming
video. It's like FF3 is implemented on a JVM with bad garbage collection.

This is a backwards step compared to previous versions. Even though I
like that the total memory usage is lower, it frustrates me no end to
experience these stutters and pauses. This behaviour will also cause my
laptop's battery life to go through the floor (the main reason I'm not
using FF3 on my laptop).

The timing of the memory management needs to be synchronised with other
inherent delays, like waiting for a new page to load, so that it's less
noticeable. It should never happen in the middle of a simply viewing a
static page!

Browser Details: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1
From URL: http://hendrix.mozilla.org/


Sep 4, 2008, 2:50:11 AM9/4/08
I totally agree, this exact same thing is happening to me, just as you
describe it. In fact, it even happens while I'm typing, causing
characters to delay appearing.


Sep 15, 2008, 4:08:17 PM9/15/08
I see this as well, mostly when I have google apps running (docs or
GMail) The stutter happens all the time when I am typing. I don't
know if it is due to page faults, but it is extremely annoying,
especially when it happens every 30 seconds or so. Using FF 3 on Mac
OS X 10.5



Oct 15, 2008, 4:46:41 PM10/15/08
I'm having similar problems.

It's been enough to make me start using Opera for my normal browsing,
and just use Firefox when I need its various plugins (like Firebug).

It's a real shame, but it's pretty much what I've come to expect from
the thing. It really isn't the panacea people seem to think it is.


Oct 15, 2008, 5:06:21 PM10/15/08
I'm a huge fan of Firefox, but it does make you wonder. So who is the
"Browser Reloaded" now? Safari? Still waiting to try Chrome for


On Oct 15, 2:46 pm, "ed.kapuscin...@gmail.com"

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