Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cure of my Firefox problem: turn on the "config.trim_on_minimize" switch

Since I upgraded my Firefox to most updated version (version 3.5, the version I use now is 3.5.3) on my Windows XP PC, Firefox was almost unusable to me! Every time I started Firefox, it tooks me around 3 minutes before I could smoothly browse the first site. And every time I closed Firefox, the "firefox process" would be there for another 3 minutes before it terminated itself.

After monitoring for a while, I found the memory Firefox took is usually over 200M bytes. Even I opened only a blank page, it could still take over 100M bytes. However, Google's Chrome does not have such problem!

I have only 1G bytes of memory on my working PC, and it is extremely difficult to upgrade that old machine, viewing from every aspects.

I have to hack around Firefox, or I must abandon it!

Luckily, after some research on Google, I found this tip works so great and cured my headache:
Firefox Memory Optimization

The explanation behind above problem is described here:
Hacking Firefox: Speed Up Your Browser

So why is this memory trimming so bad for Firefox? Because Firefox renders just about every visual component and element of the browser, trimming memory used by the browser forces Firefox to reallocate and rerender all visual elements on the browser as well as the web page that's loaded, causing some grief and possible hard drive thrashing.

Now Firefox usually takes less than 100M bytes on my PC, and even magically, it takes much less when I just minimize Firefox window. The memory is indeed freed up because the memory utilization is not restored when I restore the Firefox window.

I feel so great!

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