Mozilla Delivers “the Best Firefox Ever”

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows with 54 Comments

Mozilla Delivers "the Best Firefox Ever"

This week, Mozilla announced Firefox 54, which provides multi-processing capabilities for “remarkably” improved performance and memory usage.

“This is the best release of Firefox ever, with improvements that will be very noticeable to even casual users of our beloved browser,” Mozilla’s Nick Nguyen explains. “Our new version of Firefox nails the ‘just right’ balance between memory and speed.”

The key to Firefox 54 is a new “Electrolysis” (E10s) engine that allows the browser to run in multiple processes. In previous versions, Firefox used a single process for all open tabs, but the new version uses up to four processes for tabs.

“This means that a heavy, complex web page in one tab has a much lower impact on the responsiveness and speed in other tabs,” Nguyen says. “By separating the tabs into separate processes, we make better use of the hardware on your computer, so Firefox can deliver you more of the web you love, with less waiting.”

Firefox 54 makes websites run much better on all computers, Mozilla says. But it’s especially beneficial on PCs with less memory.

Aside from the multi-processing capabilities, Firefox 54 also includes major improvements in RAM usage, and now uses significantly less memory than other browsers. There are some small UI tweaks as well.

You can download Firefox from the Mozilla website.


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Comments (54)

54 responses to “Mozilla Delivers “the Best Firefox Ever””

  1. Pbike908

    Hmm...Perhaps I will give it another try. I haven't used it much in the past couple of years, as Chrome appears to behave better as far as memory and resource uses go...

  2. ZeroPageX

    I was really excited for an hour until all of my tabs crashed at once. One tab loading also slows down every other tab. Do I need to manually turn on multiple processes or what? I keep hoping Firefox will become fast and stable enough to replace Chrome, but I think I'm going to be disappointed yet again.

  3. thisisdonovan

    Good analysis....wait....did I just read an ad?

  4. djncanada

    Paul, in your opinion, will RAM and memory lower the taxing of laptop batteries, how close is FireFox now to capabilities of Chrome?

  5. sharpsone

    Sweet! A good alternative to Chrome just got better.

  6. hometoy

    I'll give it a try. Chrome, with all of the extensions, is rather slow and Firefox always seems to fall in-between Edge and Chrome in terms of speed and extensions.

  7. madthinus

    Still love Firefox and what Mozilla stands for.

  8. CompUser

    I got tired of the ever increasing crash rate of IE, and have never liked Edge or Chrome, so I installed Firefox on my desktop two or three weeks ago as a trial. With Firefox, I'm able to customize the overall appearance and display my favorites like I want, and it looks almost exactly like my setup of IE11. But it hasn't crashed a single time in two or three weeks. This morning I not only upgraded to Firefox 54, but also upgraded to the 64-bit version. At this point, I can't think of a single reason to go back to either IE or Edge, and I've now installed it on my laptop and tablet as well.

  9. rgelb

    I've switched to Firefox full time as of v53. Chrome was starting to feel laggy, particularly during tab switches or when closing tabs. I have a MacBookPro circa 2011 running Windows 8.1 and Firefox just screams.

  10. pmeinl

    On nice feature of FF is being able to easily switch between search engines by clicking on the search icon when doing research.

  11. eeisner

    Until Mozilla/FF can fix the constant scripting errors/crashes I get, I'm going to hate using it. Sadly, I need to for work, and it is SO frustrating... Hopefully this update does that.

    • Jedi Dwight

      In reply to eeisner:

      I'd suggest paring down your browser extensions. Drop them all and see how it goes, then add them back one by one.

      • IanYates82

        In reply to Jedi Dwight:

        Yep. I've even had LastPass and its injection of stuff occasionally muck with sites. Dragon Naturally Speaking's plugin can also get involved a little too much occasionally. As someone developing web apps the first thing I check upon seeing a crash is what extensions are present as usually the problem is happening in some detoured code. I'll still try to work around it but it makes reproduction that bit more difficult (particularly if the extension gets an update which introduces a bug)

  12. rameshthanikodi

    I just tried it, it still feels slow and clunky. Even Microsoft Edge is better.

  13. Tony Barrett

    I've always had a soft spot for Firefox, and use it and Chrome for almost everything now. Firefox has *always* been a memory hog though, and tends to slow down badly over time. Let's hope this version really gives it a kick where it needs it.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      I don't think Firefox has ever gotten over the memory leaks since version 4.

    • Locust Infested Orchard Inc.

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      If you think Firefox is a memory hog (which it is), Google Chrome is an even bigger and fatter memory hog, so says Task Manager with the many tests I've conducted with identical tabs open.

      • CompUser

        In reply to Locust Infested Orchard Inc.: Right now on my desktop, Firefox 54 is using about 3.5% CPU and 370 MB memory; IE 11 is using about 2.5% CPU and 175 MB, Chrome is using less than 1% CPU and 42 MB memory; and Edge is using less than 1% CPU and about 30 MB memory. So it looks like Edge is the clear winner and Firefox is the loser, but it doesn't really matter that much for me because even with only 8 GB RAM, the total CPU usage is only about 20% and memory usage is around 45%. It's just not a problem for me.

  14. John Scott

    Haven't used it for a while, I know last time I ran a Linux distro I gave it a go and was very disappointed. I hope Mozilla can resurrect Firefox enough to remain a viable option but I don't know how many Chrome users will be swayed? Seems to me that ship has sailed and as long as Chrome does not give users a reason to jump ship. This just might be too little to late for Firefox.

  15. CaedenV

    I loved FireFox for years... but they have done so much damage to their brand they are never going to get mainstream attention again. Even this new version is super buggy. It is Chrome for day-to-day and IE when required, everything else is just half way to nowhere. And that is unfortunate.