Everyone these days seems to be raving about Firefox, and how it should be used over Internet Explorer. I totally agree with these people, however Firefox isn’t anywhere near the best browser out there. Opera outperforms Firefox in basically all tests. The goal of this article, isn’t to get you to switch. I simply wanted to write a quick article giving facts on why Firefox isn’t the best. If you want a detailed report, stop reading. This is just a few quick facts.
Which browser uses less RAM?
I opened 9 popular websites in 9 different tabs in each of the browsers. The websites were as follows:
I then minimized all browsers, and checked their memory usage. Firefox using ~22 MBs was by far using the most. Most browsers release their memory when you minimize them, however Firefox does not by default. If I didn’t configure it to do that it would be using ~50 MBs. If you’re interested in configuring it to release its memory see this article. In this test, Opera and IE were considerably less.
The next test was restoring all windows and checking their memory usage. Firefox used the most memory at ~31 MBs. Opera used approximately half as much as Firefox.
Intel Pentium II or AMD K6-III+ 233 MHz
64 MB RAM
52 MB hard drive space
Windows 98 or higher
66 MHz processor
16-32 MB ram
12 MB Install size
Windows 98 or higher
20 MB of free disk space
Any system running Windows 95 or higher
Cold and hot start times
Firefox 1.0 – 11.54 seconds.
Firefox 1.5 – 17.26 seconds.
Firefox 2.0 – 11.64 seconds
Opera 7.54 – 4.90 seconds.
Opera 8 – 3.66 seconds.
Opera 9.01 – 2.47 seconds.
IE 5.0 – 5.25 seconds.
IE 6.0 – 6.99 seconds.
IE 7.0 – 7.80 seconds.
Cold start was the amount of time the browser took to start up after you logged out and then back in. These tests were taken on an 800 MHz P3 Box with 256 MBs of ram.
Hot start times
A hot start is the time it takes to open your browser after the original opening of it.
Firefox 1.0 – 2.52 seconds.
Firefox 1.5 – 2.74 seconds.
Firefox 2.0 – 3.05 seconds
Opera 7.54 – 2.40 seconds.
Opera 8 – 2.38 seconds.
Opera 9.01 – 2.24 seconds.
IE 5.0 – 3.11 seconds.
IE 6.0 – 1.77 seconds.
IE 7.0 – 2.40 seconds.
Rendering CSS and tables. Simply the most part of using your browser is its ability to render websites. Opera is far faster than Firefox or Internet explorer at rendering. For the full list of rendering times and the hot/cold start times see this site
Which browser is more web compliant?
Simply put, Opera. Taking the Acid2 browser test reveals that Opera is the ONLY browser to pass the test. Internet Explorer doesn’t even come close, while Firefox is on the right track.
Opera’s perfect rendering.
Firefox is on the right track but nowhere near correct.
“¦Uhm..Mr. Gates, care to explain?
See for yourself. For more detailed statistics on how compliant each browser is, view the chart. Opera wins in all categories. To be fair Firefox’s new version (3.0) which is currently in development passes the Acid2 test.
Since Firefox 1.x has been released there have been over 125 vulnerabilities. Opera is the most secure browser out there. Firefox users might say Internet Explorer’s ActiveX is insecure, and should be removed. In IE7 on Vista it runs in restricted access mode, meaning any harmful AvtiveX installed, is not in fact harmful at all. The fact is Firefox extensions pose an equally dangerous threat to the users PC. Most people criticize Microsoft for being slow to patch its vulnerabilities. Well Firefox isn’t exactly perfect either, as shown here.
Some people are still living back in time when Opera wasn’t free. For over a year now, Opera has been without ads, and is 100% free for anybody. The only difference is that Opera is closed source while Firefox is open source. If you don’t know C++, then that shouldn’t make a difference.
A lot of Firefox fanboys will claim that Firefox has extensions, and they can’t do without them. Stated the most is ad-block (which Opera has built in). Well opera has widgets, which is basically the same thing as Firefox’s extensions. They also offer a documentation to start making your own widgets.
It’s not an opinion that Opera is by far the best graphical browser out there, it’s fact. It’s incredibly fast, secure, resource light, and the most web compliant. I’m not saying Firefox is a bad browser, all I’m saying is it’s simply not the best.