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Firefox 3.5 vs Google Chrome Comparison

by Johnny Karp 2 July 2009 12 Comments

With the release of the new Firefox 3.5 I thought it would be the right time to give Firefox another try after I replaced it with Google Chrome. I found Chrome faster and lighter although I still miss the Firefox add-ons. I installed Firefox 3.5, now let’s get on with the comparative test. First of all let’s take a look at the speed. With the timer in my left hand and with my right hand on the mouse I tried to see how fast the two browsers would open the freewaremission.com homepage. Of course, I cleared the cache from both browsers before testing and I ran the test several times to avoid wrong results given by some server glitch or a network hiccup. I made an average and the results are as follows:

firefox vs chrome

Google Chrome needed around 33 seconds to fully load the page. Firefox 3.5 needed 3 seconds less, around 30 seconds from the click on the link to the fully loaded page. Well, 3 seconds is not an eternity by any means, but it could be important if you are a heavy internet user like I am. Next I tested the memory footprint. I opened the same 5 windows in 5 tabs in both browsers. Now let’s see how much memory they needed.

Firefox 3.5 memory footprint

As you can see Firefox took around 102 MB of memory with the 5 tabs fully loaded. I’d like to make a note here, I used Firefox 3.5 with no plugins or add-ons installed, so I guess the results could be slightly different if you use dozens of add-ons. Now let’s see how much memory Chrome needed to display the 5 websites.

Google Chrome memory footprint

You might notice that Chrome is listed in my Task Manager with 7 processes, so I have to do some calculations. And the sum is… around 183 MB! That’s way higher than Firefox but again, if you would use Firefox with several add-ons the situation might change.

Firefox 3.5 screenshot

Overall if you look at the results of the test the conclusion isn’t very surprising: Firefox 3.5 is both faster and lighter than Google Chrome. If you add to that the much better customization options that Firefox has to offer I guess it would be unbelievable to keep Chrome and uninstall Firefox 3.5 If none of the two browsers are to your pleasing you might want to try other free alternatives like Cometbird or Opera. Maybe you can run similar tests with those and share the results with us. Until then, goodbye Chrome, welcome back home Firefox! You can download the new Firefox 3.5 from here, it’s free!



  • Rogerio Dias said:

    Today I saw your http://www.freewaremission.com/2009/03/top-10-freeware-programs-i-couldnt-live-without/ and later I saw this article while searching for comparisons.
    The former article seems now to deserve an update, isn’t it.
    BTW I’m using the 3.5 with great results.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Rogerio, that post was the starting point for a poll in which I invited the users to vote for their favorite programs. And btw, Firefox ranked way better at the and of the poll than Chrome 🙂

  • Firefox 3.5 browser released | PC Memoirs said:

    […] but I’m not so sure it is faster than its competitors. I found an interesting article at Freewaremission, where the writer compared the speed and resource usage to Google Chrome, with interesting […]

  • och said:

    Your computation is wrong: you cannot just add memory usage for all chrome.exe instances, because they SHARE memory.
    See for more information.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Och, could you tell me then how much memory did Crome take? Or how should I calculate then?

  • Pab lo said:

    My two cents… Chrome opens a separate process for each tab.
    This means that each tab is like running a new instance of the browser.

    The guys at Google say that this helps you save memory because when you close a tab, all the resources asosciated with that tab are closed (which does not happen with the other browsers)

    Having each tab on a process means that it a javascript gets into a loop or is too heavy, only that tab will get slow, not all the tabs… things like that… I’m using Chrome to write this but I got FF 3.5 installed and use it.

    I use both….

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Thanks for the explanation Pablo.

  • Kwiaciarnia Kraków said:

    for me firefox eats less memmory when you dont use any addons.if u will use them go to chrome

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  • private said:

    Is there a Ad blocker for google chrome like ABP for FF?

  • SeaMonkey! said:

    Well, if I had to choose… I’d go for Mozilla SeaMonkey 🙂 It’s pretty fast, way more customizable than FF and currently eating only 88MB of RAM even with 8 add-ons installed.

    I like Google, but only as a search engine. I’ll never use g-mail or Chrome. It’d be too bigbrotherish for my taste…

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