I’ve been a very long time Mozilla/Firefox devotee, but that may be changing.
Back when I decided to switch from a PC to full blown Mac, one of the applications I continued to use as it was also available for the Mac platform was the Firefox browser. All was happy, all was good. Until lately. With recent Firefox updates over the past 4-5 months I’ve started to notice that memory usage has skyrocketed and more disconcerting, the core temps of my Macbook Pro have also been going up. So, it was time to take action.
I started by discarding all plugins that I either wasn’t using or felt I could live without. Then I disabled some of the prefs that seemed to be keeping network activity going. Also reducing the cache size. I did discover some of Facebook’s live update scripts were causing some problems, but not enough to make a difference.
Enter Safari. I’ve never been a huge Safari fan for numerous reasons, most of them admittedly revolve around just being so entrenched in the Firefox way of doing things. In spite of it, I decided I need to find a browser that wouldn’t eat my MBP alive. Safari I discovered runs MUCH cooler, but seems to have it’s own memory management issues as over the course of a few hours I’d be close to running off ramdisk, which I refuse to do with a 4GB machine. I would end up killing it and losing my sessions.
Next up, Opera. I’ve tried Opera before, and thought it was a decent enough browser, with enough features similar to FF, but I was never impressed enough to give it a shot. I’ve been running it now for a week or more and have found that it does run a bit warmer than Safari, but cooler than FF. Okay, I can probably live with this. On the memory side of things, Opera on the Mac totally rocks! I don’t know what they are doing differently, but Mozilla and Apple NEED to take notice. So far the memory management in Opera is blowing me away. I’m now a believer.
So with time, as always, things change. If this assessment changes, I’ll update this post. But for now, Opera gets my thumbs up for use on the Mac.