Mozilla To Introduce "Performance" Tab In Firefox To Improve Speed And RAM Usage
In the past, Mozilla claimed that many of its users are running their browser on older machines with less than optimal specs. Now, according to a report, the company is working on a new Performance feature for Firefox that will help improve the browser's performance, especially on older machines.
While Firefox has some of the best third-party add-ons, having many of them will cause the browser to use too much memory and slows down it to a crawl. To address this, Mozilla is making some changes, and one of which is an "optimize Firefox" button.
When you click the "optimize Firefox" button, the browser will disable all extensions you have and restart, thus making the browser potentially run a lot smoother. That alone could make things work a lot better, and "you can always enable them again later", the developers say. The extensions will still be there and users can re-enable them when needed.
Another feature Mozilla is working on is "content processes". Current Firefox versions only support two processes core and content. However, future builds (starting version 55) it will support three or more content processes, putting it on par with Chrome, Safari, and others. By allowing users to have control over the number of processes, Mozilla is allowing you to choose between speed and memory usage. "More content processes will make Firefox more responsive when using multiple tabs, but will also consume more memory," according to the proposed UX.
In addition to the above changes, you can choose to disable certain UI features, such as animations for tabs, menus, and so on. You can also disable prefetching, which "can improve performance when on a slow connection". The idea is that if you have a computer that does not have much RAM, disabling these features could help speed things up. If you have a machine with a new CPU and plenty of RAM, you can just leave all the settings enabled.
These features are still in development, which means that you will not see them in anytime soon. In addition to performance improvements, Mozilla is working on a new UI for Firefox as part of project Photon. Firefox is at version 52 right now, with version 53 set to come on April 18, and as mentioned, support for more than two processes will not come until Firefox 55. So, there is a good chance that the company may plan to release these new performance tweaks along with project Photon by this year end.