Time to stop using Safari?

Oh dear, Dr. Macenstein is reporting that Safari is a resource hog – using up to 76% more resources than Firefox.

According to Dr. Macenstien Safari grabs resources from the system even when idle in the background:

It seems to me that a background application, especially one that should not really be doing anything all that processor-intensive even when in the foreground, should not hog system resources the way Safari apparently does. If Firefox can play nice, why not Safari?

My default browser on the Mac is Flock and my next most used browser is Firefox (with typically 35+ tabs open). After that I use Camino and Safari in that order so this doesn’t affect me to much.

Anyone who is a heavy Safari user might want to look closely at this article and think about using an alternative browser.

8 thoughts on “Time to stop using Safari?”

  1. I haven’t found Firefox to “play nice” at all. I have to restart it (Firefox 2.0.0.2 on Mac Intel) about 2 or 3 times a day because of the lumps of RAM it grabs onto before grinding to a halt. Maybe I use too many tabs and open windows, but I think Firefox Mac is the most unstable browser I’ve ever used.

  2. And look at how long it bloody well takes them to ship major versions. Since they treat it as an OS component they don’t update it until they update everything else.

  3. I strongly prefer Safari over Firefox. It’s quicker and works with 99.9% of the sites I need it to. I may run into odd bugs every once in a while that make me keep Firefox around, but regardless of whether Safari leaks RAM or not, I find Firefox to be too slow and too heavy. Apple has done a great job keeping the interface clean and the capabilities high, in my opinion.

    In fact, I even ditched Firefox on Windows for good old IE 7. That’s a different story.

  4. This report may be true but the user experience is also important and Firefox lags behind Safari in just about every component of that user experience.

    Also, as he says, it affected Adobe apps and Maya, but not Quicktime so there’s definitely more to the story. It could be something as stupid as Carbon legacy code similar to the old old old problem on Mac OS 9 where performance on apps dropped if the mouse stopped moving. That was due to sloppy coding (and relying on MouseEvents) and it’s entirely possible that Adobe and Alias have been using sloppy coding here too.

  5. Morning Tom,

    Use Camino. ‘Nuff said, as they say.

    It works perfectly (granted you don’t have as many plugin/extensions as on Firefox…but) and is tiny.

    Works perfectly for me.

    b.

  6. With FireFox you can run into problems if you install too many or just badly written plugins. On my old G4 I find it can be a bit of a hog on pages with lots of animations and can take up about 40% of the CPU but when you only install a few good plugins I find it exceptionally stable and very well behaved on G4, G5 and Intel.

  7. Firefox is slow and looks like my ass. On the other hand, you are able to install all sorts of extensions that have no manner of QC and slow the browser down even more. Decisions, decisions.

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