Waterfox (x64) RAM usage vs Firefox

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orionanomaly

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I want to try Waterfox, but I'm wondering if it indeed allows the leveraging (stable) of more RAM than Firefox - i.e. if I can open say 400 tabs on Firefox stably, can I run 1000 on Waterfox stably? More? (if it's 64bit, it should be able to use a LOT more of my 24GB of RAM for the program - but I'm wondering if indeed, it's optimized to do so?

Anyone know?
 

orionanomaly

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I haven't gotten a chance to try Waterfox yet (because you can't open the two at the same time, and Firefox is just continuously open and has thousands of tabs I haven't had time to sort through yet)...

But that's very unhelpful advice, even if I understand your point. It's more used, but I was asking for the functionality (spec. more the performance) of the 64bit version, not which browser is better known. I obviously am looking for a specific usage case.

Also... clearly Firefox doesn't do what I want, or I wouldn't have asked in the first place.

 

The Stealthinator

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My point was Waterfox could contain some kind of malware or viruses which is WHY it's not used. I don't know for sure because I've never used it, but you can read online reviews and see.
 

USAFRet

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What does Waterfox do that Firefox doesn't?
 

USAFRet

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" i.e. if I can open say 400 tabs on Firefox stably, can I run 1000 on Waterfox stably?"

Continuing...if you have 400 tabs open in Firefox...
Why in the name of FSM would you do that!?!
 

commissarmo

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This has been a fairly clueless discussion:

1. Waterfox is the 64bit version of Firefox built and maintained by a separate community independent of Mozilla. The main advantage of 64bit programs (any programs) is that they are able to use more memory (more then 3 or 4GB depending on who you ask/how you think about it) than the implicit register limit imposed by 32 bit programs, like Firefox.

2. I see absolutely no reason why OP shouldn't be able to open 3000 tabs if he/she so desired, so I'm not sure that just because his usage case is foreign to you, means that it's not a valid question - it is; I myself tend to do a combination of 4 different browsers open at the same time, bookmarking tabs I close, or suspending them using a few suspension addons, but I'd say I have a few hundred open across the browsers at any given instant in time. The reasons I do that aren't really relevant either.

3. The concerns of Waterfox having "viruses" etc. are very unfounded; it has a fairly active userbase, and indeed, there are those that claim that IE is susceptible enough to to malware to qualify as 'having a virus' just by using it. I suspect anyone saying this just doesn't know anything about Waterfox, or similar browsers (e.g. PaleMoon).

4. As to answering the OP's actual question - YES Waterfox will be able to use more of your RAM, and won't be limited to the 2GB or so that I believe Firefox instances tend to clock out at. However, whether this will allow the stable running of so many tabs - more than say, a few hundred, I'm very suspect about. The reason is actually very simple: The program (most programs for that matter) doesn't simply scale linearly with more memory - it's not as if each 'tab' uses a certain amount of RAM and that by simply increasing RAM usage you can therefore maintain the same program stability/performance that you would see if you were using it more in line with its design specs (which, I suspect, are probably something like <250tabs open, ceteris paribus).

Many elements of the program's software architecture come into play in this problem - simply increasing the RAM availability then, simply won't be able to compensate for performance degradation that is actually a fundamental architecture problem. Java threads, flash instances, the program's own plugin container, the OS/program memory management (infamously problematic in ALL browsers, Chrome/Safari/Opera/IE/Firefox, etc.), and a few other things I'm not well versed in, all WILL affect how the program performs, regardless of RAM availability.

5. Finally - I happen to know that the current release of Waterfox has a weird quirk/bug which has nothing to do with RAM, and while the program works fine (as it always has), it tends to spike on CPU usage (this has been noted I believe on the dev page) for some reason that I can't figure out. It actually led to it being a problem, and so I'm waiting for them to correct this. Also note that you cannot use Firefox AND Waterfox at the same time; they block each other.

6. As a solution, assuming you don't use PaleMoon which I've never used, you might consider, (I have no idea if this works) opening MULTIPLE INSTANCES of Firefox (not just opening new windows - see the Mozilla page for how to open a new instance with a new user profile); this MAY (MAY!) bypass the RAM limit on each Firefox instance, allowing you to feed each instance a full bloc of RAM, and possibly avoiding all the aforementioned issues. But I don't know if Windows will allow that to happen, or if indeed Firefox can actually be 'tricked' into segregating itself into completely separate 'programs' which call their own RAM reserves from the system pool. I would say - try it!
 

USAFRet

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As a developer, my job is to ask why. Customer says "I need to do X, and it needs to do it like this."
95% of the time, I can come back with "Here is a faster/cheaper/easier way to get the results you are looking for."

I get that people have wildly different use cases. But the OP (or you) says he needs to have several hundred tabs open at once, asking "why" is a valid question. That is very much of an outlier case.
'open 3,000 tabs' is waaay out there.

Each open tab consumes resources. Eventually you run out, no matter what the application. Since Waterfox is free, just try it. If it works, it works.

I frequently have several dozen open. But several hundred? Again, I simply ask 'why'?
 

orionanomaly

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I agree that I just need to try it - I hadn't meant for this question to open up so many complex replies - I just figured someone who had actually used Waterfox, which it doesn't seem anyone does (And thanks for the tip about the latest Waterfox release in there) would reply.

I don't run 3000 tabs, but I certainly run a few hundred at once, though I don't run multiple browsers really because I find my addons and bookmarking aren't unified which I find annoying. I certainly think there are better 'ways' to solve the problem I want solved (I was hundreds of webpages immediately accessible when I click on them, and I want them all displayed in a list (so tabs) that's constantly viewable. It's not that outlandish a feature request, and every browser can do it in fact - they just destabilize the more tabs you load - I want to be able to use hardware to fix that - this is akin to playing a game, but wanting to play it at a higher framerate - people use hardware to improve their software VERY commonly - nothing new.

My main uses are research (where I like every tab open to say an article or page), regular long-term browsing - so for instance I was buying/comparing auto parts, but they're expensive, so I was aggregating them in one browser window together so I could order them all at once when I had the necessary funds - this took up about 30 tabs right there - I wanted every part open and on display so 3 weeks later when I came back I could just flip through them and my final purchase decisions. There's nothing weird about wanting to do that. Now assume I'm extremely hyperactive and work on about 25 personal projects at once, each having web-data I want to open and being unrelated to each other.

Also, just more generally, if I have the RAM (I take the above poster's technical points), I still want/should be able to run more tabs if I so choose.

I get that there are in principle other ways of solving my problems using less tabs - I can use addons, like one which saves the entire tab set to reload at a later date - which I do, I can bookmark, which I do, or of course I could just write all this down and not use the browser as much at all...

Since I have so much RAM, I see no reason why not using it to run more tabs if that's how my productivity is best served for my particular usage cases. I'm not implying that everyone needs them (obviously they don't since no browser is designed for this according to the poster above).

Obviously though, the best solution is to just write my own browser... :)
 

phuclv

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a 32 bit process cannot use more than 2GB (3GB with /largeaddressaware linking option), so open hundreds of tabs with firefox is impossible
 

BurnNotice

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I find cyberfox to be the best option out of waterfox or palemoon

reason why is waterfox is very slow updating in security issues and palemoon is always on and older code base with supposed back porting of security updates.

i found cyberfox to the the better of the available one because it updates fast two exellent support three its very great browser i find its more stable and in some cases faster then the official but also in some cases it can be slower but just been x64bit don't automatically make it faster thats not how x64bit works.

there worth ago especially cyberfox and palemoon due to the upcoming changes with australis these variants are staying austrailis free and are keeping discarded features mozilla removes.
 

Uphill Gardener

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so open hundreds of tabs with firefox is impossible
Im afraid thats not even remotely true. Im using 32 bit Firefox (27.0.1) and I regularly have well over 400 tabs open.
Firefox will use up to about 2.6Gb and about 1600 GDI handles. There IS one issue however, which brought me here: sometimes with that sort of tab load all pages will suddenly render black when scrolling. Switching to another tab then back will make the page visible again, sometimes.
When it gets into that state Session Manager, (great extension by the way), cant save sessions anymore, its a memory issue I suspect.
As proof I include a screenshot of tab numbers etc.
Machine is Precision 690 with Win7 x64 Ultimate, 2x quad core Xeons @3Ghz, 12Gb FBDIMM, PCI-e RevoDrive 240Gb, HP P400 512Mb with 5x 1Tb in RAID5, GTX660 2Gb, Sony GDM-W900 CRT@ 1920x1200 @72Hz






 

Uphill Gardener

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1.
I wouldnt class about 6 months old as VERY old. Also there are no others that seem to address the problem I mentioned.

2.
Im nowhere near to running out of memory.
I understand the per process address space limit for x32 executables, but most of the time that black Firefox window issue occurs with Firefox only using about 1-1.5Gb of ram, with system memory load below 8-9Gb out of 12Gb total.
Theres a 4Gb swap file allocated but its very rarely used.
Its only there cos I know some software freaks out a bit if there isnt a swap file, even if its never used.
Process affinity is set to use all cores, but I've tried most other combinations.
Happens with the 6 or 7 Nvidia drivers I've tried, happens with a decent Quadro card (Quadro drivers too).

I suspect its maybe a GDI issue, or some other similar Windows resource mayhem.
Im going to bookmark all open tabs, import them into Waterfox x64, and see what happens.
Its quite an annoying problem as when it happens Firefox seems to stop recording newly open tabs and history so when it restarts and recovers the session I've generally lost the last half hour or mores activity.

I know the obvious answer is to not have 485 tabs open but its 2014 for gawds sake.
With a semi-beefy machine CPU and RAM wise there should be no problem.
If I didnt have to use a lot of Windows software that wont work properly in a VM Id switch to Linux.

If I get to the bottom of this I'll post back in case anyone else can use the info.
 

SKDJ

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Jun 5, 2014
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Did anyone mention Waterfox using the firefox profile? So trying waterfox is as easy as trying on new shoes, you can just go on walking. And if you don't like them you put on your old shoes again. In this case even throw away your new shoes without losing anything.

As for responding to old posts...I only just ran into this one, to me it's new, so the message is only for new stumblers not for old ones. ;-)
 

pwagner59

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Jul 28, 2014
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While the thread mentions 400 tabs or 3000, a few of us are viewing it for other reasons. I am running a very active gaming script. I try to limit Firefox to one window with one profile and a private window with a 2nd profile. I do the same with Palemoon. I try to use a different browser for everything else when I can, but I have to use Firefox if I need the benefit of Firefox Addons.

I used Waterfox sucessfully for quite a while before I had to quit using it because of an issue. But unfortunately I don't remember the issue.

Right now I am using 2,540 MB in Firefox and 1,501 in Palemoon and I have 8 Gig total on Windows 8.1. Since I started using the heavy script, Firefox crashes almost once a day and Palemoon crashes once every 3rd day.

My script has like 12 tabs on one page running many things at once, which means it may be more intense than having 300 pages open at once. Because most of those pages are in the background dormant but my script is never dormant.

I found this article because I was looking for several answers. 1) Can I run Waterfox and Firefox at the same time? Which was already answered above. 2) should I increase or decease the amount of memory I am letting Firefox utilize.

I am running the script actively against 4 profiles, so I have four instances running at once. That is currently being divided by two browsers, Firefox and Palemoon. But to do this I am using two private browsers which I'm hoping to avoid, because when they crash, you lose all the settings that have not yet been saved. I have tried to use Cometbird, but that has failed.

I would like to thank commissarmo for having written a extremely polite and well written response to orionanomaly's questions.

 

Sam_S

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Nov 17, 2014
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I've been utilising Waterfox for more than 24 months and i have found it more stable than Firefox (which is the primary reason i switched from Firefox)! I am that kind of person that opens a single browser window with hundreds of tabs and when done, i just close off the session with the browser reopening my session from wherever i closed it off! Waterfox has served me much better than Firefox despite having a Windows 7 SP1 3GB RAM core i3 (which one could well classify as entry level)! Most of the times it is running, waterfox will take sometimes as much as 1.6 GB of that RAM while the plugin-container sometimes picks up 400 MB of RAM! In such a situation, it sometimes runs the "overclocks" more frequently and the processor fan works harder, but that is expected considering the low RAM. I may not have had the opportunity of running more than 486 tabs on Waterfox or firefox, but the experience with Waterfox is way smoother. Firefox used to get to a maximum of 1.2 GB on this same laptop (which to me sounds like we are using more RAM for the program)!
 

mdfur93

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Dec 24, 2014
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Although some say Waterfox (x64) is better, the way Waterfox loads web pages and extensions are different from Mozilla Firefox. I have found that some extensions and web pages behave and load differently between the two. Comparing the two for performance, Waterfox is a little faster but yet more bugs. Firefox is very well known and has a large community. Also, opening that many tabs are saved into memory and if you close Firefox, not all those webpages are loaded at once. Only when you click on them, they load. They have many extensions that work well with tabing and also can change how they look and behave also change features such as saving tabs, closing tabs, default tab home page layouts, etc. You can go crazy and customize your browser the way you want. Some people just keep opening tabs and use it as their "browser history" and never close them. No matter what browser you chose, the safest bet is to use Firefox. The browser is known to be quick with security issues, has a bigger community, and more updates. Good luck!
 

kelfen

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So far my experience in water Fox has been a positive one though I cannot give many details besides just my experience. The biggest thing is that I like to be a power user of browsing for 4 forums, videos and often times when I get 10 I start to see major slow. I also check my browser it's about 10 GB out of 16 GB of RAM. I am pleasantly surprised at how well it works with Dragon natural speaking with the add-on often times I have a hard time making it work in any other browser so far.
 
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