Mozilla Firefox 3.6 (Release Candidate)
The Web browsing world is exciting again. Google's Chrome browser is faster than fast and there's serious thought that Internet Explorer may actually lose its top spot in the browser market-share wars.
- Improved performance, better memory use
I'm very impressed by Firefox 3.6. While I still really like Chrome's speed and recently introduced support for extensions, this new version of Firefox is so much better than the last iteration that I've decided I'm going to keep using Firefox as my main browser on Linux and start using it again on Windows. Internet Explorer? Chrome? Look out. Firefox is back in the game again.
The release of Firefox 3.6 will see Mozilla take the fight back to Google's upstart Chrome. This review is of a Release Candidate version (January 2010).
The Web browsing world is exciting again. Google's Chrome browser is faster than fast and there's serious thought that Internet Explorer may actually lose its top spot in the browser market-share wars. But for all the excitement, it would be a real mistake to overlook Firefox; with the forthcoming release of Firefox 3.6, which is now available as a release candidate, Mozilla's flagship browser is looking better than ever.
As soon as the release candidate came out on January 9, I started putting it through its paces, using two Dell 530S desktop PCs.
These older computers are powered by a 2.2GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800MHz front-side bus. Each has 4GB of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chipset. One was loaded with Windows XP SP3 and the other used MEPIS 8 desktop Linux.
Firefox 3.6 improved performance
To my delight, I found that Firefox uses considerably less memory after prolonged use than its predecessor, Firefox 3.5.6.
Better memory use may not strike you as the most exciting thing about a Web browser, but if you're a serious Web user, with multiple tabs open at once for hours at a time, it's a big deal.
I, and other users, have noticed memory issues with Firefox 3.5.6 that slowed a PC's overall performance.
In my testing of 3.6, these memory problems appear to have been fixed, and that alone makes it a "must upgrade" in my book.
I also noticed that the new Firefox is much faster than the last version. Part of this speed boost comes from Firefox's new ability to run scripts asynchronously.
In the past, Firefox waited for the first script on the page to download completely before running the next script, no matter how long it took to download.
Now, Firefox runs whichever script downloads first, no matter where it's placed on the page. It's one of those small changes that make a big practical difference on pages with multiple scripts.
On the Windows XP system, Firefox 3.5.6 came in at a poky 3034.4 milliseconds, while Firefox 3.6 zipped by it at 1007.0 milliseconds.
That's great, but it still leaves Firefox lagging behind Chrome, which easily lapped the field with a time of 553.0 milliseconds.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- 2016 will be 1 second longer: Google can help you cope
- Microsoft declares summer's Windows 10 upgrade fit for business
- Stop pouting: Google’s Santa Tracker is updated just in time for the Christmas countdown
- You can finally watch Netflix offline now
- How to clear unwanted autofill entries in Google Chrome
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCService Desk OfficerQLD
- FTPaid Search SpecialistNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - Health Industry - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTSenior Project AdministratorNSW
- CCEPAS Technical Support OfficersNSW
- CCBusiness and Reporting AnalystWA
- CCJava DeveloperWA
- CCProject Manager X2VIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Reporting, Excel and AutoCAD experienceNSW
- TPSharePoint SpecialistQLD
- FTProject Manager - ProcurementVIC
- FTSENIOR DEVELOPERQLD
- CCSenior Developer - Java and AWSVIC
- CCActive Directory EngineerNSW
- CCAdobe AEM DeveloperVIC
- CCSIEM Content Engineer - TelcoVIC
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics CRM Developer/ AdministratorWA
- CCSecurity/Server EngineerNSW
- CCNetwork AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager | Digital MarketNSW
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- FTJunior Data Centre Support Technician - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTManager Integration PlanningNSW
- FT2 x Firewall Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer - Sydney - Leading OrganisationNSW