Made the Switch from Firefox to Chrome

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Bill Loguidice's picture

I finally tired of the memory leaks in Firefox and switched to Chrome. While I love the look/feel/interface of Firefox, enough was enough, as I'm a heavy extension user and like to leave a minimum of four or five tabs open at any one time. While Firefox now has a nice cross system sync for things like bookmarks and passwords (I dropped XMarks when they were debating about going out of business; they did recently get new funding), it also pales in comparison to Chrome's cross system sync, which sync's EVERYTHING in the browser, including all of your extensions and settings. What I miss in Chrome is the Google Toolbar (ironically) and the search box in the upper right of Firefox, where I would often search Amazon, Wikipedia and YouTube directly. There is no equivalent in Chrome as Google wants you to use the URL window as your search bar, which sadly allows for only one default search engine (in this case, I use Google), creating a multi-step process or requiring a different type of keyword searching.

A clean open of Firefox can start out anywhere. For instance, a clean open of Firefox just now started out 103MB on the iGoogle page, which is my default. Not touching it, it stabilized just under 102MB. A clean open of Chrome on the same system started out at 63MB. Opening up two Websites, Chrome shot up to 72MB. Firefox in that same time - again, not doing anything - shot up to 113MB. I then opened up two of the same exact pages as in Chrome and peaked at 142MB before settling down to 136MB. Now I can see Firefox leaking memory and shooting up to 185MB. Chrome is now up to 73MB. Firefox now just jumped up to 204MB, while Chrome remains at 73MB and occasionally as low as 71MB. So yeah, a serious issue with Firefox (and as type this, it's now up to 205MB) all in the span of a few minutes...

I still remember back when I was a staunch Internet Explorer advocate. I dabbled in other browsers like Opera and Safari, but it wasn't until Firefox matured a bit did I become a hardcore advocate of that. Now with its memory issues and slow rate of multi-system sync parity (a big thing with me these days as I regularly use multiple systems from different locations, as well as an iPhone 4), I guess it was inevitable that I switch again. Hopefully the few remaining items I miss from Firefox will work their way into the Chrome browser either directly or through third party extensions sooner rather than later.

This is also a partial toe dipping for me into possible future ChromeOS systems and maybe even a future Honeycomb tablet, assuming Apple doesn't trump the competition like I expect them to with the iPad 2. I also have to patiently wait for Google to catch up on the iPhone, as right now on my iPhone 4 not all of Google's features are available (for instance, my bookmarks don't sync!), even from their official app. Ah, technology...

So now I'm curious. What is everyone using and why? I'm particularly interested in hearing about performance issues.

Comments

Robert (not verified)
I use chrome too

I used Firefox for the past several years. But I got sick of it's performance problems and memory consumption when compared to chrome.

I officially switched to chrome about 3 months ago both at home and at work.

I still use Firefox once a day however when I do web development because Firebug and the Firebug plugins are really awesome and Chrome's developer tools are just not quite as good yet.

I also agree that chrome's synchronization is awesome :)

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Been on chrome after 1 try

I tried out Chrome as soon as it was a proper release and never looked back. Spellcheck is standard and who needs those crashes. Some Firefox plugins are sweet though. Still Chrome is mean lean and fast.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Im a "rally round the flag"

Im a "rally round the flag" MS hater, probebly on the "overboard" side of the fence. Just do not like MS.. yet I quit fighting the Browser wars years ago. I have Chrome and Firefox both installed as I have to support them (and they have more problems with citrix, and many other custom network apps then IE does). I just use IE as I have no problems, I do run it in VM so I cant have problems (virus/ hijacking/ etc).

Now before everybody gets out the pitchforks.. MY OPINION is IE seems to be better updated when things get broke. The other two always seem a step behind (to me, opinion only). And as a support tech, when things dont work on one of the "other" browsers I just fire up IE, make sure its upadted and walah! stuff works (most of the time). We have many clients who dont want to use IE, as they say Firefox and or CHrome are better, when I ask them why the standard repsonce (not in thse exact words) is : Becuase I was told it was better.

I used Firefox for about year (tabs rocked, but everybody has um now), but just got sick of pages haveing issues (not firefoxes fault I know, poor webpage design) where they worked In IE. My basic thoughts on it was I prefer anyting but IE, but the hassles involved where burning up free time. I would guess its much better now (but again as a support person for web developed apps I see alot remain) i just dont mind the bloat of IE anymore. I Used to fight every battle becuase it was "right" nowdays I pick and chose my battles alot more and complain in forums :).

Bill is pointing out one of the big issues with IE (but he is talking firefox) multipul pages open.. IE drags to a crawl and crashes sometimes.. but I seldom have more than maybe 4 pages open so I see it seldom.

I do agree IE is bloated and done poorly, but I just dont run into many problems with it. Maybe Im the exception. I know Chrome does interest me as my android phone and reading on devolpment has been in my mind alot.

maybe all this k will get me to try it again or Try chrome more than just to help people fix problems.

Side note Verizon got Iphones... ICK!!!! now i got to support them again after we finally got rid of them.. nothing I loved more than " I need help, my........static.... has to......static... by tomoorow, can you fix it?" I have had maybe 4 callsin about a year since we went to DROIDS (mostly Email) now i get to go bakc to a call a day at least.. :( not happy right now.

Matthew Reed
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Joined: 08/03/2010
Another Chrome user

I completely agree with your take on Chrome versus Firefox. I only intended to try Chrome for a little while, but I liked it enough to immediately switch and not go back. I have a suggestion to make non-Google searches easier: you can shorten the keywords Chrome uses for other search engines. For example, by shortening the keyword for Wikipedia to w, you can search Wikipedia directly just by typing w and the search term in the address bar. The search keywords are easily changed in Chrome options under search engines.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Great tip!
Matthew Reed wrote:

I completely agree with your take on Chrome versus Firefox. I only intended to try Chrome for a little while, but I liked it enough to immediately switch and not go back. I have a suggestion to make non-Google searches easier: you can shorten the keywords Chrome uses for other search engines. For example, by shortening the keyword for Wikipedia to w, you can search Wikipedia directly just by typing w and the search term in the address bar. The search keywords are easily changed in Chrome options under search engines.

That's an awesome tip, Matthew, thanks! That's one less thing to worry about in Chrome now! I'm using you for YouTube, wik for Wikipedia, eba for eBay and ama for Amazon, since it will be easier for me to remember to type in the first three letters.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Interesting. I haven't tried

Interesting. I haven't tried Chrome, but have noticed Firefox's crazy memory requirements. it might be time to give it a whirl.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
It's at least worth some investigation
Matt Barton wrote:

Interesting. I haven't tried Chrome, but have noticed Firefox's crazy memory requirements. it might be time to give it a whirl.

It's very sobering when you watch the Processes in Windows Task Manager and you see Firefox tick up its footprint uncontrollably. You should definitely monitor it and compare it to the some of the other browsers already on your system. I put up with it for quite some time because I was comfortable with Firefox, but there is a workable alternative now, particularly if you already do things with Google.

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Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Tried Chrome, impressive

Tried Chrome, impressive indeed however I have too many Firefox plug-ins I have been spoiled by and cannot live without. I actually use Palemoon, it is a version of Firefox specifically compiled for Windows. Check it out if your interested:

http://www.palemoon.org/

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Extensions
Rob Daviau wrote:

Tried Chrome, impressive indeed however I have too many Firefox plug-ins I have been spoiled by and cannot live without. I actually use Palemoon, it is a version of Firefox specifically compiled for Windows. Check it out if your interested:

http://www.palemoon.org/

The only add ons I haven't been able to replace from the many that I used on Firefox are FireFTP (because apparently Google doesn't allow that type of upload access, so all the present FTP clients are download only) and ActiveGS for the Apple II online Website (there's a manual install option, but I'll wait for an auto plug-in). I also lost a feature in the Evernote plug-in, which is the ability to save images directly to Evernote. I can do everything else with the Chrome plug-in, save pages or portions of pages, just not individual pictures. That should be the next update or two away, though. Otherwise, plug-in-wise it seems just about as good, if not as good. In fact, I've found some better ones so far in Chrome.

I'm also still trying to get used to the radical change in interface. Every browser has to do things differently, which drives me nuts. You get comfortable in one and then you try and use another and it's as bad as going from Mac to Windows or vice-versa in terms of interface shock.

By the way, here's the link to the Chrome Extensions for those curious: https://chrome.google.com/extensions

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I wish Google had just got in

I wish Google had just got in bed with Mozilla and Firefox rather than go their own way. It really seems like they're just siphoning off the already limited supply of people who don't use IE or Safari. I'd really like to see where Firefox could go if it had some really big investment behind it. As it is, I agree that they seem to be headed in the wrong direction, tacking on too many new features rather than solidify what they already have. FF seems to have a great community.

I use a lot of add-ons with Firefox, but nothing that isn't on Chrome. It takes up some memory, but I haven't had the crashes you guys are talking about. I don't think FF has crashed at all except when I was trying to get Unity 3D to work a few weeks ago (but it also crashed IE).

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