Late last night, I installed Firefox 3 Beta 2. I’ve been running it all day, opening and closing tabs throughout, with a peak of around 45 tabs open, and an average somewhere around 25-30.
I don’t know what they’ve done to improve the memory handling (it’s currently using 394M virtual, 161M resident, 19M shared), but the responsiveness has been awesome. In Firefox 2, my machine would have been thrashing like a dying wildebeest, slogging down the performance of every other app on the machine. But with version 3, Firefox itself has remained snappy, and switching between Firefox and other apps (Thunderbird, Pidgin, Skype, and a handful of terminal windows) has been just fine.
Of course, it could just be the fact that only 6 of my 43 installed add-ons is working right now… I’ll be keeping an eye on that. Maybe I should try running Firefox 2 tomorrow with a fresh profile, and see if the lack of add-ons makes a big difference after an extended session.
There’s also a few changes in the UI, that I mostly like. Such as the ability to bookmark a page by clicking a little star icon on the right side of the location bar. And scrolling through a long list of tabs is much smoother now. Plus, the active tab stands out from the others much better. That’s all I can think of for now.
Anybody else out there giving the new beta a test drive? What do you think?