Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer
In our latest head to head, we weigh up the web's most popular browsers: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox.
There are several aspects to browser performance. At the simplest level, there's the question of how quickly a browser can render a page. Here, the "Gecko" rendering engine used by Firefox is well known to be faster than the IE8 internal engine Microsoft admits as much on its own "browser comparison" page.
However, the company also makes the valid point that, on a modern PC, both can lay out complex HTML and CSS pages in the blink of an eye; the limiting factor is more likely to be the speed of your internet connection. The company argues that, in terms of performance, the two browsers are therefore tied.
Yet rendering speed isn't the only factor to consider. RAM usage is important too, especially if you're looking for a browser to run on a low-power netbook. To see which browser is more memory efficient, we carried out a simple test, opening a list of tabs and closing them again. When first loaded, IE8 consumed just 13MB of system memory, but once we'd opened all our sites including a Google search and a YouTube video this had gone up to 116MB. Firefox required a higher 28MB to load up, but then consumed only 91MB with all tabs open. On a modern system, 25MB here or there is insignificant, so for simple surfing the two browsers are indeed more or less tied.
In This Article
- 1Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer
- 2Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer
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- 4Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer
- 5Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer
- 6Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer - currently reading
- 7Head to head: Firefox vs Internet Explorer
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