Firefox is gradually closing the performance gap with Chrome

Performance is one of the most impactful factors on user experience for any web browser platform. No one wants to spend time waiting for websites to fully load when the real problem is not with the internet connection.

Web browser developers understand that, of course, and are always looking for ways to increase the browser's startup and processing performance.

If you used to use Mozilla Firefox for a while, but then decided to switch to Chrome or another platform due to the annoyances caused by poor performance - try going back. Firefox has really changed, if not on par with Chrome in recent benchmarks.

In general, there are many different tests/scales to evaluate the performance of a web browser platform. The most popular is Speedometer, which mainly focuses on evaluating the responsiveness of web applications in the browser. Mozilla's internal testing based on Speedometer shows that Firefox's average performance score has steadily increased over the past few months with each update. Notably, Firefox's performance on Windows 10 and macOS is now on par with Chrome, even beating Google's browser in certain usage scenarios. Except on 64-bit Linux platforms, Chrome still outperforms Firefox.

Firefox is gradually closing the performance gap with Chrome Picture 1


So what makes Firefox's performance so impressive? Mozilla's recent SpiderMonkey newsletter explained that the company is specifically focusing on "improving performance for popular web frameworks like React." Firefox developers have optimized the calls such as JSON.stringify and Object.keys, which are both frequently used in modern websites and web applications, and some improvements have also been made to WebAssembly's performance. Finally, the overall performance of Firefox is improving significantly.

Performance is an important aspect of a web browser, but it's not the only issue Mozilla is trying to improve. Firefox 115 released in early July comes with a series of notable additions such as a new data migration wizard, hardware video decoding for Intel graphics on Linux, or an improved search experience. This is also the final version of Firefox for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

Firefox 116 launched earlier this month with some improvements to the sidebar, H.264 video decoding, the volume slider on the Picture-in-Picture player, and many other changes.