Pale Moon is not living up to its billing as a better Firefox

The project is supposed to speed up the browser. Instead, it's slowing it down.

firefox logo

The Pale Moon project is an interesting one. It promised to take the Mozilla source code and optimize it for faster performance by removing extraneous things like crash reporting. When I finally gave up on Chrome due to its annoying incompatibilities, Pale Moon was my browser of choice.

But as the months dragged on it became really obvious that Pale Moon was a pig. My Rainmeter top processes by memory meter showed Pale Moon was gobbling up more than 2GB of memory with as few as a dozen tabs open. Pages were painfully slow to load, especially with a lot of animated GIFs. Not only that, but it slowed down the whole system.

Finally one evening, with nothing better to do, I installed the latest version of Firefox, and set about testing. All apps were closed and background processes cancelled. My main machine is a homebuilt creation with a Core i7-4770 processor, 16GB of 2133Mhz DDR3 memory, a Nvidia GTX 670 video card and OCZ Vertex 4 SSD C: drive running Windows 7, 64-bit. So I have a pretty fast box. Here are the numbers.

090914 chart2

In pretty much every test, Firefox wins. Sometimes handily. Mind you, Pale Moon is built on the Mozilla Firefox code base, and its promise is to be faster. Yet it runs slower. And in watching my Rainmeter memory process meter, I can see Firefox is using much less memory, almost half as much with as many tabs open.

How do you allegedly optimize and app and make it slower in the process? I don't know what's going on with Pale Moon, but they are certainly not delivering on their promise.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10