Firefox 8 is 20% faster than Firefox 5, matches Chrome 14

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Firefox 8, which only just appeared on the Nightly channel, is already 20% faster than Firefox 5 in almost every metric: start up, session restore, first paint, JavaScript execution, and even 2D canvas and 3D WebGL rendering. The memory footprint of Firefox 7 (and thus 8) has also been drastically reduced, along with much-needed improvements to garbage collection.

According to our own benchmarks, start up, session restore, and first paint — how long it takes Firefox to appear after you click its icon, and how long it takes to re-open your previous tabs — have been continuously tackled since Firefox 7 first emerged, about two months ago. There’s a 10% difference between Firefox 5 and 7 — and a further 10% speed-up between FF7 and FF8. This isn’t merely an under-the-hood, synthetic-benchmark, on-paper thing either: the difference between FF5 and FF8 is very, very noticeable.

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