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Wednesday, 08 September 2010 03:04

Mozilla releases Firefox 4.0 Beta 5

Written by Jon Worrel

firefox

Updated: Performance still trampled by Google Chrome

Over the past few months, developers at Mozilla Corporation have engaged in the final stages of the software development cycle for the next major release of the organization's highly-acclaimed browser, Mozilla Firefox.

The company recently released Firefox 4.0 Beta 5, which includes a more streamlined interface (think Google Chrome), GPGPU acceleration toggle options, and a new Audio Data API that exposes raw audio data in the browser by making use of HTML5 standards. The latest beta release also includes the highly-anticipated Firefox Sync feature by default for synchronization of bookmarks, history, passwords and open tabs between multiple devices (including iPod, iPhone and iPad).

firefox_4_beta_banner

For Windows 7 users, Direct2D Hardware Acceleration is now enabled by default, whereas in Firefox 4.0 Beta 4 it had to be enabled through a command line switch. Mozilla has also been hard at work on a new feature introduced in Beta 5 known as the HSTS Security Protocol, which allows sites to insist that they only be loaded in the browser over SSL. This security mechanism increases the chance of a secure connection between client and server and ensures an extra protection safeguard for confidential information transactions.

Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 also addresses 637 new bugs since the previous release, all of which are listed on the Bug List webpage. Mozilla has publicly announced that a stable version of Firefox 4 should be ready for mass availability by November 2010. Until then, it is the responsibility of Mozilla's loyal user base to continue testing for stability issues, rendering anomalies and security holes, and to provide honest feedback in terms of the new UI layout, feature list and overall software package.

We were able to test Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 performance on a 13-inch Macbook running OS X 10.6.4 with an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz CPU and 2GB DDR2 667MHz memory. Unfortunately, the browser is doing worse than it has in previous benchmarks, and it still faces a tough uphill performance challenge in order to catch up to the likes of Google Chrome 6 Beta and Safari 5.0.2.

firefox4b5_benchmark_macbook

Futuremark Peacekeeper browser benchmark on a 13-inch MacBook

Update: We recently ran another Futuremark Peacekeeper browser benchmark comparison on a high-end PC running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 with an Intel Core i7 860 at 3.80GHz, an EVGA P55 SLI FTW motherboard and 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz CL7 memory. According to the results, which were tested twice for each browser, Opera 10.61 scores highest in the pack at the 11,100 point range, Google Chrome 7 Dev comes in second at the 10,300 point range, Safari 5.0.2 comes in third at 6,080 points, Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 comes in fourth at 5,962 points, and Internet Explorer 9.0 Preview indubitably comes in last at 3,310 points.

firefox4b5_bechmark_high-end_pc

Futuremark Peacekeeper browser benchmark on an Intel P55-based Windows 7 PC

 

Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 is available in 39 languages and can be downloaded here.

Last modified on Thursday, 09 September 2010 21:37

Jon Worrel

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Related Video

Firefox 4 - Audio API Mozilla Corporation
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Comments  

 
+18 #1 Alereon 2010-09-08 10:57
OSX is a poor platform to test on, as it doesn't offer support for the hardware acceleration features that make Firefox 4.0 faster. Firefox uses Direct2D on Windows Vista/7 for accelerated rendering, and supports accelerated compositing (of Gecko Layers) via Direct3D and OpenGL. OpenGL accelerated compositing is disabled on OSX due to bugs from a combination of poor drivers and the work-in-progress nature of the beta. Testing on Windows 7 with a non-Intel GPU is the best way to compare browser performance, and is also more fair as both Internet Explorer 9 and Google Chrome 7.0 both rely on DirectX10 support in Windows. Futuremark Peacekeeper also has significant accuracy issues because of the way times are rounded during testing, but optons for browser benchmarks are limited.
 
 
0 #2 yourma2000 2010-09-08 12:45
I downloaded Chrome 6 yesterday and it is FLYING through webpages, very fast indeed, they've also cleaned it up a bit more and looks really sleek and tidy
 
 
-4 #3 Nooblet 2010-09-08 12:55
aaaaaaaaaaaaarg h, i've been with the fyreferret for the longest time. it breaks my heard to ditch it and switch to something better when i see those bars...

can someone put on interweb explorer's benchmark up there too just to make me feel (much much) better?
 
 
-6 #4 Adrian 2010-09-08 15:40
@Alereon
I'm using FF 4B5 on win 7 64 bit ,i7 920, 6GB corsair RAM ,SSD for OS and aplications ,gtx 285 graphics and ASUS mobo .It is not the OS you are once againa a troll ,it runs horible on my pc compared to any other browser ,i feel like using IE again ,and it is clearly the software fault the sistem dosen't eaven reach 10 % and FF frezes ,it starts verrrrrry slooooow ,i'm starting to hate it .I'm realy not a google fan but right now it is the best browser ,it starts way faster ,it's reactions are realy quik and moust of all it dosen't freaz.
 
 
+6 #5 two00lbwaster 2010-09-08 19:48
Testing JS performance isn't wise at the moment as JägerMonkey isn't yet integrated.

The browser will be slow in comparison until this work is completed.
 
 
+3 #6 Squall_Leonhart 2010-09-08 21:12
Beta 5 does not include JM+TM

the test builds are close to chrome.
 
 
0 #7 two00lbwaster 2010-09-08 22:40
Quoting Squall_Leonhart :
Beta 5 does not include JM+TM

the test builds are close to chrome.


Haha, you wish. http://arewefastyet.com

Looks close to Nitro, which is should considering they 'borrowed' part of it. But still a long way to go. Last build tested and recorded shows it as being half as fast as V8 in the V8 benchmark.

Sunspider performance is still some way off.

I know that they have made some improvements recently that aren't on there yet. At least it'll be faster than 3.6.x
 

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