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Firefox Quantum - What's new?

Last Updated 2022/04/12

Firefox 57, released on 14th November 2017 is the first of several releases Mozilla are labelling Firefox Quantum. This version sees the company aiming to reestablish itself as a leading web browser provider, after several years of decline, mostly due to the rise of Google Chrome since 2013.

So what's new with Firefox Quantum?

Speed According to Mozilla, Firefox Quantum is twice as fast as Firefox 52, released just six months ago. The speed increases are primarily due to upgrading large parts of their engine with improved, modern technology, as well as resolving any performance issues that existed in previous versions. As a result, everything from browser start time, page load to opening and closing tabs have dramatically increased in speed.

The speed increase demonstrated in their Firefox Quantum vs. Chrome video shows that the web browser can indeed go toe-to-toe with Chrome in terms of speed.

Memory

As well as speed, Mozilla claims Quantum uses 30% less memory than Google Chrome. Typically, web browsers use a lot of RAM, and Google's browser is well known for this. One reason for this is Chrome dividing every single tab, extension, and plugin into a separate process. Although this means that if one process crashes, it won't affect the others, it can end up using a significant amount of memory, which will slow down your PC overall, especially if you have a lot of tabs open.

To test this claim, laptopmag carried out memory usage tests with both Google Chrome and Firefox Quantum. The results had Chrome marginally beating Firefox, unfortunately not living up to the "30% less memory than Chrome" claim.

New Interface

In addition to speed and memory, Firefox Quantum comes with a completely redesigned interface. The new browser looks modern and clean compared to the previous version, but there will be no doubt be a few unhappy fans used to the old design.

Should you switch to Firefox Quantum?

With the increase in speed, there is no doubt that Firefox Quantum is at least worth a try. For the most part, it can perform just as well as its competitor, while Chrome has better Google integration, but at the end of the day, it will be down to personal preference, with each browser having enthusiastic supporters and detractors.

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Adam Sykes