Nov 202007

This blog post caught my eye a few minutes ago.  In it, the author complains that Firefox 3 memory use is vastly higher than Flock 1.0’s, then proceeds to include a screen shot of a utility that he says proves his point.

That utility is called iStat; I use it myself, as it happens.  The screen shot is actually showing not memory usage, but CPU usage.   So basically he’s demonstrating that while Flock is sitting idly in the background, his copy of Firefox is actively using the CPU.  That has nothing really to do with memory use.

Let’s actually compare memory use.  I started up both Firefox 3.0b1 and Flock 1.0.1, and compared their memory usage using the “ps” tool in Terminal:

Firefox 3’s memory usage is 5.1%; this after two hours of heavy usage.

Flock’s is 7.6% after running for less than 10 minutes and viewing less than a dozen pages.

As for CPU usage, both applications wander up and down the scale of how much CPU they use, with one or the other being ahead depending on what it’s doing.  That’s unsurprising.  Here’s a screen shot, for example:


Here, Flock is the heavy hitter and Firefox 3 isn’t even in the top 5.  It’s all a matter of timing your screenshot.

 Posted by at 4:15 PM

  One Response to “What are we measuring here, anyway?”

  1. Interesting, how on the Earth anybody can mistake mem use for CPU usage? The question might seem trivial at first, but isn’t this type of confusion to blame for Firefox memory leak complaint “fad”? Anyway, aren’t the MacDeveleopers pride themselves on design superiority over the Win design? Where’s the usability?