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Firefox very slow

Posted: 2013/12/14 17:41:32
by jrawle
For a long time I have been using a vanilla version of Firefox as I've always found it to perform better than the upstream provider's packaged version. Unfortunately, support for version 17 ESR has now ended, and later versions will not run on CentOS 5.

I tried the 24.2.0 RPM, but performance was very poor. Both the Firefox and X processes used large amounts of CPU. One particular problem is Youtube - just about any page on Youtube. Just sitting on someone's profile page can cause X to use in excess of 80% CPU. That isn't playing a video, just sitting on the index page of their videos. Scrolling and window redrawing seems very sluggish

I have started Firefox in safe mode without plugins, with a fresh profile, all the obvious things, and it makes no difference. Naturally I suspected the Flash plugin, but it seems this isn't the culprit.

If I use Firefox ESR 17.0.11 from Mozilla, CPU usage is negligible, and the browser is far snappier, when browsing the same Youtube pages.

I have tried installing the last version 17 RPM, and it performs badly too, maybe not quite as bad as 24, but still unacceptable.

Does anyone have the same problem?

Re: Firefox very slow

Posted: 2013/12/20 21:23:42
by jrawle
I think my problem is Nvidia related.

With today's updates to xorg, I decided to try the default nv driver instead of the nvidia one. This didn't show the excessive CPU usage when the page is sitting idle, but screen redrawing is very sluggish and uses lots of CPU.

I then switched back to the binary nvidia driver. To my surprise, the high CPU usage no longer happens while idle. Unfortunately, screen redrawing is still very slow (and CPU intensive). If I open a window on top of a Youtube index page, for example, and then bring Firefox to the front, there is a noticeable delay before it redraws in 24. In Firefox 17 from Mozilla it is pretty much instantaneous. In fact, it's good even with hardware acceleration disabled in Firefox!

So the problem still isn't resolved, but the finger does point at Nvidia. It seems the RPM version of Firefox doesn't use hardware acceleration.