What’s New in Firefox Quantum, the Firefox You’ve Been Waiting For

Firefox transforms today. It’s now a multi-process browser with a new design, gaining speed but leaving traditional Firefox extensions behind. If you’ve switched to Google Chrome, you might want to give Firefox another chance. But, if you’re already using Firefox, you’re in for some big changes.

Firefox Quantum is another name for Firefox 57, which Mozilla released on November 14, 2017.

Firefox Is Now Much Faster

Let’s start with the good stuff that everyone will love: Firefox is just faster now. According to Mozilla’s tests, Firefox Quantum is about two times faster than Firefox 52. Firefox should be faster when doing just about everything, from rendering web pages and scrolling around to switching between browser tabs and using the interface.

Firefox Quantum integrates technology from Mozilla’s Servo research project, which is written in the Rust programming language. Mozilla plans on gradually swapping out parts of Firefox’s internals for the newer, faster Servo technology. In Firefox Quantum, the new Quantum CSS engine, also known as Stylo, is now integrated into Firefox. It can run in parallel across multiple CPU cores to better take advantage of modern multi-core CPUs.

In layman’s terms, it’s just newer and faster.

Firefox’s developers have also been sprucing up every bit of the browser, trying to eliminate any instances of slowness you might encounter.

Firefox Is Now a Multi-Process Browser (But Still uses Less Memory Than Chrome)

For the first time, Firefox is now a proper multi-process browser as well. Firefox used to run everything in a single process, which meant a slow web page could slow down your entire browser interface. And if a web page crashed the browser, everything would go down instead of just a single tab. With Firefox 54, Firefox used two processes: One for the user interface and one for web pages. Firefox Quantum uses even more.

However, Firefox Quantum doesn’t just copy Chrome and open a new process for each tab. Instead, Firefox uses a maximum of four processes for web page content by default. Mozilla calls this a “just right” number of processes for many Firefox users, and says it makes Firefox use 30% less memory than Chrome.

Even better, you can configure the number of processes Firefox uses if you want more or less on your PC. To find this open, click menu > Options, scroll down to the Performance section on the General tab, uncheck “Use recommended performance settings”, and change the “Content process limit” option. This allows you to control the trade-off between memory and performance.

Don’t want a multi-process browser? Set the Content process limit to “1” and it will behave just like the last version of Firefox did. We recommend against this, though, as Firefox will perform better…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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