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Firefox 7 not fast enough? Pale Moon 7 can help

01 October 2011, Mike Williams

Firefox 7 was finally released this week, to promises of improved memory management and better performance than ever before.

But if it still doesn’t quite deliver the speed you need then you could always turn to Pale Moon 7, a browser which takes the same Firefox source code and makes more use of compiler optimisations to increase its speed and efficiency.

As a result, Pale Moon is considerably faster than Firefox 7.0.1 in some areas, particularly relating to mathematical and logic operations. Dromaeo’s Bitwise And test gives Pale Moon a 230% lead, for instance, while it reports that the browser is 32% faster at trigonometric calculations, and 31% faster at the MD5 hashing test.

Other areas aren’t accelerated to quite the same degree. Dromaeo’s Document Object Model tests give Pale Moon a 10% lead in DOM Traversal, and “only” a 5.5% lead in DOM Queries, for example, while many areas show no speed gains at all. So the browser’s lead overall is more modest: SunSpider 0.9.1 told us it was around 6% faster than Firefox 7.01.

This could well be a speed increase worth having, of course, especially as it’s so easy to obtain. And Pale Moon isn’t just about its performance tweaks: the author also offers language packs (run the browser in more than 70 languages), a portable version, a 64-bit edition and more. You can even install and run both Pale Moon and Firefox on the same system, so it’s easy to compare the two and see which works best for you.

Please note, despite the version number mismatch Pale Moon 7.0 is based on the latest version of the Firefox source code, and so includes the bug fixes incorporated into Firefox 7.0.1.

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