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Pale Moon 6 delivers even more Firefox performance

24 August 2011, Mike Williams

Recent Firefox releases seem to show that Mozilla are making a genuine effort to eliminate the browser’s performance issues.

If you’re not yet satisfied, though, Pale Moon 6, released today, may be of interest. The browser is based on Firefox – looks almost identical, works in exactly the same way, supports most (though not all) extensions and add-ons – but has been carefully optimised to deliver better performance and security.

How much better? As ever, it’s difficult to come up with a single meaningful figure.  Pale Moon is compiled to make better use of modern CPUs, which gives it potential performance advantages in every area, but benchmarking shows a range of results.

SunSpider 0.91, for instance, gives Pale Moon 6 a performance lead over Firefox 6 in just about every area, peaking at around a 10% gain.  Some tests showed no significant speed advantages, though, so overall Pale Moon scored around 5% faster in our tests.

It was a similar story with Mozilla’s Dromaeo benchmark; Pale Moon led the way in every test, but the margin was small, giving the browser around a 2.5% performance advantage over Firefox 6 on our test system.

And Futuremark’s Peacekeeper benchmark confirmed this general pattern, awarding Firefox a score of 5,777, while Pale Moon achieved 6,082: a 5.2% lead.

Pale Moon 6 won’t revolutionise your online experience, then, but it’s still managing to squeeze just a little extra performance from the Firefox codebase, and the latest builds – including a 64-bit and portable version – are available now.

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