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Last post Author Topic: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...  (Read 12801 times)

Darwin

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Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« on: February 17, 2008, 08:04:19 AM »
I am getting really fed up of Maxthon 2.x. I LOVE this browser, however since sometime in the Maxthon 1.5x development cycle it became a resource PIG. At the moment it's consuming 84 MB of VM (with three tabs open - was at 150 MB a few minutes ago with about 15 tabs open) and often uses upwards of 20% of my CPU. Sadly, I suspect that this is a problem with all modern browsers... or am I wrong?

I have FF and Opera installed - and neither of them have "wowed" me as being svelte, either.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 08:07:57 AM »
PS something *must* be wrong - I opened a group of five tabs, bringing total to 7 as I'd also closed two, as I posted the above. VM shot to over 100MB and CPU cycled between 35 and 70% (both for Maxthon, of course)... It has settled to 104MB VM and CPU is cycling between 1 and 3%. I am starting to sweat - do I have a security leak?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2008, 08:59:52 AM »
With seven tabs / pages open my Maxthon 1.6 is using 367.188 K Virtual Size, 8.000 - 12.000 K Working Set, and 70.612 K Private Bytes.

It is a lot, but isn't it also quite normal? I don't see Firefox 2 using less.

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2008, 09:43:03 AM »
Well... as I have both FF 2 and Opera 9.5 Beta installed, I tested this out. FF is easily the lightest on resources and Maxthon the worst. The biggest difference between Opera and FF on the one hand and Maxthon on the other is CPU utilization (though Maxthon DOES reign supreme WRT VM as well). Where Maxthon is pegging my processor in the 30-80% range when busy, FF and Opera are both at or under 30%. I tested this in all three opening the same Favorites folder of 24 links.

However, overall, I think you're right, Curt. The big gains in switching to either Opera or Firefox are going to be in security and not in performance... (though Opera seemed much quicker in loading those pages than the other two).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

ThalSwe

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2008, 09:57:29 AM »
Never really looked at the resource usage for my browsers when I use them as...it simply isnt a big deal to me. If I surf I...well surf and dont use most other programs so dont mind if it takes some extra rescources and if I DO need to something else I minimize Opera and then it uses a lot less. Works for me.

I keep using opera for the browsing speed, costumizability in looks (sure, you can do this with Firefox too but it never feels as cleen and smooth as me as Opera does) and security. It also loads faster then the others I tried and thats good for impatient me ;)


Lashiec

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2008, 01:14:26 PM »
Remember that memory usage also depends of what pages you have opened. If the 15 tabs are pages with 300 photos each, there's no much you can do to lower memory usage using another browser. What it's important is memory usage in the long-term, that is, at the end of the day, that's when a browser shows it's a memory pig.

Curt

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2008, 03:56:37 PM »
I too tried to open a fav' folder of 21 links. Firefox was using between 30 and 60 % CPU with a constant total CPU usage of 100%, while Maxthon 1.6 was using between 10 and 50 % with a total of 80 - 90 %. Both had some peaks around 90%.

With all 21 pages open, Firefox was taking up 252 MB Virtual Size, 94 MB Working Set, and 115 MB Private Bytes. In the same discipline Maxthon 1.6 was taking up 280 MB Virtual Size, 25 MB Working Set, and 78 MB Private Bytes. So they are using the memory differently.

A strange part was when I closed 21 pages at the same time while watching Process Explorer: Maxthon 1.6 would still use 240 MB Virtual Size, 10 MB Working Set, and 56 MB Private Bytes - meaning the hard part on memory is the browser, not the homepages.


Sorry for the layout, I will not win an pedagogical prize for this post, I know.

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2008, 04:49:43 PM »
Sorry for the layout, I will not win an pedagogical prize for this post, I know.

 :-* You're still a star in my eyes! Great post!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nontroppo

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2008, 05:38:16 PM »
A few points:

a) It is not only what you use, but how you use it that counts ;-) IE (which Maxthon is a shell for), is pretty conservative in memory allocation. But its navigation performance is horrid. Opera uses memory for fast history navigation more efficiently than any other browser on the planet. Using 3 tabs of google images, I can instantly navigate through 600 images worth of data in Opera where IE fails after a few[1]. The raw memory numbers are not too different, but functionality certainly is!

b) Using memory can result in much better performance. Though sadly not available anymore, Mark Russinovitch's great article about hoax memory optimizers was scathing on the idea of free RAM. Modern OS's work better when memory that you paid for is actually used. Worrying about memory allocation is largely futile, as performance is much better overall. I know at least Opera has done extensive work on balancing this. If you have lots of free RAM they will use it because it results in better overall performance. Opera's core works on mobile phones, so it can render in extremely limited conditions. Every byte is tweaked and optimized. On desktop, they simply extend cacheing of data to drive up speed.

c) The OS and the machine, not only the app, is responsible for memory allocation. At least for Opera, it uses less memory when there is less available (I've done multi-tab browsing of modern web pages using a P166 w/ 128MB RAM)...

d) I'm not really sure what measuring VM is telling you? A combination of working set and private bytes are much more informative IINM (process explorer terminology).

The benefits from moving away from IE and its shells from a technical perspective are numerous. IE/Maxthons engine is ancient and showing its age. It renders slowly, has poor support for modern technology and innumerable bugs that are constantly worked around. Lots of modern pages add in additional hacks to get IE & shells working, which will add to its overhead. Performance of IE and Maxthon are poorer in many areas than modern engines (though tables in IE are fast (popular 5 years ago for web layouts), CSS is poor (popular for newer pages).

So I *do* think there are clear advantages with regards to "effective" resource utilization to move away from IE and its shells, and other advantages too.


----
[1]
Quote
I've done tests on history memory - using 10 pages of navigation through 3 google image searches in different pages for "picasso", "magritte" and "dali" (20 images per page = 600 images in 30 pages total). IE fails on page switching after a few back navigations, forcing a redraw and uses more memory than opera. Firefox has a 5 page limit (thus fails half of the instant-back operations) and uses the most memory. Opera allows instant-back for ALL pages using ~25MB less private bytes than IE and ~35MB less private bytes than Firefox. I find that pretty impressive...
http://my.opera.com/...ndpost.pl?id=1789849

FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2008, 11:33:48 PM »
I'm not really that concerned about RAM usage - it's the hit to my CPU that is frustrating me. As an aside - the VM that I am quoting *seems* to be roughly analogous to Process Explorer's Private Bytes, which is why I quoted it. Doing so is force of habit, more than anything else because, as just mentioned, it's the CPU utilization that is causing me to break out into hives.

My initial post in this thread was seeking exactly this kind of comment, nontroppo, so thank you! I am very tied to IE/Maxthon because of some plugins that I use. These have analogues in Opera and FF so I'm just being lazy... (or at least stuck in my ways)! As noted above (ie in an earlier posting) Opera has already impressed me for its speed.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 12:47:42 AM »
Darwin, I've switched from maxthon to firefox in December (I would've liked opera, but there were a couple annoyances I couldn't get rid off...). Which plugins are there in Maxthon that you like so much? And BTW, there's a firefox plugin that will allow you to keep using the "favorites" system if you prefer to function that way (I do -- easier to find with farr and other search tools... and fits better with my tagging system) : PlainOldFavorites.

muntealb

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 01:08:25 AM »
I am using Maxthon 2.0.8 and although I see the RAM usage above 100 MB when opening many tabs (probably 10 or more), I don't see a prolonged CPU usage above 10% (when opening tabs it can spike close to 95%, but after rendering the pages it is back to normal, under 10%).

nontroppo

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2008, 04:04:15 AM »
I'm not really that concerned about RAM usage - it's the hit to my CPU that is frustrating me.

Well, I'd still say IE and its shells overall have poorer CPU utilization, and a move away from Trident (the old rendering engine of IE) will give you a net benefit in regards to CPU. Certainly for the samples of pages I tested for my performance tests:

http://nontroppo.org...rel_tests/#realworld

IE gave poor to middle performance and did not compensate with lower CPU time spent. Many other tests show similar results (again especially the more modern web technologies CSS, DOM javascript etc).

The current Safari 3.1 nightly is actually shockingly optimized. They have made a core javascript trick used by most javascript libraries nativised and the performance boost (23X less CPU used than Opera, 35X less than Firefox, ~50X less than IE) is revelatory. In general, browser engines than can run in a mobile device will have optimised CPU and memory requirements.

Firefox is a great browser, and V3 will be brilliant compared to V2, which is certainly not an efficient and resource friendly engine (better than Trident though). Overall Gecko (the rendering engine for Mozilla) will still take some more time to get up to the performance levels of Safari and Opera.
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

muntealb

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 04:40:51 AM »
For those that still use Maxthon 1.6, I would recommend switching to GreenBrowser (also based on IE) if resource consumption is a problem.

GreenBrowser: http://www.morequick.com/indexen.htm

=====================

Also it must not be forgotten that Maxthon 2.x has an anti-ads module ("Ad Hunter") that is in part responsible for consuming CPU resources, especially if the option "Enable Text Filter & Filter Packs" is checked. Actually next to the option there is a warning about that ("Text Filter may consume more CPU resource") written by the programmers of Maxthon. But as I said I did not notice an exaggerated CPU consumption for prolonged periods of time, even if the text filter for Ad Hunter is enabled. On a side note, the anti-ads module included in Maxthon 2.x is very good.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 04:51:01 AM by muntealb »

nontroppo

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2008, 06:01:57 AM »
I suspect the reason Maxthon has such a CPU hit is because as a shell, it cannot really do anything to change the browser core. So Advert blocking in Opera and Firefox works in the core (the network request is removed at source), whereas IE shells have to block the request only on the output, which is bound to be less efficient, and cause Trident to do more work overall (possibly general increase in reflows depending on the timing). But as with any weakness in software, you can just throw new hardware at it ;)
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2008, 08:23:10 AM »
In descending order, the plugins I use in Maxthon/IE are:

Roboform (FF plugin for this available)
Evernote (FF plugin?)
Netsnippets (FF plugin?)

Features:

Mouse gestures (I know that there are plugins for FF available, and I could revisit StrokeIt, but Maxthon's implementation of it is how I "cut me teeth" and I'm too lazy to learn/reconfigure an alternative)
Groups (particularly Startup)

There they are - my little quirks exposed...  :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nontroppo

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2008, 08:39:55 AM »
If you need Roboform, then Opera is out of the question. The Firefox users here will be able to give you clear alternatives.

As an aside, I just found a screenshot I made a couple of weeks ago of IE 7 compared to Kestrel (Opera 9.5) which gives you an idea of the CPU and efficiency discrenpancy between them. This was based on the new Sunspider javascript testing framework:

Picture 2.png

The CPU time used is 4mins36secs in IE 7 compared to just 49secs in Kestrel. There are far fewer page faults (122 times lower!), lower working set and private bytes...

FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2008, 09:29:49 AM »
Nice! Thanks for that, nontroppo. I'm still seduced by Opera (I have the beta for 9.5 installed).. If I do switch, I'll probably switch to FF as my primary browser because I suspect that all the plugins I like in Maxthon have analogues/workarounds in FF. I'll keep Opera around and perhaps will one day wean myself onto it!

FWIW I spent yesterday uninstalling A LOT of applications and cleaning up and everything is much better. I suspect that there was a conflict somewhere...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Lashiec

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2008, 11:00:10 AM »
Good, good, cleaning the junk is the first step in the SAA program ;D

Armando

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2008, 11:43:03 AM »
Evernote (FF plugin?)

Is there an EverNote toolbar in Maxthon? I can't remember. Anyways, I have no problems clipping stuff from Firefox into EverNote, and the EverNote WebClipper addon appears in my firefox addon (and the "add to EverNote" option appears in FF context menu). Roboform works without a hitch in FF and I'm going to buy it.  :)

Net snippets? I guess you could replace that with the great Zotero.

And if you still need to open some pages with the IE engine, you can always use the "IE tab" which will transparently open a tab using the IE engine INSIDE Firefox itself. sweet.

dantheman

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2008, 12:26:20 PM »
The only time i've seen FF use up CPU is when StumbleUpon extension is added.

I like Maxthon, have failed to notice any important CPU usage there.
Likewise for Opera.

Curt

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2008, 01:53:07 PM »
The thread is being turned away from the subject, I think. dantheman said it, Maxthon has no extraordinary high CPU usage, it is nothing but bull**** from Firefox users who all are in the habbit of lyi twisting the facts as all Firefox users do. Mozilla ran a zillion dollar campaign spreading the (false) rumor that Firefox was safer, faster and all sorts of possitive words, than IE - allthough it never was or is. Because of this basic ly wrong propaganda, Firefox users have all been acustomed to twisting the facts. And so they do, also on this subject. But what about it, Darwin, why does your Maxthon 2 have a problem? I (too) would guess it is because of one of the addons, so I would think it apropriate to check them one by one. Hard weork maybe, but as you are implying, it may be a lot harder to set up a new browser with so many extras.

Curt

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2008, 01:56:55 PM »
Oh, should I have added at least a couple of smilies?  ;)  :P

 :D

dantheman

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2008, 03:18:09 PM »
Curt,

Don't get me wrong. Firefox is still my standard browser.
In the good ol' dial-up days, i could tweak it to be much quicker (page rendering) than IE.
What i liked most was (still is) the way it could block most adds along with tabbed browsing, mouse gestures and a very friendly user oriented setup.

I'm just not your die-hard Firefox fan.
If another browser can fit the job then i'm open to try it out.

IE fans can't forget the Active X issues that continue to make the browser quite vulnerable.

Darwin

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Re: Maxthon (web browser) resource utilization...
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2008, 03:31:25 PM »
I have no problems clipping stuff from Firefox into EverNote, and the EverNote WebClipper addon appears in my firefox addon (and the "add to EverNote" option appears in FF context menu).

That's how I use Evernote with Maxthon, actually - via the context menu. No doubt there is a plug-in for the toolbar but I don't need it. The *only* thing keeping me with NetSnippets is that I bought it! - OK two things - and that I have such a huge collection of Snippets that it is convenient to access and view via the NetSnippets sidebar. Really, though, it's not a deal breaker.

@Curt - I seem to have tamed the beast as I have 15 tabs open (mostly different DC threads, but also a Google search page, Outlook Exchange webmail, and Windows Secrets), and all is well. I'm still going to play around with Opera - I like it a lot. The main advantage of FF for me are the plugins and the fact that stuff like Evernote will still work from the context menu (I'll have to check out Opera for that, but I doubt that it does.  I'll be interested to see what FF 3 looks like. I decided not to run the latest beta but might take a look...

Finally, just to note, I've been using Ad-Muncher for years and always disable Ad Hunter in Maxthon... so it wasn't that!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin