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Firefox 3.0.9 Choppy Performance


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#1 Pleather

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:50 PM

Hello, I am running Windows XP on a lenovo T60p laptop with Service pack 3, and 1gb of ram.

This problem is not very new, and I've experienced as long as I can remember having this laptop. (Only a few months, maybe 5 maximum)

I use Firefox version 3.0.9, and the problem I have is that it randomly decides to give lag spikes. I don't know exactly what to call them, and lag spikes probably isn't quite right, but it's similar in certain ways. Anyways, when doing absolutely anything on firefox, that is, it could be browsing any website, changing my preferences, even typing in a URL, firefox will stall for as low as 2, and up to about 7 seconds, with no activity at all, absolutely nothing on firefox moves at all. If I am in the middle of typing something, it stops printing letters, if I'm watching a video, the current image freezes, but the sound keeps playing as if the video were still going. After those few seconds, it is as if everything that should have happened during that time happened, only without showing it; the text that should have appeared while I was typing suddenly appears all at once, or on the case of a video, the video snaps back up to sync in with the audio, as if it never stopped. These spikes occur quite randomly as far as I can tell, it doesn't seem to matter what I'm doing; in firefox or out of firefox. But it generally can happen 2-3 times in one minute. In fact, it's happened at least 10 times while I've been writing this post (up to this point).

No other programs will freeze (up to this point in my testing), only firefox. I tried opening notepad and holding down a key, and only firefox lagged, not notepad. I tried opening two windows at once, and both freeze at the same time (I don't mean they freeze from the same, certain events; they just freeze simultaneously regardless of their current independent tasks.) I have yet to try using another browser to test this out, but I'm not sure if it's necessary to diagnose this problem. Firefox's CPU use will rise whenever it freezes, up from 20-30 to 50ish percent (while watching an animation in that example).

I've already tried an experimental fix, where I removed "HP Toolbox FX" from the system tray; I read somewhere that it can cause issues, unfortunately, it didn't solve anything.

I have limited knowledge of computers, though more of the software, not so much the hardware. But, I was thinking of purchasing some RAM, not because of this issue, but mainly for games. I don't know if this would the fix the problem in the least, and in fact don't know how much it would benefit me at all. I frequently play games of different intensities, and enjoy having lots of applications open at once, which I have heard is enhanced by a RAM upgrade. I believe it was 50.00 dollars for a 2gb stick, to put into my second RAM slot, in addition to my built in 1 gb stick (bringing the total to 3 gb). So if you feel like answering this as well, is it worth it, or not?

On a side note, I have not restarted my computer for quite awhile, and have kept quite a few windows and tabs open up for about a month, maybe more. I don't know if this is affecting any of this or not, but I do have a lot of tabs open in them.

And on yet another side note, the lags seems to have gotten much more frequent throughout the duration of this post. Now it seems to be happening at least twice as frequently.

I apologize for the long post, I'm horrible at getting to the point.

Thanks for your time.

Edited by Pleather, 01 May 2009 - 11:50 PM.


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#2 rowal5555

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 12:04 AM

The latest version is 3.0.10 so you could try that, but it sounds as though your CPU is maxing out. You could try closing a few running programs to leave a bit more room.

As everything is done in RAM for fastest operation, it is better to have as much as possible. Just check what is the max your motherboard will handle.

Good luck.

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#3 Pleather

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 05:46 PM

Okay, I'll try updating, let you know how it works out.

I'm quite sure my CPU is not maxing out, it only goes up to 50% of CPU usage (overall, for all programs) maximum. Unless of course I'm in the middle of a freeze, in which case it can go up to 70% or so at the max.

Thanks for the help though, I appreciate it. I'm going to update firefox, and I'll post in a bit (no more than 2 days), whether it helps or not.

Looks like I'll buy the RAM, I know the max capacity for my laptop is 4 gb (if I replaced my current 1 gb stick with a 2 gb, and added an additional 2 gb stick), but Windows XP Pro (32 bit) can only recognize 3 gb, so I should be good if I just fill the remaining slot with a 2 gb stick.

#4 rowal5555

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 06:10 PM

Good as, but a simple reboot can fix a multitude of problems and is always the first thing to try.

Cheers

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#5 Pleather

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 10:08 PM

Well, don't know the specific solution that fixed it, but I restarted my computer, updated from Firefox 3.0.9 to 3.0.10, updated my Flash Player to the latest version, and it all works great now. Thanks for the help rowal!

#6 rowal5555

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 10:16 PM

Always nice to hear of a successful solution.

Good on ya.

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