Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

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Eddles
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Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:01 am

Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Eddles » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:19 pm

Hi all,

Am running LMDE 2, fully up-to-date and using Firefox 50.0.2 but Firefox has been really painfully slow for a while now - it's so slow to start, slow to scroll a page even with only one tab open, and takes a minute to type out a full word.
I've tried starting Firefox in safe mode, completely deleting my user profile and starting fresh, used "apt-get remove --purge" and then reinstalling firefox.... and still stupidly slow. Chrome is speedy, starts up fast, can run 20+ tabs without a slow-down in performance, no problem at all.

And my laptop is no slouch - it's 3 years old, has a quad core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a Quadro video card. I also run LMDE 2 and all apps from a 256GB SSD card. The home directory is on a 500GB SATA hard drive, however. So I do expect better performance from Firefox so there must be something wrong - I'd really appreciate it if someone can give me some pointers as to what could be wrong please?

Here's the output from inxi:

Code: Select all

System:    Host: voyager Kernel: 3.16.0-4-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.4)
           Desktop: MATE 1.16.1 (Gtk 3.14.5+4) Distro: LinuxMint 2 betsy
Machine:   System: Dell product: Precision M4600 v: 01
           Mobo: Dell model: 08V9YG v: A00 Bios: Dell v: A16 date: 12/26/2013
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i7-2760QM (-HT-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 19157
           Clock Speeds: 1: 632 MHz 2: 626 MHz 3: 639 MHz 4: 630 MHz
           5: 612 MHz 6: 615 MHz 7: 612 MHz 8: 609 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GF108GLM [Quadro 1000M] bus-ID: 01:00.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.16.4 driver: nvidia
           Resolution: 1920x1080@59.91hz
           GLX Renderer: Quadro 1000M/PCIe/SSE2
           GLX Version: 4.4.0 NVIDIA 340.96 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA GF108 High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1
           Card-2 Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.16.0-4-amd64
Network:   Card-1: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300
           driver: iwlwifi v: in-tree: bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection
           driver: e1000e v: 2.3.2-k port: 8040 bus-ID: 00:19.0
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 756.2GB (50.4% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sdb model: TOSHIBA_THNSNH25 size: 256.1GB
           ID-2: /dev/sda model: ST9500423AS size: 500.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 20G used: 6.1G (33%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb2
           ID-2: /home size: 385G used: 349G (96%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 50.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 0.0:45C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 248 Uptime: 9 min Memory: 1215.4/7959.8MB
           Init: SysVinit runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.9.2
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.301) inxi: 2.1.28

Cosmo.
Level 21
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Posts: 14821
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Cosmo. » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:35 pm

Create a fresh new user account in your system and compare it.

Eddles
Level 1
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Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:01 am

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Eddles » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:13 pm

Huh, it's a lot quicker with a new user account - still a little clunky but much better and more usable. What can I do to improve it with my current user account? Thanks for your advice!

Cosmo.
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 14821
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Cosmo. » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:28 pm

That mean, that the problem is caused by something in your user account. First suspicion is wrong ownership. To check:
Mark the following command and press ctrl-c

Code: Select all

find $HOME ! -user $USER -type f

open a terminal and press ctrl-shift-V
Mark the complete result inclusive the command with the mouse and press ctrl-shift-C
In the forum click the Code-button above the text box, than press ctrl-v.

Report in case, that there is no output.

Eddles
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:01 am

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Eddles » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:41 am

Hello, thanks for your reply. Here's the output from the command:

Code: Select all

piers@voyager ~ $ find $HOME ! -user $USER -type f
piers@voyager ~ $

Cosmo.
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 14821
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Cosmo. » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:48 am

The good news: The suspicion about wrong ownership was false.
The bad news: The culprit is somewhere in the settings, but I cannot help you further, as I do not use Mate.

If nobody can help you further the only way to solve it, which I can present, is to use a new account and take all your user files from the old to the new account.
2 notes for this case:
1. You must make sure, that the new account belongs to the group sudo.
2. Copy the user data from inside of the new account. Don't use sudo or gksudo for this task.

Eddles
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:01 am

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby Eddles » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:42 am

Brilliant, thank you very much for your advice, much appreciated!

DougGuy
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:59 pm

Re: Firefox painfully slow whereas Chrome is fast

Postby DougGuy » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:26 am

OP, I own the same Dell M4600 as you, and just improved the CPU, and swapped out the Radeon and installed the Nvidia Quadro 2000m graphics card.

Firefox, was PAINFULLY slow. Unusably slow. Speedtest results were showing on average of 9Mbps to 20Mbps down speed. I tried everything. Spent DAYS chasing the rabbit down the hole, deeper and deeper. Installed a stripped down Win7 32bit iso and firefox SCREAMED!! 350+Mbps which is what I usually get.

Booted off the LM18.1 live USB, ran speedtest again and got over 300Mbps down! Installed it to SDD, same dismal unusable speeds. Tried several different distros of linux, both booting to the live USB and running speedtest, which got the usual quick results, then installing to SDD which once again slowed Firefox down so bad I couldn't use it. There were numerous suggestions from those who know a LOT more about linux than I ever will, all good, all trying to help, but the serious bottleneck persisted no matter what I did.

Throughout the process, I had changed from an i5 dual core to an i7 quad core, changed ram to Visiontek modules, used 3 different SSD drives, changed graphics card to Nvidia Quadro which was a planned upgrade anyway, tried speedtest with wifi, my 300+Mbit TWC account, tried ethernet to USB3.0, there was NOTHING that I didn't try and throughout the several days of chasing the bottleneck, nothing had an effect on it. I watched CPU threads in System Monitor, we checked drivers, codecs, even re-downloaded and re-burned the .iso to USB all to no avail.

Know what it was? I was in the BIOS looking for why my backlit kb wasn't backlit, and I by accident stumbled onto Disabling the Intel Speed Step and activating all 4 CPU cores to run at full speed, all of the time.

IMMEDIATELY the speedtest.net results went to over 300Mbps, the system was snappy overall, Facebook pages loaded in less than 8 seconds where they had been loading at 50 seconds previously. Firefox is FIXED! It is FAST, and I have finally caught the rabbit! Watching Youtube vids in full screen HD is very smooth, absolutely no stuttering or buffering, audio is very good, and I wish I had stumbled onto this setting in BIOS before I spent money on a Quad Core Extreme processor thinking it might help. It wouldn't have. It is still enroute, so I guess what got good is yet to get a little better?

Hope you see this, the M4600 is a beast of a machine, and can be made to flat out fly with the right hardware and right settings. So far LM18.1 Serena Cinnamon 64bit rocks!


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