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IE8 "Epically Porcine"

Published on September 3, 2008
by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is significantly faster than IE7. It’s more stable and feature-rich than its predecessor as well. But it’s also something of a resource pig. IE8 Beta 2 consumes 52 percent more memory than IE7 and uses more than double the number of processor threads. In fact, it’s the most resource-intensive version of the Web browser to date, according to Florida-based independent software research firm Devil Mountain Software. “IE8 is epically porcine,” said Devil Mountain CTO Craig Barth. “Microsoft has gone to epic levels of bloat.”

In a 10-site scenario test comparing IE8 with IE7 and FireFox 3.01 running on Windows Vista (SP1), Devil Mountain found that IE8 Beta 2 consumed 380MB of memory to IE7’s 250MB and Firefox 3.0.1’s 159MB. IE8 Beta 2 also used significantly more processor threads than the browsers, generating a hefty 171 threads compared with IE7 and Firefox 3.0.1, which generated 65 and 29, respectively.

That’s a dramatic difference, although to be fair, Microsoft (MSFT) has designated IE8 Beta 2 as “Beta” for a reason, and comparing it with release-quality software isn’t exactly fair. That said, Firefox 3 beta consumed nowhere near the amount of memory IE8 Beta 2 seems to require.

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