Why is my old browser faster than newer versions?

  • Thread starter jack action
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In summary, the computer is old and the browser is new, but the problem is probably with the websites.
  • #1
jack action
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I have an old computer (AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+, 2GHz; 2Gb RAM) with Windows 10 and a 5 Mb/s connection.

With this set up Internet has slowed down for me for a while now. Videos stop and go, so does old Flash games that I used to play correctly before. The websites take a relatively long time to load, but I know this was related to the newer versions of browsers from the beginning. Any browser, the newer versions seem slower and slower (to open and to load pages). For now, Chrome seems to be the fastest overall and, although I don't use it very often, Edge seems to be a lot better then its predecessor IE. Firefox is a pain, so is Opera, which was my preferred browser but got almost impossible to work with at some point, even though it has the Chromium engine like Chrome.

So lately, after trying to play on Chrome an old Flash game I used to play, I get the «stop and go» version, which makes the game impossible to play. I then try it on Opera version 12 (with the Presto engine) that is still loaded on my computer and it works correctly! It loads really fast too. I tried some videos and it plays continuously without any problem. Maybe some heavy HD videos pause a little, but it is far from what Chrome gives me. The latest version of Chrome even has the nerves now to constantly showing me a pop-up telling me there is problem playing the video and asking if I want to continue or cancel the loading.

I can't used Opera 12 for everyday use because it is too outdated and nobody designed websites for it anymore (ever?), but how can my old version 12 Opera can play a video without any problem and that newer (supposedly faster) browsers can't? I know for sure now that it is not a hardware problem.
 
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  • #2
The issue is probably related to the fact that Chrome (and many other modern browsers) wrap Flash in many layers of security to try to protect against all the security issues involved. Flash is disabled by default nowadays and all support will be dropped in the future (as was done with Java for similar reasons).
 
  • #4
It's a frustrating tendency for software to bloat overtime as new releases often add features which demand more resources.
 
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  • #5
I like Serena said:
It appears that now Firefox is fast, lightweight, and non-invasive.
Seems a lot faster to me...

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New Adblock Plus, also...

upload_2017-12-10_5-59-35.png


https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/Wladimir-Palant/?src=api

From Wikipedia... Adblock Plus (ABP).
 

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  • #6
jack action said:
I have an old computer (AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+, 2GHz; 2Gb RAM) with Windows 10 and a 5 Mb/s connection.
? Seriously? You run Window 10 with 2Gb ram ? I'm amazed that ANYTHING on it runs any faster that molasses in January. In fact, I didn't even know you COULD run Windows 10 with only 2Gb ram. I would think it would spend most of its time moving things in and out of the swap file.

EDIT: Well, I'll be damned. I just checked the specs and darned if it isn't the case that the spec for Windows 10 is just ONE Gb for 32 bit or 2Gb for 64 bit. I'm flummoxed. I would have expected a minimum requirement of 4Gb and a recommended size of 8Gb.
 
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  • #7
I second I like Serena's mention of Firefox. It's a very different browser than it used to be.
Your browsers are slower than what they used to be because they do a lot more than what they used to do. Websites are very different than 10 to 15 years ago, they demand much more resources to be displayed correctly. This is why an older machine will have pain having a perfectly functional browsing experience.
With that said, there are a lot of lightweight browsers out there, but they certaintly won't have all the functionalities than Chrome or Firefox offer. Check out a few of them (e.g. qtbrowser, midori) to see if the speed advantage is really worth it or not.

@phinds: The latest raspberry pi offers a windows 10 version of it. It has 1 Gb of RAM and is much slower than any modern pc you can imagine.

Edit: @OCR I suggest ublock origin instead of AdBlock Plus. It does a lot more than ABP, for fewer resources consumption.
 
  • #8
fluidistic said:
I suggest ublock origin instead of AdBlock Plus. It does a lot more than ABP, for fewer resources consumption.
Thanks, I was tempted... however, I've used ABP forever, and I like Palant...:smile:
 
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  • #9
OCR said:
Seems a lot faster to me...

View attachment 216432

New Adblock Plus, also...

View attachment 216433
Although the new Firefox opens faster, I still get jerky reading of videos. From the article in the link, it seems the new Firefox takes advantage of dual-core processors which, of course, I have not.

For Adblock Plus, I now block the unwanted hosts at the root. Incredibly simpler, incredibly faster, incredibly more reliable.

phinds said:
? Seriously? You run Window 10 with 2Gb ram ? I'm amazed that ANYTHING on it runs any faster that molasses in January. In fact, I didn't even know you COULD run Windows 10 with only 2Gb ram. I would think it would spend most of its time moving things in and out of the swap file.

EDIT: Well, I'll be damned. I just checked the specs and darned if it isn't the case that the spec for Windows 10 is just ONE Gb for 32 bit or 2Gb for 64 bit. I'm flummoxed. I would have expected a minimum requirement of 4Gb and a recommended size of 8Gb.
It's not that bad. I deliberately always «run behind» with my software and hardware (I'm cheap :woot:. Not true, I don't like wasting resources for things I don't need), and it's not the worst experience I've had.

There is one major drawback: windows explorer (not IE) is slow to the point of being useless sometime. It feels like it is reconstructing indexes every time I open a window. And if I try doing a file search, forget it: More often than never, the process just never ends and you get no results. Funny that this should be the primary task accomplished by Windows, a very simple one done by any database I know, and yet it fails at doing it o:).

If you are amazed by me using 2Gb RAM, then I shouldn't tell you about the 2 hard disks: 80 Gb each, with 14 Gb free on each! That must not help, but it still works for now! Oh! and I still use 3½" floppy to transfer files from my other computer not connected to the Internet: It is used to run Word Perfect 6.1 and has Windows 2000. It used to have Windows 3.1, but some audio software used for transcription required at least Windows 2000. It fills completely my 400 Mb hard disk. :biggrin:
fluidistic said:
With that said, there are a lot of lightweight browsers out there, but they certaintly won't have all the functionalities than Chrome or Firefox offer. Check out a few of them (e.g. qtbrowser, midori) to see if the speed advantage is really worth it or not.
Ya, sometimes I'm tempted to just do a PHP program and use cURL to make my own browser. :smile: But I'm not that cheap, I will probably upgrade before that.

I usually buy second hand hardware. The last three computers I bought just happen to be the used computers of the employees of my favorite computer store! My 5 Mb/s connection was upgraded automatically a few years ago from 5 Gb per month to 15 Gb per month, just in time as I was pretty close to the limit. Now, here in Canada, the governmental organization watching the communication sector just declared that a 50 Mb/s connection will be considered an essential service. I might get another upgrade soon whether I want it or not.
 
  • #10
jack action said:
There is one major drawback: windows explorer (not IE) is slow to the point of being useless sometime. It feels like it is reconstructing indexes every time I open a window. And if I try doing a file search, forget it: More often than never, the process just never ends and you get no results. Funny that this should be the primary task accomplished by Windows, a very simple one done by any database I know, and yet it fails at doing it o:).
I have long been astounded at Windows' inability to properly handle file structure tasks(*). That is the most fundamental operation of any OS (after the low-level BIOS operations) and Microsoft has never managed to get it right even with Windows 10.

* They DO get most of it right, but the mistakes are just fundamental and REALLY boneheaded, showing a near-total lack of any kind of quality control on file structure operations of the OS
 
  • #11
phinds said:
I have long been astounded at Windows' inability to properly handle file structure tasks(*). That is the most fundamental operation of any OS (after the low-level BIOS operations) and Microsoft has never managed to get it right even with Windows 10.

* They DO get most of it right, but the mistakes are just fundamental and REALLY boneheaded, showing a near-total lack of any kind of quality control on file structure operations of the OS
In my experience, many of their products are, at best, mediocre: the internal search engine at outlook will output 500 results where only some 3-4 contain the search terms ( and I am not using neither "a" ," the", "of" , etc. in the search string). And the spam filters are just as bad with a very large proportion of false positive and false negatives. And they do not use input very well: I will delete the exact same email addresses/terms over and over and outlook will still include them in the inbox ; conversely, I will declare the exact same strings as " not spam" , yet these will constantly reappear in the spam folder.
 
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  • #12
phinds said:
file structure tasks(*).
Huh? What's that?
 
  • #13
anorlunda said:
Huh? What's that?
I'm mostly referring to things having to do with displaying the file system but the term also includes everything having to do with keeping track of the file organization. Most of the problem are, as I recall, in the displaying of where files are. It certainly is NOT true that Windows loses track of what folder a file is in.

EDIT: one of the issues that causes me a lot of grief is that when I eliminate an image from PaintShop Pro, Windows continues to believe that it is being used by PS. Now, I naturally assumed that this is PS problem, not a Windows problem, but when I close PS and the Task Manager says that there is nothing having to do with PS still running, Windows STILL thinks the file is attached to PS and won't let me delete it.

Another is that when I move a file to an external drive, windows continues to think that the drive is still in use long after I've stopped using it (10 hours later, for example). This happens with all 3 of my external drives and they are all from different manufacturers.
 
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  • #14
Greg Bernhardt said:
It's a frustrating tendency for software to bloat overtime as new releases often add features which demand more resources.
Interesting point: Bob Zale developed Powerbasic back in the 90's. You had to write your own windows message pump to make everything work graphically. It was a good product. It had an odd feature. Many developers brought out products they sold, but the complaint from customers was that the PB executables were 'too tiny' compared to comparable programs from Microsoft. Sounds weird, a priori, but it was correct. Customers thought they were somehow getting ripped off, I guess.

Anyway, Zale created a function that blew up the compiled version of the file with 'fiber filler'.
Code:
bloat(n)
was the function definition where n was the number of megabytes of filler. IIRC. Everyone was happy.

Powerbasic is still out there, even though Zale died back in the mid-2000's. https://www.powerbasic.com/downloads.php I think you can get to the developer's manual where bloat is explained.
 
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  • #15
jim mcnamara said:
Interesting point: Bob Zale developed Powerbasic back in the 90's. You had to write your own windows message pump to make everything work graphically. It was a good product. It had an odd feature. Many developers brought out products they sold, but the complaint from customers was that the PB executables were 'too tiny' compared to comparable programs from Microsoft. Sounds weird, a priori, but it was correct. Customers thought they were somehow getting ripped off, I guess.

Anyway, Zale created a function that blew up the compiled version of the file with 'fiber filler'.
Code:
bloat(n)
was the function definition where n was the number of megabytes of filler. IIRC. Everyone was happy.

Powerbasic is still out there, even though Zale died back in the mid-2000's. https://www.powerbasic.com/downloads.php I think you can get to the developer's manual where bloat is explained.
OMG! This is pure insanity! I couldn't believe it, but it is true: #BLOAT metastatement

There are even people trying to fix bugs for that function! (#BLOAT problem with PBWIN 8.04) Like there is not enough time wasted to debug a program!

UNBELIEVABLE! :headbang:
 
  • #16
jack action,

You might want to check a possible alternative to Firefox, called Comodo Ice Dragon.
 
  • #17
symbolipoint said:
jack action,

You might want to check a possible alternative to Firefox, called Comodo Ice Dragon.
Thanks, but after looking at their website, may I ask what do you think is different about this browser compared to others?

All it says is that it is fast, secure and easy to use. Basically what any other browser says about their product. I'm also concerned about the intent of the company that makes it: It seems like another big company that wants to monitor its clients or clients' users.
 
  • #18
jack action said:
Thanks, but after looking at their website, may I ask what do you think is different about this browser compared to others?

All it says is that it is fast, secure and easy to use. Basically what any other browser says about their product. I'm also concerned about the intent of the company that makes it: It seems like another big company that wants to monitor its clients or clients' users.
It is a free browser. Not very likely that Comodo uses their free browsers to check into what the user is doing. I only suggest it as an alternative to Firefox IF you like Firefox or had liked Firefox up until now. In almost all ways, Ice Dragon is the same as Firefox.
 
  • #19
jack action said:
If you are amazed by me using 2Gb RAM, then I shouldn't tell you about the 2 hard disks: 80 Gb each, with 14 Gb free on each! That must not help, but it still works for now!
Yes that is the core of your problem. 2GB is not enough to run Windows 10, Chrome, Flash and whatever else you are running. This means that the OS will constantly swap code and data between memory and disk. Since you have mechanical drives that are almost full the read heads of the drives must move longer to find different pieces of data which makes a slow situation even slower. You are probably putting a lot more wear on the drives than an average user.
 
  • #20
glappkaeft said:
Yes that is the core of your problem. 2GB is not enough to run Windows 10, Chrome, Flash and whatever else you are running. This means that the OS will constantly swap code and data between memory and disk. Since you have mechanical drives that are almost full the read heads of the drives must move longer to find different pieces of data which makes a slow situation even slower.
Yes, but why does it works with Opera 12? It still runs Windows 10, Flash and whatever (sometimes even including Chrome in the background).
glappkaeft said:
You are probably putting a lot more wear on the drives than an average user.
One of the two 80 Gb drive has been passed from computer to computer for maybe my last 3 computers. It must be pretty good! :smile:
 
  • #21
Jack, I don't know if it would help, but can you, or do you, use READYBOOST ?

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  • #22
Chrome blocks Flash in default. Many webpages are not loaded properly after recent update.
 
  • #23
OCR said:
Jack, I don't know if it would help, but can you, or do you, use READYBOOST ?
No, I didn't know about this feature. Tried it, great! It made a huge difference. The flash game I was talking about is playable now on Chrome and a HD+ video plays with jerky images instead of stop and go intermissions. On the other hand, with Opera 12, the same HD+ video now plays flawlessly (it used to play with jerky images like on Chrome now). Yes, my slow computer enhances the flaws of modern browsers, but no matter the hardware, Opera 12 still out performs all of them speed-wise, which is weird.

But, on the very plus side of Readyboost, I now don't have problems anymore with my windows explorer. Once a folder is open, files appears instantaneously and even complex searches like words within text files, returns results instantaneously. I did one search on my entire computer for all pdf files and it took a relatively long time, but it finally returned a set, which was nearly impossible before as it seemed the search froze at some point.

So this thread was not written in vain.
 
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  • #24
Sounds like memory issues. Chrome sandboxes every tab, which requires a significant amount of memory. App developers assume that memory is essentially infinite and will use it in order to make their programs use less CPU cycles, so if you're pushing the limits, your OS will start aggressively page swapping, which makes everything crawl. It's not the process, it's the I/O. Perhaps alter the size of the virtual memory systems to work better.
 
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  • #25
jack action said:
So this thread was not written in vain.
Good enough... . :check:
 
  • #26
newjerseyrunner said:
Perhaps alter the size of the virtual memory systems to work better.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not quite sure how virtual memory affects the performance of my computer. It is managed by Windows where it says it recommends 1151 Mb but it somehow allocates 2048 Mb on my main drive (where Windows is). Based on your post, I added more space on my 'slave' drive (where I have mostly documents, no programs), still managed by Windows, and the total virtual memory increased to 3199 Mb. No noticeable changes in performance.

Should I increase the one on the main drive instead of the slave drive? Should I decrease it to the recommended size? I have about 13.5 Gb left on each disk! :eek::nb)
 
  • #27
jack action said:
Yes, but why does it works with Opera 12? It still runs Windows 10, Flash and whatever (sometimes even including Chrome in the background).
Obviously Chrome and Opera operates differently in this case. Why is very hard to say without access to the both programs source code and quite a lot of time. If you wan't to get a feel for the symptoms you could fire up the Resource Monitor and run the different programs through the scenario. Look for differences in memory usage and hard fault/s in the memory tab and disk activity (especially for pagefile.sys)
 
  • #28
jack action said:
To be perfectly honest, I'm not quite sure how virtual memory affects the performance of my computer. It is managed by Windows where it says it recommends 1151 Mb but it somehow allocates 2048 Mb on my main drive (where Windows is). Based on your post, I added more space on my 'slave' drive (where I have mostly documents, no programs), still managed by Windows, and the total virtual memory increased to 3199 Mb. No noticeable changes in performance.

Should I increase the one on the main drive instead of the slave drive? Should I decrease it to the recommended size? I have about 13.5 Gb left on each disk! :eek::nb)
No, increasing the size of the pagefile doesn't help performance, it only makes it harder to load enough programs that the computer runs out of memory (physical and virtual) and crashes. There is no free lunch here, if you can't keep your computers working set in memory performance is going to crawl. The latency of accessing memory from the pagefile is on the order of 100,000 of times slower than from memory (bandwidth is much closer but still significantly slower). With two almost full drives seek times are even longer (the rule of thumb is that the main drive should only be 1 to 2 thirds full if it is a mechanical drive) and the files are probably fragmented (located in more than one place).

If you want your computer to be faster, get more memory. If you want to speed up the pagefile accesses get a flash drive (and/or a faster mechanical drive with lots of room to spare) but do that after the memory upgrade. If you don't want to do that stop using Chrome, maybe try to disable every program or service you don't need to save some memory, switch from Windows 10 to a minimal Linux install or accept that your computer will be slow in this situation.
 
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  • #29
glappkaeft said:
accept that your computer will be slow in this situation.
Already done. I'm not looking for ways to make my computer faster (although one was given to me in this thread as a bonus :smile:) because I willingly and knowingly use an older (slower) computer and, considering everything, I'm quite happy with the results (I'm not as demanding as most people). I'm just curious about why 'upgraded' browsers would deliberately be slower than older versions, especially when they always claim to be faster which each new version.

Likewise, I'm astonished by the size of today's OS. I understand there are a lot of programs not directly related to an OS per say, but that is a lot and I'm sure I could easily do without most of them. Remember when installing a program back in the days, you could choose to install only the 'core' files and everything else was optional?
 
  • #30
This thread forced to play around a little bit, and I discover new things.

I was used to put files in the recycle bin and to empty it when its maximum size was exceeded (Upon deleting a file, I usually got a message telling me the file would be permanently deleted because the recycle bin was full). I never got such message since I have Windows 10 and thought it was maybe deleting automatically older files as you add new ones or something like that.

Well it doesn't. Even with a maximum size of 5.8 Gb (+ 3.1 Gb on the second drive), there was 18.8 Gb in the recycle bin! Stuff going back to 2013! The maximum size seems to be the maximum size of the file you can add to the recycle bin. A search on the net did not explain this change in behavior with Windows.

After emptying the recycle bin, my main drive (the one with all my programs including Windows) is now filled at 57 % of its capacity. :partytime:

This computer will probably be good for another 10 years with all of these improvements! :wink::smile:
 
  • #31
jack action said:
This thread forced to play around a little bit, and I discover new things.

I was used to put files in the recycle bin and to empty it when its maximum size was exceeded (Upon deleting a file, I usually got a message telling me the file would be permanently deleted because the recycle bin was full). I never got such message since I have Windows 10 and thought it was maybe deleting automatically older files as you add new ones or something like that.

Well it doesn't. Even with a maximum size of 5.8 Gb (+ 3.1 Gb on the second drive), there was 18.8 Gb in the recycle bin! Stuff going back to 2013! The maximum size seems to be the maximum size of the file you can add to the recycle bin. A search on the net did not explain this change in behavior with Windows.

After emptying the recycle bin, my main drive (the one with all my programs including Windows) is now filled at 57 % of its capacity. :partytime:

This computer will probably be good for another 10 years with all of these improvements! :wink::smile:
You just learned some common sense.

Also try to store any installers on some external storage device like external hard drive or usb flash drive, and then delete them from the main computer.
 
  • #32
jack action said:
I never got such message since I have Windows 10...
You should be able to see that message if you want to...
Right click the Recycle Bin on your desktop, then open the properties box... check the box as shown in the screen grab, click apply, then OK... . :ok:

Recycle Bin1.jpg

Recycle Bin Properties1.jpg
 

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  • #33
OCR said:
You should be able to see that message if you want to...
Right click the Recycle Bin on your desktop, then open the properties box... check the box as shown in the screen grab, click apply, then OK... . :ok:
It is not the message that I'm talking about. With older versions of Windows, when deleting a file that would cause the recycle bin to exceed its maximum limit, there would be a message warning the user that the operation would permanently deleted the file because it was too big for the recycle bin. It seems there are no limits anymore. Setting the maximum size you see in your picture just set the maximum size of the file - or group of files - you can delete in a single operation.

I found a few people on the web having the same experience and question, but there are no answers anywhere to explain the new behavior.
 

Related to Why is my old browser faster than newer versions?

1. Why is my old browser faster than newer versions?

There could be a few reasons for this. One possibility is that your old browser is using a simpler and more streamlined code, while newer versions may have added more features and functionality that can slow it down. Another reason could be that your old browser is optimized for the specific hardware and operating system you are using, while newer versions may not be as well-suited for your device.

2. Can I make my newer browser faster?

Yes, there are a few things you can try to improve the speed of your newer browser. First, make sure you have the latest version installed as updates often include performance improvements. You can also try clearing your browser's cache and cookies, disabling any unnecessary extensions or plugins, and closing any unused tabs or windows.

3. Is it safe to use an older browser?

It is generally not recommended to use an older browser as it may not have the necessary security updates to protect against potential vulnerabilities. This could make your device and personal information more susceptible to attacks. It is best to use the latest version of a browser or switch to a different one if your current one is no longer supported.

4. Why do websites no longer work on my old browser?

Websites are constantly evolving and updating to keep up with new technologies and security measures. This means that older browsers may not be able to properly display or function with these newer websites. It is important to use a supported and up-to-date browser to ensure a better and safer browsing experience.

5. Can I use an older browser for specific websites?

Some websites may still allow access through older browsers, but it is not recommended as it could pose a security risk. Additionally, the website may not function properly or display correctly. It is best to use a modern and supported browser for all internet browsing.

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