Firefox 22 Brings WebRTC, OdinMonkey, Benchmarked Against Chrome 27 and Internet Explorer 10

Firefox 22 is now out in the wild with subtle new refinements, improvements and bug fixes. However a couple of new features in this release must be taken note of : WebRTC standard enabled by default and asm.js JavaScript Module which has been integrated now with Firefox 22 to give lead to high performance JavaScript code.

Download: Firefox 22 [20.8 MB /Auto Update]

Major New Features

Support for Larger Text Rendering on Windows for High Resolution Displays

Firefox on Windows now supports display scaling for larger text on high resolution displays on Windows. To access it you can play around with layout.css.devPixelsPerPx in about:config. Unfortunately , we were not able to test it thanks to our low resolution displays.

HTML5 Audio and Video Playback Speed Control

Firefox now lets you control audio and video speed for HTML5 media content. To control, just right click on the video and select the desired playback speed.

playback controls

WebRTC enabled by Default

Previously Mozilla had enabled preliminary WebRTC support in Firefox 18. Now Firefox supports full implementation of WebRTC and it is enabled by default. With all major browsers (barring IE of course) supporting WebRTC, there will definitely a flurry of plugin free, cross platform good video chat alternatives to Skype.

What is WebRTC after all?

WebRTC is a free and open source project that enables browsers to communicate in Real Time via Java Script API. Here is a darn cool video of a video call made from Firefox to Google Chrome using WebRTC

Social Services Management Via Addon- Manager

Firefox lets you now manage your social services through the inbuilt addon manager. Now Firefox lets you disable or remove Social services directly through addon manager without having to wander around in about:config. Firefox also alerts you when the service is initially enabled.

social services firefox

For the uninitiated, Mozilla initially launched social service integration with Facebook Messenger earlier and later on expanded it to other social platforms.

Performance Improvements

Firefox fans will definitely rejoice with a wide gallery of improvements all around this release brings to the table.

OdinMonkey for asm.js is now Included by default with Firefox 22. OdinMonkey is a JavaScript optimization module for asm.js for Firefox.

What is asm.js ?

In order to realize how important OdinMonkey is, let us focus a bit on what is asm.js. Asm.js is a low level subset of JavaScript which will let you run C / C++ byte code in JavaScript with little to no slow down compared to native execution. This will not only enable extremely fast JavaScript webapps being written, but also the open standard will prevent Google’s Native Client from gaining prominence.

Here is just a glimpse of the power that asm.js packs. Expect our detailed coverage on it shortly. asm.js performance firefox

WebGL performance improvements

Asynchronous canvas updates for WebGL rendering is implemented now which leads to some noticeable benefits in WebGL performance

Reduced memory consumption while loading images

Change in behaviour of loading images which earlier led to peaking of memory consumption among other major changes to the aspect of image rendering are implemented to bring down the already rock bottom levels of memory consumption in Firefox 22 even further down.


As usual, all benchmarks were conducted on a HP G42-478TX laptop, with Intel Core i3 2370M 2.4 GHz processor, 6 GB Transcend DDR3 1333 MHz RAM, 512 MB ATI Radeon 6370M GPU, powered by Windows 8 Pro

Traditional Benchmarks

Peace Keeper


Firefox 22 took a major performance dip in this browser intensive benchmark, where as Chrome 27 remained almost the same as it’s predecessor. Peacekeeper has always been a sore spot for Mozilla’s browser from quite a while.


sunspider 0.9.1

Sunspider surprisingly witnessed some lowered performances by both the browsers. Although it must be noted that for comparisons sake this time around we have taken Sunspider 0.9.1, and it may hide some modern JS optimisations.


kraken benchmarks

Kraken too witnessed the same story, but the magnitude of slump was almost negligible. This easily reminds us of the bane of the rapid release cycles : Don’t expect any major surprises for every new release.

Google Octane

google octane

While Firefox held it’s position, Chrome witnessed some major setback in Google’s own benchmark dropping by as much as around 900 points. We expect this behaviour to be fixed in subsequent releases though.

Memory Benchmarks

We conducted two simple memory benchmarks for the browsers.

Single Tab test involved opening Facebook on each of the browser and checking the memory consumption after 3 minutes of navigation within the page.

10 Tab test involved opening the following sites : TechSplurge, ArsTechnica, Facebook, GMail, Google+, Twitter, Google News, Phoronix, TheVerge, OMGUbuntu in each of the browser and checking the memory consumption after 4 minutes without using the browser.

The memory measurements were done in the good old  Windows Task Manager instead of Chrome’s own About Memory  tab to avoid ambiguity

Single Tab test

Perhaps one of the only tests where Internet Explorer shows its prowess. Firefox was not far behind which truly represents the progress it has made over the year. Chrome even after double checking was found to gobble around 200 odd MB’s to display a single tab. Mind you this is without any extension enabled in either Firefox or Chrome. It just perhaps highlights the sloppy attitude of Google towards any possible memory optimizations at all.

single tab test firefox

Multi Tab Test

Even Internet Explorer starts munching quite a bit of memory when it comes to 10 Tab test. However luckily, the sub 700 memory consumption of all the browsers just highlights good performance of each browser under load of multiple tabs. Firefox takes the crown here with a consumption of mere 460 MB’s to display 10 tabs, with Internet Explorer and Chrome trailing respectively.

10tab test firefox


Despite some minor setbacks in traditional browser benchmarks , Firefox 22 continues to be a solid browser with good memory efficiency and perhaps one of the best in class scrolling across the platforms. We just wish that Firefox catches up with Google’s Web Apps ( Google Keep, Hangouts ) with it’s own Market Place apps, to be the only browser installed on our Desktops and Mobile devices.