Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Major Flaw in Windows 8 Slow Browsing on Chrome, Firefox?

  1. #1

    Posts : 10
    Windows 9 Pro

    Major Flaw in Windows 8 Slow Browsing on Chrome, Firefox?

    A couple of weeks ago I installed Windows 8 (fresh install from scratch, not an update) on my computer. I do a lot of web browsing and over the last couple of weeks I've been using Windows 8, I could swear the web browsing wasn't as fast at it used to be on Windows 7.

    I then noticed I was having major issues bringing up my router's control panel (ASUS RT-N56U) so thinking it was my router I upgraded the firmware. Turned out, the Avast Anti-Virus I was running has issues with Windows 8. I removed AVAST and turned on Windows Defender (which in Windows 8 is also an anti-virus program now referred to MSE - Miscrosoft Security Essentials). MSE has gotten fairly good reviews so I decided to use it, for maximum compatibility with Windows 8.

    However, although the router control panel would now come up okay, browsing still seemed to not be quite as fast as it used to be. I sat down at the old 5-year old Dell Desktop next to me that is running Windows 7, both computers were connected to the router via Gigabit Ethernet. I tested network speeds with to make sure they were both getting the same Internet speeds (which they were.) I found a couple 'heavy' web pages to test: (home page) (home page)

    The browsing was MUCH faster on the Windows 7 machine!! So I decided to do more of a controlled test.

    The Samsung Notebook is a Series 6 Core i5 with 6GB RAM and 64GB SSD running Win 8 Pro 64-bit. Windows Experience score of 5.9. Windows Defender (MSE) Anti-Virus. Windows Firewall Turned OFF!

    The Dell Desktop is Intel Q8200 with 6GB RAM and a 5400RPM HD running Win 7 32-bit (not sure why 64-bit didn't install, sort of strange but oh well). It had a Windows Experience score of 3.6. Avast Anti-Virus. Windows Firewall turned OFF. Windows Defender turned OFF.

    I went into Windows Task Manager on both computers and ended most if not all tasks that were not critical to the system and no other programs except the browsers were running.

    I removed all plug-ins and add-ons from Chrome except the Page Load Time extension plug-in which can be downloaded here:

    I also tested on FireFox using this add-on:

    On the Windows 8 Machine I also tested with Internet Explorer 10 - unfortunately I couldn't find a page load speed monitor for it that would work so I could only do an informal visual+verbal count, stopping when I saw the page stop X in the URL bar change to the reload symbol indicating the page had completed loading.

    On both test pages I refreshed the pages at least 10 times and averaged the scores. I looked at the page load speed monitor result but I also did a visual+verbal count out loud until I saw the page stopped loading objects.

    The results were astounding (and very frustrating/disappointing because otherwise I really like Windows 8 as the OS in general seems better/faster than Windows 7 for multitasking)

    Here's the results:

    Windows 8 + Fast Machine + Chrome 23.0.1271.95 m on ~ 3.5 sec load counter / ~ 5.5 sec visual/verbal count

    Windows 7 + Slow Machine + Chrome 23.0.1271.95 m on ~ 2 sec avg / ~ 3.5 sec avg visual/verbal count

    Windows 8 Fast machine + Chrome on 5 sec avg / 5 sec avg

    Windows 7 Slow machine + Chrome on 2.5 sec / 3 sec

    Windows 8 Fast machine + FireFox on epicurious com: 4.5 sec / 4.5 sec

    Windows 7 Slow machine + Firefox on 2.5 sec / 3 sec

    Windows 8 Fast machine + FireFox on com: 5.25 sec / 5 sec

    Windows 7 Slow machine + Firefox on 2.5 sec / 3 sec

    Windows 8 Fast machine + Internet Explorer 10 on ~ 5 sec visual/verbal count

    Windows 8 Fast machine + Internet Explorer 10 on ~ 6 sec visual/verbal count

    (I didn't bother testing IE 10 on the Win 7 machine)

    It is clear, that something in Windows 8 is causing the browsers to load web pages 30-50% slower. If you have a very fast Internet connection (like me - 35 mbit/s download and 6 mbit/s upload) in regular use, the difference may not be that noticeable to the "casual user" as the difference between as a 3 sec and a 5 sec page load speed are both fairly fast for these two sites.

    But it you have many sites open at once and are multi-tasking and clicking lots of links hours at a time, it IS noticeable. Downright depressing when you compare it to a Windows 7 machine especially considering the specs on the Win 8 machine are much better hardware wise! If anything the Windows 8 machines should be faster.

    Now I know a some people are going to be skeptical about my findings or give suggestions as to something that may be wrong with my particular PC. Obviously every PC is different, having different configurations, apps loaded, processes running, etc. But in my 25+ years in the Tech Industry my gut is telling me there's something not right with Windows 8 and it is just a matter of time until enough people complain to Microsoft about it to get their attention to find the cause of the issue and fix it.


    * I tried the tests on Windows 8 with Windows Defender (MSE) turned OFF, Firewall turned OFF. No anti-virus programs running. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE.

    ** I made sure the drivers for both my Ethernet and Wi-Fi Networking were the latest drivers. They are the on-board Intel 82579M Gigabit Ethernet and Centrino 6230 Wireless.

    *** Running the tests on Wifi instead of Ethernet ALSO MADE NO DIFFERENCE.

    The facts seem to point to something in the Windows 8 Operating System is slowing things down. I wish I knew what it was as I feel so frustrated that this new powerful Samsung Core i5 notebook running Windows 8 has slower web browsing than than 5-year old Windows 7 Dell Desktop sitting across from me.

    I have seen many other posts about Chrome running slowly on Windows 8. It isn't just Chrome!

    *** I would encourage others to run these tests as I would at least like to be 99% confident that I don't have some hardware or driver issue. ***

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    I have not noticed any slowness in Chrome or FF in Windows 8. Are you using chrome in Desktop mode or in Metro mode?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 10
    Windows 9 Pro

    Chrome in desktop. As I pointed out, I would expect most people won't notice the slowness as it isn't a night and day difference. Load those Page Load Speed plug-ins I posted links to in the original post and did your own comparison. Of course you'd have to have a Window 7 machines but per my findings below, the difference can also be seen between running in Safe Mode or not

    I've done more troubleshooting. Have not determined the cause but have more interesting information.

    ** If I boot into Safe Mode, the problem is not there. loads in about 2 second - did about 20 refreshes.

    ** Whatever is causing it, it is one of the last things to load into memory. If I login right away, load the browser and go to (or any site for that matter) the load speed is fast like my Wini 7 machine, ~ 2 seconds for that Yahoo site. But after 30-60 seconds it all the sudden goes from 2 sec load times to 4 sec. Refreshing dozens and dozens of times. If after boot, I wait a few minutes to login, it is slow right away.

    In Safe Mode, I logged every process and service that was running. So then I booted normally and manually ended any process or service that was not running in Safe Mode. This did NOT fix the problem, the load time was still slow. There were 4 services that weren't running in Safe Mode that I couldn't stop:

    wudfsvc Windows - User mode Driver Framework Service
    Task Scheduler Servioce

    I also tried disabling a few devices in device manager like the Acronis (backup) device and the wifi device. Made no difference.

    I also of course in Task Manager > Startup disabled ALL startup programs. No change.

    So the question remains, what is Safe Mode NOT loading that normal mode IS loading that is causing the noticeable slow down in web browsing?

    I need to find a utility that will log everything that is loaded in the order it was loaded and ideally how many seconds into the boot it is loaded. Then I might be able to figure it out.

    Oh and yes, once again, I did disable Windows Defender but it makes no difference. Even Safe Mode loads Windows Defender.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 10
    Windows 9 Pro

    10 hours of wasted time later starting and stopping, enabling and disabling services, drivers, etc.

    It was the Power Management! Power Plan was set to Power Saver mode! Why it takes about 3 minutes after boot for it to effect the browsing is beyond me. Sure threw me a curve ball and I've been around the block a few times on PC issues over the past 15-20 years!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1

    Quote Originally Posted by consultant View Post
    10 hours of wasted time later starting and stopping, enabling and disabling services, drivers, etc.

    It was the Power Management! Power Plan was set to Power Saver mode! Why it takes about 3 minutes after boot for it to effect the browsing is beyond me. Sure threw me a curve ball and I've been around the block a few times on PC issues over the past 15-20 years!
    Thank you so much for this! I have been looking everywhere for a solution to the horrible browser performance. This works like a charm.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)

    Quote Originally Posted by consultant View Post
    Why it takes about 3 minutes after boot for it to effect the browsing is beyond me.
    In Power management, there are options to turn off your network card automatically. Methinks 3 minutes of network inactivity (say you are reading a webpage, or doing something offline) shuts down your card, which then has to be reactivated when you click a link or something which needs internet access.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 1
    Windows 10

    I have same problem in Windows 10 (slow Internet only in browsers, but they speed is fine, if load OS in save mode with network). This bug appears only on network adapter in Realtek 8139 chipset. For another network adapter chipset my internet-speed in browsers is fine.

    My solution: just buy another network adapter (TP-Link TG-3468).

    Actually amount of bugs, defects and unusables in Windows 8-10 is disaster
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Major Flaw in Windows 8 Slow Browsing on Chrome, Firefox?

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