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This time Opera's claim of being the fastest browser holds true.

DailyTech displayed in Opera 10.6.
We explore Opera's latest release which while minor in number brings some major performance bumps

With the wealth of browsers out there, it's hard to pick.  There are, of course, five major competitors -- Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla's Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and Apple's Safari.  Some time ago we compared those browsers in a four part series [1] [2] [3] [4].  More recently we benchmarked Safari 5 and Opera 10.5, both of which claimed to be the world's fastest browser, but came up lacking.

This time around we took Opera 10.6, the latest from the Norwegian web firm, out for a spin.  And we can first say that of the recent "fastest" browser claims -- including some of Opera's own -- this one seems the most legitimate.

To test its claims we ran three popular web test suites -- Sunspider (Javascript, only), Celtic Kane's JSBenchmark (Javascript, only), and Futuremark's Peacekeeper browser benchmark (all around performance). 

However, this time we took things a step further.  We decided to retest Internet Explorer 8 -- the most used browser -- and also take the third test build of Microsoft's upcoming Internet Explorer 9 (found here) for a spin.  We also tried to install Mozilla's Firefox 4.0 beta (which appears to be found here) to install, but had some issues -- our version number stayed at 3.6.6 despite repeated installations.  It also appears that Mozilla has pulled the official Firefox 4.0 beta page (see here) -- so this may have something to do with that.

With that context in mind, the results are as follows:

SunSpider Benchmark
1.
Opera 10.5                   353.4ms +/- 1.1%
2. Chrome 6.0.408.1       489.6ms +/- 3.9%
3. Opera 10.6                  517.4ms +/- 5.7%
4. Safari 5.0 (7553.16)   600.4ms +/- 1.1%
5.
Chrome 5.0.375.86      635.0ms +/- 3.6%
6. Internet Explorer 9      807.4ms +/- 12.1%
   (Trial Build 3)

7. FireFox 3.6.4            1396.6ms +/- 14.6%
8.
Internet Explorer 8   7228.8ms +/- 9.7%

JSBenchmark (by Celtic Kane)
1.
Chrome 5                     459 ± 0
2.
Opera 10.6                  387 ± 0
3. Chrome 6.0.408.1       355 ± 0
4. Safari 5.0 (7553.16)   252 ± 0
5.
Opera 10.5                  211 ± 0
6. Internet Explorer 9      177 ± 0
   (Trial Build 3)
7. FireFox 3.6.4              100 ± 0
8.
Internet Explorer 8      59 ± 15

Futuremark Peacekeeper Benchmark
1.
Opera 10.6                 5244 Points
2. Chrome 6.0.408.1      5162 Points
3. Chrome 5.0.375.86     4897 Points
4. Opera 10.5                 3323 Points
5. Safari 5.0 (7553.16)  2606 Points
6.
Firefox 3.6.4             1939 Points
7 Internet Explorer 9      1919 Points
   (Trial Build 3)
8. Internet Explorer 8      829 Points

As you can see a compelling side story is how Internet Explorer 9 is now beating Firefox 3.6 in speed.  This is a remarkable turnaround for Microsoft -- in fact in the Sunspider Javascript test IE 9 was almost 10 times faster than IE 8.

Returning to the core story, it Opera 10.6 narrowly edges out Chrome 5 in two of the tests, and Chrome 6 in two of the tests.  In the world of mixed martial arts, they would call this a split decision win.  But a win is still a win and we can say that unlike with Opera 10.5, Opera Software's claims that it has the world's fastest browser are fair.

As an additional note Chrome 6 (an advanced test build, not widely available) is dangerously unstable, so Opera clearly has the edge over it.  Chrome 6 crashed so often we could almost keep time by the crashes. Chrome 5 was slightly more stable, but still crashed more than Firefox 3.6 or Opera 10.6 (twice in our limited testing versus no crashes for Opera 10.6 and one for Firefox 3.6.4).

In looks Opera 10.6 seems to hold an advantage over Chrome and Firefox if you like a graphical look.  If you like a more minimalist look, you may find Chrome or Firefox more pleasing.  At the end of the day, it's honestly a subjective call.

However, Opera 10.6 does have one more ace up its sleeve -- it's bundling free antivirus software from AVG inside its browser.  Opera writes us : "We are incorporating AVG into Opera. Specifically, AVG's Web Threat Data Feed. This will work with our existing Fraud Protection technology that already uses Netcraft and PhishTank."

This should offer further protection against exploits and malware to Opera 10.6 users.  Opera is already pretty safe due to its small market share versus Firefox or Internet Explorer.  Of course its Flash player is just as vulnerable as its foes.

In the PC browsing market, Opera has less than a 5 percent market share internationally, but it continues to have a legion of loyal followers and push the envelope on web technologies.  By contrast, in the mobile sphere, Opera is the biggest player on the market, and even recently scored approval on the iPhone.

You can pick up Opera 10.6 here.

All tests were done on a MacBook Pro running 64-bit Windows 7 Professional.  The hardware onboard included a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9600, a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT GPU, and 4 GB of DDR RAM.


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Who cares
By spathotan on 7/3/2010 12:12:23 PM , Rating: 3
Does this really matter? If your life is so short, or you are so impatient that MILLISECONDS make a difference then the computer is not where you need to be. I use Firefox, I hit the link and the following page loads in 1-3 seconds, that's all I need. Who the hell sits at their PC with a stopwatch and switches browsers to the fastest every update cycle?




RE: Who cares
By SteelyKen on 7/3/2010 12:48:02 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly.
Since broadband became available I have NEVER had a problem with the speed of any browser. Feature set and customization is where the meat of any comparison should be, and we all know who wins there.


RE: Who cares
By quiksilvr on 7/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Who cares
By Reclaimer77 on 7/3/2010 9:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
I honestly don't know what you people are running on your systems, but I haven't seen a "slow" browser in about 5 years.

All browsers are fast. We're simply splitting hairs about how much faster one renders over the other.


RE: Who cares
By Miggleness on 7/4/2010 4:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
Fast browsers do have their niche. Take JSNES for example, which is a NES emulator running on JS. It'll only run fine on the fastest browsers.

The the trend goes such that eventually DHTML/JS does the fancy effects instead of flash, then we need even better performing browsers than what we currently have available.


RE: Who cares
By vol7ron on 7/5/2010 2:31:01 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. I also notice a difference in both load and download times between Chrome and Firefox. FF being my debug/design browser, and Chrome my general use browser.

One question I have about the article is why not use the newer Chrome 5.0? I'm running 5.0.375.99, which seems to be bug free. For a new article, this test should be using the latest browsers.


RE: Who cares
By sebmel on 7/7/2010 4:32:12 PM , Rating: 1
"As you can see a compelling side story is how Internet Explorer 9 is now beating Firefox 3.6 in speed."

For last place (ignoring the risible, dead in the water, IE8)? That's compelling, Mick?


RE: Who cares
By ipay on 7/4/2010 6:38:59 AM , Rating: 3
I'm writing this post on a 384kbps connection, so I care.

(Writing this from South Africa, the country currently hosting the World Cup, where 384k is considered "broadband" by service providers.)


RE: Who cares
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/3/2010 12:55:00 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Does this really matter? If your life is so short, or you are so impatient that MILLISECONDS make a difference then the computer is not where you need to be.


If you heavily use the internet in your professional work, speed does become an issue. Granted, Opera and Chrome have some annoying bugs with certain web forms/content engines, so that makes me tend to fall back on Firefox. But I definitely appreciate them pushing the envelope in terms of speed and web technologies.

While I can live with the slightly slower performance of Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 is quite a different story.

On many content laden pages, on the occasions I use Internet Explorer 8, it feels painfully slow. I guess using faster browsers has just made me impatient, but as a heavy web user I simply could not tolerate using IE 8 on a daily basis.

Every browser disappoints me a bit in some ways, though, so there's room for improvement for everyone. Firefox is great all around and has great plugins, but its GUI looks somewhat dated and not Windows 7ish (I'm looking forward to the reskins in 4.0).

Opera looks great, but it is not compatible with some sites I regularly use (I realize this is likely the site coders' fault, but that doesn't help me). And Chrome is great -- feels /fast/ -- but it crashes ALL THE TIME -- at least for Chrome 5 and especially Chrome 6. And Safari just looks very bland and doesn't have a lot of compelling features in my mind (plus has an abysmal patching track record).

That said, I am looking forward to seeing what IE 9 can bring. It's shaping up quite nicely.


RE: Who cares
By joey2264 on 7/3/2010 7:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to say, I have had a similar experience with Chrome ... on Windows. I installed Ubuntu very easily via Wubi last week, and Chrome absolutely flies on it. No crashes at all, and also none of the weird file download and page display occasionally displays.

Internet browsing in general seems to be much faster on Ubuntu across browsers than in Windows. Maybe you guys could do an article on that.


RE: Who cares
By wvh on 7/4/2010 1:32:06 AM , Rating: 3
Chrome (Chromium) uses a lot of open-source software internally. I don't have any Windows around at home or at work to compare to Linux or Mac OSX, but if Chrome runs better on Linux than Windows, it might be a strong indication Google is keeping focus on its Google OS – or whatever the name might turn out to be.

It would be an interesting development though, because I think both Firefox and OpenOffice see more development for Windows than for Linux and from what I've heard, run faster than in Linux.

I run Firefox with occasionally Chrome/Chromium and Opera. I agree that with others that Safari doesn't really have any specific features to make me prefer it over the other options, and I don't want to depend too much on Apple software anyway for reasons of security and freedom.

A point I haven't seen made in this discussion is that that Firefox and to some extend Opera are not tied to any one large cooperation. Who knows what Apple, Microsoft and Google could hide in their software, extract from user statistics or force upon you one way or another – look at what Apple is doing with their iAd and adding forceful location sharing into their user agreement legalese... It is good to have more independent options for software so you don't have to depend too much on one omnipresent corporation or OS.


RE: Who cares
By B3an on 7/3/2010 7:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'd also like to point out that with HTML5 and Javascript, browser performance can HEAVILY affect performance/frame rates in games and animations.

My Android 2.2 phone can run many flash games and advanced animations perfectly fine. But the iPad, which has a slightly faster CPU, completely gets crippled with many HTML5 demo's on apples own site - which are not even 1/4 as advanced as the flash stuff my phone can run smoothly.

HTML5 will never be as good as Flash for this kinda stuff, but it could atleast get closer with better browser performance.

It's also a good example of the total BS apple continue to say about Flash being bad on mobile phones, when apples own HTML5 demo's run infinitely worse and use more CPU.


RE: Who cares
By RjBass on 7/3/2010 9:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to move around between IE8, Chrome and Opera and out of the three I love Chrome the best. Their add ons are starting to pick up and my favorite is the IE Tab extension. When I hit a page that was coded for IE I just click the IE Tab button and it renders just fine. FF has always looks dated to me. I have tried it a few times, and I just have never liked it.


RE: Who cares
By B3an on 7/4/2010 10:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
Same with me. FF has fallen behind now, got slow, got unstable, looks dated.
Now that Chrome has real addons, i use it with adblock. It's basically like FF but faster and cleaner.
I like Opera... but no real addon support, which kills it for many.


RE: Who cares
By danrien on 7/4/2010 9:19:09 AM , Rating: 1
Where was FireFox 4 beta 1? I've been having fun with that recently and it seems significantly faster than 3.6 and almost on par with chrome...


RE: Who cares
By blueboy09 on 7/5/2010 8:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, I have used the Opera browser and have not looked back since. I use Foxfire only every now and then, and I have noticed that Opera is a hell of alot faster than many of the browsers, as yes, IE still has ALOT of catching up to do if it wants to play with sprint runners of the web. - BLUEBOY


RE: Who cares
By HotFoot on 7/3/2010 1:33:43 PM , Rating: 3
People spend hundreds extra to make their computers faster or just more responsive. I'd say free software that goes in that direction is rather a bargain.

And yeah, life isn't so very short that a few extra milliseconds really matters so much, but then, why don't we all drive 50 hp cars and use $300 computers?


RE: Who cares
By dhoom00101 on 7/3/2010 2:12:25 PM , Rating: 5
the scores are just useless numbers, i use firefox n i love it.


RE: Who cares
By n00bxqb on 7/3/2010 4:32:52 PM , Rating: 3
I'm on 25 Mbps internet, so pretty much any browser is the same speed opening pages. However, because of the features in Opera, it allows me to get more done in less time than Chrome or Firefox. Mouse Gestures, Speed Dial, Customized Searches, Magic Wand, Visual Tabs, Opera Link, and Opera Unite all make getting work done easier and faster than what I could do in Firefox or Chrome, even w/ equivalent add-ons (which I find make those browsers slow and unstable, not to mention prevents me from upgrading the browser until those add-ons are updated).

Switching to Opera was the best thing I ever did.


RE: Who cares
By LifeByTheHorns on 7/3/2010 4:40:19 PM , Rating: 3
This isn't about the speed of displaying web sites. This is about the speed of using JavaScript/CSS based web APPLICATIONS...something entirely different.

Try using one (http://280slides.com/Editor/) under IE 6/7/8 and then under Chrome/Opera/Safari. You'll see a huge differences!


RE: Who cares
By ekv on 7/3/2010 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who the hell sits at their PC with a stopwatch and switches browsers to the fastest every update cycle?
Since you asked ... Opera 10.x has been seamless as far as updates are concerned. Trivial from the end-user experience. Opera gives you a dialog -- or you can put it on automatic -- about their being an update. If you ok it, then Opera downloads the new browser version, remembers exactly where you are, installs the new version and puts you right back where you were (plus a new tab show-casing the new version of Opera).

On my machine, it took about 10-15s to update. I didn't really hit me that an update had occurred, until I'm staring at the new-version tab. Even then it took a couple seconds to realize what I was looking at.

I still use IE 8 on occasion -- some pages still don't play nice with Opera -- but nowhere near the performance. I'm sure other browsers have some nice bells and whistles, that Opera doesn't, yet. All-in-all, it works pretty well though.


RE: Who cares
By Alexstarfire on 7/3/2010 6:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understood his post. He's not really talking about a specific platform, he's talking about out of all browsers. His point would be equivalent to seeing if Intel or AMD was faster when buying a CPU or if ATI/nVidia is faster when buying a video card. Only difference being that browsers get updated more often. He's saying no one switches to a completely different browser just because it's a tiny fraction faster.


RE: Who cares
By ekv on 7/4/2010 7:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I see that point. Trying to keep up with the latest and greatest version of every browser would consume more time than it's worth. I think my point was that I have no anxiety whatsoever regarding updating a browser. In fact, I don't have to think about it, instead spending my limited CPU cycles / brain-power, what have you, on more important matters.

Yes, other browsers are not as bad to upgrade as IE used to be. However, I kind of got the impression from the OP that that was his opinion.

I personally went from 10.51 to 10.6, skipping the intermediate updates. I really didn't have to, which is an important consideration. Getting that last little bit of performance required very little effort on my part, thanks to a fair amount of effort on Opera's part to make a seamless user experience.


RE: Who cares
By Phenick on 7/4/2010 4:05:05 AM , Rating: 4
Actually these tests matter a whole lot. As a web developer I can tell you that every day I make compromises on offering great new features in my sites and applications due to the speed limitations current browsers have on them. Every year sites and web apps get more and more impressive not just because the developers are getting better but also because the platform on which we develop is getting better and most importantly faster.


RE: Who cares
By Chocobollz on 7/4/2010 6:42:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'd say, it depends on your needs. It's not about speed, really. It's all about optimizations. If you don't care about optimizations, then no matter how fast your CPU is or how much memory you have, then you'll always feel that it's not enough.

I myself need a browser who can stand opening at least 50 or more tabs for days, going a lot of sleep/hibernate cycles without being unstable, and that was Opera which do the job. I in fact, could run Opera for days, with approx. 1,200 tabs open, and it runs stable for days! (well of course it feels a little sluggish, but it's comfortable to use) And that's with only 2 GBs of RAM. Try to do that with FF or IE, and you'll know what I mean.


RE: Who cares
By PrinceGaz on 7/4/2010 9:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
Javascript browser speed is important when running intensive JS apps, such as JSSpeccy, which makes me wonder why benchmarks are being used to compare browsers, when tests of everything else moved to real-world apps years ago?

One quite demanding JS test is JSSpeccy, a Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator written in Javascript, which depending on your computer and browser and chosen game for it to run, may work at full speed, or run so slow that nothing seems to happen for several minutes or more.


RE: Who cares
By masamasa on 7/5/2010 1:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Choose the browser you like based on features as speed differences are negligible. We're not talking about 1 minute to load a page...it's fractions of seconds.

And as for your rating of 0 for your post - no big surprise considering the lack of credibility in the rating system here.


RE: Who cares
By The0ne on 7/6/2010 12:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
While I do agree, look at smartphone reviews. Comparisons are made from one to the other and touted as the "fastest" device ever in the whole world. Exaggeration on my part, yes...from the reviews, totally yes.

You only have to review some of the Anandtech phone reviews to see this similarity. I could care less if the phone took an extra press or second to do something. As you've said, my life (and I'm damn sure 100% of the people on Earth) is not lived by milliseconds or seconds.

Hell, I wasted more time writing this than my Phone could have done in a year's time (counting in ms that is).


What Firefox you runnin??
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 7:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'm running Firefox ver 3.6.6 and I'm not sure where your stats are coming from...

I just ran these 3 tests and got:
691.8ms - SunSpider
205 Points - JSBenchmark
3442 Points - Peacekeeper

So... Not sure what you guys are runnin...




RE: What Firefox you runnin??
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 7:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah... I'm not runnin any super computer either...

Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
Geforce 9600 GSO

So.... if I had some actual decent hardware... my scores would prolly be way better than what I just got...


RE: What Firefox you runnin??
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 7:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
Just for kicks... I downloaded and ran the lastest Chrome...

Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
Geforce 9600 GSO

Chrome(v5.0.375.99) Scored:
269.2ms - SunSpider
677 - JSBenchmark
8304 - Peacekeeper


RE: What Firefox you runnin??
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 8:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... so yeah... I did some further testing...

SunSpider Benchmark
1. Opera(v10.60) - 256.6ms
2. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 269.2ms
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 691.8ms

JSBenchmark (by Celtic Kane)
1. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 677
2. Opera(v10.60) - 592
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 205

Futuremark Peacekeeper Benchmark
1. Opera(v10.60) - 9670
2. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 8304
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 3442

Acid3 Test
1. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) / Opera(v10.60) - 100/100
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 94/100


RE: What Firefox you runnin??
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 8:05:57 PM , Rating: 1
FIREFOX SUCKS BALLS!!!!!

:)


RE: What Firefox you runnin??
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 8:13:17 PM , Rating: 1
I guess my subject line should change to:

"Hey Jason Mick! What POS computer you runnin?!?!"

Bring your system into the 90's dude.. oh wait.. I mean.. the 10's...

ROFLMAO

http://www.break.com/index/iphone-4-vs-htc-evo.htm...


Regarding opera, ie
By charrytg on 7/3/2010 10:49:35 AM , Rating: 4
Honestly, good for opera. They deserve some recognition after the massive improvement from 10.10>10.50>10.60. Now, what they really should be doing is spending some money on advertising. It could be the best browser in the world, in my opinion it is, but it is going nowhere because nobody knows that it exists. One things for sure, though, and that is that people who have given opera a chance generally stick with it.

As for ie, I really hope it stays at or above the speed of firefox. When you take the speed of at least firefox, plus the compatibility of ie.. all you need to add is neat built in features, or addons, and you will have a browser that nobody can disagree with. Either perhaps ending up as The backup browser of choice, or a main browser for a larger crowd than 8 had. But honestly, without the ability for mouse gestures, keyword searching, and ad hiding features either built in or added on, I would not touch a browser. So lets hope for at least that much flexibility




SunSpider Benchmark - Opera Versions Switched?
By reretteK on 7/3/2010 10:56:03 AM , Rating: 2
Are the Opera versions switched in the SunSpider Benchmark? You have 10.5 coming out on top.




By JasonMick (blog) on 7/3/2010 12:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are the Opera versions switched in the SunSpider Benchmark? You have 10.5 coming out on top.


Nope. I can't explain it, but those were the results I got... JSBenchmark is a slightly newer test, so I'd say Opera 10.6 likely *does* have better JS performance. Not quite sure why it didn't do as well in SunSpider.

The FutureMark results, I believe are particularly important, though, as they show all around performance. In that test Opera 10.6 is seen taking a major leap from Opera 10.5. So there's likely important improvements to the underlying engine that go well beyond just JS performance tuning...


Even more interesting...
By Exodite on 7/3/2010 12:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
...is the fact that the testing team managed to crash Chrome, twice even.

I'd be more worried about that than a millisecond or two here or there. Longtime Chrome user myself, switched from Opera as I prefer the more minimalistic approach of Chrome, but while I've had flash crashing numerous times I've never gotten the actual browser to crash.

Could be the particular hardware setup I suppose but still, it's a more major issue in my eyes.




RE: Even more interesting...
By joey2264 on 7/3/2010 7:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
I've managed to crash Chrome often on Windows. Also occasionally it will try to download elements of webpages (in the download manager) instead of rendering them, or it will show the html/xml instead of the web page (repeatedly, where I have to load the page in a different browser if I want to see that web page).

None of these problems on Linux, though, and it is consistently faster.


out of the box feature comparison?
By amandahugnkiss on 7/3/2010 1:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
the speed tests are nice but how about including an out of the box feature breakdown? Some of the slower browsers are falling behind for a 'user beneficial reason' or might be able to render pages a little faster when they are all configured similarly.




By Exodite on 7/3/2010 3:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the speed tests are nice but how about including an out of the box feature breakdown? Some of the slower browsers are falling behind for a 'user beneficial reason' or might be able to render pages a little faster when they are all configured similarly.

In a general comparison I agree that out-of-the-box feature comparisons are good.

However, it's probably good to keep in mind that as far as comparisons go more != better. There's a fair few users, myself included, that prefer a bare-bones implementation as we have little use for the annoying bonus features.


Prefer Firefox
By tomorrow on 7/5/2010 1:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a Firefox user.
Currently @ 3.6.6

Resons why i don't use other browsers:

IE: Dead slow.Notably the opening of a new page is slow but general UI responsiveness is not that good either.IE9 is only a shell at this point without UI so it's difficult to say.Besides IE9 artifacts in many of the Peacekeeper tests.
Also the browser has very limited customization and portability.

Safari: Well the fact that i have to install a separate app just to update the browser kinda says it all.Also haven't found Fullscreen option(unless it's different than generally accepted F11 key).Also limited customization and portability.Better than IE but still not good enough for me.

Opera: Has too many integrated things that i have separate apps for that do the job much better.Besides the UI is kinda funky for my taste.Props for speed tho.

Chrome: 2nd best in my opinion.If there's one browser that can one day win me over this is it.Still it has a long way to go.Plugins and addons are just getting started and i hate some extra stuff Google tries to install to my PC with it.Also can become bloted over time as features are added but we will have to see.Has best startup speed and i really like this.Also i like the minimalistic look very much and ofcourse the speed.

Firefox: I used to be a IE7/IE8 user but i grew out of those and realised how limited and slow those were(i doubt IE9 will turn tables here for me because speed isn't everything).
I really like how i can customize it with addons,themes,personas and how i can even customize Firefox's own native UI for my taste.The customization is very important to me and Firefox beats all here - bar none.
I also like it's portability.It's very weakly tied to installed OS.I can easily move the entire profile to another PC or installation.Also the ability to back up automatically(via FEBE addon).
UI is responsive enough for my taste although Chrome and Opera seem faster.
General rendering is on bar with other browsers so no loss here.Can be a litte slow on Java heavy pages compared to Opera and Chrome but i dont use these pages every day so noting losed.

Although i really don't understand the criticism against UI.I mean there are thousands of themes.You dont like the default?.Go and use the one to make it look like IE/Chrome/Opera/Safari

Wow this post become way longer than i intended.Anyway this is my taste and i suppose everyone uses some specific browser for their needs and what's important from their point of view.




RE: Prefer Firefox
By smegz on 7/6/2010 1:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with ya. Opera seems come out so spectacular in all these benchmarks but always seems to fail to impress during real world use. DNS lookups are slower, initial load times are slower and it refuses to load Comcast's email browser on 3 computers I use (2 operating systems.) It's just plain slow and cantankerous. Opera made a great browser for WinMo, but their desktop browsers can't touch Firefox regardless of what the benchmarks say.

As I was typing this, Opera 10.6 again failed to load Comcast's mail. Sits on the loading screen and goes no further....just like all of the 10.X revisions. Seriously, if I can't get to my mail what good is the browser?


This is all well and good, but...
By Hacre on 7/3/2010 2:58:46 PM , Rating: 3
As cross platform browsers go, Opera still falls a lonnng way behind.

Benchmarks don't tell anywhere near to close a real life usage story.

Why?

On Linux here. Opera utterly smokes Firefox in my own runs of the same benchmarks you ran (Opera scored even higher for me than it did in the article, over 11000 on Peacekeeper).

However, as has plagued Opera on Linux for version after version after version, it decides to randomly freeze and become unresponsive, even when just switching from one tab to another, completely randomly.

So yeah, super fast rendering is nice and all, but with those freezes, Firefox soon catches up. On top of this, Opera still utterly fails to integrate into a desktop theme, unlike Firefox.




I'm just gonna say...
By Motoman on 7/3/2010 11:01:55 AM , Rating: 2
...that I've preferred Opera for YEARS. Since way before it was cool to buck the IE trend.

And I think it's really cool that they've innovated damn near every feature in every modern browser. And that they've now incorporated AVG.

BUT...I have to say, these hair-splitting "speed" tests are way too useless. Seriously, you're not going to notice the difference the VAST majority of the time, and the bottleneck isn't your browser anyway (unless your PC is already effed up somehow). The bottleneck most assuredly is going to be your internet connection...so what browser you're using after that connection is very unlikely to make much difference.

...unless you're using some truly outdated thing like Mosaic or IE 5 or something like that :p




By greylica on 7/3/2010 7:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
Security is more important
By createcoms on 7/4/2010 12:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
Whilst I'm all for making browsers more efficient with my cpu cycles (as with any other program for that matter), security and privacy are much bigger concerns. I want to be protected against drive-by-downloads and other content-driven exploits. Lets run the stats on 0day exploits and time to patch etc etc.....

I feel much more secure with my firefox addon collection which includes NoScript.




Old version of Chrome 6
By Shining Arcanine on 7/4/2010 1:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
You guys tested with a very old version of Chrome 6. The latest is 6.0.453.1. Perhaps you were using the beta channel version rather than dev channel version, which is bleeding edge and is extremely stable on my system.




Numbers for Firefox 4.0 beta
By bug77 on 7/4/2010 4:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a Firefox 4.0beta2 on Mozilla's FTP, so I took it for a spin:

Peacekeeper
===========
4.0b2 3492
3.6.6 3353

Sunspider
=========
4.0b2 762.2±6%
3.6.6 893±2.3%

JSBenchmark
===========
4.0b2 269
3.6.6 195

If that's with Jagermonkey enabled, it's embarrassing. As it stands, Firefox seriously lags behind Chrome, Opera and Safari. In addition, you can't run the system scan on 4.0b2, it will crash the browser (together with its process isolation) and the "waves in the water" test is completely messed up. To top it off, I tried the 64bit build, but it installed in "Program Files (x86)". However it is a 64bit application, as shown in task manager.

I only checked Opera in Peacekeeper and it ties Chrome 6 for the lead (~9000 points). Not bad at all, considering Chrome is not exactly standing still wrt performance.

(E8400 stock, 4GB DDR2-800, Win7 64bit, fwiw)




Still IE8 for me
By kmmatney on 7/4/2010 6:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
While I like the speediness of Chrome, I find that it has some quirks when you try to do things a little out of the ordinary. For example, I notice that some flash sites have trouble in Chrome if the zoom is set to greater than 100% - the same pages work perfect in IE8. I have a 1920 x 1200 resolution display on my laptop, and usually set my zoom to 125% or 150%. I'm looking forward to IE9.




Long time user
By nodamnspam on 7/4/2010 10:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
I've used opera for longer than I can recall. I paid for it back when it was a paid product (around V5-6). At the time I started using opera because it was the only browser that had tabs, and I hated getting 30 pops that spawned more popups when you closed them. Opera allowed me to close all of the windows by shutting the browser down. I've used it ever since. I'm so opera centric that I have issues using IE/Chrome/Firefox. I have to figure out where everything is and in some cases like work I just gave up on IE and loaded Opera in - take that IT department! Some complain about opera is too complex or hard to learn. Perhaps. They have done a good job of keeping most things consistent iteration after iteration. Throw in the fact it literally never crashes, handles email, bitorrent, news, and it pretty fast - I see no reason to change. Everytime some other browser comes out I've tried it - Safari, Chrome, Firefox (Firefox ALMOST won me over at one point). I always seem to come back to Opera.




Title change
By damianrobertjones on 7/5/2010 4:18:21 AM , Rating: 2
Could the title be changed to indicate the early release stage of IE9?

Might help




By craig kensek on 7/5/2010 10:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Very cool move by AVG Technologies and Opera (of los free amigos fame, AVG Technologies, Avira, and Avast!) to have AVG's free AV incorporated into Opera 10.6.

Since Opera is the largest player in the mobile sphere and is approved for the iPhone (according to the article), this gives AVG's technology a nice entree into this portion of the marketplace. AVG's CEO, JR Smith, has blogged about the mobile market and Mac/App being the next frontiers for cyber criminals to do their damage. A plus for consumers desiring improved internet security.





Don't forget WebM
By justjc on 7/6/2010 7:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
A new feature the DailyTech writers forget to mention is that Opera 10.60 can play WebM video. Until now that feature has been reserved for previews. A lot of Youtube videos are available in WebM, so you can test it out right away, after joining the beta at http://www.youtube.com/html5

For me it seems a bit faster than flash.




By thesafetyisoff on 7/7/2010 2:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
And also far less important than compatibility for mobile browswers.

It doesn't matter how "fast" your browswer is if it won't render the damn page!

Testing should be done on "real world" sites, which often use Flash in order to make their menus work. You wanna buy something at Banana Republic's website? Good luck with Safari. If I can't use my browser to actually use mainstream websites, the browser gets UNINSTALLED.




Safari 5 in Snow Leopard?
By ltcommanderdata on 7/3/2010 12:07:47 PM , Rating: 1
It would be interesting to also compare Safari 5 performance in Snow Leopard to see if running in 64-bit mode improves performance. Presumably a significant portion of Safari's user base is running OS X, so those results would be most relevant for those users.




i just have to say
By inperfectdarkness on 7/4/2010 9:58:45 AM , Rating: 1
+eleventy rep for using cat power in this article's pic.




Test Platform
By Reclaimer77 on 7/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Test Platform
By DanNeely on 7/3/2010 11:26:17 AM , Rating: 3
Notebooks sales have recently overtaken desktop sales; so testing on one is reasonable. Likewise the CPU, RAM, etc are the same regardless of whose logo is on the lid so that's a meaningless objection.


RE: Test Platform
By Reclaimer77 on 7/3/2010 5:28:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Notebooks sales have recently overtaken desktop sales


Notebook are for portability, not performance. This isn't a test on what browser is the most mobile, it's a test of performance.

Look if you guys think I'm crazy, and I deserve -1's, can you please explain to me why EVERY BENCHMARK SITE that matters and people depend on uses top of the line desktops?

My point still stands, testing browser performance on a Mac notebook to provide a general "faster" statement is retarded. Nobody else does it besides Daily Tech! Think about it.


RE: Test Platform
By Alexstarfire on 7/3/2010 6:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
You could tell us why it being a laptop would make this comparison invalid for a start. Unless tests are run on a system that is short on resources, like perhaps a netbook, then I don't see why these tests aren't perfectly valid. Even if it was run on a netbook it'd still be very helpful. The point is to see the differences between them, not the absolute fastest performance you can get. Pretty much as long as all the tests are performed on the same platform in the same way then the tests are valid.

We all know that actual performance and differences are going to vary between systems. No two systems are the EXACT same. If you can see a trend in the results than you can expect most systems to follow the same pattern.


RE: Test Platform
By alanore on 7/4/2010 3:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
Benchmarking websites use a standardized test rig for consistency, they don't keep up dating to brand new components on a week to week basis as it would no longer be an apples for apples comparison.

They tend to use the fastest components available at the time because the rigs are used to test multiple hardware components, so the fastest components are used to minimize any bottlenecks. For example, testing the latest graphics cards on a test rig with Pentium 4 CPU is worthless because the CPU bottlenecks gaming performance to the point where the fastest graphics cards can only achieve the same framerate as a mid range graphics card because of the CPU. In this case no individual component is causing a bottleneck masking the performance of the browser.

In this case all the benchmarks were conducted on the same system, the variable that was changed was the browser, the other variables (Hardware + OS) were kept constant. The actual numbers are arbitrary, as they are a product of both the browser performance and hardware performance, what is important is the relative performances of the browsers as it eliminated the hardware.

Now if you would like to explain why this series of benchmarks is invalid because it isn't run on the most top of the line hardware? Also what the actual order of the results would have been on top of the line hardware?


RE: Test Platform
By Reclaimer77 on 7/4/2010 5:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
I would think it would be self evident why Jason Mick's personal Macbook, which has who know's what running in the background and installed, isn't ideal for this test. Besides the fact that it's a Mac, and you just can't trust them when it comes to performance.

But the hardware is really outdated as well. Ummm Core2? Yeah that was relevant like 2 years ago.

I'm done explaining. I've said all I need to say. Nobody does serious benchmarks on a Macbook. That's all you need to know.


RE: Test Platform
By Dennis Travis on 7/3/2010 2:19:35 PM , Rating: 1
A Mac with Windows 7 is the same as any PC laptop with Windows 7. Same hardware.


RE: Test Platform
By LifeByTheHorns on 7/3/2010 4:44:11 PM , Rating: 1
Who cares what is used so long as it is the same for all browsers?


RE: Test Platform
By stve on 7/3/2010 11:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a long time Opera user & i love it so many features built in that enables me to be more productive.
One thing puzzles me about all these speed tests why don't they ever test on a low bandwidth connection.
It wouldn't have made any difference on this test but loading 10 tabs when you are on dial up or are being throttled by your ISP provider Opera would really ace that test.


RE: Test Platform
By bug77 on 7/4/2010 8:44:35 AM , Rating: 2
You're completely missing the point (like the first poster).

These tests are not about how fast a browser can pull data from a web server. Instead they are about how fast that data can be rendered on a screen, once it's available.

Yes, you have a valid point about Opera being probably the best choice for slower connections, but these tests are about something else.


RE: Test Platform
By stve on 7/4/2010 11:25:38 AM , Rating: 1
Not really i was talking about speed tests in general.
Great example at Lifehacker
http://lifehacker.com/5577951/browser-speed-tests-...
There are 6 tests only 3 of them are benchmarks .
The first test is cold & warm boots , how important is a couple of seconds at the start of a browsing session that probably lasts over an hour ?
Two of the tests are about Memory the second memory test is about extensions so Opera & Safari are excluded for that test.
Now what are memory tests doing in a speed test.
I know Opera is intelligent in the way it handles memory if you have a lot it uses it to give you performance but if you are on a shitty laptop it uses a different strategy.


RE: Test Platform
By bug77 on 7/4/2010 5:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, so they tested more stuff. Are you saying all tests should be the same? Jason routinely tests using those three benchmarks; I only use Peacekeeper to keep track of 4 or 5 browsers. To each his own.


RE: Test Platform
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 8:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
My hardware is by NO means current... yet still viable...

Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
Geforce 9600 GSO

SunSpider Benchmark
1. Opera(v10.60) - 256.6ms
2. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 269.2ms
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 691.8ms

JSBenchmark (by Celtic Kane)
1. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 677
2. Opera(v10.60) - 592
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 205

Futuremark Peacekeeper Benchmark
1. Opera(v10.60) - 9670
2. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 8304
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 3442

Acid3 Test
1. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) / Opera(v10.60) - 100/100
3. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 94/100

So if my old ass 2007 system is beating the 'Test Platform' here... that's pretty damn pathetic... PITIFUL!!

:P


RE: Test Platform
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 9:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
OK... LOL...
Words of Wisdom:
"Who's more foolish? The fool? Or the fool who runs IE8?"

Test Platform:
Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
2 geebee's of DDR2
Geforce 9600 GSO vid

SunSpider Benchmark
1. Opera(v10.60) - 256.6ms
2. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 269.2ms
3. Firefox(v4.0b2pre) - 511.0ms
4. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 691.8ms
5. Internet Explorer(v8.0) - 3760.0ms

JSBenchmark (by Celtic Kane)
1. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 677
2. Opera(v10.60) - 592
3. Firefox(v4.0b2pre) - 283
4. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 205
5. Internet Explorer(v8.0) - 66

Futuremark Peacekeeper Benchmark
1. Opera(v10.60) - 9670
2. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) - 8304
3. Firefox(v4.0b2pre) - 4180
4. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 3442
5. Internet Explorer(v8.0) - 804 !!!! LOLZ!

Acid3 Test
1. Chrome(v5.0.375.99) / Opera(v10.60) - 100/100
3. Firefox(v4.0b2pre) - 97/100
4. Firefox(v3.6.6) - 94/100
5. Internet Explorer(v8.0) - 20 !!! ROFLMAO!


RE: Test Platform
By BoboGO on 7/4/2010 9:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and:

Windows XP Pro SP3


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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