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Opera installed quicker than Chrome, though its license agreement featured some curious limitations (no tablet PCs, for one thing)..

Opera 10.0 RC scored 1718 in PeaceKeeper...

... Chrome 4 scored over 1,000 points higher at 2,929 points.

Opera 10.0 manges to complete the CelticKane Javascript test suite in 274 ms...

... but Chrome 4 blows through it even faster in 195 ms.
Opera and Google's upcoming products square off

Opera shared its Opera 10.0 browser release candidate with the world Tuesday, as it advanced towards an important launch.  The third-party browser manufacturer's new offering is available for Mac, Linux, and Windows computers.  It refines many of the features that were introduced in the beta candidates of 10.0 release.

Namely, speed boost and Mail have continued to be refined and are now at the point where Opera is satisfied with them.  In testing by BetaNews, the Turbo mode now delivers 358 percent faster page loads than when in normal load when the turbo is turned up to x3 (BetaNews failed to mention what test they used).  This is 58 percent more than even Opera's advertised boost.  The compressed pages are delivered with JPGs at high compression rates, making some images more pixellated.

We did our own testing of Opera 10.0 RC and looked at how it squared up against another recent testing-phase browser -- Google Chrome 4.  We tested the two browsers using FutureMark's PeaceKeeper browser test, which is now out of beta.  We also used CelticKane's JavaScript test to look at script performance in a bit more detail.  All tests were ran in Windows Vista on a VAIO notebook with T8100 (2.1 GHz, 45 nm) processor and a NVIDIA 8400 GS graphics card.  For Opera the Build was 1733, and Presto was 2.2.15.  For Chrome, the version was 4.0.202.0.

In PeaceKeeper Opera scored 1718 points.  This seems a bit low, compared to Safari and Chrome, but its partly because of the slower processor on the testing laptop.  However, Chrome did score 2929 points, easily besting Opera's offering.  Part of this is because the PeaceKeeper test does not test or reward for special/experimental standards such as Nav Links, Web Forms 2.0,VoiceXML/X+V, or CSS Projection mode (all of which Opera supports, but Google does not).  Such standards are still rarely used, though, so this may be a fair omission.

Digging a bit deeper we ran the two browsers through CelticKane's Javascript test.  Opera scored a modest 274 ms -- pretty good compared to the results listed on the page (faster than Chrome 2 was in July).  Still Chrome 4 managed to once again show up the competitor in speed, coming in at a smoking 195 ms (Apple's Safari is still faster, according to CelticKane's page).

In short Opera does not have an answer to Chrome in script performance in 10.0 RC.  It does have one potential answer in the long run -- its new Carakan Javascript engine -- but unfortunately it won't be available at 10.0's release.  Opera spokesman, Thomas Ford describes, "It won't be ready for (Opera) 10 final, but rest assured that it will be impressive when it comes."

In the meantime, it's important to consider the browsers' other features (besides pure speed).  Both Chrome and Opera suffer from being minority players in the market, so some pages that are poorly coded may not be compatible fully with them (but are compatible with Firefox/IE).  In general both offer fairly robust ad-filtering, pop-up blocking, and script filtering.  Both also include anti-phishing technologies.  Overall, Chrome is a bit more secure as each tab is sandboxed separately.  However, in our experience Opera does a better job of blocking most ads then Chrome.

So in speed Chrome 4 wins, and in security its a virtual draw.  So let's move to the bonus round -- what really sticks out about the browser.  Looking at Chrome first, one great feature is the tab isolation, which means that if one tab crashes the whole browser doesn't go down.  The privacy mode (incognito) is also nice.  Downsides include a slightly less refined interface and no tabbed colorization (a nice feature in IE). 

Looking at Opera 10.0 RC one impressive aspect is its friendly user interface.  Speed dial is a great feature and is implemented arguably better than the knock-offs (Firefox add-ons, etc.) that have arisen, since it was first revealed.  For users with slow connections Opera is the best option hands down, thanks to its turbo mode.  Opera also installs much faster than Chrome.  After clicking through the dialogs, Opera installed on our machine in 58 sec., while Chrome took close to 4 minutes -- Chrome's installation speed will be quicker than this on faster connections, though.  Disappointments include its lack of a privacy mode, poor plug-in/add-on support (though improving), and no tabbed colorization by default.

Our conclusion is that when it comes to speed Chrome beats Opera handily.  However, when features and other considerations come into play, the browsers are much closer and which is best boils down to personal preference.  We suggest you try both.  Opera 10.0 RC can be found here and Google Chrome 4 can be found here.




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worthless futuremark benchmark
By invidious on 8/27/2009 10:21:02 AM , Rating: 5
Start up speed, memory usage, processor usage at idle, 64 bit support. All things that should be measured in a review/benchmark. And all of them more important to me than how fast a browser can complete a synthetic 5 minute browser race.

When is the last time you went on a clicking tangent seeing how long it took you to load 100 pages in succession without taking time to view the content on any of them? How is this benchmark supposed to relate to actual use?




RE: worthless futuremark benchmark
By LeviBeckerson (blog) on 8/27/2009 10:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Benchmarks of any kind have rarely related to actual use.

I've been using Opera for years on and off and recently started using it again on my laptop (which has the same graphics unit but a much slower processor than what was used in Jason's comparison). I'm still using 10b4, but Opera is much quicker on the laptop for some reason. I highly doubt that it has anything to do with better javascript engines and the like.

I have to agree, invidious, there are many more important facets to a browser that make it the most desirable to use. However, these almost always boil down to personal preference due to the GUI or file handling or RSS feed handling or etc etc. So benchmarks are a handy way of seeing who can write the most lethal code, but maybe not the most usable browser.


RE: worthless futuremark benchmark
By Sazar on 8/28/2009 11:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using Opera with the new build almost exclusively for the past couple of days to see how it shakes out. I have had the beta on my system for a while so no big changes that I have seen thus far :)

Opera is probably the most customizable browser out there off of the default build and while it's widgets are not as well integrated as FireFox's, they are pretty neat :)

I have it currently setup like I have all my browsers, except IE8, with a chrome-like layout and an omni-bar style address bar.

The tab preview functionality and the speed-dial implementation are both awesome, the latter apparently is light-years ahead of anyone else, besides Chrome.

It's good, but not sure if I am going to use it exclusively :)


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