Browser War: Firefox 3.6a1, Opera 10.0, IE8, Safari 4, Chrome 4 Benchmarked Part III
September 10, 2009 8:43 AM
comment(s) - last by
The conclusion of our three part series looking to expose each next gen browser's greatest strengths and weaknesses
In our exploration of next generation browsers we
the user interface, installation details, time to install, and application launch times. We next turned our attention to
CPU and memory usages
, as well as comparing and contrasting the security of the various browser offerings. Topics we haven't looked at yet include rendering comparisons, synthetic benchmarks, plug-ins, and standards support, as well as our conclusions. We planned just one more piece, but that's a lot of ground to cover, so we've broken it up into two more pieces.
In this first piece, we'll look at synthetic benchmarks and plug-in support. In the next (and final) segment, we'll examine rendering performance, standards support (including performance in the Acid3 benchmark), and our conclusions on the state of the browser war and who we believe the current winner(s) is/are.
6. Synthetic Benchmarks
The first synthetic benchmark we ran was
. The homepage for the test showed Safari 4 to be the leading web browser. Our own testing indicated that it has been passed by Google's Chrome. Safari came in second, Opera in third, Firefox in fourth, and Internet Explorer came in at a distant fifth.
The next synthetic benchmark run was the popular
. This test again showed Chrome 4 beating Safari 4. This time, though, Firefox was a runner up. Opera performed unexpectedly poorly in this test, though Opera 10 managed a bit better performance. And Internet Explorer 8 performed the worst of all, taking nearly eight times as long as Chrome 4 to complete this test. Combined with Celtic Kane, these tests indicate the Safari's Squirrelfish engine, Chrome's V8 to be the clear JS leaders and the JS performance of Trident, IE 8's engine, to be dismal.
Our next synthetic benchmark was Peacekeeper, a Futuremark test suite which we
. Our testing with the suite indicated Chrome to be in the lead, followed closely by Safari and then Firefox. Opera 10 managed middling results. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer was the slowest, managing a mere sixth of the score of Chrome. The suite looks at a number of aspects, including JS performance, CSS performance, rendering, and more, so it is a good general indicator of speed.
The last synthetic benchmark we used was How-To-Create UK's CSS test. The test loads approximately 2,500 DIVs and times how fast the load takes. Unfortunately, WebKit browsers (Safari and Chrome) aren't supported due to how they measure time, so we could only get results for Firefox, IE 8, and Opera. For these browsers, Opera 10 barely led Firefox 3.6a1, while Internet Explorer 8 yet again lagged in performance.
Conclusions to be drawn from the synthtetic tests -- Chrome is the fastest browser with Safari close behind. Opera and Firefox are just slightly behind. And Internet Explorer 8 is the slowest browser. Even on content heavy sites, though, this performance difference is not as great as these tests might seem to indicate. In fact, it may only account for a couple of extra seconds of load time. Still, it could become an annoyance on content-heavy pages like Facebook.
A common misconception is that Firefox is the only browser that has plug-ins, add-ons, extensions, or otherwise named optional components. Plug-ins/add-ons/extensions are, in fact, a vital part of modern browsers. There are a diverse variety of formats include ActiveX, NPAPI, Java, Google Gears, RSS, and Atom.
Mozilla Firefox does arguably lead in this field, having the most enthusiastic developer community for plug-ins, and the most useful plug-ins. Firefox 3.6a1 does not provide is support for classic Java plugins and ActiveX plug-ins.
Looking at the other browsers, Opera (which does not support Gears, ActiveX), Chrome (also no ActiveX), and Safari (no ActiveX, Gears partial only) all offer decent plug-in support, but their developer communities are still in a fledgling state. Internet Explorer 8, on the other hand, offers a lot of plug-ins -- in fact, plug-ins are essential to improving the browser's standards support. Unfortunately IE 8 does not support the NPAPI extension language commonly used for Mozilla. IE 8 plug-ins are generally more for utility rather than aesthetics.
Plug-ins are most accessible to Firefox users, as Firefox's plug-in system is friendly enough for even beginning users. Nonetheless, if other factors make you pick another browser, it's a good idea to check out what kind of plug-ins are available for it, as there will surely be some useful ones.
Note: All benchmarks were performed in 32-bit Vista on a Sony VAIO laptop with 3 GB of RAM, a T8100 Intel Processor (2.1 GHz), and a NVIDIA 8400 GT mobile graphics chip. The number of processes was kept consistent and at a minimum to reflect stock performance.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Opera 10 Turbo = Blurry Images?
9/11/2009 6:35:16 PM
Its a image compression system. Useful for those still on dial up (or only have dial up access).
Turbo mode also has Auto mode.. but I'd say, turn it OFF and remove it from the tool bar.
Or... take off the Status bar, and turn ON the View bar, set it to the bottom. its more useful anyway.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
Browser War: Firefox 3.6a1, Opera 10.0, IE8, Safari 4, Chrome 4 Benchmarked Part II
September 8, 2009, 12:00 PM
Browser War: Firefox 3.6a1, Opera 10.0, IE8, Safari 4, Chrome 4 Benchmarked Part I
September 8, 2009, 7:59 AM
Futuremark Interview: IE8 is Slowest Browser, Macs Faster than PCs in Browser Tests
August 10, 2009, 2:05 PM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information