Browser benchmarks: IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari

Summary:Web 2.0, with its complex sites and rich Ajax applications, is an increasingly demanding platform for a browser. In this guide, we look at how the leading browsers measure up.

Test setup

To test the performance of browsers when handling Web 2.0 technologies, we used the iBench 5.0 test suite and SunSpider, a Javascript benchmark.

iBench evaluates browser performance by measuring how fast HTML, XML and JavaScript is handled. The web pages are held on a local web server. SunSpider, which (unlike iBench) is available online, concentrates solely on JavaScript performance. Tests are grouped into nine categories, including 3D, bit operations, cryptography and string processing; there are several tests within each group. The benchmark runs each test multiple times and calculates an error range.

Obviously the speed of the hardware platform is a crucial variable. In our browser tests under Windows Vista and Mac OS 10.5.2 Leopard, we used the following components:

MotherboardGigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6
Memory4x 1GB Aeneon Xtune DDR3-1333
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Extreme Q9650 (3.6GHz)
Hard disk
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB ST3750640AS
Graphics card
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT


Topics: Developer, Enterprise Software, Reviews

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