The BIG browser benchmark (January 2013 edition)

Summary:The BIG browser benchmark -- where the leading browsers are pitted against six of the toughest and most comprehensive benchmark tests -- which browser will be triumphant?

It has only been a couple of months since the last Big Browser Benchmark but there has been enough changes to warrant a re-running the tests. There's also a new benchmark test to put the browsers through their paces.

Let's pit the leading browsers against four of the toughest benchmark tests available to see which one is triumphant. Here are the browsers that will be put through their paces:

  • Chrome 24
  • Chrome 23 (left in the listing for comparison with newer release)
  • Firefox 18
  • Firefox 16 (left in the listing for comparison with newer release)
  • Opera 12
  • Internet Explorer 9 (32-bit)
  • Internet Explorer 10 (32-bit)
  • Safari 5

Here are the tests that the browsers will face:

  • SunSpider JavaScript 0.9.1: A JavaScript benchmark developed by Apple's WebKit team in 2007 with a focus on real-world problem solving;
  • V8 Benchmark Suite: A pure JavaScript benchmark used by Google to tune the V8 JavaScript engine;
  • Peacekeeper: FutureMark's JavaScript test which stress-tests features such as animation, navigation, forms and other commonly utilized tasks;
  • Kraken 1.0: Another JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla. This is based on SunSpider but features crucial benchmarking enhancements;
  • RoboHornet: A Google-led open-source browser benchmark.
  • Octane: Google's new benchmark, based on the V8 test suite.

All testing carried out on a Windows 7 (32-bit) machine, running a P8600 2.4GHz dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card.

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark

SunSpider is a JavaScript benchmark developed by Apple's WebKit team in 2007, and has its focus in real-world JavaScript uses such as text manipulation and encryption. SunSpider is considered by many to be the most comprehensive browser benchmarks available, but as browsers have become faster the tests are now seen as too easy.

The clear winner here continues to be Internet Explorer 10, clearly halving the time it took Firefox 16 and Internet Explorer 9 to complete the test, which themselves are comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack.

While Google seems to have managed to make Chrome a little faster, Firefox 18's performance is slightly worse than that of Firefox 16.

V8 Benchmark

A pure JavaScript benchmark used by Google to fine-tune the V8 JavaScript engine of Google's Chrome browser. The final score is computed from the results of seven demanding tests. This is the tool used by Google to optimize its Chrome browser.

Chrome 24 aces this test, closely followed by Chrome 23, both of which are significantly ahead of Firefox 18 and the rest of the pack.

Topics: Browser, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Open Source

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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