Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

Summary: The Mozilla dev team claim to have squeezed more performance out of Firefox 3.0. The betas were fast, so have the team been able to get more out of their code?

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The Mozilla dev team claims to have squeezed more performance out of Firefox 3.0. The betas were fast, so has the team been able to get more out of their code?

Over the past few months I have benchmarked several incarnations of Firefox 3.0 beta. My last benchmark of Firefox 3.0 (using the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark), which looked at Beta 5, showed the browser to be the fastest of the pack, comfortably beating all the competition.

SunSpider JavaScript benchmark

So, how does Firefox 3.0 RC 1 compare? This latest run of tests was run on the same hardware and software platform as previous tests (to make sure nothing had changed we re-ran some of the browsers to check that we got the same results). Also added to the listing were Opera 9.27 and Opera 9.50 Beta 2.

Here are the results:

Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

As you can see the difference between Firefox 3.0 RC1 and Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 is only a few milliseconds, but over repeated runs the lead it held over the other browsers remained consistent.

What's really amazing (and a little hard to take in) is that Firefox 3.0 is now nearly ten times faster at processing the SunSpider benchmark than IE7 is.

ACID 3

I also took the opportunity to put each browser up against the ACID 3 CSS compliance test. In this latest set of tests Opera 9.50 Beta 2 has taken the crown from the previous leader, Safari 3.1.

Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

Thoughts?

Topic: Browser

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  • Open Source Speed Demon!!

    I have been running Firefox 3 beta 5 and have been amazed at how much faster it is than either Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2. I am a long time Google mail user and I am pleasantly surprised at how fast the new Firefox pulls up my mail. Other web sites (news sites, and so on) also show HUGE speed gains.

    This is what Vista should have been. Coding for efficiency as well as features. Open source is proving their superiority.
    chessmen
    • Totally agree

      Been running the RC1 since it come out and it's superb,fast secure and very intuitive and nice overall look and feel and although all the add ons I had previously are not available yet I am very happy with what's available now,Space Launch theme,stumbleupon,undo last closed button all good stuff.
      And with 3 tabs opened it's using between 2 to 17mb's when it was not unusual to see 80 plus.
      I would heartily recommend this Foxy to any one.
      morrigen
  • Why so hard?

    "What???s really amazing (and a little hard to take in) is that
    Firefox 3.0 is now nearly ten times faster at processing the
    SunSpider benchmark than IE7 is."

    Why is it so hard, because of all the other blazingly fast MS
    products?;-)

    Queue MS apologists.
    Richard Flude
    • Nothing wrong with his statement

      Even the BIGGEST MS hater finds hard to take the fact that IE7 is 10 times slower than Firefox 3.

      A 10x improvement in speed is very hard to believe.

      I don't see anything wrong with the statement. The speed of FF3 is impressive and hard to believe.

      The amazing part is that by the time the official version is out, chances are the speed difference would probably be 15x.
      wackoae
    • Does this make me an Apologist?

      I know that MS products aren't always the fastest on the block... but a 10-fold difference is quite astounding.

      I'm not normally an apologist - hell, I'm writing this post from Camino on (obviously) a Mac... and have three PCs on my desk - one Mac, one Windows and one Ubuntu, all of which I use for different things.

      I am, however, very surprised that MS have fallen this far behind - while many have "issues" with some of their business practices, there is little disagreement that they employ large numbers of very brights coders, and treat them well.
      MarkHarrison
      • Bright Coders

        It seems strange then thent most of the time they have to buy someone elses product rahter than develop their own.
        Way to go market leader!
        No Web browser - buy mosaic
        No disk compression, steal from Digital Research
        Need good speech recognition, buy Tell-me
        No iPod.... OK, they made the Zune themselves, but that really speaks for itself 8)
        chromeronin
  • RE: Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

    Who gives a **it !

    IE is fast enough and it is compatible with ALL of Microsoft's Office products so what I publish from Word, Excel, Powerpoint 2007 etc ends up IDENTICAL on our website. I've heard all this BS about Opera and Firebox being so much better, but for my and 90%+ of the world's users we have to change things in Office just so Firefox can render the pages.

    This is a classic "open source" as in "open your wallet" solution to a problem that does not exist in the frst place - I bet Redmond is quaking at Firefox (that's what Netscape said I remember) !

    Focus on things Microsoft doesn't do to add real value and not fight the inevitable.

    Apple has the best PCs (I don't believe this but everyone says so) - Microsoft OS owns the market

    Linux is a real server - (windows servers are still everywhere)

    Opera beats Firefox. Firefox beats Opera- Who loses - Microsoft (what does lose mean ?)
    paul@...
    • RE: Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

      The reason that MS things save and display the same is that it's a closed loop, which I think MS does deliberately. And, if you ever looked at the code generated my Office, etc., and had to change it, good luck! If they stuck to standards, there wouldn't be an issue.
      software@...
    • Pity Microfsoft wasn't faster in test

      You could then have said-See how the commercial , professionally made product shows once again the superiority of Microsoft of the bumbling Linux idiots.
      elderlybloke
  • RE: Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed

    Maybe Net Framework 3.5, Mindtouch Wiki, Google apps, Ajax 13, ETC made this happen. It just might help with some of us with Verizon 230k connections.
    atari8bit@...
  • Firefox vs Microshaft

    I long used Firefox as my default
    browser on my PC. After upgrading to a
    Mac, I made Opera my default browser,
    though I also use Firefox and Safari.

    Given the vast differences between
    browsers - and the fact that they're free
    - I think it makes sense to use all three,
    rather than just choose one.

    Any one of them will always be superior
    to Internet Explorer, on both technical
    and ethical merits. Frankly, I'm sick of
    Bill Gates' rampant corruption and
    increasingly bizarre games, which now
    have customers...er,
    victims...BACKGRADING to earlier
    operating system and browser versions
    both. What a joke.

    David Blomstrom
    David Blomstrom
    • exhibit A...

      Bill Gates isn't with MS anymore. Exhibit B: IE is used on 3/4 of machines around the world. It's the de facto standard for the world. Exhibit C: I don't think I've ever come across a page in IE that doesn't render correctly. Just TRY to open something with windows media content for Firefox and you'll find it does not work.

      So you're statement is ridiculous thus far. Let's continue, shall we?

      Ethically superior is subjective, firstly, and secondly, why is it that IE was more popular on mac than anything else until Apple pushed MS into dropping it?

      Also, Bill Gates gives more every year to charity than you will in your entire lifetime, especially since your total contribution is probably currently under 100 dollars, versus Bill Gates who gave 13 billion dollars to charity in one year. Interviewers who have been around both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs consistently say Bill Gates is more fun, more laid back, and nerdier. Jeez, dude, where's your tinfoil hat?

      Backgrading? That's not even a word. Secondly, assuming you mean Vista to XP, more people are getting Vista than ditching it. Vista's the fastest growing OS. You know what's not? Crapple Leopard. Of course, it should probably be Cripple Leopard at this point. After all their big cats, you'd think they wouldn't release one that should be euthanized, but they did.

      On technical merits? Such as? Microsoft makes a browser that is made to integrate on the system it's built for, and does a boatload of things by default. Firefox has a modular system where you have to add the extras. Not a big deal, but IE natively works out of the box, and FF might need a bit of tweaking to get where you want it to be. I use firefox because of the tabs. I started using Firefox when it came out because of the tab system, and just have never switched back. I like FF's look over IE's.

      You enjoy Safari? Really? You must be pretty die hard. Safari is possibly worse than Opera, which is already awful. It's ugly, crippled, and no fun to use. I truly hope they release a firefox for the iTouch so I can switch to a superior browser.

      Now go do 10 minutes of research and try not to drool on your keyboard, dear.
      evilkillerwhale@...
      • Huh???

        evilkillerwhale babbled, "Bill Gates isn't with MS anymore."

        Oh yes he is.

        "IE is used on 3/4 of machines around the world. It's the de facto standard for the world."

        Courtesy of the Microsoft monopoly. That doesn't make it the best browser - or an official standard. In fact, Firefox, Opera and Safari are all better browsers - and that's one reason M$ is losing market share.

        "I don't think I've ever come across a page in IE that doesn't render correctly."

        Well, thanks for sharing that with us.

        "Just TRY to open something with windows media content for Firefox and you'll find it does not work."

        That isn't surprising; Billysoft typically designs things to work only with M$.

        "Ethically superior is subjective..."

        Yes, I realize there are people who worship Hitler, just as there are contemporary boobs who revere George W. Bush and his pal, Bill Gates. However, a little common sense goes a long ways; Firefox, Opera and Safari combined haven't unleashed enough scandals to even register against Microsoft's record.

        "Also, Bill Gates gives more every year to charity than you will in your entire lifetime<snip>"

        Dude, the Gates Foundation is an INVESTMENT FIRM, a very corrupt one at that.

        "Interviewers who have been around both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs consistently say Bill Gates is more fun, more laid back, and nerdier."

        Well, of course he's more fun. I enjoy watching that frail little prick frantically flailing his arms around while he lies about the competition as much as anyone else. And I never suggested Gates isn't nerdy; that's one of the main themes of the famous Get a Mac ad series.

        "Backgrading? That's not even a word."

        LOL - It wasn't until M$ forced desperate victims to retreat from Vista to XP and from IE 7 to IE 6.

        "Secondly, assuming you mean Vista to XP, more people are getting Vista than ditching it. Vista's the fastest growing OS. You know what's not? Crapple Leopard."

        Vista is one of the biggest embarrassments in Microsoft's history. In the meantime, Apple has doubled its market share in just a few years. Do the math.

        "Microsoft makes a browser that is made to integrate on the system it's built for..."

        Oh, really? Which version are you talking about - the current one or the one Microslaves are backgrading to? And which platform does it work best on - XP or Vista? Or does it work at all on XP...or Vista?

        Since I now have a Mac, I don't have to play these games any more.

        In the meantime, check out www.billysoft.org. It's under construction, but I'll have some content online soon - including some revelations about Bill Gates and his pHilanthropy that I think you'll find rather enlightening. Now go play with your Zune.
        David Blomstrom
      • What Planet?

        What planet are you on?

        "I don't think I've ever come across a page in IE that doesn't render correctly." - have you ever used the Internet?

        As a part-time web developer, I can assure you that getting things to render properly in IE requires a large amount of extra effort. This is because of non-compliance issues with the CSS standards, the DOM standards, and the HTML/XML mark-up standards. The fact that you haven't noticed this may be solely because of the extra effort that people like me put in.

        Why don't you, just for fun, try writing a page with tables inside tables, and see if you can get the column widths of the inner tables to be the same, using CSS in IE?
        dfosberry@...
        • So true

          "The fact that you haven't noticed this may be solely because of the extra effort that people like me put in."

          Yup. It works because we developers do a lot of hard work to make it work, not because the browser is superior in any way. Adding support for IE6 is perhaps the hardest part of developing a web page.

          "Why don't you, just for fun, try writing a page with tables inside tables, and see if you can get the column widths of the inner tables to be the same, using CSS in IE?"

          I recommend not using tables for general layout. Look up CSS layout for a solution that makes redesigning a web page easier. You'll still encounter browser differences, but they are easier to deal with because you can define browser specific style sheets.

          http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/
          CobraA1
          • exhibit 0

            [i]Bill Gates isn't with MS anymore. [/i]

            Yeah, he?s retiring this month. Technically, not wrong plus he can always come back. I doubt we?ve seen the last of Bill Gates with Micro$haft.

            [i]Exhibit B: IE is used on 3/4 of machines around the world. It's the de facto standard for the world.[/i]

            Yeah, through market manipulation and legal stealing. Don?t forget what happened to Netscape.

            [i]Exhibit C: I don't think I've ever come across a page in IE that doesn't render correctly. Just TRY to open something with windows media content for Firefox and you'll find it does not work.[/i]

            True that for Firefox 1.0. Less so for Firefox 2.0. I?ve seen fewer and fewer pages that won?t render properly with 2.0. The only time I use IE is when I have to go to Micro$haft?s website to be able to install Active-X malware in order to download something from their webpage. And for that, I use IE Tab in Firefox.

            [i]So you're statement is ridiculous thus far. Let's continue, shall we?[/i]

            So says the paid shill. And yes we will.

            [i]Ethically superior is subjective, firstly, and secondly, why is it that IE was more popular on mac than anything else until Apple pushed MS into dropping it?[/i]

            Cite

            [i]Also, Bill Gates gives more every year to charity than you will in your entire lifetime, especially since your total contribution is probably currently under 100 dollars, versus Bill Gates who gave 13 billion dollars to charity in one year.[/i]

            Irrelevant to the topic. Big deal.

            [i]Interviewers who have been around both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs consistently say Bill Gates is more fun, more laid back, and nerdier. Jeez, dude, where's your tinfoil hat?[/i]

            Funniest thing I?ve read all morning. Have you tried the comedy club? :D

            [i]Backgrading? That's not even a word. Secondly, assuming you mean Vista to XP, more people are getting Vista than ditching it. Vista's the fastest growing OS.[/i]

            Sure, by default it?s on 95% of the desktop computers you buy. Not much of a choice when desktop computing is monopolized by one big fat happy corporation, is it?

            [i]On technical merits? Such as? Microsoft makes a browser that is made to integrate on the system it's built for, and does a boatload of things by default. Firefox has a modular system where you have to add the extras. Not a big deal, but IE natively works out of the box, and FF might need a bit of tweaking to get where you want it to be. I use firefox because of the tabs. I started using Firefox when it came out because of the tab system, and just have never switched back. I like FF's look over IE's.[/i]

            M$ must have threatened your job if you didn?t switch back. How much does Ballmer pay you to shine his shoes?

            [i]You enjoy Safari? Really? You must be pretty die hard. Safari is possibly worse than Opera, which is already awful. It's ugly, crippled, and no fun to use. I truly hope they release a firefox for the iTouch so I can switch to a superior browser.[/i]

            The only thing I agree with you on. Lucky you. ;)

            [i]Now go do 10 minutes of research and try not to drool on your keyboard, dear.[/i]

            You?re already doing that and you aren?t even aware of it. Want some tissue, [i]dear[/i]?

            :D
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
      • re: exhibit A...

        [i]I don't think I've ever come across a page in IE that doesn't render correctly. Just TRY to open something with windows media content for Firefox and you'll find it does not work.[/i]

        You don't see a page that doesn't render correctly in IE because of the hard work of web developers implementing IE workarounds so their standards-compliant code doesn't break on the POS browser.

        Yes, Microsoft's products are incestuous that way. Ever try saving a Word doc in html and have it render on a standards-compliant browser? There's a reason it won't, and the reason isn't for your convenience.







        :)
        none none
      • Nerd wars

        "Interviewers who have been around both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs consistently say Bill Gates is more fun, more laid back, and nerdier."

        As far as I'm concerned, both Gates and Jobs are marketing junkies with pocket protectors. If you want geek, think Wozniak.
        thumbknuckle
      • Why is Vista still popular?

        Vista is popular ONLY because of all the new hardware with Vista pre-installed. The ONLY reasons I still have Vista on my laptop are: a) I don't want to spend another fortune to buy a copy of XP Pro, and b) manufacturers such as Dell, HP and so on do support and do not provide drivers for many of the new peripherals on new boxes. "Backgrading" to XP is more of a pain than living with Vista.
        On the other hand - VISTA is in my memory the worst version of Windows I've encountered since 3.0. Previously MS would have ironed out most of the problems by SP1 - not so with Vista.
        And we're back to the old question - which 'business' problem are we solving by upgrading to Vista that we cannot work at in XP.
        The business vertical applications market has hardly moved to support Vista - most are still comfortable running some old version of SQL under Server 2000 with clients on XP's.
        olngrumpy
        • RE:Why is Vista still popular?

          Because Vista's a good OS, that's why. Try using it for more than 1 day and you might figure it out. But, then again, Vista's not for wimps.
          Narg