Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

Summary: Today Mozilla hit back at claims that Google's Chrome browser outperforms Firefox by releasing benchmark results that show that Firefox 3.1 is faster at executing JavaScript that Google's offering.


Today Mozilla hit back at claims that Google's Chrome browser outperforms Firefox by releasing benchmark results that show that Firefox 3.1 is faster at executing JavaScript that Google's offering.

The tests were run by Brendan Eich, Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer, and these tests show that Mozilla's new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine is faster than Google's V8 engine.

Two tests were run, one under XP running on a Mac Mini and the other with Vista running on a MacBook Pro. In these tests the TraceMonkey engine beat V8 by 1.28x and 1.19x respectively.

I decided to replicate the test on my own test platform (running Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit) because the last time I tried benchmarking the TraceMonkey engine with SunSpider, the test crashed. This time I didn't have such issues.

Note: Here are the browser versions:  - Mozilla Firefox (JIT compiler enabled) - Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.9.1b1pre) Gecko/20080905031348 Minefield/3.1b1pre  - Google Chrome - Official Build 1583Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/525.13

TraceMonkey vs V8 - SunSpider JavaScript benchmark

In this test Mozilla's TraceMonkey engine beat Google's V8 engine, but by only 1.01x, nowhere near the 1.28x to 1.19x that Eich claims. Not sure whether to put this down to differences in the OS (my install is a clean install that I use exclusively for benchmarking JavaScript) or the fact that he ran the tests on Apple hardware or maybe it's just the effect of a different build.

Note: Check out the results for yourself - TraceMonkey|V8.

I also ran both browsers through Google's V8 benchmark test.

TraceMonkey vs V8 - V8 benchmark

Here Google's V8 engine beat TraceMonkey by a whopping margin - 12.8x.

There's no doubt that there's a lot of work going on optimizing JavaScript engines, and this is going to be good for web developers because they'll be able to do things that couldn't be done before, and it's good for the end user who can get more done in less time.

Topics: Operating Systems, Browser, Google, Software, Software Development, Windows

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  • Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    When is Firefox 3.1 with tracemonkey expected to be
    Loverock Davidson
    • first half of 2009

      with firefox 3.1
      • Thats too long! (NT)

        Loverock Davidson
  • yepper, 1.26x in my test RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    my test show tracemonkey being 1.27x faster than v8 on win xp sp3. here is the link with screenshot
  • I noticed no speed difference.

    Chrome is not customizable like Firefox is. There are few settings buttons making this a total no go. I ran it for about 1/2 hour and uninstalled it. Even the Spartan KMeleon browser is hedonistic and luxurious compared to this POS. By the way, you have to manually delete Google's remnants after the uninstall. I give it a -10.
  • try beta then :) RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    well, the beta will be out in a month or two, i think its stable enough to use..
  • RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    I don't know...but I do know that the latest Firefox update v.3.0.1 locked up my system, then crashed. I uninstalled and reinstalled, same problem. In addition it caused me some residual problems which took awhile to work out. So I no longer have the Firefox I've loved for so long and am using only IE which I don't even like. Tried customer support at Mozilla but it doesn't seem to exist. I'll be happy to try Chrome anytime!
    • What OS were you using?

      XP? I run it under both Win 2003 and Win 2008, and it's fine except once I ran into a persistent crash visiting one particular site. I believe Chrome has every reason to be faster given its JVM but I just love FF's AdBlock.
    • Check your registry

      I've had problems just like that in the past and in every case it turned out to be flaws in the registry. These days i normally reinstall windows every 8 months or so, to refresh the registry. Had no installation problems since.
    • you need to create new profile, rather than reinstall firefox

      99% of the problem will be solve by a new profile.
  • RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    From the <a href="">Chrome and IE
    compare site</a>'s vote result, 84.34% people
    think Chrome is faster than IE.
  • Google's benchmarks probably unfair

    Google's benchmark suite is probably designed to show off what they've optimized the most, and not a real fair comparison of overall JavaScript speed.

    Looks they're similar in performance.
    • True

      I don't think Google's V8 benchmark suite is optimized for real-world JavaScript issues. I give more weight to tests that aren't biased towards the developer's optimizations.
  • RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    I don't know if Firefox 3 is faster than Chrome; but I am sure that either is Faster than IE7 or IE8.

    Microsoft had better buy a clue. Clearly, they are being left behind.
  • does antbody notice that much of a difference?

    It's more secure and full featured so who cares.
  • google's beta products don't count as beta's

    everything they have is in perpetual beta so they gave up their beta status.
  • RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    I though benchmarking was supposed to be done by independent analysts? I certainly wouldn't trust benchmarks from the company that has something to prove.
  • Faster doesn't mean squat.

    Chrome can be faster than ff, but it will be months or years before we see the level of customizability, addons, robustness etc you have in firefox.
  • RE: Is Firefox faster than Chrome?

    It doesn't matter which is faster when the web server you're connecting to is transmittiing over a slow internet link...