The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

Summary: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5 ... which browser will be triumphant?

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It's once again time to update the BIG browser benchmark, where we take the leading browsers and pit them against four of the toughest benchmark tests available to see which is the tortoise, and which is the hare.

Here are the browsers that will be run:

  • Internet Explorer 9 32-bit
  • Firefox 10
  • Chrome 17
  • Safari 5
  • Opera 11

Note: All browsers are the latest build.

Here are the tests that the browsers will face:

  • SunSpider JavaScript 0.9.1 - A JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla with a focus on real-world problem solving.
  • V8 Benchmark Suite - A pure JavaScript benchmark used by Google to 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 some enhancements.

All testing carried out on a Windows 7 64-bit machine running a Q9300 2.5GHz quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 260 graphics card.

On with the testing!

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark -->

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark

  • Hare: IE9 32-bit
  • Tortoise: Safari 5

Results from December 2011.

V8 Benchmark -->

V8 Benchmark

  • Hare: Chrome 17
  • Tortoise: IE9 32-bit

Results from December 2011.

Peacekeeper Benchmark -->

Peacekeeper Benchmark

  • Hare: Chrome 17
  • Tortoise: IE9 32-bit

Kraken Benchmark -->

Kraken Benchmark

  • Hare: Chrome 17
  • Tortoise: IE9 32-bit

Results from December 2011.

Conclusion -->

Conclusion

Google's Chrome browser continues to dominate the browser speed charts, but there's no doubt that Firefox 10 is an improvement over the earlier release, and is snapping at Chrome's heels in some of the tests.

IE 9 32-bit topped one test, and Chrome 17 topped the other three, so the champ is clearly Chrome 17. that said, things are close. In the SunSpider test, the browsers are separated by less than 60 milliseconds.

Other tests are more clear cut. Chrome was once again the clear winner of the V8 benchmark test (bear in mind that the V8 is a Google benchmark), and it was also the clear winner when it came to the Kraken 1.1 test too, although Firefox 10 is rapidly catching up.

However, the truth is that I really don't think that JavaScript performance is an issue any more, and certainly in real-world testing it's hard to see a difference between the browsers (some HTML 5 sites not withstanding, given that many are optimized for a particular browser). In fact, unless one of the players managed to boost JavaScript performance by an order of magnitude, shaving a few milliseconds off here and there hardly matters any more.

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42 comments
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  • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

    basically, day to day they are all the same... its just personal preference.
    danjames2012
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

      @danjames2012 Yup. I use all major browsers ("FireChromeExplorer") and all of them have strengths and weaknesses.
      statuskwo5
    • Yes, I cannot notice a speed difference

      @danjames2012
      I guess my eyes do not work in the millisecond range
      John Zern
    • @danjames2012:

      Exactly. This article is pointless. ZDNet does like knocking one out over browser speeds.

      It's down to personal preference, all the top 5 browsers are fast. I cannot stand Safari but the other 4 are all decent.
      bradavon
  • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

    Duh, You only confirmed that IE9 is the worst browser of them all.
    Return_of_the_jedi
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 v

      @Return_of_the_jedi Followed closely by Safari.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

        @Rabid Howler Monkey <br><br>The P3P crew of browsers.
        Return_of_the_jedi
    • @ Return_of_the_jedi:

      Yet it's rather good.
      bradavon
  • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

    IE9 Is pretty old now. Let's revisit once IE10 is released.
    jatbains
  • Why leave out 64 bit?

    Every gamer I know is running a 64 bit os and as you've stated in the past, it's only the gamers keeping the pc market alive as everyone else uses mobile devices. So why in the world would you exclude IE9 64 bit?
    Sqrly
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

      @Sqrly

      Because even on 64bit windows 7 chances are you're running 32bit IE, you have to explicitly go looking for the 64bit IE version
      the.nameless.drifter
      • Not always true

        @the.nameless.drifter <br>Depends on the version on Win7 you are running.<br>Both my newer machines (Dell and ASUS) running Pro have 32 and 64 for you to pick from in Start and on the desktop.
        rhonin
      • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

        @rhonin In case anyone missed the memo (and it's looking like you have), 64 bit IE isn't up to date. It's a thousand times slower than 32 bit.
        Aerowind
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

      @Sqrly
      Because IE9 64 bit isn't optimized Javascript by any means (Isn't even use Chakra JavaScript Engine). It's been said before in MSDN blog the sole reason IE9 x64 is for developer to make x64 plugins/add ons and not for day-to-day use.
      Samic
      • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

        @Samic IE 64-bit does use Chakra, however it does not do just-in-time compiling.
        PB_z
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

      @Sqrly 32bit performs better than the 64bit version... I know it sounds weird, but research it. I was thinking the same thing.
      apetti
  • Should be The bogus browser benchmark! Wow akh blogs about bogus browser

    benchmarks again. Keeps harping on bogus js benchmarks, keeps ignoring the new w3c html5 tests and the real world tests with the top sites. Ignores the fact that even in todays ajax world js perf is now a small fraction of total perf for all browsers. Wake up dude this is entirely boring at this point. No one cares about these lame js microfocused tests. They have been meaningless for a couple years now. Seriously they are as lame and bogus as the acid3 is now. They dont reflect real browser performance on real websites at all anymore. Accept it and move on. Please dont waste time doing this with these everytime a new browser rev comes out. If you really care about this do it with real benchmarks. I bet people would really care to see the results if you actually stepped up and made the effort to do it right.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

      @Johnny Vegas I like how you didn't read his comments where he said all of this crap was moot, because we're at a time where the few ms of time between browsers is irrelevant.
      Aerowind
  • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

    AKH,
    Stop publishing these useless bench marks. Nobody cares except some retarded people.

    IE9 is simply the safest and fastest, and works best with Windows 7. And 90 percent of PC runs windows.

    Chrome is the worst, with snopping and privacy violations cooked in.
    owllnet
    • RE: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 17 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 10 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

      @owllnet
      I dunno...Chrome seems to pass it in both speed tests and real world usage. It's a small difference, but a difference
      jetsethi