The BIG browser benchmark: Chrome 18 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 11 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

The BIG browser benchmark: Chrome 18 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 11 vs IE9 vs Safari 5

Summary: The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 18 vs Opera 11 vs Firefox 11 vs IE9 vs Safari 5 ... which browser will be triumphant?

SHARE:

Now that Google has released Chrome 18 it's 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:

  • Chrome 18
  • Internet Explorer 9 32-bit
  • Firefox 11
  • Chrome 17 (left in the running for comparison with Chrome 18)
  • 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

SunSpider is a JavaScript benchmark developed by Apple's WebKit team in 2007.

  • Hare: IE9 32-bit
  • Tortoise: Safari 5
  • Chrome 17 and 18 are neck-and-neck in this test.

Results from March 2012February 2012December 2011.

V8 Benchmark -->

V8 Benchmark

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

  • Hare: Chrome 18
  • Tortoise: IE9 32-bit
  • Chrome 18 takes the lead by a whisker.

Results from March 2012February 2012December 2011.

Peacekeeper Benchmark -->

Peacekeeper Benchmark

A browser benchmark tool from Futuremark, the makers of benchmarking tools such as 3DMark and PCMark. Covers a lot more than just the JavaScript engine and gives a good overall view of how fast the browser is.

  • Hare: Chrome 17
  • Tortoise: IE9 32-bit
  • Chrome 17 retains the lead, but in real terms both version 17 and 18 have near identical scores.

Results from March 2012February 2012

Kraken Benchmark -->

Kraken Benchmark

This is Mozilla's JavaScript benchmark tool. A very demanding test.

  • Hare: Chrome 18
  • Tortoise: IE9 32-bit
  • Chrome 18 squeezes into the lead.

Results from March 2012February 2012December 2011.

Conclusion -->

Conclusion

Little has changed since the last time I ran the Big Browser Benchmark because the only big change is that Google has shipped Chrome 18. Overall, Chrome 18 offers about the same performance as Chrome 17. It seems that for this release Google couldn't squeeze much more performance out of the JavaScript engine.

The biggest change in Chrome 18 is related to hardware acceleration. Chrome 18 enables accelerated Canvas 2D on both Windows and Mac systems that are kitted out with compatible GPUs. The release also expands support for WebGL 3D on older systems.

Chrome 18 users can type chrome://gpu in the address bar to see a summary of what hardware acceleration standards their system supports.

Nine vulnerabilities have also been patched, three of which were ranked as 'high' and five as 'medium.'

I've said it before, but it's worth saying again. I don't think that JavaScript performance is an issue any more, and certainly when it comes to real-world testing it's hard to see a difference between any of the browsers (some HTML 5 sites not withstanding, given that some 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.

<< Home >>

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Browser, Microsoft, Open Source, Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

29 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Another stupid javascript benchmark from Adrian

    When will he learn that javascript is one tiny fraction of a browser's overall performance? This series of browser benchmarks from him is totally useless, even deceptive!
    easson
    • There are different tests in this article, not only purely Javascript

      Though the article should include the notion that it is only about Windows performance.

      Performance on other platforms significantly differ (for example, on Mac OS Safari sometimes wins, while on Windows it is the "slowest" except Explorer).
      DDERSSS
  • More NON real world "benchmarks". Yawn.

    Did you give any thought to how NON real world these are before deciding to run these yet again?
    Johnny Vegas
  • I don't care about milliseconds. I care about Features

    And when you tally the feature sets of the respective browsers, Firefox comes out on top, which is why I continue to stay with Mozilla Firefox 11.

    There's no 'compelling' reason for me to make a switch to any other browser.

    Hat tip to the Mozilla Firefox Developer Team for their continued innovation.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • Oh noes!

      I actually find myself agreeing with Dietrich! :-O

      ;-)
      wright_is
    • What features?

      I open my browser, I go online, I type in a URL, and I'm off and running. Other than blocking Flash, what else do I need?

      What am I missing?
      msalzberg
      • How about ...

        FF (basic)
        - UI customisation.
        - Multiple user profiles.

        FF (+ NoScript)
        - Flash blocking (I know you mentioned this).
        - Selective js blocking.
        - XSS blocking.
        - Invisible hotspot blocking.
        lehnerus2000
    • and I don't care about features

      but DO care about speed and simplicity, and about real focus on the core functionality, i.e. to render webpages. What good can a few dozens of features do if the browser is slow and doesn't render webpages correctly?
      Mikael_z
    • I also agree

      But that's why there is no need to change from Internet Explorer for any Windows user. Linux users may choose what they like and Mac users can use Safari. This whole debate is driven by hobbyists who insist on downloading other browsers in some pointless exercise to determine which is the coolest. The Javascript test is also moot as the biggest delay these days is waiting for the content to be downloaded and then finally displayed by Javascript where a few milliseconds one way or the other really doesn't matter. Remember when people used to worry about getting the page up in a second or two?

      However DTS, as for FF. I'd only use it if I was stuck somewhere like Linux ;-)
      tonymcs@...
  • Chrome rocks!!

    too bad Firefox is dying cause they can't innovate anymore
    shellcodes_coder
    • Keep it to yourself, Google fanboy

      NT
      ScorpioBlack
    • When was the last time Chrome was

      at all innovative?
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Read Last Page Before Jumping Into Conclusions Or Bashing Adrian.

    Here, let me put it there.

    [quote]I've said it before, but it's worth saying again. I don't think that JavaScript performance is an issue any more, and certainly when it comes to real-world testing it's hard to see a difference between any of the browsers (some HTML 5 sites not withstanding, given that some 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.[/quote]

    There. I've repeated what Adrian just said [b]in the last page of the article[/b].
    Grayson Peddie
    • So why

      So can you tell me why his whole BIGGGGGGG browser? benchmark is about Javascript? He should rather call it his BIG Javascript engines benchmark.
      wmac1
    • ok, I get that.....but

      whats the point in this whole article then? if this is the case then I don't get the point of the whole article I think i'm missing something here.
      blazing_smiley_face
  • Who the hell runs 32 bit systems?

    Why have you once again left out 64 bit EI9?

    Do you not have x64 bit OS?
    Sqrly
    • Who the hell has a very badly performing 64-bit browser

      That means testers need to use the 32-bit browsers on 64-bit systems so their fanboys don't whine?
      Richard Flude
    • 32 bit system.

      There are a lot of people out there with 64 bit computers and are not even aware they have one. Due to this situation these people do not realize the potential of their computers by using 64 bit software instead of 32 bit software. Sites like this compound the problem by only promoting 32 bit browsers. It is time they start getting the message out there by promoting on a equal bases 64 bit browsers like 64 Bit I.E.9 and Waterfox.
      dniemczycki
  • A serious question..

    Who cares? Browsers are free, and most people, myself included, just want to use it to browse the Web.

    What's the big deal here? In what way does browser market share matter?
    msalzberg
  • More of a Javascript Benchmark

    Somewhat misleading here. All that was tested was Javascript. Good to know who has tuned their browsers for Javascript performance, which is nice to know, but there is more to browser performance and benchmarking than running Javascript.
    jpr75_z