Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

Summary: The latest version of Chrome, just out, is amazingly fast. I mean its knock your socks off fast.


I've liked the Google Chrome Web browser since it first showed up in 2008. Today, with the slipstream release of Chrome 10, I may finally be ready to retire all my other Web browsers.

The reason I'm considering doing this is quite simple. Chrome 10 is screamingly fast. It's more than ten-times faster than its first version was in dealing with JavaScript. It also leads all other of today's Web-browsers when it comes to raw JavaScript processing speed with its new "Crankshaft" V8 JavaScript engine.

Update: I, and a lot of my readers, were puzzled about why this set of SunSpider results showed IE 9 doing so badly compared to Chrome 10, so I took a closer look. This time IE 9 took first by a nose.

How much faster? Well on the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark 0.91 test, Chrome left most, but not all of the other Web browsers eating its dust. I tested Chrome 10 on my Mint Linux 10 PC and was impressed. For benchmarking it though I decided to run it on my Windows 7 SP 1 system so that the forthcoming Internet Explorer 9 could get its innings in.

My Windows 7 test PC is a Gateway DX4710. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It's no speed demon, but it gets the job done. It's hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 25Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection. On this system, I then ran the SunSpider benchmarks three times for each browser,

IE 9, despite my hopes that it would show better, came in, a dismal last with a mark of only 1,185.8-ms (milliseconds). As for IE 8.... Well let's just say it lagged even further back. That said, it should be kept in mind that only a year ago IE 9's numbers would have been great. Today, not so much. IE 9 was followed by Firefox 3.6.15, the latest shipping version, with 945.0ms.

Apple's Safari 5.03 took third place in my impromptu Web browser drag race with an impressive 422.1ms mark. And, coming up right behind Chrome, there was the Firefox 4 beta 12 with a time of 388.0ms. But, winning by a small margin, there was Chrome 10 with a speed of 321.0ms.

If it were speed alone, it would be a close race, but while Chrome 10's pure speed is impressive, it's not the whole story.

Page 2: [Beyond Pure Speed] »

Beyond Pure Speed

Chrome now places its setting in its own tab. This makes it both easier to get at them and to work with them. It didn't sound like much of an improvement to me, but after a few hours of tinkering with Chrome 10, I actually found it quite useful. If you're not sure where the right setting is, Chrome also includes a search mechanism so you can quickly find it.

The new browser also gives you the power to sync Web browser bookmarks and passwords between all your PCs using Chrome no matter whether you're running Chrome on Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows. I loved these feature in Xmarks, which is still, to the best of my knowledge, the only browser extension that lets you share bookmarks and passwords across Web browsers, and I love seeing this functionality built into Chrome. If you're like me, and using multiple PCs and laptops during a day, it's an invaluable addition to your Web browser arsenal.

Chrome, which has always scored well in security, has extended its sandbox security style to its built-in Adobe Flash Player. What this means is that even if something tries to use Flash to put malware on your computer, the mis-behaving program is stuck inside a virtual sandbox where it can't get to the rest of your PC. This technique has worked well enough that Google is offering a cool $20,000 to anyone who can break out of the Chrome sandbox and exploit a Windows 7 PC in the upcoming Pwn2Own 2011 competition.

Even if a security hole is found, I'm not too worried about it. Not only is Google willing to put its money behind finding and fixing bugs, Chrome is based on open-source code so its problems will always be easy to find and then fix.

The only thing that some people will object to is that Chrome 10, as Google had announced, no longer supports H.264. I don't see this as a huge problem because, like it or lump it, the default video standard for the Web is Adobe Flash. Google hopes it will become its own VP8/WebM video codec and container standards, but that's a story that's going to take years to resolve. Suffice it to say that if you really need H.264 support in Chrome, and you're running Windows, Microsoft has a H.264 plug-in for you. If, in the end, it turns out H.264 does become the Web video standard, then Google will restore this functionality.

In short, while Web video standards are a big deal, Google not supporting H.264 in this version of Chrome isn't a big deal.

Today, I'm not worried about H.264 support. Today, I'm happy that Chrome 10 is proving to be such an exceptionally secure and remarkably fast Web browser. A perfect 10? No, not quite, but closer than anyone else out there for now.

Topics: Browser, Google, Hardware, Microsoft

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


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

    I don't need another malware on my computer. Next...
    Ram U
    • Chrome is an offer from CIA

      ... that you don't refuse.
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        @LBiege You'll never get them to talk about that White Elephant in the living-room. All is well. That only happens in other places, on and on.

        Don't bother casting your pearls before swine. Not here. Lady GaGa's panties are more important to this crowd.
      • LBeige = GBeck?

    • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

      Yes it's true Chrome 10 is a really fast browser. But: Opera still opens up Pages a LOT faster then Chrome (most of the time chrome has twice as long!). Since i have a netbook speed is very important and i always thought, that chrome is the fastest browser but now i see, that benchmarks are not showing the reality, if that would be true chrome would be faster then opera but it isn't!
      • Opera vs Chrome for me came down to preference...


        ... I tried Opera for a week after my boss raved about it, but I couldn't get comfortable with the interface. If I used it for longer I probably would, but Chrome was there to go back to. Even if Opera is faster, I find Chrome more usable.
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        @Denkmaschinen Opera? Who uses that? I wonder how many web developers test their sites with Opera? Not many, I bet.
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        IE9 Leaves Chrome 11, Firefox 4.0 and Safari 5 in the Dust in Hardware Acceleration Test
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10


        Millions of people still use Opera, including me. It's very fast, definitely the most secure, and has the most features of any browser. You can thank Opera for inventing nearly every cool feature that your current browser, ahem, "borrowed". Tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, speed dial, built-in torrent client, integrated pop-up blockers... all Opera innovations.

        The question should be "Why isn't everyone using it?" Then, lazy web developers would notice and start finishing their jobs.
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        @Denkmaschinen : I use Chrome for business and Opera for personal. Magnificent!
      • Is Opera the new Betamax?

        Better maybe; but destined for nowhere. Sad I suppose, but as their site points out, "the web is always evolving".
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10


        If Opera is so good, why do they not make a showing at pwn2own?
        I used opera before v1 and a bit before, but not after it hit v2 as it was all about adware and other features that make me think of apple and itunes. I even turned a few people on to it that used it through v4. then I never heard of it again (I was actually shocked to find one of those people using v4) until I started coming to this website. as mentioned above, no one uses opera. it doesn't even show up on the top browser charts. I think when I stopped using it they started charging for it? It has been so long, I really don't remember. Chrome is what I use except for work, and that is because the websites I have to use for work are hard coded to only work in IE, it actually displays a page that tells you you are not using IE and need to do so to use the website. (only recently updated to allow IE8, maybe 4 or 5 months ago?). Although before I went to Chrome (maybe v5 or v6) I was always using firefox, and I managed to get some of the work sites to function in firefox, but only about 20%-25%.

        So again I say Opera? as in the Phantom?
    • But You Need Another Brain......

      @Rama.NET figure out what malware is! <img border="0" src="" alt="grin"><br><br>Not that it would help get the idea that Google nor Chrome Browser are malware through your "Anti Google Tin Foil Hat"!'d just redirect your misguided ignorance and stupidy on other non malware objectives in your hidden Microcrude Agenda!<br><br>Not that your IE9 RC favorite is a bad browser, it's just that it can only take just so much input like your brain. After a one too many tabs get opened, it either crashes or turns into a snail. Along with it's being immediately upon release hit by a Zero Day Exploit! haha.... just par for course and all in the life of a Browser that was wrongly (as we see now) originally integrated into the OS itself in the first place!!! lol.....<br><br>This is the primary reason Security will always be an issue along with the fact that M$ refuses to learn from it's past and continues to use the biggest piece of crapware plugin in the history of the Internet....... ActiveX and VBS! <img border="0" src="" alt="wink"><br><br>That's why come PWN2OWN 2011 guess which browsers will go down first? ....yeah most likely IE9 and Safari! .....and Chrome will be the only browser still standing....... again!!! ^_^

      Sorry edited..... Safari is trash. Not because of the build quality of KDE's KHTML engine, but because Apple just took the engine and ported it to their own system they think is unhackable. Nothing in this world is Unhackable. It's just that Google realizes what these hackathons are for and pays to get their holes found for it's users safety! ........btw it's a different world inside Google now that Schmidt is gone. Let him screw up the President. All business w/ no hands getting dirty or real brain power, is exactly why Sony went from #1 Brand for years to almost bankrupt with Sir Howard Stringnutz!

      Now Google under Larry Page and Brin can get back to designing great products for it's users not it's pockets. Make great products and your pockets will fill up without the RDF hype, Infomercialism and mockery the frugal con artist Steve has used (like an Ebeneser Scrooge) to build up Apple!!! ...but I still wish Microsoft more success with their Products too!
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        @Monarky <br><br>Safari? Left standing? LMAO!<br><br>That browser has so many holes in it that Apple is considering renaming it "Internet Explorer 6".
        Hallowed are the Ori
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        Sorry, @Monarky Safari has a dismal history at Pwn2Own.
        Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        @Monarky : Did you leave out a comma after Safari? If so, the rest of you take note: punctuation counts!
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        Yeah you also need another brain to accept you have nothing but bashing Microsoft You are nothing but a tin foil hat wearing Google troll. With the above message you proved to be.
        Ram U
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10


        I use Safari on the Mac every day, plus FF, and it's much faster than 3.x and about the same as the 4.x beta.

        Flash performance on the Mac is SIGNIFICANTLY faster in Safari than FF or Chrome.

        As far as it being slower than FF/IE/Chrome on Windows, FF is slow as hell to launch, and IE launches faster than FF but still doesn't run any faster than Safari on the Mac.
      • RE: Chrome 10: Close to a perfect Web Browser 10

        @Monarky - Someone needs a bottle and a nap!
      • Safari - good icon, lousy browser

        Apple do quite good icons (and great looking hardware). Under the surface though, it's only just better than Windows and at that price premium, it ought to be!