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Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 20, Opera 12, Firefox 13

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July 5, 2012 5:10:14 AM

1.what the benchmarks dont show is that in Firefox , if a tab has a heavy page with a lot of CPU intensive workload, the complete browser UI starts stuttering. That means the browser UI is on the same thread as the page loading.

2. in the 40 tab test, try working in a tab during the loading of the 40 tabs. you will find lots of difference between browsers. FF hangs, Opera and Chrome remain fluid.

3. how about a test where a browser is using 1GB+ RAM and you are trying to open/close tabs. Then see the UI responsiveness. most browsers can easily handle 800MB RAM. but which browser easily handles 1.2GB+ RAM ?
Score
24
July 5, 2012 5:13:33 AM

IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU.

i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.
Score
13
Related resources
July 5, 2012 5:17:56 AM

How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.
maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.
Score
22
July 5, 2012 5:22:41 AM

WTF Chrome is already on 20?? It ninja updated to 19 just a few days ago..
Score
21
July 5, 2012 5:35:22 AM

i won't ever use a browser a browser WITHOUT AD BLOCK Plus. (ABP)

ABP works wonderful on Firefox, i RARELY see any ad. While I have used ABP on Chrome BUT its doesn't block half the ads.
I know its Not Google's fault, its just that ABP developers are putting more effort with Firefox.

So for me, Firefox > Chrome.
Score
20
July 5, 2012 5:42:46 AM

@mayankleoboy1: 1+2) Interesting, I'll be looking for that next time 3) That would require a different workload for each browser.
IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU. i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.

Really interesting, what utility do you use for measuring GPU usage?
How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.

I'd estimate ABP usage on FF at around 5% or less based on ABP and FF usage statistics. Besides, that would give FF an unfair advantage.
Score
9
July 5, 2012 5:51:34 AM

Quote:
Really interesting, what utility do you use for measuring GPU usage?


MSI afterburner for GPU. windows task manager for CPU.

Quote:
@mayankleoboy1: 1+2) Interesting, I'll be looking for that next time


i sent a mail regarding this to Chris. but maybe i sent it too late for this article...
Score
6
July 5, 2012 5:56:42 AM

if you open multiple tabs together in chrome, it can use each CPU core for each tab. so if you have a quad core, and you open 4+ tabs together, the CPU usage will be 100% (using all 4 cores) during the tab loading time.
but if you run 4 instance of dromaeo in 4 tabs, the CPU usage is still 25% (using only 1 core).
so chrome is not completely multiprocessing.

in IE10 beta, if you run 4 instances of dromaeo benchmark in 4 tabs, it uses all the for cores. so we can expect better multiprocessing from IE10 and win8 :) 
Score
6
July 5, 2012 6:08:45 AM

@mayankleoboy1: I got that email yesterday or the day before, this article was completed a few days before that. Sorry, my inbox usually gets a few pages deep after a doing long benchmark-heavy article.
Is Dromaeo (the DOM portion) working in Chrome for you? I could not get it to finish in Chrome or Safari on any of my Windows machines.
Score
3
July 5, 2012 6:22:22 AM

i ran the javascript benchmark that ran fine. Didnt run the DOM benches.

BTW, i run chrome dev version. so that could make a difference.
Score
1
July 5, 2012 6:40:25 AM

I have Both Chrome and Firefox.

I still prefer Firefox since it has more features and i like it's features.

I disabled Smooth Scrolling to make it more responsive.

I just hate random freezes/stutter sometimes and some problem on Youtube while watching,
when you scroll up/down, the youtube screen is messed (Glitch).

By the way, ABP user here too.
Score
9
July 5, 2012 6:44:53 AM

Quote:
when you scroll up/down, the youtube screen is messed (Glitch).

thats a flash issue. disable the protected mode of falsh.
Score
4
July 5, 2012 7:33:39 AM

Fire Fox 14.8 has been announced, version 13 is old version.
Score
-20
July 5, 2012 7:41:42 AM

mayankleoboy1IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU.

i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.


+1.
IE9 uses also a lot more GPU Memory than Chrome. I am listening to internet radio when I am playing games and I found that a single tab from IE9 (opened for more than an hour) uses 150MB VRAM oO. Now this amount is not significant for some users but for most users that have 1024MB VRAM and doing the same thing like me (or have open tabs and alt-tabing during games) while playing at 1920x1080/1200 might cause fps drops.
Score
6
July 5, 2012 7:46:34 AM

Why is Firefox 13 on here? Firefox 14 has been out for a little while (even on Android), and it's support for SPDY may very affect the results. Just saying.
Score
-15
July 5, 2012 7:48:57 AM

lethalsami won't ever use a browser a browser WITHOUT AD BLOCK Plus. (ABP)ABP works wonderful on Firefox, i RARELY see any ad. While I have used ABP on Chrome BUT its doesn't block half the ads.I know its Not Google's fault, its just that ABP developers are putting more effort with Firefox.So for me, Firefox > Chrome.

Chrome has Adblock, just to let you know. But personally I prefer Firefox Aurora with Adblock Plus, anyway. I couldn't imagine using a browser that didn't have any version of Adblock on it, though; it'd be torture.
Score
-1
July 5, 2012 7:50:57 AM

Has anyone ever investigated why the MS Maze Solver is so slow on Firefox? It almost has to be a FF bug that hasn't been fixed rather than just that FF is slow at CSS3 when the difference between FF and everything else is so huge, and also that FF does very well in CSS2.
Score
2
July 5, 2012 7:52:10 AM

princesiddiquiFire Fox 14.8 has been announced, version 13 is old version.

jerm1027Why is Firefox 13 on here? Firefox 14 has been out for a little while (even on Android), and it's support for SPDY may very affect the results. Just saying.

13.0.1 is the latest stable release. I'm using version 15.0a2 of Firefox, but it's a moot point in any browser competition because it's not a release version.
Score
9
July 5, 2012 7:59:25 AM

s3anister13.0.1 is the latest stable release. I'm using version 15.0a2 of Firefox, but it's a moot point in any browser competition because it's not a release version.

i stand corrected. I'm not sure how i got mixed up.

However, I'm not sure how Silverlight takes importance over WebGL or HTML5 in this test. >~
Score
9
July 5, 2012 8:04:44 AM

jerm1027i stand corrected. I'm not sure how i got mixed up.However, I'm not sure how Silverlight takes importance over WebGL or HTML5 in this test. >~

lol I know Silverlight is a dying Microsoft technology, anyway.

Personally, I'd actually like to see browser alpha/beta competition haha
Score
6
July 5, 2012 8:10:27 AM

PreferLinuxHas anyone ever investigated why the MS Maze Solver is so slow on Firefox? It almost has to be a FF bug that hasn't been fixed rather than just that FF is slow at CSS3 when the difference between FF and everything else is so huge, and also that FF does very well in CSS2.


its a known bug. what FF does is, it redraws the entire scene again after every change in the CSS. Hence its so slow.
unfortunately, the devs are not actively working to improve performance in this specific case. it will be corrected as a side-effect of other related bugs.
Score
7
July 5, 2012 8:30:37 AM

mayankleoboy11.what the benchmarks dont show is that in Firefox , if a tab has a heavy page with a lot of CPU intensive workload, the complete browser UI starts stuttering. That means the browser UI is on the same thread as the page loading.2. in the 40 tab test, try working in a tab during the loading of the 40 tabs. you will find lots of difference between browsers. FF hangs, Opera and Chrome remain fluid. 3. how about a test where a browser is using 1GB+ RAM and you are trying to open/close tabs. Then see the UI responsiveness. most browsers can easily handle 800MB RAM. but which browser easily handles 1.2GB+ RAM ?


This!!! Firefox has some real problems when it gets over 1+ GB RAM usage and real life performance and responsiveness is really lacking. Opera is in a different league. I still prefer Firefox for its unrivaled customization options, but it is a pain to use it heavily, especially on slower machines.
Score
6
July 5, 2012 9:05:02 AM

"If you never open more than five or ten content-heavy websites at the same time, you should never base your browser choice on memory consumption. It simply doesn't matter a lot if your browser consumes 50, 200, or 400 MB of RAM, even on lower-end machines. However, heavy tab multitaskers should steer clear of IE9, Chrome (in all its incarnations), and Opera (Beta). Just go with Firefox. With RAM levels quickly reaching 1 GB with just 15 tabs, you'll encounter sluggishness even on faster machines. Again, it simply doesn't matter if you've got 4, 8, or 16 GB of RAM -- a browser taking up 1 to 1.5 GB of RAM quickly reaches the limits of both the Windows' and its own memory management capabilities. Threads and handles run wild, paging starts kicking in, and overall reliability goes down with responsiveness.

Firefox is the clear winner of the bunch. It was the only browser that did not slow things down and I recommended it for both lower-end mobile devices and high-end desktops. "

http://www.itworld.com/software/266362/whats-fastest-br...
Score
-10
Anonymous
July 5, 2012 11:01:44 AM

Really nice article. I'd like to see Pale Moon in there too through. Maybe a comparison between FF and it's performance build - PM?
Score
3
Anonymous
July 5, 2012 11:03:51 AM

I've tried opening a bunch of tabs in Chrome all at once quite recently - 50+ or so. The UI locked up and then Chrome actually crashed. i7 QC. Firefox did it sluggishly, but it worked fine and I could switch the tabs while they loaded (which I couldn't do with Chrome).
Score
6
July 5, 2012 12:45:38 PM

1) Opera 12 is a disaster, from a "stable" point. Also, the scores in this benchmark would have sky-highed if Hardware acceleration (though not final yet) would have been enable. And WebGL works, just only under OpenGL. Additionaly, it's a bug-fest all around. Even smooth-scrolling is semi-broken now.

2) Firefox works fine, stars fine, consumes just enough memory...but it always load pages more slowly than IE, Opera and Chrome. It just feels slow, and I can't stand it. Also, props for the Best Adblock.

3) All browser have Hardware acceleration in one way of another. Is there a possibility to have a benchmark with the browsers being accelerated by the GPU in its P0 power state? The scores would be blast.
Score
0
July 5, 2012 1:43:24 PM

I like these articles a lot. I wish I could switch browsers more frequently because I love changing things up occasionally, but I have been stuck on Chrome because no other browser handles a decent adblocker/stays stable 100% of the time (I never have more than 8 or 9 tabs open at once)/renders every single page correctly.

To shake things up, and I know you've already said you're throwing in some mobile browsers in the next grand prix, I'd love to see you test Maxthon. It looks a little cheesy but it seems surprisingly responsive. It would be interesting to see how it stacks up.
Score
-6
July 5, 2012 2:05:28 PM

My 2 cents:

Chrome is banned as Default browser in my office.

The reason is Chrome is preventing Hybrid Sleep in Windows and often that failure causes all sorts problems when coming out its oddball 'State' not to mention consuming wasted energy. Now if this was just one PC then I'd say there's a problem with the PC, but this problem spans many PC's.

I love Chrome for Forums and we need it to insure compatibility of our products, but I don't need issues and our PC's running 7/24 because of some bug in Chrome.

I hope Google will correct this soon!
Score
3
July 5, 2012 2:36:14 PM

GSamI've tried opening a bunch of tabs in Chrome all at once quite recently - 50+ or so. The UI locked up and then Chrome actually crashed. i7 QC. Firefox did it sluggishly, but it worked fine and I could switch the tabs while they loaded (which I couldn't do with Chrome).


that never happened to me. i opened 700 tabs in one go.
Chrome : opened all. fluid UI at all times. but HUGE RAM use. used 100% of a quad core.
Firefox : opened all. but UI hang till most tabs were mostly loaded. Lesser RAM than chrome. used 25% of quad core.
Score
-4
July 5, 2012 3:19:28 PM

here's how i see it:
this is obviously a fight between firefox and chrome, the rest are just fighting for 3rd.
firefox's only weak score was CSS, chrome's only weak score reliability.
reliability trumps CSS.
my rating: firefox>chrome>IE>opera>safari. with chrome just a nose behind firefox, and IE a distant 3rd.

Score
3
July 5, 2012 3:55:36 PM

I am waiting on Chrome 75 and Firefox 25
Score
5
July 5, 2012 4:43:01 PM

I was surprised that IE9 still managed to pull off a win in a few categories, especially HTML5 related. Quite amazing for a relatively old browser.
Score
-2
July 5, 2012 4:44:50 PM

Also, I definitely place an importance on the responsiveness and memory use of a browser. Sure, I may have 16GB of RAM but most people in this world still operate on less than 2GB. Firefox and other RAM-intensive browsers would absolutely be horrifying to use on those systems.
Score
3
July 5, 2012 5:25:54 PM

i refuse to use any non-native 64-bit browsers....i'm looking at you chrome! :p 
Score
-11
July 5, 2012 7:33:07 PM

I have been using chrome since ver 12. And I love it. Best browser IMO.
Score
-3
July 5, 2012 7:37:30 PM

Next Grand Prix... with an AMD C-50/C-60!!! :D 
Score
-1
July 5, 2012 8:27:28 PM

notsleepi refuse to use any non-native 64-bit browsers....i'm looking at you chrome!


Native 64 bit: Opera 12, Firefox Nightly, Internet Explorer 10 Metro.
Score
7
July 5, 2012 8:28:07 PM

Personally, what I enjoy most with Firefox is that I have complete control over it - no need to sign my privacy away to use it (Chrome, IE, Safari), stable (Opera), fast (Safari, IE) and with the best tools one can get: simply installing NoScript (and allowing execution on all sites) raises Firefox's mark by several points on the very test used in this comparison, but using it properly simply makes you SAFE.
AdBlock has been mentioned ad nauseam so I won't go into it.
Of course, it'd be better if the Electrolysis work came through, and it'd be nice if Mozilla finally fixed the bug (they know of it) that makes the Maze Solver so slow. If they did, Firefox would be the best browser ever, leagues ahead its competition.
Score
4
July 5, 2012 9:19:32 PM

How did Chrome come behind firefox in webgl, i thought they were king. ie 9 shocked me in some tests.

If this test were to be done over, they should use an SSD and 8GB 1600MHz RAM. Plus a nVidia GPU for comparison
Score
-7
July 5, 2012 10:14:18 PM

hay toms,

i use chrome allot, i have probably 100-150 tabs spread out over 4 windows, i never really have more than that, and usualy have less.

now i just did a fresh reset of the browser, total system is currently useing 4gb of ram.
if i close all chrome, it will use 1.3gb of ram
if i leave chrome open, just leave it open, it will bloat to 7-8gb of ram in a few hours.

is there any way to benchmark this?
Score
5
July 5, 2012 10:27:44 PM

Why is Maze solver always such an outlier result for Firefox? And why is it weighted so much. Firefox dominates in the CSS stress test slide (fastest by far). Yet it's result in maze solver puts it in the weak category (I'm assuming) of your results tally.

very odd
Score
4
July 5, 2012 10:36:16 PM

mayankleoboy11.what the benchmarks dont show is that in Firefox , if a tab has a heavy page with a lot of CPU intensive workload, the complete browser UI starts stuttering. That means the browser UI is on the same thread as the page loading.2. in the 40 tab test, try working in a tab during the loading of the 40 tabs. you will find lots of difference between browsers. FF hangs, Opera and Chrome remain fluid. 3. how about a test where a browser is using 1GB+ RAM and you are trying to open/close tabs. Then see the UI responsiveness. most browsers can easily handle 800MB RAM. but which browser easily handles 1.2GB+ RAM ?


i load up 100-150 tabs in chrome, my system can be unresponsive for almost a minute if not more,
i load up 700 tabs in firefox, sure fire fox is slow, but at least there is enoug processing power to run an mp3, and im not kidding about that, mp3 studders when i load chrome up after a restart.

waterfox, 64bit firefox variant handles large amounts of ram well, but problem is it uses large amounts of ram.

chrome can handle about 6-6.5 gb of ram, but it gets very unstable and can completely crash, making you lose all active tabs, something firefox hasn't done to me in a very long time.

ChetouThis!!! Firefox has some real problems when it gets over 1+ GB RAM usage and real life performance and responsiveness is really lacking. Opera is in a different league. I still prefer Firefox for its unrivaled customization options, but it is a pain to use it heavily, especially on slower machines.


firefox 32bit is ok up to 1.25 gb, than it gets choppy,
once it hits 1.5gb it becomes borderline unuseable
once it hits 1.7gb, there is no comeing back, need to reset browser.

waterfox has no problems like this, i can take it over 3.5gb easily and get very minor preformance problems, keep in mine im only on waterfox 10.

yannigrWhen Firefox started the fast updating trying to catch up the chrome version numbers, it shoot itself in the foot. The latest versions of Firefox is a big disapointment with problems with flash windows and lock ups. I still use it, I am not going to Chrome or anything else but I really really think going back to an older version, one that was introdused in 2010 or 2011 the latest.


firefox always failed at flash, its why i use chrome too.

GSamI've tried opening a bunch of tabs in Chrome all at once quite recently - 50+ or so. The UI locked up and then Chrome actually crashed. i7 QC. Firefox did it sluggishly, but it worked fine and I could switch the tabs while they loaded (which I couldn't do with Chrome).


already said how many tabs i load up at once, on a phenom II 955 no over clock, and if it matters, 8gb ddr2 and a hd 5770 1gb no overclock

wheredahoodat"If you never open more than five or ten content-heavy websites at the same time, you should never base your browser choice on memory consumption. It simply doesn't matter a lot if your browser consumes 50, 200, or 400 MB of RAM, even on lower-end machines. However, heavy tab multitaskers should steer clear of IE9, Chrome (in all its incarnations), and Opera (Beta). Just go with Firefox. With RAM levels quickly reaching 1 GB with just 15 tabs, you'll encounter sluggishness even on faster machines. Again, it simply doesn't matter if you've got 4, 8, or 16 GB of RAM -- a browser taking up 1 to 1.5 GB of RAM quickly reaches the limits of both the Windows' and its own memory management capabilities. Threads and handles run wild, paging starts kicking in, and overall reliability goes down with responsiveness.Firefox is the clear winner of the bunch. It was the only browser that did not slow things down and I recommended it for both lower-end mobile devices and high-end desktops. "http://www.itworld.com/software/26 [...] g?page=0,2


chrome again, for me usualy takes up 6gb of ram, i am a heavy tab user, so i accept that i will use an absolute crap ton of ram. but if you want multimedia anything i would stay away from firefox and use chrome.

firefox for tabs, chrome for multimedia, that seams to work out the best.

Score
3
July 5, 2012 10:56:42 PM

Since I never use over 30tabs, I have to say I love FF for my daily browser on Win7 ever since coming from WinXP. On XP Chrome felt way better but the memory management of Win7 favors FF on my system. I have very few problems with FF but I will get a few crashes with Chrome especially with Flash content and sometimes it manages to hang the entire computer where as FF will become completely unresponsive but the rest of the system continues to function well. The only problem I have with all versions of FF is that if I close it and reopen right away Windows says there is an instance already running. After 30-60 sec it is fine. I have never had that problem with any version of Chrome.
Score
0
July 5, 2012 11:03:55 PM

lethalsamI know its Not Google's fault, its just that ABP developers are putting more effort with Firefox.So for me, Firefox > Chrome.

Actually, it is Google's fault. Google restricts what addons can do in Chrome, which prevents ABP from being nearly as effective as it could be. My guess is they don't want users of their browser cutting off Google's #1 source of revenue (ads).
Score
3
July 5, 2012 11:10:24 PM

Chrome is the best
Score
-4
July 5, 2012 11:28:16 PM

jerm1027I'm not sure how Silverlight takes importance over WebGL or HTML5 in this test. >~


What non-MS website uses Silverlight. I uninstalled it like last year and there was never a prompt for a SL installation.
Score
3
July 6, 2012 1:35:11 AM

The amazing Tom's Hardware Grand Prix lost prestige in my eyes when it decided to not count memory use in the grading. Those who are stating "Memory is there to be used" are the ones whose favorite browser uses so much of it (I won't name names, but it's a semi-official meme on their forum). Memory is there to be used... but not solely by one program, unnecessarily. On modern operating systems, all extra memory is used for caching of previously loaded programs, disk buffers, etc. and has a noticeable benefit on performance. A browser that eats up, and refuses to release, all of this memory degrades the performance of the system. Additionally, few systems are only running one program at a time. Using gobs of memory is going to force other programs to swap memory out to disk, also negatively impacting performance. No one would give Excel or uTorrent a free pass if it grabbed 1.5GB of system memory; why do this for a browser?

I also have to take issue with the claim that browsers are adjusting their memory use based on installed memory; this is another dubious claim put forth by fans of a certain browser that starts with O. Turning off memory caching in that browser still results in the usage of large amounts of memory that is never returned to the OS. It's also probably swapping a lot of memory out to disk.
Score
0
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