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Mozilla Rechallenges Google in Browser Speed Race

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 36 comments

The browser speed war appeared to be pretty much over, until a few days ago, when Mozilla's JIT compiler lead David Mandelin sent out a tweet that the new JIT IonMonkey has eclipsed Chrome in at least one configuration on Mozilla's Kraken benchmark.

Posted on Mozilla's AreWeFastYet page - which was originally established when Mozilla began working on JaegerMonkey (that arrived with Firefox 4 and is still in use today) - Firefox 17 with IonMonkey squeezes the win with a performance of 1991 ms versus Chrome's 2038 ms. Mandelin notes that this result is achieved on a Mac Pro with a 32-bit version of the browser.

Of course, JavaScript benchmarks were interesting two years ago and it seems we have largely lost interest in the millisecond race, but I was nevertheless interested in those claims. In the end, Mozilla promised in 2009 that it would try to catch up with Chrome and if it can do it now, even if it is a bit late, it's noteworthy since it kept its promise.

I was not able to replicate the claim on my venerable Phenom II X6 Windows 7 system. Chrome won with 3349 ms versus 3715 ms for Firefox. However, IonMonkey gained almost 20 percent of speed over the current JaegerMonkey in Firefox 15 beta, which came in at 4627 ms. Perhaps there is still some room left for faster JavaScript engines?


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  • 3 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 20, 2012 11:34 PM
    I'm currently using Firefox Aurora, and it has a crashing/lock-up problem with Flash 11.3 since the two or three previous versions ago. Did they iron it out in Beta?

    Nevertheless, it would be nice of Mozilla to iron out any bugs. That includes you, Adobe.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , August 20, 2012 11:51 PM
    If only Mozilla would move into the 21st century with a 64 bit Windows version...
  • 1 Hide
    azathoth , August 20, 2012 11:51 PM
    Scoring 2150ms using the firefox nightly (v17) on my PC here.
  • 3 Hide
    Kodiack , August 20, 2012 11:52 PM
    @A Bad Day: Funny, I use both Chrome and the Firefox Nightly build and I'm stable as a rock. Also, you're also on a non-release build. What do you think that's for, if not ironing out bugs?
  • 1 Hide
    livebriand , August 20, 2012 11:55 PM
    I'd mainly like to see them work on making the UI faster - Firefox's benchmarks don't mean shit when the browser constantly freezes on my E350 machine. (Chrome is completely smooth, in comparison.)
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 21, 2012 12:11 AM
    Kodiack@A Bad Day: Funny, I use both Chrome and the Firefox Nightly build and I'm stable as a rock. Also, you're also on a non-release build. What do you think that's for, if not ironing out bugs?

    I become somewhat worried if a problem also existed in version 15 and maybe even 14.

    And for your information, I gave Beta a try. The problem also exists.
  • 8 Hide
    tomfreak , August 21, 2012 12:29 AM
    The speed diff is not really an issue anymore. Both browser are fast enough. What I really need is the browser that push more usage on hardware GPU acceleration. DX10/11 GPU are pretty common these days, get someone to put serious effort in GPGPU computing. At least those Atom/E-350 user get better browsing experience.
  • 4 Hide
    mmstick , August 21, 2012 12:57 AM
    Mozilla DOES have a 64-bit firefox. It's called waterfox. http://waterfoxproject.org/
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , August 21, 2012 12:59 AM
    instead of making it faster, they should work on making it more stable. i use firefox most of the time, and every time I load a page my entire browser locks up for like 2 seconds...
  • 0 Hide
    cornandbeans , August 21, 2012 1:02 AM
    mmstickMozilla DOES have a 64-bit firefox. It's called waterfox. http://waterfoxproject.org/

    It is not official. Thus not made by Mozilla.
  • 8 Hide
    mmstick , August 21, 2012 1:03 AM
    cornandbeansIt is not official. Thus not made by Mozilla.

    Except it is official. Mozilla formally added it as one of their own projects. It may have started out as an unofficial branch, but Mozilla owns it now. Therefore, it is being made and maintained by Mozilla.
  • 4 Hide
    freggo , August 21, 2012 1:22 AM
    As a web developer I'd love to see an improvement in page layout consistency.
    It is frustrating to look at a webpage, even a fairly basic one, in 3 different browsers and see it rendered differently; then having to explain the difference to the client :-(

  • 3 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 21, 2012 2:05 AM
    freggoAs a web developer I'd love to see an improvement in page layout consistency.It is frustrating to look at a webpage, even a fairly basic one, in 3 different browsers and see it rendered differently; then having to explain the difference to the client :-(


    Then, someone on the client side has the bright idea of pointing out that it's broken in IE8, IE7, and especially IE6.
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 21, 2012 2:18 AM
    mmstickMozilla DOES have a 64-bit firefox. It's called waterfox. http://waterfoxproject.org/


    For some reason, it keeps giving me "Luna error" and AVG is marking it as a virus...
  • 1 Hide
    RogueKitsune , August 21, 2012 2:35 AM
    Contains i686 and x86_x64 builds of firefox:
    http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-mozilla-central-l10n/

    Also with the exception of silverlight every other plug-in works fine out of the box for the 64-bit version. Silverlight requires a little more effort to get it working properly.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 21, 2012 3:22 AM
    "Waterfox is in no way associated with the Mozilla Foundation or any of their products."

    If you pull down the bar on the top of that page you will see this message.
  • -3 Hide
    Texas92Redneck , August 21, 2012 3:24 AM
    i still love chrome
  • 1 Hide
    zeratul600 , August 21, 2012 3:32 AM
    javascript race? i like a flash race, because my pc can barely hande current flash games that looks worst than old time animations with previous version of flash! i dont know who is making un optimized code mozilla or adobe!
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 21, 2012 3:52 AM
    A fully optimised version of Firefox, optimised for SSE2 processors, and cutting away all the old legacy hardware support is Palemoon.

    http://www.palemoon.org
    if you, like me, dont like the UI changes mozilla have done, then Palemoon is for you. It retains the FF4 UI, with full customisations possible. The browser is built with full profile guided optimisation. It also contains patches from the beta channels, that cant come in firefox due to hierqrchial and corporate policies. It has a 64 bit version too.
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