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Hardware Acceleration Performance

Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10, And Opera Next, Benchmarked
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Hardware acceleration is split into two main sections: native HTML5 HWA, and WebGL.

Native HTML5 Hardware Acceleration

While CanvasMark 2013 is a new addition to the WBGP, in actuality, it's an update to an old staple. This test is written by UK Web developer Kevin Roast, who also wrote the Asteroids HTML5 Canvas 2D & JavaScript Benchmark. In fact, CanvasMark includes many portions of the updated version of his Asteroids game.

Chrome takes a decisive lead in this test, scoring just over 20,000 points. Opera Next is the runner-up at just under 15,000 points. Firefox is another 5000 points behind in third, with IE10 and Opera 12 close behind in fourth and fifth place (respectively). Once again, the Chromium-based Opera Next shows a hefty advantage over the current Presto/Carakan-based Opera 12.

For this installment, we're ditching Psychedelic Browsing since we just received CanvasMark. We're retaining WebVizBench, but replacing the synthetic scores with FPS results.

IE10 still has the upper hand in this test. Chrome takes a second-place finish at 51 FPS, with Firefox in third. Opera Next places fourth, while Opera 12 only manages to earn an appropriate 12 FPS. Yet again, Next represents a significant step up, this time more than tripling the performance of Opera's current version.

WebGL

As of now, only Chrome and Firefox sport stable, default WebGL implementations. IE10 does not support WebGL at all. Microsoft had cited security concerns, though recent reports show that IE11 will get WebGL support. As a Chromium derivative, Opera Next also has WebGL support. While Opera 12 is capable of running WebGL content (by enabling WebGL; default is disabled), it doesn't properly support either of our current WebGL tests.

The Scirra WebGL performance test measures the number of 2D triangles represented onscreen when the animation reaches the 30 FPS threshold.

Opera Next comes out of nowhere with a serious victory over both Chrome and Firefox, able to display nearly 50% more triangles than Chrome 27, and more than twice as many as Firefox 22.

Instead of triangles, LUIC, our new WebGL benchmark, continuously adds 3D cubes until the animation reaches 50 FPS.

Firefox 22 takes the lead here, with Opera Next in a very close second place. Meanwhile, Chrome 27 achieves just around half the score of the top two, placing dead last.

Hardware Acceleration

Moving on to general hardware acceleration testing, we have JSGameBench, which contains both native HTML5 and WebGL components.

Firefox 22 is victorious yet again, with a score nearly 30% higher than that of Chrome 27. IE10 takes up the middle ground, with Opera 12 earning the fourth-place position. Oddly, Opera Next places dead last.

We're not sure what's happening here. Both HTML5 HWA benchmarks place Opera Next above the Norwegian browser's current version, and the upcoming Chromium-based browser's stellar WebGL scores in both Scirra and LUIC tests seem to have no such sway in JSGameBench. In any event, with four contradictory metrics, we're sure that our HWA composite score will largely absorb this odd result.

And it does. Chrome 27 shows a small lead over Firefox 22, with Opera Next just 600 point behind Mozilla in third place. Due to sitting out the WebGL testing, IE10 and Opera 12 barely rate. Although both browsers also show sub-par HTML5 HWA scores, Microsoft's high score in the IE-friendly WebVizBench allows Redmond's Web browser to surpass Opera 12.

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