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OS X And Windows 7 Winners' Circle

Web Browser Grand Prix: Firefox 15, Safari 6, OS X Mountain Lion
By

OS X 10.8 Placing

Placing
Web Browser
Point Score
1st
Safari
23
2nd
Chrome
20.5
3rd
Firefox
18
4th
Opera
5


Safari 6 places first on its native platform of OS X Mountain Lion, followed closely by Chrome 21 just two and a half points behind. Firefox 15 takes third place, trailing Chrome by just another two and a half points. Opera 12.02 loses big time on OS X, earning just a fraction of other OS X browser's point totals.


Congratulations, Apple!

Windows 7 Placing

Placing
Web Browser
Point Score
1st
Chrome
23.5
2nd
Firefox
22
3rd
Internet Explorer, Opera
7.5


Chrome manages to fend off Firefox once again, keeping its Window 7 Web Browser Grand Prix Championship. However, Firefox 15 is right on the heels of Chrome 21, and upcoming version 17 might change Google's luck if preliminary benchmarks of the new IonMonkey JIT compiler carry through to the final release.

For the first time in the history of the Web Browser Grand Prix, we have a tie in final scoring. Fortunately, it's just a tie for third, or in this case, last place. Opera is feeling the pain of losing Safari for Windows in a real way, with the low-end now totally vacant, Opera is comparatively worse versus the strong scores of Chrome and Firefox. Holding onto reliability and responsiveness is what keeps the Norwegian Web browser from succumbing to even IE9. Meanwhile, strong page load times and HTML5 performance scores are the only thing keeping Internet Explorer from the being the biggest loser on its own platform.

Congratulations, Google!

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Eggrenade , September 7, 2012 4:58 AM
    It would be nice if I could view the additional charts with only one click, and not in a separate window.
  • 16 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 5:50 AM
    JOSHSKORNHow about 64-bit Internet Explorer 9 vs Waterfox 15.0?

    When we have more [official] stable 64-bit browsers, I'll definitely do a 64-bit WBGP - including versus their 32-bit counterparts.
  • 14 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 7:43 AM
    nitriumSo OSX is really just a LOT slower than Win7 generally for web browsing on the identical hardware. Is that right?

    Nearly every performance benchmark there is points in that direction. This probably has a lot to do with how much time developers spend optimizing for Windows - after all, Windows holds 90+% of the desktop user base. However, it is interesting that the rift between Windows and OS X is far greater than between Windows and Linux for the core stuff like JS, CSS, DOM, page loads, etc. Plug-ins are another story, they're always much better on Windows than the other two platforms.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Eggrenade , September 7, 2012 4:58 AM
    It would be nice if I could view the additional charts with only one click, and not in a separate window.
  • 7 Hide
    lahawzel , September 7, 2012 4:59 AM
    It's nice to see Chrome performing so well, but I'm still waiting on the Chrome equivalents of all the plugins I use in FF before I think about switching. The web just doesn't feel the same without them.

    (The nice popular ones like ABP, Lazarus, Greasemonkey all have equivalents; some lesser-used plugins like Rikaichan also have ports by now. Only a matter of time!)
  • 5 Hide
    bennaye , September 7, 2012 5:03 AM
    chrome is absolutely deserving of the award. say what you will about the frequent patch releases touted as upgrades, chrome is a very good browser, as shown by this month's article. even on OSX there is only a small margin separating chrome and safari. but the one qualm i do have with chrome is the lack of add-ons compared to firefox. and i a lot of people share this concern. the add-ons do make the experience that much better.

    as always, a great read.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , September 7, 2012 5:15 AM
    Would like to see this again after IE10 is released.
  • 11 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 7, 2012 5:42 AM
    How about 64-bit Internet Explorer 9 vs Waterfox 15.0?
  • 5 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 5:47 AM
    bennayechrome is absolutely deserving of the award. say what you will about the frequent patch releases touted as upgrades, chrome is a very good browser, as shown by this month's article. even on OSX there is only a small margin separating chrome and safari. but the one qualm i do have with chrome is the lack of add-ons compared to firefox. and i a lot of people share this concern. the add-ons do make the experience that much better.as always, a great read.

    All versions of Chrome hold up incredibly well cross-platform, if you look back at the two Linux WBGPs, it won there, too. Thanks for reading!
  • 12 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 5:49 AM
    AdamsTaiwanWould like to see this again after IE10 is released.

    Absolutely, a Windows 8-based WBGP is already in the cards for October.
  • 16 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 5:50 AM
    JOSHSKORNHow about 64-bit Internet Explorer 9 vs Waterfox 15.0?

    When we have more [official] stable 64-bit browsers, I'll definitely do a 64-bit WBGP - including versus their 32-bit counterparts.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , September 7, 2012 6:22 AM
    I wish Tom's would fiddle around with the settings of these browsers for these tests. In every System Builder Marathon you overclock the builds, why not try and crank the most speed while ensuring better memory management out of the browser as well?

    Testing these browsers at stock doesn't reveal even an eighth of the picture.
  • 14 Hide
    nitrium , September 7, 2012 7:19 AM
    So OSX is really just a LOT slower than Win7 generally for web browsing on the identical hardware. Is that right?
  • 4 Hide
    shahrooz , September 7, 2012 7:20 AM
    it would be nice to have unreleased(Beta/Aurora/etc) versions of the browsers in benchmarks and scoring but only stable releases in the crowning so it will be fair. many users opt for beta releases of browsers including myself, I use Firefox nightly(18.0a1)

    btw great work adamovera keep it up man
  • 13 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 7:29 AM
    boopyI wish Tom's would fiddle around with the settings of these browsers for these tests. In every System Builder Marathon you overclock the builds, why not try and crank the most speed while ensuring better memory management out of the browser as well?Testing these browsers at stock doesn't reveal even an eighth of the picture.

    Interesting idea, so basically a tweaked-out edition of the WBGP, where we use all the tools available to each browser for performance gains... That could work, but I gotta warn you that the next three WBGPs are already decided, so it would probably be real late in the year, or even next year before I could get to it.
  • 14 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 7:43 AM
    nitriumSo OSX is really just a LOT slower than Win7 generally for web browsing on the identical hardware. Is that right?

    Nearly every performance benchmark there is points in that direction. This probably has a lot to do with how much time developers spend optimizing for Windows - after all, Windows holds 90+% of the desktop user base. However, it is interesting that the rift between Windows and OS X is far greater than between Windows and Linux for the core stuff like JS, CSS, DOM, page loads, etc. Plug-ins are another story, they're always much better on Windows than the other two platforms.
  • 11 Hide
    merikafyeah , September 7, 2012 7:44 AM
    All things considered, IE9 does pretty well for a browser that's not even in the double-digits.
  • 7 Hide
    adamovera , September 7, 2012 7:58 AM
    shahroozit would be nice to have unreleased(Beta/Aurora/etc) versions of the browsers in benchmarks and scoring but only stable releases in the crowning so it will be fair. many users opt for beta releases of browsers including myself, I use Firefox nightly(18.0a1)btw great work adamovera keep it up man

    The big problem with including the dev channel browsers is the amount of time it takes to produce the article (testing/charts/writing/editing/translating), combined with the tendency of the dev channel to constantly update. Before testing is even completed it's certain that something will update. TBH, the stable channels of Chrome and Firefox are a handful as it is. For example, for this article I had to test 8 browsers (4 on each OS), but I ended up testing 18+ due to OS X, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Flash, and Java updates. Sorry, but I'm just not sure it's even doable in this format. Thanks for reading!
  • 1 Hide
    shahrooz , September 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    adamoveraThe big problem with including the dev channel browsers is the amount of time it takes to produce the article (testing/charts/writing/editing/translating), combined with the tendency of the dev channel to constantly update. Before testing is even completed it's certain that something will update. TBH, the stable channels of Chrome and Firefox are a handful as it is. For example, for this article I had to test 8 browsers (4 on each OS), but I ended up testing 18+ due to OS X, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Flash, and Java updates. Sorry, but I'm just not sure it's even doable in this format. Thanks for reading!

    well I wanted to include it in my comment myself but I forgot I wanted to say if the timing allows :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 7, 2012 9:31 AM
    Meaningless tests designed to generate clicks. All browsers are mature enough at this point in terms of performance. Even the lowly IE is OK. What matters is who is the browser working for, the user, or the mothership? And that's where FF is king. It's about treacherous, gimmicky commercial software made to push standards lock-in and data mining your information, versus free open source software that serves YOUR needs. And it's not only about the code being open either (Chrome). Get savvy on this stuff. Performance metrics are for FPS nerd teenagers.
  • 2 Hide
    JoeMomma , September 7, 2012 10:42 AM
    Call me Old Skool but for me functionality and ease of use far outweigh speed.
    My computer is fast enough that it does not really mater what browser I choose.
    In my case, ease of use means that I can see what is going on.
    I decry the trend towards dumbing down the UI on every program I use.
    (I also refuse to call software 'Apps', to me an app is a mini-program on a phone.)
    I always turn on all menus, buttons and labels in WaterFox.

    BTW: Good point.
    Why don't you include WaterFox in your testing?
    It is the 64 bit version of FireFox and I am sure that in your speed tests it may do a little better.
  • 0 Hide
    azathoth , September 7, 2012 10:47 AM
    Internet Explorer is starting to look pretty good in terms of speed.
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