Web Browser Grand Prix 7: Firefox 7, Chrome 14, Opera 11.51

Tom's Hardware Exclusive: Peacekeeper 2.0

We've been using Peacekeeper in the Web Browser Grand Prix since day one. To coincide with the publication of Web Browser Grand Prix 7, Futuremark, the creators of popular benchmarks like PCMark and 3DMark are releasing an open beta of the new and improved Peacekeeper.

Full Metal GeekFull Metal Geek

If you've used Peacekeeper in the past, you may have noticed its tagline: The Browser Benchmark. The upcoming version will be known as The Universal Browser Test. While most other companies, projects, and individuals are creating new benchmarks specifically for the burgeoning mobile computing sector, Futuremark set out to create one online benchmark that can run on anything. The new Peacekeeper is designed to operate in any browser and on any device. From desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones. Compare your Core i7 to your iPhone 4, or compare the Galaxy Tab to the MacBook Air.

Peacekeeper Beta on IE9 in Windows 7Peacekeeper Beta on IE9 in Windows 7Peacekeeper Beta on Safari in Mac OS X LionPeacekeeper Beta on Safari in Mac OS X Lion

Peacekeeper Beta on Chromium in Kubuntu LinuxPeacekeeper Beta on Chromium in Kubuntu LinuxPeacekeeper Beta in Safari on an iPod TouchPeacekeeper Beta in Safari on an iPod Touch

This next-generation version covers all areas of testing that the current Peacekeeper handles, along with the latest HTML5 standards and features. Support for video codecs like H.264, Theora, and WebM are checked. WebGL and canvas also appear in the lineup.

Another nice feature Futuremark added to the new Peacekeeper is a detailed breakdown of the individual test results contained in the benchmark.

The result detail in the Peacekeeper betaThe result detail in the Peacekeeper beta

We decided to take the Peacekeeper beta for a spin on our Web Browser Grand Prix 7 test system. Google Chrome 14, Mozilla Firefox 7, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, and Opera 11.51 all worked as expected. Unfortunately, Apple Safari 5.1 did not. Since Peacekeeper 2.0 is still a beta release, we won't hold that against either Apple or Futuremark.

Fortunately, we have a Hackintosh, and the new Peacekeeper beta works just fine on Safari for OS X. The chart below contains the results of our expeditionary benchmarks.

Obviously, we won't be tallying these results into the analysis tables of this article; this chart is just for fun. Anyone else interested in checking out the new open beta of the upcoming Peacekeeper benchmark can head on over there right now!

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    Top Comments
  • "Until another browser beats Chrome in the speed/performance benchmarks I'm sticking with it."

    lol people still think they can feel the difference in terms of speed in real world performance and there's still people that doesn't use a browser for their needs and preferences, but just because they have seen some silly benchmark.
    Ridiculous. I bet those are the same people that are always complaining in the forums about crashes, viruses and blue screens.
    21
  • This article (as well as the preceding series of articles) is a great example of how amateur journalism can be misleading, or just downright wrong.

    On the surface, everything looks good - the author sets out a methodology, clearly presents the results, and draws conclusions based on them. Unfortunately, in doing so he reveals his severely lacking knowledge of testing methodology, the browsers themselves, as well as how one interprets the results of benchmarks.

    To aggregate across criteria such as "performance" and "standards compliance" (never mind the fact that HTML5 hasn't yet been drawn up), using an arbitrary weighting system, and then conclude that one browser beats other "overall" is nonsensical.

    Nowhere has the author talked about relevance (this is critical) or statistical significance of his tests. I'm sure he put in a lot of effort into the article, and that it was written out of the best of intentions; however, this article remains a jumble of random tests clumsily grouped together. For example, can the author explain to the readers why the removal of SVG fonts in the ACID3 test is important? Should browsers have support for SVG fonts? Should one test for it? If he can't, he's just mechanically running benchmarks that he's found on the internet.

    Obviously it's easier to criticise - but it's much more beneficial for people to actually try the browsers out for themselves (it is free after all) than to read this kind of poorly conducted "showdown".
    14
  • Even better yet,if you use FF7 with the MemoryFox addon,Firefox simply obliterates the competition.try it for yourself.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • Well done Mozilla!
    Now they could change their famous icon to a more minimalist/modern style and we're done. Speedy AND classy, just like a fire fox.
    -5
  • Quote:
    Enjoy it while you can Firefox fans


    Indeed. I have been quite content with FF8 though.
    10
  • Until another browser beats Chrome in the speed/performance benchmarks I'm sticking with it.
    8
  • im sticking with IE, its perfectly fast enough and stable and why should I have to install another browser when it works perfectly fine?
    0
  • I'm on FF10. :D Nightly 64-bit!
    6
  • I have to say, I do really like chrome. I stopped using Firefox as much one I tried the chrome beta, and now I use IE9 and chrome all the time. I used opera for a while, but Netflix streaming doesn't work with it, nor do many other sites I use.

    Now that IE is good again, I can't fault anyone for using it in lieu of the others.
    4
  • "Until another browser beats Chrome in the speed/performance benchmarks I'm sticking with it."

    lol people still think they can feel the difference in terms of speed in real world performance and there's still people that doesn't use a browser for their needs and preferences, but just because they have seen some silly benchmark.
    Ridiculous. I bet those are the same people that are always complaining in the forums about crashes, viruses and blue screens.
    21
  • Even better yet,if you use FF7 with the MemoryFox addon,Firefox simply obliterates the competition.try it for yourself.
    11
  • Even better yet,if you use FF7 with the MemoryFox addon,Firefox simply obliterates the competition in the memory management department.try it for yourself.
    -3
  • I noticed firefox will use progressively more memory. Even if it's just refreshing the same pages. I use firefox, opera n chrome, keeping them open 24hr/day. It can go from intial 100mb to over 500mb. I don't see this in the other browsers.
    7
  • The only test that matters to me is whether i can play zuma blitz on facebook. Firefox still loses there. I shoot a ball the screen hangs til all acclerated movements stop. IE9 runs smoothly no problem; still wont use it unless im trying to plan that game. I'm just sayin
    -13
  • The Encog Silverlight result is wrong. In the graph IE9 comes third with Firefox fourth, but your conclusions are,
    Firefox 7 shows significant improvement over version 6, moving up to third place. As a result, IE9 drops to fourth.
    5
  • How on earth can Firefox be winner in memory manaegment? Chrome and IE are much better....
    2
  • Firefox 7 is supposed to be better at memory management but I am still getting the same messages from AVG telling me Firefox is using too much memory. This only started with 6 so I think they still have work to do here. Maybe if they had longer than 6 weeks between versions...
    -6
  • give it a week and my favorite browser will put firefox in their place.
    -11
  • This article (as well as the preceding series of articles) is a great example of how amateur journalism can be misleading, or just downright wrong.

    On the surface, everything looks good - the author sets out a methodology, clearly presents the results, and draws conclusions based on them. Unfortunately, in doing so he reveals his severely lacking knowledge of testing methodology, the browsers themselves, as well as how one interprets the results of benchmarks.

    To aggregate across criteria such as "performance" and "standards compliance" (never mind the fact that HTML5 hasn't yet been drawn up), using an arbitrary weighting system, and then conclude that one browser beats other "overall" is nonsensical.

    Nowhere has the author talked about relevance (this is critical) or statistical significance of his tests. I'm sure he put in a lot of effort into the article, and that it was written out of the best of intentions; however, this article remains a jumble of random tests clumsily grouped together. For example, can the author explain to the readers why the removal of SVG fonts in the ACID3 test is important? Should browsers have support for SVG fonts? Should one test for it? If he can't, he's just mechanically running benchmarks that he's found on the internet.

    Obviously it's easier to criticise - but it's much more beneficial for people to actually try the browsers out for themselves (it is free after all) than to read this kind of poorly conducted "showdown".
    14
  • FF7 was always my favourite, it had the best storyline. :)
    1
  • Some add-in crash issues in FF a couple months ago forced me to use IE again for a while. Wow, I never realized how many sites had so many ads, and ways to show them! I'm glad FF is more stable again so I can use it once more, although there are still a couple of sites where IE9 is more compatible.
    7
  • Firefox 7 as the winner of Grand Prix!?! I gotta go check if hell has frozen over right now!

    But on a more serious tone, I honestly thought Chrome had this one again. Looking at the charts my impression was that Firefox never really won anything by significant margins.

    Also, I hope Internet Explorer 10 will arrive soon. My short experience with IE10 under Windows 8 was very pleasant, even better than that of IE9.
    -3