Which Web Browser Is Best Under Windows 8?

JavaScript And DOM Performance

JavaScript/DOM Composite Score

Since JavaScript and DOM are basically inseperable, and in order to further cut down on the performance-oriented weighting in our final score, we're combining the JavaScript and DOM test results into a single composite score.

Chrome takes a strong lead under Windows 8 and Windows 7. Firefox comes in second place on both versions of Windows, finishing a ways behind the leader, but even further ahead of the third-place finisher. Even though it places slightly lower than IE10 in JavaScript, Opera moves up to third place due to its far stronger DOM scores. IE takes last place on both platforms, although IE10 performs notably better than IE9.

JavaScript

The JavaScript composite score is the geometric mean of the results from RIABench JavaScript, FutureMark Peacekeeper, Mozilla Kraken, and Google's modified version of Apple SunSpider. Neither IE9 nor Opera 12.10 will complete Google Octane, so that test is excluded.

Chrome steals the show in JavaScript performance once again, and without any Google benchmarks backing it up. Firefox earns second place, a ways behind Google Chrome. IE10 takes third place on Windows 8, while IE9 finishes last in Windows 7. Opera loses to IE10, but still beats IE9, placing fourth on Windows 8 and third under Windows 7. All four browsers demonstrate improved JavaScript scores in Windows 8, with IE10 showing a 40% increase over IE9.

Drill Down

The charts below contain the individual results for each JavaScript performance benchmark. The single RIABench score that is factored into the JavaScript composite is derived from the geometric mean of all nine RIABench JavaScript tests.

RIABench - Windows 8RIABench - Windows 8RIABench - Windows 7RIABench - Windows 7PeacekeeperPeacekeeperKrakenKrakenSunSpiderSunSpider

IE10 shows the most remarkable improvements in the Kraken and SunSpider benchmarks, while RIABench and Peacekeeper only reflect a marginal improvement over IE9. Chrome is the hands-down winner, as it has been for nearly the entire lifespan of Google's browser.

Seeing as how Internet Explorer 10 doesn't take the JavaScript crown, and Opera has been relatively stagnant in this discipline lately, hopefully Mozilla's upcoming IonMonkey engine can truly give Chrome a run for its money.

DOM (Document Object Model)

We use the DOM Core subsection of Mozilla's Dromaeo DOM tests to represent DOM performance in our final scoring. The Dromaeo results are an average of two iterations.

Naturally, Chrome also takes the lead in DOM core performance, followed closely by Firefox. Opera trails far behind in third place, with IE bringing up the rear. Unlike the JavaScript numbers, the DOM scores do not favor either version of Windows.

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  • Anonymous
    Quote:
    And we're also passing the torch from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

    We are going to miss you on Web Browser Grand Prix, Windows 7 [:russk1:9]
    16
  • mayankleoboy1
    Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.
    Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.
    12
  • randomizer
    mayankleoboy11. IMHO, enabling these settings would have made Opera more competitive and this article fairer.


    Running every browser with its default configuration except one is not a fair test.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • mayankleoboy1
    1. Did you ensure that Opera has Hardware acceleration and WebGL enabled in about:config ? AFAIk, Opera does not enable HWA by default.

    2. I find the over-reliance on "Internet Explorer Test drive" benchmarks disturbing. Most use code that is inefficient and not used anywhere else on the web, making it quite theoretical.

    3. +1 for using Google Octane benchmark. Both google and mozilla agree that this is a good real-world benchmark.

    4. Addition of the "Maze solver" benchmark is disappointing.

    5. Why remove the subjective smoothness ? 95% of the time, subjective smoothness is what lures a person to use a specific browser. People use a browser, not run benchmarks on it all day. Subjectively, no browser can beat Google Chrome. Then comes Opera , Firefox and far lastly, IE10.
    -8
  • mayankleoboy1
    Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.
    Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.
    12
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy11. Did you ensure that Opera has Hardware acceleration and WebGL enabled in about:config ? AFAIk, Opera does not enable HWA by default.2. I find the over-reliance on "Internet Explorer Test drive" benchmarks disturbing. Most use code that is inefficient and not used anywhere else on the web, making it quite theoretical.3. +1 for using Google Octane benchmark. Both google and mozilla agree that this is a good real-world benchmark.4. Addition of the "Maze solver" benchmark is disappointing.5. Why remove the subjective smoothness ? 95% of the time, subjective smoothness is what lures a person to use a specific browser. People use a browser, not run benchmarks on it all day. Subjectively, no browser can beat Google Chrome. Then comes Opera , Firefox and far lastly, IE10.

    1) We use fresh installs at default settings; Opera does not enable HWA by default.
    2) The only IETestDrive tests we use are Psychedelic Browsing and Maze Solver, and IE regularly loses to competitors on both.
    3) Octane was not used because it had issues with IE9 and Opera 12.10.
    4) We definitely need a new CSS test, but the only other options are outdated or on IETestDrive - unfortunately, Kaizoumark doesn't work with IE10.
    5) It's really difficult to see that kind of stuff on a modern test system, but I will say that Chrome and IE10 are about equal in that department, with Firefox and Opera noticeably more choppy right at the beginning of the 40-tab load.
    10
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy1Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.

    Not sure, the Nvidia drivers used were the same version on both OSes.
    7
  • Anonymous
    Quote:
    And we're also passing the torch from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

    We are going to miss you on Web Browser Grand Prix, Windows 7 [:russk1:9]
    16
  • mayankleoboy1
    Anonymous said:
    1) We use fresh installs at default settings; Opera does not enable HWA by default.
    2) The only IETestDrive tests we use are Psychedelic Browsing and Maze Solver, and IE regularly loses to competitors on both.
    3) Octane was not used because it had issues with IE9 and Opera 12.10.
    4) We definitely need a new CSS test, but the only other options are outdated or on IETestDrive - unfortunately, Kaizoumark doesn't work with IE10.
    5) It's really difficult to see that kind of stuff on a modern test system, but I will say that Chrome and IE10 are about equal in that department, with Firefox and Opera noticeably more choppy right at the beginning of the 40-tab load.



    1. IMHO, enabling these settings would have made Opera more competitive and this article fairer.

    3. Whoops, misread that. But this is a good benchmark. Robohornet and robohornet pro are complete jokes.
    4. Just exclude the maze solver. Its bad coding, as any web developer can tell you.
    5. Thats exactly what i'm saying. This needs to be factored in the overall score. You want the browser UI to always remain smooth. UI choppiness is unacceptable and sloppy coding. We are not living in the 90's anymore.


    The one thing i dislike in Chrome is the memory bloat when opening many tabs. In the 40tab test, FF uses 600 MB. Chrome uses 1600MB :O. That is probably an iverhead of using separate processes for each tab. That is excellent for smoothness and UI fluidity. But shameful for memory consumption. I guess devs need to find a middle path.
    2
  • mayankleoboy1
    Both 'mozilla kraken' and 'Google sunspider' benchmarks need to be retired . They are old, and all the major browsers have optimizations to score better on them.
    Plus, they heavily test features that are not used anywhere else on teh web.

    Example : Sunspider makes a billion manipulations to the the "date" variable. Mozilla did not have any optimization for this. So it scored poorly on Sunspider. After numerous 'review sites' started using sunspider to test FF Vs Chrome, mozilla developers had to reluctantly add the same optimisation (which is basically a separate buffer to store the date). Of course, nowhere on the web is the date variable used in this manner. So its optimization for an artificial test.
    5
  • wilem_WAR246810
    "The King Is Dead, Long Live The King!" am I the only one who thought of Megadeth?
    1
  • deepblue08
    mayankleoboy1Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.


    As far as I heard there are significant under-the-hood improvements in Win8, in terms of memory efficiency and multi-core usage.
    3
  • epileptic
    Is it Opera x64 or x86? I remember having tested Opera 12 and the startup was very slow. I'm still using 11.64 atm. The only thing keeping me from moving to Firefox is how sluggish the UI feels... I'd also have to find a new mail client. :/
    4
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy11. IMHO, enabling these settings would have made Opera more competitive and this article fairer.3. Whoops, misread that. But this is a good benchmark. Robohornet and robohornet pro are complete jokes.4. Just exclude the maze solver. Its bad coding, as any web developer can tell you.5. Thats exactly what i'm saying. This needs to be factored in the overall score. You want the browser UI to always remain smooth. UI choppiness is unacceptable and sloppy coding. We are not living in the 90's anymore. The one thing i dislike in Chrome is the memory bloat when opening many tabs. In the 40tab test, FF uses 600 MB. Chrome uses 1600MB . That is probably an iverhead of using separate processes for each tab. That is excellent for smoothness and UI fluidity. But shameful for memory consumption. I guess devs need to find a middle path.

    Chrome scales quite nicely to the available memory, it doesn't need the 1.6 GB to display all those tabs, it just uses that much on a system with tons of spare memory. We saw that Chrome can get by with just 450 MB on an XP-based beige box with only 768 MB total system memory.
    2
  • adamovera
    wilem_WAR246810"The King Is Dead, Long Live The King!" am I the only one who thought of Megadeth?

    LOL, there's a good chance that Megadeth was playing in a YouTube tab while I was doing the final layout for this article.
    6
  • adamovera
    epilepticIs it Opera x64 or x86? I remember having tested Opera 12 and the startup was very slow. I'm still using 11.64 atm. The only thing keeping me from moving to Firefox is how sluggish the UI feels... I'd also have to find a new mail client.

    32-bit, they're all 32-bit.
    2
  • randomizer
    mayankleoboy11. IMHO, enabling these settings would have made Opera more competitive and this article fairer.


    Running every browser with its default configuration except one is not a fair test.
    11
  • JOSHSKORN
    adamovera32-bit, they're all 32-bit.

    Yes and this is unfortunate. We need more competition in the 64-bit browsing world. I currently use Waterfox. It's only other competition (that I'm aware of) is IE 64-bit.
    2
  • stairmand
    Would have been nice to include some fatures, the Pinch to Zoom on IE 10 makes that a winner for multi-touch ebnabled systems on its own.
    0
  • assafbt
    Ok, perhaps I missed something about the new composite scoring, but what I am always interested in is solely which browser has the least weak performances & behaviors, not really interested in who is good or best. With the new scoring we went back quite a bit, or am I missing something?
    0
  • mayankleoboy1
    JOSHSKORNYes and this is unfortunate. We need more competition in the 64-bit browsing world. I currently use Waterfox. It's only other competition (that I'm aware of) is IE 64-bit.


    In most of these 'benchmarks', which basically run a few tight loops a gazillion times, 64 bit browsers will perform worse than 32 bit.
    Plus, Visual Studio 2010, on which all these browsers are compiled, does not many of the performance optimisations for 64 bit code.
    4
  • Cryio
    adamovera32-bit, they're all 32-bit.


    False, IE10 RTM on Windows 8 x64 is a 64 bit browser.
    3
  • Cryio
    mayankleoboy1In most of these 'benchmarks', which basically run a few tight loops a gazillion times, 64 bit browsers will perform worse than 32 bit. Plus, Visual Studio 2010, on which all these browsers are compiled, does not many of the performance optimisations for 64 bit code.


    Well, hopefully things change now with the release of Visual Studio 2012.
    2