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Benchmark Results: Page Load Time

Which Browser Should You Be Running On Your iPad And iPhone?
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Page Load Time Composite Score

Our page load time composite score is the geometric mean of the start time, uncached, and cached page load results. All test pages are saved and hosted from our local Web server, resulting in steadier iterations than live webpages.

Safari steals first place with the only page load time under two seconds. Maxthon surprisingly rides ahead of the pack at just over two seconds to become the runner-up. Dolphin takes third place at nearly 2.2 seconds, followed closely by Chrome and Sleipnir in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Yahoo! Axis is the last-place finisher, with a time of nearly 2.4 seconds.

Start Time

The Yahoo! homepage serves as the test page in our start time test. The test page is loaded in cache and each browser was started and stopped prior to testing. The start time test results are the average of three iterations.

Start times go to Apple Safari, followed by Maxthon in second place. Axis, Dolphin, Sleipnir, and Chrome all essentially take the same amount of time to start up and finish loading their homepages, tying for last place.

Load Time

A page on BBQ brisket from About.com, the Computer Parts & Components category on Amazon, a random popular question on Ask.com, the "free" section for Los Angeles on craigslist, my LinkedIn profile, and the Wikipedia entry for "Tom's Hardware" round out our page load time test pages. All page load time results are achieved by averaging five iterations.

Uncached

In order to achieve the uncached page load times, each browser's history and cache is cleared, and the browser closed then reopened between iterations.

Maxthon manages to beat out Apple's own Web browser by a slim margin in uncached page loads. Axis, Dolphin, and Sleipnir all basically tie for third place, with Google Chrome bringing up the rear about 0.35 seconds behind the pack.

Cached

When loading pages that are already in the browsing history, Chrome takes the lead at 1.3 seconds. Maxthon, Dolphin, and Safari practically tie for second place, running between 1.4 and 1.5 seconds. Sleipnir places third at 1.65 seconds, with Axis taking last place.

Drill Down

The charts below contain the uncached and cached page load times of all eight individual test pages for each browser.

Notes: Chrome's stand-out losses in uncached page loads are from About, Amazon, and, ironically, Google! Meanwhile, Yahoo! Axis has extra trouble loading Amazon, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia from cache.

UncachedUncachedCachedCached

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    esrever , October 19, 2012 4:59 AM
    All of them are the same since apple doesn't give developers any freedom.
  • 13 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , October 19, 2012 5:20 AM
    Was this review even necessary?
    There is no choice of browsers on iOS. None. Every "browser" is just a sub-par Safari wrapper.

    It's not like people buy iOS devices for the ability to tailor the device to their liking, after all- it's not called the "reality distortion field" for nothing.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    esrever , October 19, 2012 4:59 AM
    All of them are the same since apple doesn't give developers any freedom.
  • 8 Hide
    ksampanna , October 19, 2012 5:10 AM
    I mean, c'mon ... bt obviously
  • 13 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , October 19, 2012 5:20 AM
    Was this review even necessary?
    There is no choice of browsers on iOS. None. Every "browser" is just a sub-par Safari wrapper.

    It's not like people buy iOS devices for the ability to tailor the device to their liking, after all- it's not called the "reality distortion field" for nothing.
  • 2 Hide
    victorious 3930k , October 19, 2012 6:50 AM
    You may have forgotten the useful extra features category, where Chrome for iOS wins by MILES.
  • 4 Hide
    murzar , October 19, 2012 7:08 AM
    Quote:
    But Tom's Hardware, I hate Apple. What about Android?


    Such condescension! What about people who actually like Android more? Or find its features more beneficial?

    Not every Android user hates Apple.


  • 2 Hide
    barathn , October 19, 2012 7:20 AM
    I like the last paragraph
  • 1 Hide
    gamecube , October 19, 2012 7:23 AM
    I hope next week we see not only tablet review. I'm more interested in the phone part of Android.

    And Ubuntu just release 12.10. This is a good time to have another Ubuntu Web Browser Grand Prix.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 19, 2012 8:41 AM
    I'm curious what the benchmarks would be like if they installed the Nitrous Cydia tweak, which allows third party apps to use the Nitro engine. Any chance we can get a follow-up?
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , October 19, 2012 9:28 AM
    no IE ?
  • 7 Hide
    amdfangirl , October 19, 2012 9:33 AM
    Quote:
    no IE ?


    On iOS?
  • 0 Hide
    amigafan , October 19, 2012 9:46 AM
    No iCab mobile and no Atomic Web Browser :( 
  • 1 Hide
    blackmagnum , October 19, 2012 9:46 AM
    Hey Apple... This is unfair!
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 19, 2012 10:09 AM
    why should you buy apple products to begin with?
  • 2 Hide
    abbadon_34 , October 19, 2012 1:06 PM
    hmm...this article seems to imply I can stomach any Apple product post-Apple II
  • -2 Hide
    jaquith , October 19, 2012 2:03 PM
    If you don't have an Apple iOS product then frankly go away, you're talking out your 'back side,' and go Troll somewhere else. Keep in mind all but two of the TH Editors have an iPhone and a slew of other Apple products - fact.

    I've tried Chrome and Dolphin and keep coming back to Safari. Most of these benchmarks are within milliseconds so ± <0.05~0.10 seconds or ± <1~2FPS in the real world is negligible, so it comes down to features. Chrome isn't bad but it still needs some improvements in it's UI and features which still aren't ready for prime time.
  • -1 Hide
    monkeysweat , October 19, 2012 2:10 PM
    I have noticed on iOS 6 the newer Safari is much faster than it used to be, but speed isn't everything here,, how about features? I use chrome because it is better at blocking popups, quicker to switch to 'incognito' for banking, etc, also it syncs with my desktop history and favorites --- AND in my opinion has a better way of managing the tabs,,, Safari doesn't do any of this. I get lots of popups and redirects which I don't get on Chrome.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , October 19, 2012 2:24 PM
    I like that Chrome syncs with my PC but where's the history (aside from recently closed tabs)? As far as pop-ups (even with Block Pop-up - 'on') and ad bars I've seen little differences between Safari and Chrome; try TH site. I do agree and I do like the 'incognito' but most of my e.g. banking is done on either my PC or Bank's App.

    On some sites Chrome isn't recognized as mobile friendly but it's not Chrome's fault, it's the site's fault.

    I have little doubt and look forward to later versions of Chrome that will solve many of these odd problems and fine tune their App.
  • 1 Hide
    drip50291 , October 19, 2012 3:02 PM
    um...what about Opera? Its faster with one bar of 3G than Safari is on Wifi.
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , October 19, 2012 4:51 PM
    murzarNot every Android user hates Apple.


    Maybe not but they yell the loudest.
  • -1 Hide
    kajunchicken , October 19, 2012 7:21 PM
    What about web browsers available through Cydia? You know... the ones that AREN'T stuck with Apple's crappy limitations.
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