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Conclusion

Web Browser Grand Prix 2: The Top 5 Tested And Ranked
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Like last time, we break down the results by category to determine how the browsers perform overall. Now, instead of just leaving you with a winner and calling it a day, we're also going to break down some of the strengths and weaknesses of these browsers, observed during the course of benchmarking. We spotlight the weak points, again, not to beat on any of these apps, but in the hope that it will not be an issue be when the time comes for Web Browser Grand Prix 3.

Winner By Category / Test

During the course of benchmarking, we observed that the WebKit browsers from Apple and Google displayed some troubling non-memory related behavior during the 40 tab memory usage test. Though not specifically tested, the CPU is maxed out by Safari in this benchmark, tying up the system indefinitely. While Google's browser didn't become unresponsive or exhibit any CPU issues, a few Web pages didn't load at all - they didn't freeze or stall, but simply appeared as blank white pages with no activity. Many of the pages that Chrome did load required reloading due to broken or missing elements - significantly more than Firefox, IE8, or Opera. We'll be looking into concocting ways of measuring CPU usage as well as proper, complete, and accurate page rendering for a future edition of the Web Browser Grand Prix.

Category / Test
Winner
Also Strong
Weak
Speed Tests
Startup Times
Opera
None
None
Page Load Times
Chrome
None
Opera
JavaScript
Chrome
Opera, Safari
Firefox, Internet Explorer
DOM
Opera
None
Internet Explorer
Peacekeeper
Opera
Chrome
Internet Explorer
HTML5 Performance
Opera
None
None
Acid 3
Opera
Chrome, Safari
Internet Explorer
Flash
Opera
Internet Explorer
Chrome
Java
Opera
All
None
Silverlight
Opera
All
None
Other Tests
Memory Usage
FirefoxNone
Safari
Memory Management
Chrome
None
Firefox, Opera
CSS3 Compliance
Firefox
Chrome, Opera, Safari
Internet Explorer
HTML5 Compliance
Chrome
Firefox, Opera, Safari
Internet Explorer


In the previous Web Browser Grand Prix, Opera had a small lead on our winner Google Chrome when the results were broken down by category. This time around, Opera wrangles a massive victory, dominating in eight out of the fourteen categories. This makes Opera the hands down winner of Web Browser Grand Prix 2. Though Google Chrome holds a scant lead in points when taking all benchmarks into account, Opera easily wins the speed race and owns over half of the wins per category. Right now, the Norgwegian browser-maker is the only outfit that can claim to have "the world's fastest browser."

Will Opera continue to best the competition in almost every single speed test? Will Chrome again dominate JavaScript and Page Load Times? Will Apple ever get around to fixing Safari's CPU and memory issues (will Opera fix the latter)? Can anyone reach Firefox-level peak memory use, or match Chrome in management? With Chrome 6, Firefox 4, and Internet Explorer 9 just around the bend, it won't be too long before we find out. Until then, stay tuned to Tom's Hardware.

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