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Test System Specs And Setup

Web Browser Grand Prix 2: The Top 5 Tested And Ranked
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Test System Specs

OS
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ @ 2.0 GHz (dual-core)

Motherboard

Biostar NF61S-M2 TE

Memory

4 GB DDR2 @ 800MHz (2 x 2 GB)

Graphics

EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB GDDR3), PCI-E 1.0

Storage

Western Digital WD2500KS 250GB SATA 3 GB/s, 7,200 RPM, 16MB Cache

Optical

Asus DVD-RW 1814-BLT-BULK-BG

Power Supply

Corsair TX750W (750W max)


Web Browser Specs

Browser
Version
Chrome

5.0.375.99

Firefox

3.6.6

Internet Explorer

8.0.7600.16385

Opera

10.60

Safari

5 (7533.16)


Additional Software

Name
Version
Adobe Flash

10.1 r53

Oracle Java

6.0.20

Microsoft Silverlight

4.0.50524.0

Nvidia GeForce Driver

8.17.12.5721


Setup

A clean installation of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit was performed using the default partitioning scheme. All the available updates as of 6/16/2010 were applied, along with Nvidia driver package 257.21. We then installed the browsers, Flash, Java, and Silverlight. Finally, we switched off all power management and screen saver options, along with notifications. Before actually testing, we disabled automatic updates on browsers with that feature.

Methodology

A reboot was performed between each benchmark, per browser. The OS was allowed to “warm-up” before running a new test. Each time we finished benchmarking a browser, the cache was cleared and the system reset before beginning another benchmark or moving onto another browser. Most of the benchmarks were run for five iterations per browser, unless specifically mentioned otherwise.

Regarding Nontroppo

Thanks to the urging of our readers, we have retired all of the Nontroppo benchmarks from the previous Web Browser Grand Prix due to an incompatibility with WebKit-based browsers, such as Google Chrome and Apple Safari. The final load time reports completion before some of the elements on the page have loaded. This allows Chrome and Safari to illegitimately dominate every single Nontroppo test.

Regarding Internet Explorer

It has already been made clear from our last Grand Prix that Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) cannot really compete with the other top four Web browsers. We included IE8 again not to beat on it further, but to provide a graphic illustration of where the market share leader's performance stands. If IE didn't still dominate the landscape, it would have been removed.

Why not test the Internet Explorer 9 developer preview? Because I don't like to test products still in development. Even when I do, comparing them to stable products is not very informative. I'm sure that IE9 hits some high notes on several benchmarks, but IE9 isn't a finished product. It's not a release candidate or a beta; it's barely at alpha level. At this point, it's a window that houses a file menu and frame to view Web pages. No navigation bar or tabbed browsing. Not even an address bar. Let's face it, if you strip away essentially every bit of functionality from an app, that app will probably run faster. When IE9 is done, we'll be the first to benchmark it. Not before.

Editorial Disclosure

The author currently uses Google Chrome as his primary Web browser and Mozilla Firefox as a secondary. Bestofmedia uses Mozilla Firefox to interact with its Content Management System.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    mx2138 , July 13, 2010 6:33 AM
    I've been using Firefox for about to two years now. I can't get enough of adblock plus. One of my favorite plug-ins.
  • 20 Hide
    makotech222 , July 13, 2010 6:19 AM
    FF4 also has hardware acceleration
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2010 6:18 AM
    But you know what, apple said they have the world's fastest browser. I think we should just pack up and call it a day. The spoken word of god is indisputable...
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2010 6:18 AM
    But you know what, apple said they have the world's fastest browser. I think we should just pack up and call it a day. The spoken word of god is indisputable...
  • 20 Hide
    makotech222 , July 13, 2010 6:19 AM
    FF4 also has hardware acceleration
  • 7 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 13, 2010 6:21 AM
    I'm very happy to see my beloved Firefox's performance.Whatever people say about Opera and Chrome, Firefox is the best IMO.And Apple is proved to be a liar from this article.
  • 2 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 13, 2010 6:22 AM
    Forgot to add:I cant wait for the final release of FF 4!
  • 9 Hide
    Maziar , July 13, 2010 6:30 AM
    Great review,
    Have to wait for FF4 release to see how it performs compared to others
  • 21 Hide
    mx2138 , July 13, 2010 6:33 AM
    I've been using Firefox for about to two years now. I can't get enough of adblock plus. One of my favorite plug-ins.
  • 2 Hide
    wittermark , July 13, 2010 6:35 AM
    lmao @ FFfanboys other review sites posted FF4 numbers, its performance is pathetic to say the least.
  • 14 Hide
    wheredahoodat , July 13, 2010 6:39 AM
    @Lady slayer, and Boi, this is only for stable releases. Notice that Chrome 6 is not benchmarked. FF4 is a beta, the final product is a long ways off. Judging on what they promising and what they implemented so far in the beta and nightly builds, I wouldn't be surprised if FF4 was delayed until early next year.
  • -8 Hide
    ddragoonss , July 13, 2010 6:48 AM
    FF Fanboys always will be biases fanboys, but the fact is:
    Chrome and Opera are the best ones, the others are just slugs in a F1 race.
    That's the truth. Period.
  • 3 Hide
    the_krasno , July 13, 2010 6:54 AM
    I care not for speed, but for usability. Chrome's minimalistic design fits my simple needs.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2010 6:58 AM
    Using the Windows Task Manager to measure memory usage is flawed. Browsers like Chrome that use multiple processors will be incorrectly shown to use more memory than they actually are because of how memory is shared between each process. See http://google-chrome-browser.com/chromium-memory-usage-0 for more information.
  • 3 Hide
    drudometkin , July 13, 2010 7:02 AM
    Used Firefox for yearssss. Just started using chrome a couple months ago and can't go back to slow ugly Firefox. Love the single address and search bar, tabs on top, minimalist design and speed of chrome.
  • 1 Hide
    Mark Heath , July 13, 2010 7:11 AM
    First can we have an article like this every month or so, just like the graphics cards for the money articles?

    Second, to sum up the article imo, IE is a clear loser, Safari comes 4th trailing Firefox in 3rd, while Chrome and Opera are up ahead, close enough to say that they share 1st and 2nd, depending on updates.
  • 6 Hide
    SchizoFrog , July 13, 2010 7:14 AM
    Considering how many websites are yet to be optimised, crash or just do not work for Google Chrome I fail to understand how it can be classed as a winner. When it comes to everyday use for me Chrome is way behind other more established browsers.
  • -7 Hide
    guid_aaa000001 , July 13, 2010 7:17 AM
    Firefox for Windows, Firefox for Mac OS X, Firefox for Linux & Firefox FTW.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2010 7:21 AM
    How can Opera be #1 when they don't even have a simple ad-blocker? Functionality is much more important than a few ms of loading.
  • 9 Hide
    Lmeow , July 13, 2010 7:24 AM
    I started using Opera on this computer and have loved it ever since. It's just... nice I suppose. Speed-wise 10.50 was quite a bit slower than Chrome, although when I upgraded to 10.60, I could feel a bit of a speed boost.
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