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

Benchmark Results: Startup Times

Startup time is tested under two different stress levels: a single tab and eight tabs (the current home tab limit imposed by Internet Explorer 8). In order to get a look at both laboratory and real-world numbers, we use live Web sites for the both the startup times and memory usage benchmarks. How often do you open your browser up to a file on your hard drive? Our Page Load Times benchmarks remain locally stored to provide a laboratory theoretical max speed.

Single Tab

When Mozilla released Firefox 3.6.6 it said the release was a minor version change, bringing only bug fixes and a slightly tweaked startup time. It did a great job achieving that latter point. Firefox now starts up faster with a single tab than any of the other browsers, barely edging out Opera 10.60. IE8 grabs third, followed by Google Chrome and Apple Safari.

But keep in mind all of the browsers perform well in this test; startup times are all down to around five seconds on our test platform.

Eight Tabs

The placing changes when eight tabs are opened. Opera's six seconds is the lowest by far, only two seconds longer than opening a single tab! Chrome, Firefox, and Safari come in second, third, and fourth, respectively, all taking around fifteen seconds to start up with just a tenth of a second between them. Internet Explorer finishes last at nearly eighteen seconds.

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178 comments
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    Top Comments
  • mx2138
    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.
    21
  • makotech222
    FF4 also has hardware acceleration
    20
  • Anonymous
    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...
    14
  • Other Comments
  • The Lady Slayer
    July 7th - Firefox 4 beta released.
    Tom's impending road test STILL BEHIND THE TIMES
    -24
  • Anonymous
    I agree. Firefox 4 was supposed to have the major speed up (especially in startup time.)
    -17
  • Anonymous
    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...
    14
  • makotech222
    FF4 also has hardware acceleration
    20
  • Tamz_msc
    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.
    7
  • Poisoner
    Honestly, does browser speed matter?
    -25
  • Tamz_msc
    Forgot to add:I cant wait for the final release of FF 4!
    2
  • Maziar
    Great review,
    Have to wait for FF4 release to see how it performs compared to others
    9
  • mx2138
    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.
    21
  • wittermark
    lmao @ FFfanboys other review sites posted FF4 numbers, its performance is pathetic to say the least.
    2
  • wheredahoodat
    @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.
    14
  • Anonymous
    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.
    -8
  • the_krasno
    I care not for speed, but for usability. Chrome's minimalistic design fits my simple needs.
    3
  • Anonymous
    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.
    8
  • drudometkin
    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.
    3
  • Mark Heath
    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.
    1
  • SchizoFrog
    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.
    6
  • guid_aaa000001
    Firefox for Windows, Firefox for Mac OS X, Firefox for Linux & Firefox FTW.
    -7
  • Anonymous
    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.
    7
  • Lmeow
    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.
    9