Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

System Specs, Setup, And Methodology

Web Browser Grand Prix 2: Running The Linux Circuit
By

Test System Specs

OS 1
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx (64-bit)
OS 2
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), PCIe 1.0
Storage
Western Digital WD2500KS 250 GB SATA 3GB/s, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
Optical
Asus DVD-RW 1814-BLT-BULK-BG
Power Supply
Corsair TX750W (750 W max)


Web Browser Specs

Browser
Version
Chrome
5.0.375.99
Firefox
3.6.6
Opera
10.60


Additional Software

Name
Version
Adobe Flash
10.1 r53
Novell Moonlight
3.0.4018.0
Oracle Java
6.0.18
Nvidia GeForce Drivers
195.36.24


Setup

After Ubuntu was installed, we updated the system with all of the packages recommend by the Update Manager on July 1st, 2010. After the required restart, we installed the latest recommended proprietary Nvidia display driver (in this case, version 195). Firefox came preinstalled on Ubuntu and the Update Manager brought it up to the latest version. Next, we installed Chrome and Opera via the 64-bit .deb files from their respective Web sites.

After the browsers, we installed Flash 10 and Java 6 via the Synaptic Package Manager. After the browsers were installed, we disabled the Chrome and Opera repos via Software Sources to ensure that the Web browsers would not update mid-testing. We ignored all attempts that Update Manager made to update the system during the course of benchmarking. Finally, we switched off all power management and screen saver options.

Methodology

A reboot was performed between each benchmark, per browser. Each time we finished benchmarking a browser, the cache was cleared and the system reset before beginning another benchmark. Most of the benchmarks were run for five iterations per browser, unless specifically mentioned otherwise.

Why Didn't You Test *My* Browser?

I originally wanted to do this article immediately after the first Web Browser Grand Prix. But at that time, the only comparable option available was Firefox. Google had not yet released a stable version of Chrome for Linux, and Opera's version number was several points behind its Windows counterpart. This left me with the idea to do a completely separate Linux browser article using Firefox, Chromium, Epiphany, Konqueror, and SeaMonkey.

Shortly after beginning some preliminary runs to test if the benchmarks worked, I realized that this article was doomed. Chromium updates way too frequently to get current results in an article like this. Epiphany and SeaMonkey wouldn't run several benchmarks at all (different ones, making any comparisons spotty at best). Konqueror seemed to work alright, but Konqueror is always faster in KDE, adding yet another variable with which to contend. Again, this left me with only Firefox for good, complete, and comparable data.

Shortly after Chrome received a stable build for Linux, which brought it up-to-date with Windows, Opera announced that upcoming version 10.60 would be released concurrently across all platforms. The stars aligned for the Linux browser article to fit right in with the timetable of Web Browser Grand Prix 2.

Editorial Leaning

The author currently uses Google Chrome as his primary Web browser with Firefox as his secondary, both on Ubuntu. Bestofmedia uses Mozilla Firefox to interact with their content management system. The OS doesn't matter.

Display all 70 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    adamovera , July 21, 2010 6:55 AM
    weirdguy99Why not put firefox 4 into the equation?

    micr0beyes i would have loved to have seen the firefox 4 beta with the results. although great article.

    When it's final, I'll test it.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 21, 2010 6:35 AM
    The article that I was waiting for.How the tables have turned!
    Conclusion:Firefox is quite capable in both Linux and Windows.
    I'm using Firefox 4 beta and I find it pretty quick.
  • 0 Hide
    micr0be , July 21, 2010 6:47 AM
    yes i would have loved to have seen the firefox 4 beta with the results. although great article.
  • 9 Hide
    opmopadop , July 21, 2010 6:49 AM
    Interesting how FireFox chose to sacrifice speed for memory.
  • 20 Hide
    adamovera , July 21, 2010 6:55 AM
    weirdguy99Why not put firefox 4 into the equation?

    micr0beyes i would have loved to have seen the firefox 4 beta with the results. although great article.

    When it's final, I'll test it.
  • 9 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 21, 2010 8:07 AM
    DamdamanI'll get berated for this I'm sure but will we see an OSX article on browsers as well?

    You are kidding,right?
  • 0 Hide
    arnweb , July 21, 2010 8:13 AM
    Opera Turbo feature, is not mentioned here, it can boost speed in real surf. And also when we open a closed tab in Opera it opens them instantly, that's why Opera holds memory for closed, tab.
  • 0 Hide
    Sihastru , July 21, 2010 8:39 AM
    Opera still can't render pages properly, still can't print content properly, and we waste our time with senseless tests of imperceptible speed.
  • 8 Hide
    The_King , July 21, 2010 8:56 AM
    I dont think anyone using firefox will change to another browser even if it is Faster. I love my firefox :) 
  • 3 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 21, 2010 8:59 AM
    Wow, Chrome uses more memory than Crysis on my computer. :lol: 
  • 2 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 21, 2010 9:02 AM
    arnwebOpera Turbo feature, is not mentioned here, it can boost speed in real surf. And also when we open a closed tab in Opera it opens them instantly, that's why Opera holds memory for closed, tab.

    Opera Turbo increases page load times on slow connections.On my 2Mbps connection the time in which Opera Turbo connects to its servers is the time in which Google loads in Firefox.
  • -4 Hide
    lradunovic77 , July 21, 2010 10:31 AM
    I still don't see a point of this test especially as hardware gets better and better. Computer which runs on SSD or Raid SSD with 20Mb/s Internet Connection don't matter what browser you're on cause you can't see a damn difference.
  • -7 Hide
    LaloFG , July 21, 2010 10:54 AM
    Then all browsers lie except Opera hehehe, don't blame me, or whatever, that don't change the result: The fast browser in the knowing universe.
  • 6 Hide
    haplo602 , July 21, 2010 11:01 AM
    I guess the tab recycle bin is responsible for high opera mem usage even after the tabs are closed. however I have not yet found a way to disable it so it gets to normal memory management. however I love the feature, to the mem issue is not that big a deal for me...

    also this is a nitpick, but please do name the article the ubuntu circuit. I do not think the results will be 100% identical on other linux distros.

  • 0 Hide
    whiz , July 21, 2010 12:27 PM
    Gratuliere is probably what you meant...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 21, 2010 1:45 PM
    No. "Gratulerer" is norwegian, so is Opera ;-)
  • -9 Hide
    ta152h , July 21, 2010 3:36 PM
    Does Linux even matter? Outside of hippies, does anyone use it?
  • 1 Hide
    tntom , July 21, 2010 3:37 PM
    Looks like if you have a system with less ram FF is your choice browser. But overall it is stomped by Chrome.

    I too am using FF4 beta. It is noticeably faster with page load times than FF3. But I agree about only testing final releases.

    Thanks Adam Overa for including Linux in the Grand Prix.
  • 0 Hide
    WarraWarra , July 21, 2010 3:39 PM
    haplo602 +1
    Correct depends on GCC version installed + lots of other factors and source compile or bin and who / what did the bin on what config.

    With Mozilla now using gcc 4.5.* the 3.6.6 firefox is slower than ie6 in xp.
    Upgraded to 3.5.11 and 3.0.18 on 2 xp boxes I have from 3.6.6 , about to do the same in my linux boxes.

    The gcc 4.5.* optimization issues is bitting hard on Mozilla.

    Firefox 4 beta has same gcc 4.5.* issues = slow.

    Someone at Mozilla will have to source build a complete gcc 4.5.* distro and build it about 3 times over on same code to make sure all is included / properly optimized + pray it is working correctly.

    Arch linux had GCC 4.5.* integrated already so should be a good place for mozilla to start from.

    Can not stand Opera appearance and layout too much vista / win7 feel. Used to love opera way back just after we lost netscape.

    Nice to see Opera coming back in win + lin.
  • -7 Hide
    WarraWarra , July 21, 2010 3:47 PM
    ta152hDoes Linux even matter? Outside of hippies, does anyone use it?


    LOL good question.
    With Win vista annoying so many a lot of people jumped to linux dual boot or just linux. Win7 has caused another major wave of new linux users + recession made allot of people think about $500 for Microsoft office that messes up their old word documents ect and free openoffice / koffice etc. in linux.

    So free properly working office pc operating system + office apps so might as well go linux instead of $1300 to win7 replace 90% of your software and pray it works + then still loose half your data with win7 issues / bugs.

    And you can do this from a live cd or dvd no need to install makes it very attractive. Can also read / write to ntfs hfs+ and other partitions even with vista / win7 locks enabled, makes getting to your data and formating your win7 much easier when vista /win7 constantly fails to works / boot.

    Linux is good not great not excellent but for office use 100 times better than Vista /win7.
    Gaming in linux is still bad or about the same as Vista / win7 so have to dual boot and play game in XP.
  • 0 Hide
    adamovera , July 21, 2010 3:51 PM
    @lucideer
    I hear ya, I hear all of ya, promise. This article HAD to match WBGP2 in order to do the comparison - any cool, do-able changes suggested in the comments of WBGP2 and WBGP2:Linux will occur for WBGP3, if humanly possible. They're not useless, I'm sure 4GB is about the average amount for TH readers. Also, we did remove the memory testing and standards testing results from the final speed-only result, we left them in for the overall results. So there are two finals, if you don't like the memory testing, ignore the overall winner and go with the speed king.
Display more comments