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Analysis And Conclusion

Web Browser Grand Prix 5: Opera 11.50, Firefox 5, And Chrome 12
By

Analysis


Winner
Strong
Acceptable
Weak
Performance Benchmarks
Startup Time
Opera
Chrome, Internet Explorer
Firefox
Safari
Page Load Time
Chrome

Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari

JavaScript
Chrome
Firefox
Opera, Internet Explorer
Safari
DOM
Opera

Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer
Safari
CSS
Chrome
Opera
Internet Explorer
Firefox, Safari
Flash
Internet ExplorerOpera, SafariChrome, Firefox
Java
Firefox
Chrome
Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari

Silverlight
Opera
Internet Explorer
Chrome, Firefox, Safari

HTML5
Firefox
Internet Explorer
Chrome
Opera, Safari
HTML Hardware Acceleration
Firefox
Internet Explorer

Chrome, Opera, Safari
WebGL
Chrome

Firefox
Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Efficiency Benchmarks
Memory Usage
Safari
Firefox
Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera

Memory Management
Internet Explorer
Chrome
Firefox, Safari, Opera

Battery Life
Firefox

Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera
Safari
Reliability Benchmarks
Proper Page Loads
Firefox, Opera

Chrome
Internet Explorer, Safari
Conformance Benchmarks
JavaScript
Internet Explorer
Opera
Chrome, Firefox, Safari

DOM
Chrome, Opera, Safari
Firefox, Internet Explorer


CSS3
Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Chrome


HTML5
Chrome
Firefox, Opera
Safari
Internet Explorer


Conclusion

When we take raw performance, the conformance grade, total placing, and the categorical analysis tables into account, a clear winner emerges. There's no argument; Chrome 12 is the Web Browser Grand Prix 5 champion. 

Google boosted its numbers in performance, reliability, and standards conformance just enough to take the championship from Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, which just barely holds onto second place ahead of Firefox 5 (though this might be debatable). But it's not just the number of total wins that gives Chrome 12 an edge, but also its low number of losses. In fact, the only area where Chrome falls completely behind is in HTML5 hardware acceleration, which is a feature not yet supported by this browser.

The same could be said for fourth-place finisher Opera. WebGL, HTML5, and HTML5 hardware acceleration are the weak areas of the Norwegian Web browser; those are also features not yet supported.

Safari 5 is simply the oldest browser in the lineup. Being the longest to go without a major refresh makes it somewhat like a control group, a way to gauge the latest against the previous generation. But Mac OS X 'Lion' is so close that we can hear its roar. The big cat brings Safari 6 which is set to be a major upgrade to the browser.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    cadder , July 7, 2011 5:05 AM
    Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.
  • 18 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 7, 2011 4:54 AM
    Now if just Google would release a 64-bit Chrome browser.
  • 18 Hide
    adampower , July 7, 2011 4:17 AM
    Wow, it seems like I upgrade my browsers every week.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    adampower , July 7, 2011 4:17 AM
    Wow, it seems like I upgrade my browsers every week.
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2011 4:23 AM
    somehow it seems that firefox is focussing more on benchmarks rather than actual real world usage.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2011 4:34 AM
    opera keeps impressing me throughout the WBGP
  • 18 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 7, 2011 4:54 AM
    Now if just Google would release a 64-bit Chrome browser.
  • 9 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 7, 2011 4:58 AM
    First of all, this is the most thorough WBGP yet.
    Quote:
    somehow it seems that firefox is focussing more on benchmarks rather than actual real world usage.

    I don't think so - proper page loads and battery life are important considerations.

    I agree that Mozilla did not do a right thing in copying Chrome's release cycle, but at least they're trying - for example, they're trying hard in bringing down memory usage by increasing the garbage collection frequency(check this out in the Aurora and Nightly builds).

    WBGP is basically a test of speed, and Chrome may have won in that, but Firefox is not far behind. I can wait for two or three seconds for my page to load. You can easily bring down the page load times by using addons like AdBlock Plus.

    Even with the faster release cycle, this article clearly states that Firefox is still the most stable browser. Many people say that they've had numerous crashes, but its something wrong with their drivers or OS - I have not had a single crash since FF 4.0 beta 5 (or 7?), when they introduced hardware acceleration for the first time.

    Firefox remains the most customizable browser, while Opera has the most number of features out-of-the-box.

    So overall, according to me Firefox>=Opera>Chrome>IE 9> Safari.
  • 28 Hide
    cadder , July 7, 2011 5:05 AM
    Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.
  • 4 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 7, 2011 5:10 AM
    Quote:
    Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.

    That's easy: FF+AdBlock Plus+ NoScript+Ghostery+BrowserProtect
  • -8 Hide
    ChiefTexas_82 , July 7, 2011 5:43 AM
    IE 9 is a speed demon? I droped IE because it started running like ****. I blame loading too many side programs after years on the web. So I wanted to try Chrome or Firefox. Being a Google fan already, I tried Chrome. So far it leaves my old IE8 in the dust. Except for a certain bug, I would say it has been an improvement in almost every way.
  • 2 Hide
    ChiefTexas_82 , July 7, 2011 5:45 AM
    I don't like how Nvidia's GPU auto-detect doesn't work on chrome.
  • -4 Hide
    thartist , July 7, 2011 5:47 AM
    Damn, Opera has it's flaws but it's nonetheless the one that does one thing best: browsing.
  • 9 Hide
    wheredahoodat , July 7, 2011 5:56 AM
    I have personally along others have remained loyal to Firefox for years, but the latest moves have been are puzzling. Despite the benchmarks, they have not addressed bad cold start up problems (test on netbooks not on desktop rigs to find out), and the Firefox 4/5 new javascript engine has been a nightmare memory wise causing many to banish Firefox or remain with version 3.6 on older computers.

    Also instead of prioritizing the electrolysis project which would have made Firefox as snappy as Chrome, they are wasting their time on the Azure graphics project to replace a only few months old Cairo engine for marginal benefit because html 5 is still just the future, with no real significant penetration for the web.

    Mozilla can only push their base so far with their incompetence. Back then there was no real competition or alternative for a big market share, standard compliance browser. However there is now a real alternative with Chrome, and Firefox's gradual but definite market share hemorrhaging has shown that incompetence has consequences.

  • 12 Hide
    beavermml , July 7, 2011 6:00 AM
    which one is the best in term of security out of box?
  • 2 Hide
    akorzan , July 7, 2011 6:05 AM
    On the last page in the table and row "proper page loads," why is Opera in twice and no Safari?
    Surely, this is a typo.
  • 1 Hide
    Maziar , July 7, 2011 6:19 AM
    Thanks for the review,I was waiting for this !
  • 12 Hide
    andy5174 , July 7, 2011 7:28 AM
    No doubt that Chrome is notably faster than Firefox so that I can feel the difference easily. However, Chrome lacks many useful features/add-ons offered by Firefox that I've been using for years. This is the main and only reason that Firefox is still my default browser.
  • 1 Hide
    obarthelemy , July 7, 2011 7:48 AM
    I'm still uncomfortable with those kind of tests. Especially because they don't take into account out-of-the-box features and creature comforts. I have all 4 installed (no Safari), and I find use Opera most, because it does very good Mouse Gestures, tab management, and synch. Without any addons ! I find Addons a very mixed blessing: I had plenty of headaches with FFox's, what with compatibility issues when upgrading FFox, bug and slow/ban/non-existent support... I find that having all required functionnality included in the base browser is a big plus, more-so for non-techies.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2011 8:12 AM
    How can you place Firefox in Memory Usage as strong. This thing is leaking all over the place. Should you review your methodology?
    PS I m an early adopter of FF since 2.0 but I consider switching due to this memory issue.
  • 14 Hide
    johnsmithhatesVLC , July 7, 2011 8:13 AM
    Firefox is the only browser that can block all ads properly. It's also the most reliable at page loading as the WGP has proven. I really don't care about millisecond differences in page loads. Firefox is the best to me.
  • 4 Hide
    lucas1024 , July 7, 2011 8:45 AM
    Thanks for including the reliability test! I had almost convinced myself to switch to Chrome from FF5, because of the memory usage, but not anymore - I do like my pages to load every time and I routinely have 30-40 tabs open.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , July 7, 2011 8:49 AM
    page 3 :
    64-bit Desktop Test System
    Operating System
    Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)
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