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

The Lineup

When we published the first Web Browser Grand Prix back in March of 2010 (Web Browser Grand Prix: The Top Five, Tested And Ranked), we really hit the ground running and got right to the testing. It occurred to us that we never really gave an overview of each browser; we just assumed (probably justly so) that everyone was already familiar with the top five Web browsers. We didn't foresee how popular this series was going to become and the number of more mainstream folks (non-geeks) who would tune in. So, we figured it's about time that we properly introduced the contenders. Feel free to grab the latest version of the Web browsers from our new downloads section with the links in the table below.




Chrome
Vendor:
Google
Debut:
9/02/2008
Current Version:
12
Layout Engine:
WebKit
JavaScript Engine:
V8
Supported Platforms:
Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeOS
WBGP Wins:
2 (WBGP1 and WBGP2: Linux)
Download Chrome!






Firefox
Vendor:
Mozilla
Debut:
11/09/2004
Current Version:
5
Layout Engine:
Gecko 2.0
JavaScript Engine:
JagerMonkey
Supported Platforms:
Windows, Mac, Linux
WBGP Wins:
None
Download Firefox!





Internet Explorer
Vendor:
Microsoft
Debut:
8/16/1995
Current Version
9
Layout Engine:
Trident
JavaScript Engine:
Chakra
 Supported Platforms:
Windows (Vista and 7)
WBGP Wins:
2 (WBGP3 and WBGP4)
Download Internet Explorer!





Opera
Vendor:
Opera Software
Debut:
12/09/1996
Current Version:
11.50
Layout Engine:
Presto
JavaScript Engine:
Carakan
Supported Platforms:
Windows, Mac, Linux
WBGP Wins:
1 (WBGP2)
Download Opera!





Safari
Vendor:
Apple
Debut:
1/07/2003
Current Version:
5.05
Layout Engine:
WebKit
JavaScript Engine:
Nitro
Supported Platforms:
WIndows, Mac
WBGP Wins:
None
Download Safari!


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102 comments
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    Top Comments
  • Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.
    28
  • Wow, it seems like I upgrade my browsers every week.
    18
  • Now if just Google would release a 64-bit Chrome browser.
    18
  • Other Comments
  • Wow, it seems like I upgrade my browsers every week.
    18
  • somehow it seems that firefox is focussing more on benchmarks rather than actual real world usage.
    -9
  • opera keeps impressing me throughout the WBGP
    9
  • Now if just Google would release a 64-bit Chrome browser.
    18
  • 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.
    9
  • Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.
    28
  • 199194 said:
    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
    4
  • 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.
    -8
  • I don't like how Nvidia's GPU auto-detect doesn't work on chrome.
    2
  • Damn, Opera has it's flaws but it's nonetheless the one that does one thing best: browsing.
    -4
  • 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.
    9
  • which one is the best in term of security out of box?
    12
  • 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.
    2
  • Thanks for the review,I was waiting for this !
    1
  • 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.
    12
  • 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.
    1
  • 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.
    3
  • 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.
    14
  • 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.
    4
  • page 3 :
    64-bit Desktop Test System
    Operating System
    Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)
    0