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Performance Benchmarks: Startup Time

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

Single Tab

The world's most visited Web site,, served as our test page for the single-tab startup time test.

Google's own browser, Chrome, loads in about three quarters of a second. IE9 comes in second, still starting in under one second. Firefox 5 comes in third, starting in 1.11 seconds. Opera starts with a single tab in 1.28 seconds to take fourth place. Safari brings up the rear, taking 1.34 seconds to launch and display the Google home page.

Eight Tabs

Opera surges ahead when it comes to opening eight tabs at once, earning first place with a time of just 2.67 seconds. IE9 holds onto second place, taking 3.37 seconds to open its maximum number of startup tabs. Chrome follows closely in third, finishing in 3.54 seconds. Firefox 5 trails behind at just over five and a half seconds. Safari is again in last place, taking nearly six seconds to start with an eight-tab load.

IE9 and Chrome are the winners for overall page load times, but Opera gives us the biggest surprise. Since all of the Web browsers start up in around one second tasked with a single tab, Opera's sub-three-second result for an eight-tab load which has the most significant real-world impact. Firefox 5 and Safari 5.0.5 both demonstrate the poorest showings for eight-tab page load times, taking between five and six seconds.

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