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RoboHornet Results: OS X Mountain Lion

RoboHornet: The Next Big Thing In Browser Benchmarking
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OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)

After receiving numerous conflicting results from readers with genuine Macs, it has come to our attention that our current cross-platform test system provides unusually low browser scores under OS X. After several different networking driver swaps, the scores remain quite low compared to other operating systems. While the OS X browser scores appear to be accurate in relation to each other, none of the OS X scores should be used to draw conclusions about OS X versus other environments in this test. Our previous Core i5 (Lynnfield)-based cross-platform test system did not exhibit this behavior, but actually showed browsers under OS X performing better than Windows 7-based browsers on the Hackintosh than on a genuine MacBook Air. So, until we can track down the culprit, please view the OS X results as if they were obtained on different hardware than the other OSes.

Safari 6 takes first place with ease on OS X, maintaining a cool 14% lead over second-place finisher Google Chrome. Trailing an appropriate 21% behind Chrome 21 is Firefox 15. Opera 12 places last in RoboHornet on OS X, another 15 percentage points behind Firefox, roughly half of Safari's winning score.

Things are looking good for RoboHornet on OS X; this finishing order closely mirrors our results from Web Browser Grand Prix: Firefox 15, Safari 6, OS X Mountain Lion.

Drill Down

Chrome 21Chrome 21Firefox 15Firefox 15Opera 12Opera 12Safari 6Safari 6

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  • 8 Hide
    aicom , September 24, 2012 9:26 PM
    Nice to see that IE10 has got some fight in it. I haven't really used it much on Win8 after installing Chrome though. If IE can get that plugin ecosystem that Firefox and Chrome have plus some of the nice cloud syncing stuff with Win8/RT/Phone that Safari and Chrome do with their mobile brethren, I'd definitely consider IE.

    They've got to quit bundling OS updates and IE together though. Otherwise, they get left behind when all the other browsers get updated, but IE doesn't. When IE 9 came out, it was quite the monster too, but 3 years is a long time for other browsers to catch and easily overtake it.
  • 2 Hide
    puddleglum , September 24, 2012 9:31 PM
    Good to see the browsers broken out by OS. Not everyone runs MS.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2012 10:01 PM
    How about firefox on android ?
  • 4 Hide
    adamovera , September 24, 2012 10:38 PM
    hheexxHow about firefox on android ?

    Didn't work. It may eventually finish but it spent way too long on the first test, pretty much the same story with Maxthon, Opera, and Sleipnir on Android. Same deal on iOS. They specifically mentioned that mobile was not yet supported, but it will be a priority in the future. Maxthon took a very long time on Windows, OS X, and Android, so I aborted it, but I have a feeling that it would finish eventually (could literally be hours though, and I didn't have time to wait). If anyone reports Maxthon, Sleipnir or Camino actually finishing the test, I'll give them another go and update the article accordingly.
  • 1 Hide
    aaab , September 24, 2012 11:45 PM
    RH-A1:0092.97
    2 out of 17 benchmark(s) failed.

    My poor work PC :( 
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2012 12:24 AM
    What an awful collection of microbenchmarks. Go read Hennessy and Patterson; the best benchmarks are real apps, not tiny little tests that measure a single thing.
  • -3 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 25, 2012 2:20 AM
    IE10's win on Win8 makes me wonder if the benchmark makes use of specialised data arrays, which are supported in IE10 only.

    In normal use, IE10 performs worse than FF15, so i dont see how it scored that much better.
  • 3 Hide
    alikum , September 25, 2012 2:46 AM
    mayankleoboy1IE10's win on Win8 makes me wonder if the benchmark makes use of specialised data arrays, which are supported in IE10 only.In normal use, IE10 performs worse than FF15, so i dont see how it scored that much better.

    How exactly? I'm using IE10 for work and home and it's been superb thus far, with 0 crashes. Can't say the same for FF. It's a memory hog.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 25, 2012 3:12 AM
    ^ to each his own :) 

    FWIW, the actual mozilla developers had no clue about this benchmark prior to this article. Infact, they have started working on this benchmark after someone reported this article. So IMO, the presence of Mozilla is marginal at best in the overseeing member committee

    And, mozila has only one representative. More than half of the committee members are google people. Makes me wonder if there is some unintentional bias....
  • 3 Hide
    freggo , September 25, 2012 4:03 AM
    Win 7 with Firefox 15.0.1

    typed robohornet.com as the URL and get a friendly 404 error.
    Actually have to use www.robohornet.com !

    Now isn't that kinda sad ? :-)

  • 2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 25, 2012 4:14 AM
    ^ the correct site is :

    http://www.robohornet.org/

    BTW, FF15.0.1 automatically searched for .org when i typed the .com address, so no issues here :) 
    Time for you to check proxy settings ?
  • 2 Hide
    freggo , September 25, 2012 4:38 AM
    mayankleoboy1^ the correct site is : http://www.robohornet.org/BTW, FF15.0.1 automatically searched for .org when i typed the .com address, so no issues here Time for you to check proxy settings ?


    "I" obviously did not have problems figuring in out :-)
    But the majority of casual surfers (i.e. my clients) will not bother after a 404 error. They hit reload and then give up and go somewhere else.

    It's not that hard to configure a server to work with/and without www :-)


  • 1 Hide
    davewolfgang , September 25, 2012 10:31 AM
    Wow....a bunch of "Tests" by the makers of ONE of the browsers that - OMG - the main competition loses everything, and doesn't even show on some.

    Things that don't make you go Hmmmmmmmm.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2012 11:02 AM
    "Today, Google helped launch a modular, independent, and open source browser benchmark": This is literally not true, Google is the supplier of Chrome, and therefor not independent.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2012 2:15 PM
    It is of course way too early to use this benchmark as an indication about real world browser performance.

    Just the other day another test was published, made by MS. In that test for all practical purposes IE and FFox were tied at #1. ahead of Chrome. http://www.favbrowser.com/internet-explorer-10-is-8-faster-than-google-chrome-20/

    Robohornet do catch some specific slow spots in Firefox. But it also has some tests that look suspect. I expect both to improve, though. Look at the comments in this Bugzilla thread. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=793913
  • -1 Hide
    Avro Arrow , September 25, 2012 2:57 PM
    These numbers seem big and meaningful but remember, we're talking a MAXIMUM DIFFERENCE of 1 (maybe 2) seconds between the "top" browser and the "bottom" browser in page load time. This is not something that is going to make or break your internet experience, especially considering that most of us on tomshardware are enthusiasts that have powerful rigs with Quad-Core or better CPUs running at 3GHz or more. Pick the browser you like most and use it! The feature set and feel of a browser are a far bigger issue to me on my computer (desktop or laptop) than speed. Speed affects smartphones far more and from my own personal android experience, stability is key, not speed. In that respect, I've found that Opera for android is the best of that bunch. As for Apple anything, I wouldn't know. I'm allergic to "Apples"... :sol
  • -1 Hide
    bwric , September 25, 2012 4:04 PM
    How come the Windows results are double that of the Mac?
  • 1 Hide
    Avro Arrow , September 26, 2012 2:55 AM
    bwricHow come the Windows results are double that of the Mac?

    Because all of these programs were originally designed for Windows and "ported" to Mac.
  • -1 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 26, 2012 6:02 AM
    Avro ArrowThese numbers seem big and meaningful but remember, we're talking a MAXIMUM DIFFERENCE of 1 (maybe 2) seconds between the "top" browser and the "bottom" browser in page load time. This is not something that is going to make or break your internet experience, especially considering that most of us on tomshardware are enthusiasts that have powerful rigs with Quad-Core or better CPUs running at 3GHz or more. Pick the browser you like most and use it! The feature set and feel of a browser are a far bigger issue to me on my computer (desktop or laptop) than speed. Speed affects smartphones far more and from my own personal android experience, stability is key, not speed. In that respect, I've found that Opera for android is the best of that bunch. As for Apple anything, I wouldn't know. I'm allergic to "Apples"... :sol


    1. Most browsers are single threaded. So quad core is meaningless.

    2. This "1-2 secnd" difference is when loading simple pages. With complex pages using lots of CSS3 and HTML5, these "1-2second" differences become several 10's of seconds, which is noticable, unless you are "simple"

    3.This benchmark also tests how responsive the browser is during a page load. If the browser freezes during a page load, any speed gain is quite meaningless.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , September 26, 2012 6:04 AM
    hmmm. i'm getting 118 on chrome and 82 with IE9x64
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