Web Browser Grand Prix VI: Firefox 6, Chrome 13, Mac OS X Lion

Conformance Benchmarks: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, And DOM

HTML5

HTML5Test.com

In the HTML5Test, Chrome again leads the pack with a score of 340. Firefox 6 surges ahead of Opera to take second place, scoring nearly 50 points more than Firefox 5. Opera drops to third place. While Safari still places fourth, version 5.10 adds 65 points and two bonus points to its version 5.05 score. IE9 remains in last place, though it now scores 11 points higher than it did in WBGP5.

In OS X, Chrome is still in the top spot, but with one more point than in Windows 7. Firefox remains in second, while Opera drops to fourth, both with the same score as in Windows. Safari jumps to third, gaining 41 regular and six bonus points over the Windows edition.

CSS3

CSS3 Selectors Test

With Chrome updating from 12 to 13, all five Web browsers now earn a perfect score of 574 in the CSS3 Selectors Test. Since they all pass with 100%, a comparison is pretty meaningless. So, we're officially retiring this test from the WBGP. The results will not be factored in to the Conformance Composite.

JavaScript

test262

The Ecma test262 benchmark is replacing the Sputnik JavaScript benchmark. Sputnik is one of the many casualties from the scuttling of Google Labs. Fortunately, the Sputnik developers gave their code to Ecma, another group interested in JavaScript conformance, so Sputnik is now a part of test262.

The results of test262 in Windows largely differ from the Sputnik scores in WBGP5. In test262, Firefox earns the top spot, followed by IE9, and then Chrome. Safari takes fourth and Opera completely tanks the test. The only difference between the test262 scores in Windows and OS X is that Safari earns one extra point on its native platform.

DOM

Acid 3

The Acid 3 scores remain the same from WBGP3. Firefox 6 does not change Mozilla's score of 97. And Microsoft still holds a 95. The other browsers pass completely.

Conformance Composite

The table below displays the grade each Web browser earns for overall standards compliance. These figures are achieved by converting the test scores to a percentage of 100, then averaging the aggregate.

Google Chrome is still the conformance king with version 13, earning a B+ score of 89.6. Firefox 6 moves up to second place, earning a B rating and score of 87.4. Safari also earns a B by placing third with a Windows 7 score of 82.6 and 85.6 in OS X Lion. Opera 11.50 falls from second place to fourth as a result of our switch from Sputnik to Ecma's test262, landing it a solid C. Predicatbly, the HTML5Test shoots IE9 out of the sky; Microsoft's browser only achieves a 74.5, earning it a C grade.

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  • ne0nguy
    The first chart says "higher is better" for the load time
    5
  • adamovera
    ne0nguyThe first chart says "higher is better" for the load time

    thank you, workin' on it
    2
  • SteelCity1981
    Chrome is the best browser out there right now. While FireFox maybe more popular then Chrome is, Chrome has shown why it is the best browser out today. If you haven't used Chrome yet it's def worth a look.
    8
  • soccerdocks
    The reader function in safari actually looks really nice. Although I'd never use Safari on principle. I hope other browsers implement a similar function.
    0
  • mayankleoboy1
    why does firefox(6/8/9) performa so horribly on the IE9 maze solover test?
    chrome13 completely obliterats it.

    and firefox 8/9 are still a memory hog.
    not really surprised by poor show of ie9. moat updates it gets are "security updates".
    0
  • tofu2go
    Being on a Macbook with only 3GB of memory, memory is the most important factor for me. I open a LOT of tabs and I keep them open for long periods. For awhile I used Chrome, but recently switched to Firefox 6 and saw my memory utilization drop by well over 1GB. Granted with Firefox I was able to do something I am not able to do in any other browser, I could group my tabs into tab groups. I believe this allows for more efficient memory management, i.e. only the current group uses much memory. Not having done any tests, this is pure speculation. All I know is that I'm seeing MUCH lower memory usage with Firefox on OSX. Despite what this article would suggest.
    -5
  • Anonymous
    @soccerdocks

    Yeah? And exactly what principle would that be?
    2
  • andy5174
    @Google:
    Bring back the Google Dictionary, otherwise I will use Bing Search, Firefox and Facebook instead of Google Search, Chrome and G+.
    -7
  • kartu
    Quote:
    Firefox 6 comes in third for both OSes, representing a major drop from Firefox 5.

    According to the graphic on "Reliability Benchmarks: Proper Page Loads" on MacOS Firefox is actually second, not third.
    0
  • LaloFG
    I keep Opera, more memory used and time to load pages is nothing when it load pages correctly; and the feeling in its interface is the greater.
    2
  • noob2222
    while these articles are entertaining, giving straight points skews the results a bit IMO. I think it would give more insight to give percentages in the analysis tables rather than just ranking them. After all, giving 1 pt for 5% better result out of the 5 is 20%, kinda throws off actual performance.
    0
  • adamovera
    kartuAccording to the graphic on "Reliability Benchmarks: Proper Page Loads" on MacOS Firefox is actually second, not third.

    thank you, workin' on it
    1
  • Anonymous
    On OSX browser 'vendors' are denied access to certain os hooks that would make their browsers better than they are.
    7
  • yankeeDDL
    Nice overview: thank you.
    These "browser" GP are getting more and more complete and the're always very interesting.
    I have to say, I am a bit surprised to see FF being so close to Chrome now: kudos to Mozilla.
    I have been using FF since 1.0 and only recently coupled it with Chrome (it is just convenient for me to have 2 completely different setups).
    FF 7.0 should have a significant boost in memory efficiency: if everything else stays the same, we´ll have a new champion ...
    But if anythin is clear from these reviews, is that nothing stays the same for very long in the browser´s domain (well, except IE).
    Looking forward to GP7, whenever that will be.
    1
  • Anonymous
    Adam, you should have mentioned in the end that even if Safari won on OSX, the victory is a pyrrhic one as OSX lacks in Java and Silverlight plugin performance; OSX Lion is also very poor at system memory management and reliability.

    You should've put more emphasis on the actual scores and performances in tests rather than count the times when certain browsers placed 1st. Thus a browser that had a small advantage in more and minor tests and at the same time severe handicaps in more important but fewer tests would seem better, when technically it is not. Suggestion: tie all the candidates when the differences between them in a certain test are less than a single digit percent. Good article anyway.
    5
  • cookoy
    Quote:
    Mac OS X is capable of providing better results than Windows 7 in Flash, HTML5, WebGL, and the ever-important page load times.


    And to think Apple hates Flash...
    9
  • damasvara
    Tried Chrome, but somehow it doesn't behave the way I wanted. Browsing pages is faster with Firefox on 384 kbps internet. Makes me wonder...
    0
  • adamovera
    noob2222while these articles are entertaining, giving straight points skews the results a bit IMO. I think it would give more insight to give percentages in the analysis tables rather than just ranking them. After all, giving 1 pt for 5% better result out of the 5 is 20%, kinda throws off actual performance.

    There are no points in the analysis tables. They simply list how each browser rates per category of testing. The 'Strong' part of the table was added a long time ago and it basically means that it's right up there with the winner in terms of performance. When we get a solid point-based scoring system figured out 'Winner' will only receive a minor boost above 'Strong', whereas 'Strong' will receive a significant boost above 'Acceptable', and 'Acceptable' above 'Weak'. We're not there yet, but we're getting closer with every WBGP. The composite tests are a BIG step in that direction, and the new benchmark rankings further lay the groundwork for a fair scoring system which accurately reflects scale.
    0
  • adamovera
    tgreaderAdam, you should have mentioned in the end that even if Safari won on OSX, the victory is a pyrrhic one as OSX lacks in Java and Silverlight plugin performance; OSX Lion is also very poor at system memory management and reliability.You should've put more emphasis on the actual scores and performances in tests rather than count the times when certain browsers placed 1st. Thus a browser that had a small advantage in more and minor tests and at the same time severe handicaps in more important but fewer tests would seem better, when technically it is not. Suggestion: tie all the candidates when the differences between them in a certain test are less than a single digit percent. Good article anyway.

    The analysis tables were created to balance the raw placing tables. The problem with what you're saying is that you would have to decide which categories are more important than others. Is JavaScript more important than CSS? Is HTML5 more important than Flash? This is going to depend on who you ask. People who only watch Netflix with an HTPC will put mega emphasis on Silverlight perf, whereas the chronic YouTuber will be more concerned with Flash, and devs are going to gravitate towards standards conformance. Ranking benchmarks based on the importance of what they test isn't a one-size-fits-all type of thing with Web browsers. As far as your other suggestion, dealing with practical ties, this is something we definitely want to look into moving forward. Thanks!
    0
  • Anonymous
    I had to switch to Chrome, FF was crashing like crazy here, and i only have Firebug add-on installed.
    0