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Performance Benchmarks: Page Load Time

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

Our page load time testing was recently overhauled. We modified the timer script to render test pages at 1080p instead of the previous, netbook-friendly resolution.

The line-up is expanded from five webpages to nine. Facebook and MSN are gone. Google, YouTube, and Yahoo! all remain, but are now up to date with the most recent home page layouts. Added to the testing is Amazon, Wikipedia, eBay, Craigslist, The Huffington Post, and good old Tom's Hardware.

In order to better reflect real-world browsing, we're not using the home pages for Amazon, Wikipedia, eBay, or Craigslist. Instead, we're using the page for Computer Parts & Components at Amazon, the Wikipedia page for Tom's Hardware, an eBay Motors search for Cadillac DeVille, and the New York City page on Craigslist.

Like the conformance benchmarks and GUIMark2 tests, page load times in WBGP6 will be averaged into a composite score, although a detail view is still provided.

Page Load Time Detail: Windows 7

The chart below shows how each of the five Windows 7 Web browsers perform on each of the nine test webpages.

Page Load Time Detail: Mac OS X Lion

This chart contains the complete detail view of the four Web browsers in Mac OS X Lion.

Page Load Time Composite

The average time each Web browser takes to load all of the test pages on each platform is displayed in the chart below.

As you can see, Chrome 13 takes the top spot in both Windows 7 and OS X Lion. In fact, Chrome 13 on OS X 10.7 has the fastest average page load time overall. Whenever this occurs, we'll change the regularly green bar to red in order to highlight the existence of a performance advantage on OS X. Safari 5.1 falls a very close second, performing relatively similarly on both Microsoft's and Apple's operating systems. Internet Explorer 9 is a third-place finisher. Opera earns fourth place on Windows, but fifth on OS X. Likewise, Firefox loses in Windows 7, but takes fourth in Lion.

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