Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 20, Opera 12, Firefox 13

Startup Time

All startup times are tested both cold (browser newly opened after a fresh boot) and hot (browser already opened and closed) using a single tab and eight tabs.

Google.com serves as the test page for our single-tab tests, while the homepages of YouTube, Yahoo!, and The Huffington Post, as well as product pages from Amazon, Wikipedia, craigslist, and eBay round out the eight-tab measurement. All test pages are hosted on our local Web server and cached in each browser.

Composite Scoring

The startup time composite score is the average of hot and cold times for single-tab and eight-tab startups.

Opera continues to dominate startup times with version 12, posting a page load average of just over one and a half seconds. Chrome 20 takes second place at 1.7 seconds, with Firefox 13 close behind at 1.85 seconds. Far behind the top three is Internet Explorer 9 in fourth place at nearly four seconds, followed by Safari 5.1.7 at almost six seconds!

Drill Down

The charts below contain the results for the individual test pages, as well as the average time for both uncached and cached page load times.

Single TabSingle TabEight TabsEight Tabs

We can see that Opera wins this competition hands-down, earning the shortest times on all four startup tests. Opera's times are also very close together, with superb cold starts. Chrome has the slowest cold single-tab time, while fellow WebKit browser Apple Safari has the slowest eight-tab finishes. IE9 achieves solid times in all but the cold eight-tab test, bringing its average down significantly.

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  • mayankleoboy1
    1.what the benchmarks dont show is that in Firefox , if a tab has a heavy page with a lot of CPU intensive workload, the complete browser UI starts stuttering. That means the browser UI is on the same thread as the page loading.

    2. in the 40 tab test, try working in a tab during the loading of the 40 tabs. you will find lots of difference between browsers. FF hangs, Opera and Chrome remain fluid.

    3. how about a test where a browser is using 1GB+ RAM and you are trying to open/close tabs. Then see the UI responsiveness. most browsers can easily handle 800MB RAM. but which browser easily handles 1.2GB+ RAM ?
    24
  • mayankleoboy1
    How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.
    maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.
    22
  • ben850
    WTF Chrome is already on 20?? It ninja updated to 19 just a few days ago..
    21
  • Other Comments
  • mayankleoboy1
    1.what the benchmarks dont show is that in Firefox , if a tab has a heavy page with a lot of CPU intensive workload, the complete browser UI starts stuttering. That means the browser UI is on the same thread as the page loading.

    2. in the 40 tab test, try working in a tab during the loading of the 40 tabs. you will find lots of difference between browsers. FF hangs, Opera and Chrome remain fluid.

    3. how about a test where a browser is using 1GB+ RAM and you are trying to open/close tabs. Then see the UI responsiveness. most browsers can easily handle 800MB RAM. but which browser easily handles 1.2GB+ RAM ?
    24
  • mayankleoboy1
    IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU.

    i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.
    13
  • mayankleoboy1
    How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.
    maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.
    22
  • ben850
    WTF Chrome is already on 20?? It ninja updated to 19 just a few days ago..
    21
  • lethalsam
    i won't ever use a browser a browser WITHOUT AD BLOCK Plus. (ABP)

    ABP works wonderful on Firefox, i RARELY see any ad. While I have used ABP on Chrome BUT its doesn't block half the ads.
    I know its Not Google's fault, its just that ABP developers are putting more effort with Firefox.

    So for me, Firefox > Chrome.
    20
  • adamovera
    @mayankleoboy1: 1+2) Interesting, I'll be looking for that next time 3) That would require a different workload for each browser.
    IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU. i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.

    Really interesting, what utility do you use for measuring GPU usage?
    How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.

    I'd estimate ABP usage on FF at around 5% or less based on ABP and FF usage statistics. Besides, that would give FF an unfair advantage.
    9
  • mayankleoboy1
    Quote:
    Really interesting, what utility do you use for measuring GPU usage?


    MSI afterburner for GPU. windows task manager for CPU.

    Quote:
    @mayankleoboy1: 1+2) Interesting, I'll be looking for that next time


    i sent a mail regarding this to Chris. but maybe i sent it too late for this article...
    6
  • mayankleoboy1
    if you open multiple tabs together in chrome, it can use each CPU core for each tab. so if you have a quad core, and you open 4+ tabs together, the CPU usage will be 100% (using all 4 cores) during the tab loading time.
    but if you run 4 instance of dromaeo in 4 tabs, the CPU usage is still 25% (using only 1 core).
    so chrome is not completely multiprocessing.

    in IE10 beta, if you run 4 instances of dromaeo benchmark in 4 tabs, it uses all the for cores. so we can expect better multiprocessing from IE10 and win8 :)
    6
  • adamovera
    @mayankleoboy1: I got that email yesterday or the day before, this article was completed a few days before that. Sorry, my inbox usually gets a few pages deep after a doing long benchmark-heavy article.
    Is Dromaeo (the DOM portion) working in Chrome for you? I could not get it to finish in Chrome or Safari on any of my Windows machines.
    3
  • mayankleoboy1
    i ran the javascript benchmark that ran fine. Didnt run the DOM benches.

    BTW, i run chrome dev version. so that could make a difference.
    1
  • Regor245
    I have Both Chrome and Firefox.

    I still prefer Firefox since it has more features and i like it's features.

    I disabled Smooth Scrolling to make it more responsive.

    I just hate random freezes/stutter sometimes and some problem on Youtube while watching,
    when you scroll up/down, the youtube screen is messed (Glitch).

    By the way, ABP user here too.
    9
  • mayankleoboy1
    Quote:
    when you scroll up/down, the youtube screen is messed (Glitch).

    thats a flash issue. disable the protected mode of falsh.
    4
  • princesiddiqui
    Fire Fox 14.8 has been announced, version 13 is old version.
    -20
  • Memnarchon
    mayankleoboy1IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU.

    i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.


    +1.
    IE9 uses also a lot more GPU Memory than Chrome. I am listening to internet radio when I am playing games and I found that a single tab from IE9 (opened for more than an hour) uses 150MB VRAM oO. Now this amount is not significant for some users but for most users that have 1024MB VRAM and doing the same thing like me (or have open tabs and alt-tabing during games) while playing at 1920x1080/1200 might cause fps drops.
    6
  • jerm1027
    Why is Firefox 13 on here? Firefox 14 has been out for a little while (even on Android), and it's support for SPDY may very affect the results. Just saying.
    -15
  • s3anister
    lethalsami won't ever use a browser a browser WITHOUT AD BLOCK Plus. (ABP)ABP works wonderful on Firefox, i RARELY see any ad. While I have used ABP on Chrome BUT its doesn't block half the ads.I know its Not Google's fault, its just that ABP developers are putting more effort with Firefox.So for me, Firefox > Chrome.

    Chrome has Adblock, just to let you know. But personally I prefer Firefox Aurora with Adblock Plus, anyway. I couldn't imagine using a browser that didn't have any version of Adblock on it, though; it'd be torture.
    -1
  • PreferLinux
    Has anyone ever investigated why the MS Maze Solver is so slow on Firefox? It almost has to be a FF bug that hasn't been fixed rather than just that FF is slow at CSS3 when the difference between FF and everything else is so huge, and also that FF does very well in CSS2.
    2
  • s3anister
    princesiddiquiFire Fox 14.8 has been announced, version 13 is old version.

    jerm1027Why is Firefox 13 on here? Firefox 14 has been out for a little while (even on Android), and it's support for SPDY may very affect the results. Just saying.

    13.0.1 is the latest stable release. I'm using version 15.0a2 of Firefox, but it's a moot point in any browser competition because it's not a release version.
    9
  • PreferLinux
    jerm1027Why is Firefox 13 on here? Firefox 14 has been out for a little while (even on Android), and it's support for SPDY may very affect the results. Just saying.

    Where? Not here: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all.html
    7
  • jerm1027
    s3anister13.0.1 is the latest stable release. I'm using version 15.0a2 of Firefox, but it's a moot point in any browser competition because it's not a release version.

    i stand corrected. I'm not sure how i got mixed up.

    However, I'm not sure how Silverlight takes importance over WebGL or HTML5 in this test. >~
    9