Web Browser Grand Prix 9: Chrome 17, Firefox 10, And Ubuntu

HTML5 Performance Benchmarks


Firefox destroys its Windows 7-based competition with a score of nearly 4150. IE9 places a distant second, scoring 2200 points. Third place goes to Google Chrome. Safari comes in fourth place, and Opera places last.

The placing and scores change dramatically in Ubuntu 11.10. None of the Linux-based browsers are able to exceed triple-digit scores. Chrome places first with nearly 275 points, Opera falls second at just under 200, and the winner in Windows 7, Firefox 10, only earns 106 points.


The Windows 7 GUIMark 2 HTML5 composite score shows Firefox out in front, followed closely by IE9. Google Chrome places third, about seven frames per second behind the leaders, while Apple Safari takes fourth place. Opera places last with the only sub-30 FPS score.

In Ubuntu, the tables turn. Chrome takes the lead with a score to match the top two in Windows. Opera also gains compared to its Windows-based version, placing second. Firefox 10, the winner in Windows, takes dead last under Linux.

The charts below contain the detailed view of all three GUIMark 2 HTML5 tests for each operating system.

Asteroids HTML5 Canvas 2D And JavaScript

IE9 is out in front with a score close to 60 FPS. Microsoft's browser is followed by Google Chrome. Safari comes in third place, while Opera achieves 45 FPS to place fourth. With the only sub-30 FPS score under Windows 7, Firefox again falters in the Asteroids benchmark, placing last.

Like the other HTML5 benchmarks, the Linux scores and placing order are very different from Windows 7. Opera achieves the highest cross-platform score. Chrome places second, performing four frames per second faster than its Windows-based score. Firefox again takes last place, though it manages to break the 30 FPS mark in Ubuntu.

Overall, the HTML5 winners are IE9 in Windows and Chrome in Linux. There are no real losers this time; Opera and Firefox show strongly enough to cancel out their losses.

  • mayankleoboy1
    just wondering if use of a DX11 capable GPU will change scores in some HTML5 and other benchmarks as the browsers use DX11 assisted rendering.

    Also, AMD driver support in linux is poor compared to Nvidia.
    For future Linux articles, can you use a Dx11 based Nvidia GPU?
  • mayankleoboy1
    IMO, Firefox is concentrating more on HTML5, ignoring CSS and JavaScript.
    It does well in HTML5 benches but 99% of the websites use primarily CSS and JS and HTML3, in which Firefox does poorly.

  • mayankleoboy1
    Waiting for OPERA12. It keeps impressing me.
    Even without hardware acceleration, it keeps up with the competition,

    When that beast launches, it will kill FF/IE and most probably chrome too.
  • PreferLinux
    Who wants to guess that the poor Linux Flash and WebGL results were because Flash and WebGL don't use hardware acceleration with that graphics card and driver? I would be thinking so.
  • mitch074
    Firefox performance took a dive starting with version 4, where all hardware acceleration was disabled: before then, in version 3.6, XRENDER was used when available (it was 4/5th as fast as IE9 on the same PC) while it is now really slow - it's all software.

    Moreover, the only driver enabled for hardware acceleration on Linux is the Nvidia driver: according to Mozilla (and verified by yours truly on AMD and Intel hardware), most display drivers in Linux suck when it comes to 2D rendering - ouch. Note that Mozilla and Google could add shims to circumvent those bugs, but they don't -not worth the effort, especially when driver makers could fix their bugs rather easily, leaving the browsers broken yet again.
  • indian-art
    I use Chrome (19.0.1041.0 dev presently) the most on Linux (Ubuntu) and empirically I felt Chrome works very well. Now your tests confirm it.

    I find Opera 12 really nice too. It can run with Opera 11.61. Opera 12 has a silver icon & 11.61 has its classic red. I like Firefox & Epiphany too.

    Its a shame Safari and IE are not truly cross-platform.
  • mayankleoboy1
    how many of those top 40 sites use HTML5?

    i think that the HTML5 scores should be weighed by a factor of the percent of top40 sites that use HTML5.
    This way actual importance of HTML5 can be judged in real world.
  • nd22
    It's a shame Apple does not pay enough attention to the Windows market and optimize their browser! On Mac Safari is king of the hill - personal opinion of course!
    On Windows I feel that IE9 works really well for me, although Chrome is the speed demon! FF 4+ lost their appeal for me.
  • forestie
    The OSes that are used are 64 bits but the browsers are mostly (all?) 32bits on Windows, and probably 64bits on Linux.

    Internet Explorer has 64bits builds on Win7, and Firefox has "almost" a 64bits browser on Windows too: Waterfox, which is a semi-official Firefox for 64bits Windows. Waterfox in particular claims huge improvements over base 32bits install, I would like to see how that translates into real-world.

    Not sure about availability of 64bits editions of other browsers on Windows.

    Here are my wishes:
    -clearly mention if the 32bits or 64bits version of the browser is used
    -where applicable and relevant, test with both 32bits and 64bits variants. I would like to see IE and FF split into 32 and 64 variants on Win for example.

    I personally migrated from FF to WF on my machines 3 weeks ago and find it noticeably faster in everyday use. WF is now my main browser.
  • doive1231
    As long as phones keep using Android, Chrome will be the most popular browser for a long while. Google have got it all sorted.