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Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10, And Opera Next, Benchmarked

Test Setup And Benchmark Suite

Our test hardware underwent some significant changes since Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 25, Firefox 19, And IE10. We're now on an Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 rig, upgraded from the equivalent Sandy Bridge parts. Our cable modem and ISP speeds are also better than last time. For now, the Web server and router remain the same, though both should be new by the next time we do one of these stories.

Our benchmark suite is also changing. First, that 40-tab workload in our memory tests is now timed using a stopwatch, and contributing to our overall wait time score (start-up and page load times).

Moving on to JavaScript, after we retired SunSpider from the test suite, WebKit updated the long-believed-abandoned JS performance test. We'll be running the newly-released SunSpider v1.0 to see if this benchmark's issues with Internet Explorer have been resolved.

KaizouMark makes a return now that IE9 is no longer in the mix, finally providing us with a long-overdue CSS3 performance test.

The final massive change to the benchmark line-up is in Hardware Acceleration. Both native HTML5 HWA and WebGL swapped out an old test for a newer one. First, we say goodbye to Psychedelic Browsing, and hello to CanvasMark 2013. Next, Airtight Interactive's WebGL Demo gets benched in favor of LUIC Cubes, a more intense metric that should be useful longer.

Test Setup And Benchmark Suite

Test System Specs
Operating System

Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise (64-bit)

ProcessorIntel Core i5-3570K @ 4.2 GHz (quad-core)MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H (rev 1.0, F14 BIOS)Memory16 GB Crucial DDR3 @ 1600 MT/s (4 x 4 GB)GraphicsGigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 1 GB GDDR5 (PCIe 2.0 x16)StorageSeagate Barracuda 7200.12 500 GB SATA II 3Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 16 MB CacheOpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/ASPower SupplyCorsair TX750W (750 W max)CaseZalman MS-800 PlusCPU CoolerNZXT Kraken X60 (closed-loop liquid cooler)MonitorAOC E2752Vh 27-inch LED (1920x1080)KeyboardLogitech Wireless Keyboard K320MouseLogitech Wireless Trackball M570Local Web Server SpecsOperating SystemUbuntu 12.04 LTS Server Edition "Precise Pangolin" (32-bit)ProcessorIntel Pentium 4 @ 2.41 GHzMotherboardBiostar P4M80-M4Memory768 MB DDR @ 333 MT/sStorageWestern Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJD, 160 GB EIDE, 7200 RPMExtra PackagesApache2, MySQL Client, MySQL Server, PHP5, PHP-GD, PHP5-MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, SSH, Node.js, NPMNetwork SpecsISP ServiceCox Preferred (18 Mb/s down, 2 Mb/s up)ModemCisco Telephony Modem DPQ3212 (DOCSIS 3)RouterLinksys WRT54G2 V1Benchmark SuiteStartup TimeCold Start Time (Google SERP, Cached)Hot Start Time (Google SERP, Cached)Cold Start Time (Eight Tabs, Cached)Hot Start Time (Eight Tabs, Cached)Page Load TimeEEMBC BrowsingBench40-Tab Load Time (Top 40 Websites)JavaScriptRIABench JavaScript (Eight Tests)Futuremark Peacekeeper v2.0Rightware Browsermark v2.0JSBenchWebKit SunSpider v1.0DOMMozilla Dromaeo DOM (Core)HTML5Principled Technologies WebXPRT CP1Impact HTML5 BenchmarkHardware AccelerationFacebook JSGameBench v0.4.1HTML5 HWAWebVizBenchCanvasMark 2013WebGLLUIC CubesScirra WebGL Performance TestMemory EfficiencyMemory Usage (Single Tab)Memory Usage (40 Tabs)Memory Management (-39 Tabs)ReliabilityProper Page LoadsSecurityBrowserscope SecurityStandards ConformanceHTML5Test.comThe CSS3 TestEcmascript Language test262

While applicable links are included in the table above, we also have a public delicious account dedicated to Web Browser Grand Prix benchmark links. Detailed methodologies are explained on the individual benchmark pages.

We've highlighted Opera Next in the charts to emphasize that it's still in development and not part of the usual WBGP line-up.

  • Onus
    No, the Onus is not on Google; I'm using www.startpage.com for my searches.

    While this is interesting, I still encounter built-in pages (such as on routers or other network devices) that will not render cleanly in Firefox, but are perfect in IE. More often than not though, pages that would be filled with nuisance ads and popups are cleaned up nicely by Firefox with AdBlock+ and NoScript.
    Reply
  • soundping
    A good test is rendering a heavy site like Huffington Post. They use a ton of flash and java scripts.
    Reply
  • ivyanev
    While benchmarks are the way to compare browsers, they do not represent the feel you get- firefox might be faster but still feels sluggish compared to chrome or opera(the stable one).
    Reply
  • pharoahhalfdead
    I would like to see benchmarks on page start up, and load times comparing ssd, hard drives, and ram drives. Maybe I missed these an a previous article, but I feel since ssd's and ram drives are getting more popular, benchmarks should prove or dispel the the 'so called' benefits they bring.

    I have both and start up times for IE are quick but page load times are horrendously slow, whereas FF has slow start up times but superfast page load times. It's possible that add-ons are contributing to that.
    Reply
  • mikeynavy1976
    Ever since I have compared Firefox and Chrome I've always found Chrome to start much faster (I'm running the Dev channel and my wife uses the Stable channel and they both take maybe 1 - 2 seconds to start cold or hot). Only IE beats both of them. Maybe Firefox 22 is that much faster and worth a try, but seeing as Chrome did so well in most categories I'll probably stick with it.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    Having move back to Firefox a couple years ago after Chrome, I don't intend to use Chrome (or any other browser) regularly anymore. I still give Chrome 2-3 tries a week (just to compare things) but Chrome isn't better than FF in 3 things:

    1) Pages load noticeably slower
    2) Memory usage is indeed high (as seen in the benchmark above)
    3) FF add-ons are much better than chrome extensions.

    I never noticed any startup time difference for both FF and Chrome; it's possible they're both fast enough that it doesn't even matter at this point. I also like the FF toolbars better although that's really more of a personal preference. I've never tried maxthon though; heard it's pretty good.
    Reply
  • beoza
    I've never really noticed a difference in browsers speed wise. Sure some load pages faster than others, and some have issues with certain pages. But in the end they all take me to the same place. I use Firefox 95% of the time at home with adblock+, if I encounter an issue I clear cache, if it still has issues I switch to IE 10, usually this is all I need to do but once in a while IE has problems with a page and I just move on to something else. At work I'm stuck using IE10. The speed of a browser can also be affected by other factors like the speed of your connection, how many devices are on your network, what tasks your doing on the computer at the same time like gaming, downloading, streaming movies (netflix, hulu), and your hardware. You're not going to get much responsiveness on a 5yr old celeron w/2gb ram and Win XP while you're downloading a game, watching youtube and the A/V suite scans your computer in the background, and there's 5 other people all sharing your 10Mbps network. Which describes probably 50% of the users out there in the real world.
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    Opera Next (and every other browser) is a significant step down in terms of features/customization from the current version.

    I'll miss a hell of a lot of stuff when I move off Presto-based Opera.
    Reply
  • ElDani
    Well done on this test, I actually found the test results genuinely helpful and your summary/conclusion to be well thought out.

    Still, this test shows us once more, that no modern browser - I exclude Opera from this, since it isn't a maintained release anymore - must absolutely be replaced by the winner of such tests. If you don't mind performance weaknesses of the Internet Explorer in certain areas, or if your most-accessed websites don't require you to use a certain alternative, then even Microsoft's browser of choice can be okay for daily use (if only as an engine in products like Avant, Maxthon, etc).

    The one thing I'm a bit curious about: why does Opera Next suddenly behave so differently from Chrome? Yes, there's a difference between Chrome 27 (WebKit) and Opera Next (Blink = Chrome 28), but if that's the only reason for the browser's weaker showing, then the future of Chrome doesn't look too good. What's your take on this?
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    I dont know how useful in this review when they are tested all the browser on a 1155 super computer, nobody is going to tell the diff if the browser is 0.25sec faster. Get some Brazos, Atom and run the test, these are the platform have problems with web browsing.
    Reply