Skip to main content

Web Browser Grand Prix: Firefox 15, Safari 6, OS X Mountain Lion

Hardware Acceleration Performance

Facebook JSGameBench v0.4.1

JSGameBench measures both native HTML5 hardware acceleration as well as WebGL.

Safari takes the lead in overall hardware acceleration with Firefox being the only other reasonable option on OS X. Chrome places a very distant third, followed by an equally meager score for fourth-place finisher Opera.

On Windows 7, Chrome takes the lead, doubling Safari's winning OS X score. Firefox is again the second-best choice in overall hardware acceleration, followed by Internet Explorer in third, and Opera again in last place.

HTML5 Hardware Acceleration

Composite Scoring

The HTML5 Hardware Acceleration composite is the geometric mean of the average WebVizBench and Psychedelic Browsing scores.

Safari is the big winner on Mountain Lion, followed by Chrome in second place. While Firefox technically places third, it and Opera are equally poor for HTML5 hardware acceleration on OS X.

On Windows 7, Firefox regains its lead over arch-rival Internet Explorer. Chrome manages a respectable third-place finish, followed far behind by Opera in last place.

Drill Down

The charts below are for Psychedelic Browsing and WebVizBench.

Image 1 of 2

Psychedelic Browsing

Image 2 of 2

WebVizBench

Psychedelic Browsing obliterates Opera on both OSes and handicaps Firefox for OS X versus WebVizBench, Chrome 21 comes out of nowhere to claim victory in WebVizBench on both operating systems. A slight lead by Firefox 15 over IE9 in WebVizBench is what allows Mozilla to regain the HTML5 hardware acceleration crown on Windows 7.

WebGL

Chrome and Firefox remain the only stable browsers with default WebGL implementations on either operating system.

Composite Scoring

The WebGL composite is the geometric mean of the average results from Mozilla's WebGL FishIE Tank and WebGL Solar System from Chrome Experiments.

Firefox beats Chrome on OS X Mountain Lion by just seven frames per second, 24 to 17. Firefox 15 takes the lead on Windows 7 with 48 FPS, followed by Chrome 21 with 31 FPS.

Drill Down

The charts below contain the average results for WebGL FishIE Tank and WebGL Solar System.

Image 1 of 2

FishIE Tank

Image 2 of 2

Solar System

Both Google and Mozilla do quite well in the WebGL FishIE Tank benchmark, but Chrome has a clear disadvantage in the WebGL Solar System test.

  • glurg
    chrome ftw
    Reply
  • Eggrenade
    It would be nice if I could view the additional charts with only one click, and not in a separate window.
    Reply
  • lahawzel
    It's nice to see Chrome performing so well, but I'm still waiting on the Chrome equivalents of all the plugins I use in FF before I think about switching. The web just doesn't feel the same without them.

    (The nice popular ones like ABP, Lazarus, Greasemonkey all have equivalents; some lesser-used plugins like Rikaichan also have ports by now. Only a matter of time!)
    Reply
  • bennaye
    chrome is absolutely deserving of the award. say what you will about the frequent patch releases touted as upgrades, chrome is a very good browser, as shown by this month's article. even on OSX there is only a small margin separating chrome and safari. but the one qualm i do have with chrome is the lack of add-ons compared to firefox. and i a lot of people share this concern. the add-ons do make the experience that much better.

    as always, a great read.
    Reply
  • Would like to see this again after IE10 is released.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    How about 64-bit Internet Explorer 9 vs Waterfox 15.0?
    Reply
  • adamovera
    bennayechrome is absolutely deserving of the award. say what you will about the frequent patch releases touted as upgrades, chrome is a very good browser, as shown by this month's article. even on OSX there is only a small margin separating chrome and safari. but the one qualm i do have with chrome is the lack of add-ons compared to firefox. and i a lot of people share this concern. the add-ons do make the experience that much better.as always, a great read.All versions of Chrome hold up incredibly well cross-platform, if you look back at the two Linux WBGPs, it won there, too. Thanks for reading!
    Reply
  • adamovera
    AdamsTaiwanWould like to see this again after IE10 is released.Absolutely, a Windows 8-based WBGP is already in the cards for October.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    JOSHSKORNHow about 64-bit Internet Explorer 9 vs Waterfox 15.0?When we have more stable 64-bit browsers, I'll definitely do a 64-bit WBGP - including versus their 32-bit counterparts.
    Reply
  • I wish Tom's would fiddle around with the settings of these browsers for these tests. In every System Builder Marathon you overclock the builds, why not try and crank the most speed while ensuring better memory management out of the browser as well?

    Testing these browsers at stock doesn't reveal even an eighth of the picture.
    Reply