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

Reliability, Responsiveness, And Security

Reliability

Our reliability test is conducted after loading 40 tabs. We open them all simultaneously and record how many pages require a reload due to broken formatting or missing elements. The best score a browser can achieve here is zero, and the worst is 40.

Once again, Opera shows itself to be the rock-solid option, with only one reload required on each OS. Safari takes second place on Mountain Lion with an average of eight reloads, followed by Firefox in third with ten and Chrome in fourth with a whopping 21 reloads on OS X. The second-place finisher for Windows 7 is IE9 with 12 failures, followed by Chrome and Firefox in a tie for third, each requiring 13 reloads.

Responsiveness

The responsiveness of each browser is gauged by its behavior during the 40-tab memory usage tests. While we're not timing how long each browser can load all 40 tabs, we are looking to see how quickly we can use the browser without scroll lag and other hang-ups while the tabs are still loading.

IE9 is once again the only browser to actually crash during the 40-tab load. Opera again is speediest to become responsive, followed by Firefox, then Chrome. Chrome is noticeably worse on OS X than Windows 7, while Safari is about equal to Firefox. We're calling Opera the winner on both platforms, followed by Firefox and Safari with strong finishes. Chrome is merely acceptable, while IE9 is clearly weak.

Security

BrowserScope Security contains 17 pass/fail security checks.

Chrome takes first place by passing 16 out of the 17 tests. Safari earns second place with 14 out of 17 tests passed. Internet Explorer passes 13 tests to place third, followed by Firefox in fourth place with 12 tests passed. Opera passes 10 of the 17 tests, earning the Norwegian Web browser another last-place finish.

  • 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