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

Test System Specs And Software Setup

Hardware Setup

Test System Specs
Operating System 1Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
Operating System 2Apple OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 (64-bit)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz (quad-core)
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 (F10 BIOS)
Memory8 GB Crucial DDR3 @ 1333 MT/s (2 x 4 GB)
GraphicsAsus GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1 GB GDDR5 (PCIe 2.0 x16)
StorageSeagate Barracuda 7200.12 500 GB SATA 3Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Power SupplyCorsair TX750W (750 W max)
CaseZalman MS-1000 HS2
CPU CoolerScythe Mugen 2 Revision B
KeyboardLogitech Wireless Keyboard K320
MouseLogitech Wireless Trackball M570

Windows 7 Test Installation

OS X 10.8 Test Installation

The following table contains the system specs of the local Web server used for our Start and Page Load tests, as well as JSGameBench.

Local Web Server Specs
Operating SystemUbuntu 12.04 LTS Server Edition "Precise Pangolin" (32-bit)
ProcessorIntel Pentium 4 @ 2.41 GHz
MotherboardBiostar P4M80-M4
Memory768 MB DDR @ 333 MHz
GraphicsNvidia GeForce FX 5500 128 MB DDR (AGP)
StorageWestern Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJD, 160 GB EIDE, 7200 RPM
Optical 1Hitachi-LG DVD GDR-8163B
Optical 2Hitachi-LG CD-RW GCE-8483B
Extra PackagesApache2, MySQL Client, MySQL Server, PHP5, PHP-GD, PHP5-MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, SSH, Node.js, NPM

The table below holds additional information on the test network.

Network Specs
ISP ServiceCox Preferred (18 Mb/s down, 2 Mb/s up)
ModemMotorola SURFboard SBS101U
RouterLinksys WRT54G2 V1
Image 1 of 2

Motorola SURFboard

Image 2 of 2

Linksys WRT54G2

Software Setup

Both test installations were freshly installed and fully updated as of midnight on August 25th, 2012. Power management and automatic updates were disabled before testing.

All the software we installed, including the exact version number of the browsers tested, is listed in the table below.

SoftwareVersion
Chrome21.0.1180.83
Firefox15.0
Internet Explorer9.0.8112.16421
Opera12.02 (build 1578)
Safari6.0 (8536.25)
Adobe Flash11.4.402.265
Microsoft Silverlight5.1.10411.0
Nvidia Driver (Windows-only)301.42
Oracle Java (Windows-only)7.0.70
Java for OS X (OS X-only)2012-004
  • 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