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

Page Load Time

The page load time tests are the same eight pages in our start time tests: About, Amazon, Ask, craigslist, Google, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and Yahoo.

Composite Scoring

Composite scores are the geometric mean of the uncached and cached page load times.

Chrome is in first place on OS X, followed closely by Safari, at 0.65 and 0.7 seconds (respectively). Opera places third at just over three-quarters of a second, with Firefox placing last with a time just over 0.8 seconds.

The page load times are also lower across the board on Windows 7 than OS X. Here, Microsoft's own IE9 takes the lead at just 0.4 seconds. Close behind in second place is Chrome at 0.44 seconds, followed by Opera in third with a time of almost 0.47 seconds. Firefox comes in last place at nearly 0.6 seconds.

Drill Down

The charts below contain the geometric mean for uncached and cached page load times, as well as the individual page load time averages.

Image 1 of 4

Uncached - OS X

Image 2 of 4

Cached - OS X

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Uncached - Windows 7

Image 4 of 4

Cached - Windows 7

Opera seems to have more trouble than the rest of the OS X browsers at uncached page loads of About and Ask. However, this behavior goes away when loading from cache.

Firefox for Windows also reveals longer load times for About and Ask, but when loading from cache. In a reversal of what we observe on OS X, Opera for Windows 7 displays an advantage over the other browsers when performing an uncached page load on About and Ask.

  • 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