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Web Browser Grand Prix 4: Firefox 4 Goes Final

Performance Benchmarks: Flash

GUIMark 2 Flash Vector Charting

Internet Explorer 9, Safari, and Opera all score right around 60 FPS, with IE9 going barely over that limit. Surprisingly, Firefox 4 actually drops in performance compared to 3.6.15, only earning 47 FPS as opposed to 60. Chrome still achieves 46 FPS with its baked-in Flash player.

GUIMark 2 Flash Bitmap Gaming

Once again, IE9, Safari, and Opera lead the pack, with scores in the 50-52 FPS range. In a reversal of the vector charting results, FF4 gains around 7 FPS over FF 3.6 in bitmap gaming. Google Chrome again lags behind the pack at 41.5 frames per second.

GUIMark 2 Flash Text Column

Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer again manage to plant themselves in the top three spots with scores near 30 FPS. Firefox 4 is close behind in fourth, with nearly the same score achieved in version 3.6.15, and Chrome brings up the rear at 26 FPS.

Flash Benchmark '08

Right out of the blue Safari pulls off an upset, stealing first place from IE9. Opera places third with Chrome and Firefox 4 closely in tow.

IE9, Safari, and Opera are clearly the best in terms of Flash performance in Windows 7. Firefox 4 still places fourth, noticeably behind the other three, while Chrome is the slowest for Flash playback. But keep in mind that Google ships Flash with Chrome, and version 10 has full sandboxing of Flash content. Windows 7 doesn't seem to have the consistent issues with Flash that Linux and OS X have though, so Flash sandboxing isn't nearly as essential on this OS. Basically, if Flash crashes a whole lot for you, it may be worth taking the hit in FPS.

  • reprotected
    Because people can't wait for half a second. I never had a single rendering problem with any of my browsers.
    Reply
  • LuckyDucky7
    Adblock Plus, Adblock Plus, Adblock Plus.

    That pretty much sums it up. No amount of optimization will help you when it comes to loading web pages if you have a large amount of adframes and such to slow you down.

    So have your super-fast IE9: I bet the ads will appreciate loading quick too.
    Reply
  • @ericburnby

    you must enjoy all those ads, in real world the difference in speed is negligible, but i sure has hell appreciate a rock stable browser, which is not what IE is, now saying that i have to say IE9 is definitely light years ahead of it's predecessor

    have used all 3 browser and found FF to be the most stable by far
    Reply
  • @ StableBrowser,

    You must enjoy being an ignorant Fx fanboy. IE9 comes with adblocking features without needing any extensions.
    Reply
  • nd22
    IE9 is indeed fast, but my question relates to Safari, a browser created specifically for Mac, not for Windows. On Mac Safari is incredible fast, why Tom’s did not tested Safari on the platform which it was designed for?
    Reply
  • @luckyducky7

    "Adblock Plus, Adblock Plus, Adblock Plus.

    That pretty much sums it up. No amount of optimization will help you when it comes to loading web pages if you have a large amount of adframes and such to slow you down.

    So have your super-fast IE9: I bet the ads will appreciate loading quick too."

    Not if you use tracking protection.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    nd22IE9 is indeed fast, but my question relates to Safari, a browser created specifically for Mac, not for Windows. On Mac Safari is incredible fast, why Tom’s did not tested Safari on the platform which it was designed for?It is my hope that we'll be able to do that. Hopefully for the next major Safari release. If that's at the same time as Lion, then we might have to use the latest updated Snow Leopard for time reasons.
    Reply
  • jsowoc
    Re: Acid3
    This is why Firefox doesn't get 100:
    http://limi.net/articles/firefox-acid3/
    Reply
  • I loaded up IE today because the Chase website gives me problems with Chrome, and I was surprised by how fast IE9 is now. Loading pages seemingly as fast or faster then chrome. I even thought of switching it to my primary browser, but the lack of Ad-block support killed it. It is a necessary feature and every browser should have it or something like it these days.
    Reply
  • andy5174
    The latest Chrome is indeed pretty fast, but I just can't live without Tab Mix Plus which is only available to Firefox. Someone please write a similar add-on for Chrome!!!
    Reply