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Web Browser Grand Prix 4: Firefox 4 Goes Final

Test System Specs And Setup

Test System Specs

Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750 @ 2.8 GHz (Quad Core)
MotherboardGigabyte GA-P55A-UD7 (F7 BIOS)
Memory8 GB Crucial DDR3 @ 1333 MT/s (2 x 4 GB)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 4870 Reference Board 512 MB GDDR5 (PCIe 2.0)
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)
ChassisZalman MS1000-HS2
CPU CoolerScythe Mugen 2 Revision B

Local Web Server Specs

Operating SystemUbuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition "Lucid Lynx" (32-bit)
ProcessorAMD Athlon @ 1150 MHz
MotherboardSoyo Dragon Platinum
Memory512 MB DDR
GraphicsAMD Radeon 9550, 256 MB GDDR
Storage40 GB Western Digital HDD WD400BB
OpticalSamsung DVD-ROM SD-616T
Additional PackagesApache2, MySQL Client, MySHL Server, PHP5, PHP-GD, PHP5-MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, SSH

Setup

Before testing, Windows 7 was fully updated (including Service Pack 1) as of 3/25/11. Power management was set to never engage, and the table below lists all the additional software installed onto the test system:

Adobe Flash10.2
Microsoft Silverlight4.0.60129.0
Oracle JavaVersion 6 Update 24
AMD Catalyst11.2

After the setup, we downloaded and installed the most recent stable version of each Web browser. The table below lists the version number of the Web browsers entered into WBGP4:

Google Chrome10.0.648.204
Mozilla Firefox4.0
Microsoft Internet Explorer9.0.8112.16421
Opera11.01 (build 1190)
Apple Safari5.04 (7533.20.27)

Absolutely no data was retained from WBGP3. We ran all of the benchmarks again on a completely new installation of Windows 7. Between the publication of WBGP3 and before testing began on WBGP4, the test network was upgraded to the latest gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n standards. Everything was replaced: the modem, router, switches, cabling; the whole enchilada. The new modem, which dramatically improves Speakeasy scores, could potentially effect any tests using live Web sites. Likewise, the gigabit networking equipment may effect page load times from the LAN. Even the memory tests had to be redone because many of the top 40 Web sites changed their content since testing for WBGP3.

  • 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