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Which Web Browser Is Best Under Windows 8?

Test Setup And Benchmark Suite

With the exception of a new cable modem, our test setup hasn't changed since the last time we ran the Grand Prix.

Test Setup And Benchmark Suite

Test System Specs
Operating System 1Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation (64-bit)

Operating System 2Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (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 CacheOpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/ASPower SupplyCorsair TX750W (750 W max)CaseZalman MS-1000 HS2CPU CoolerScythe Mugen 2 Revision BMonitorHP 2509b 25-inch LCD (1920x1080)KeyboardLogitech Wireless Keyboard K320MouseLogitech Wireless Trackball M570Local Web Server SpecsOperating SystemUbuntu 12.04.1 LTS Server Edition "Precise Pangolin" (32-bit)ProcessorIntel Pentium 4 @ 2.41 GHzMotherboardBiostar P4M80-M4Memory768 MB DDR @ 333 MT/sGraphicsNvidia GeForce FX 5500 128 MB DDR (AGP)StorageWestern Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJD, 160 GB EIDE, 7200 RPMExtra PackagesApache2, MySQL Client, MySQL Server, PHP5, PHP-GD, PHP5-MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, SSH, Node.js, NPMNetwork SpecsISP ServiceCox Preferred (18 Mb/s down, 2 Mb/s up)ModemArris Touchstone Telephony Modem TM502GRouterLinksys WRT54G2 V1Benchmark SuitePage Load TimeCold Start Time (Yahoo! homepage, Cached)Hot Start Time (Yahoo! homepage, Cached)Cold Start Time (Eight Tabs, Cached)Hot Start Time (Eight Tabs, Cached)Uncached Load Time (Eight Test Pages)Cached Load Time (Eight Test Pages)HTML5GUIMark2 HTML5 (Four Tests)Asteroids HTML5 Canvas 2D And JavaScriptHTML5 Canvas Performance TestImpact HTML5 BenchmarkCSSCSS Stress Test And Performance Profiling - CSS Speed TestCSS Stress Test And Performance Profiling - CSS3 Speed TestMaze SolverJavaScriptRIABench JavaScript (Eight Tests)Apple SunSpider v0.9.1 (Google Mod)Mozilla Kraken v1.1Futuremark Peacekeeper v2.0DOMMozilla Dromaeo DOM CoreHardware AccelerationFacebook JSGameBench v0.4.1WebVizBenchPsychedelic BrowsingMozilla WebGL FishIE TankChrome Experiments WebGL Solar SystemMemory EfficiencyMemory Usage (Single Tab)Memory Usage (40 Tabs)Memory Management (-39 Tabs)Memory Management (-39 Tabs, Two Additional Minutes)ReliabilityProper Page LoadsSecurityBrowserscope SecurityStandards ConformanceHTML5Test.comThe CSS3 TestEcmascript Language test262

Although applicable links are included in the table above, we've also created a delicious account dedicated to chronicling links to Web Browser Grand Prix benchmarks. We removed the Responsiveness measurement because they're too subjective and too difficult to properly gauge on the modern test system. Detailed methodologies are explained on the individual benchmark pages.

  • mayankleoboy1
    1. Did you ensure that Opera has Hardware acceleration and WebGL enabled in about:config ? AFAIk, Opera does not enable HWA by default.

    2. I find the over-reliance on "Internet Explorer Test drive" benchmarks disturbing. Most use code that is inefficient and not used anywhere else on the web, making it quite theoretical.

    3. +1 for using Google Octane benchmark. Both google and mozilla agree that this is a good real-world benchmark.

    4. Addition of the "Maze solver" benchmark is disappointing.

    5. Why remove the subjective smoothness ? 95% of the time, subjective smoothness is what lures a person to use a specific browser. People use a browser, not run benchmarks on it all day. Subjectively, no browser can beat Google Chrome. Then comes Opera , Firefox and far lastly, IE10.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.
    Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy11. Did you ensure that Opera has Hardware acceleration and WebGL enabled in about:config ? AFAIk, Opera does not enable HWA by default.2. I find the over-reliance on "Internet Explorer Test drive" benchmarks disturbing. Most use code that is inefficient and not used anywhere else on the web, making it quite theoretical.3. +1 for using Google Octane benchmark. Both google and mozilla agree that this is a good real-world benchmark.4. Addition of the "Maze solver" benchmark is disappointing.5. Why remove the subjective smoothness ? 95% of the time, subjective smoothness is what lures a person to use a specific browser. People use a browser, not run benchmarks on it all day. Subjectively, no browser can beat Google Chrome. Then comes Opera , Firefox and far lastly, IE10.1) We use fresh installs at default settings; Opera does not enable HWA by default.
    2) The only IETestDrive tests we use are Psychedelic Browsing and Maze Solver, and IE regularly loses to competitors on both.
    3) Octane was not used because it had issues with IE9 and Opera 12.10.
    4) We definitely need a new CSS test, but the only other options are outdated or on IETestDrive - unfortunately, Kaizoumark doesn't work with IE10.
    5) It's really difficult to see that kind of stuff on a modern test system, but I will say that Chrome and IE10 are about equal in that department, with Firefox and Opera noticeably more choppy right at the beginning of the 40-tab load.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy1Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.Not sure, the Nvidia drivers used were the same version on both OSes.
    Reply
  • And we're also passing the torch from Windows 7 to Windows 8.
    We are going to miss you on Web Browser Grand Prix, Windows 7
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    10447137 said:
    1) We use fresh installs at default settings; Opera does not enable HWA by default.
    2) The only IETestDrive tests we use are Psychedelic Browsing and Maze Solver, and IE regularly loses to competitors on both.
    3) Octane was not used because it had issues with IE9 and Opera 12.10.
    4) We definitely need a new CSS test, but the only other options are outdated or on IETestDrive - unfortunately, Kaizoumark doesn't work with IE10.
    5) It's really difficult to see that kind of stuff on a modern test system, but I will say that Chrome and IE10 are about equal in that department, with Firefox and Opera noticeably more choppy right at the beginning of the 40-tab load.


    1. IMHO, enabling these settings would have made Opera more competitive and this article fairer.

    3. Whoops, misread that. But this is a good benchmark. Robohornet and robohornet pro are complete jokes.
    4. Just exclude the maze solver. Its bad coding, as any web developer can tell you.
    5. Thats exactly what i'm saying. This needs to be factored in the overall score. You want the browser UI to always remain smooth. UI choppiness is unacceptable and sloppy coding. We are not living in the 90's anymore.


    The one thing i dislike in Chrome is the memory bloat when opening many tabs. In the 40tab test, FF uses 600 MB. Chrome uses 1600MB :O. That is probably an iverhead of using separate processes for each tab. That is excellent for smoothness and UI fluidity. But shameful for memory consumption. I guess devs need to find a middle path.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Both 'mozilla kraken' and 'Google sunspider' benchmarks need to be retired . They are old, and all the major browsers have optimizations to score better on them.
    Plus, they heavily test features that are not used anywhere else on teh web.

    Example : Sunspider makes a billion manipulations to the the "date" variable. Mozilla did not have any optimization for this. So it scored poorly on Sunspider. After numerous 'review sites' started using sunspider to test FF Vs Chrome, mozilla developers had to reluctantly add the same optimisation (which is basically a separate buffer to store the date). Of course, nowhere on the web is the date variable used in this manner. So its optimization for an artificial test.
    Reply
  • wilem_WAR246810
    "The King Is Dead, Long Live The King!" am I the only one who thought of Megadeth?
    Reply
  • deepblue08
    mayankleoboy1Any technical reason why browser performs generally better in Win8 ? Even the 'WHQL' drivers from Nvidia and AMD arent quite mature for Win8.Games and applications did not show any improvement in Win8 over Win7.
    As far as I heard there are significant under-the-hood improvements in Win8, in terms of memory efficiency and multi-core usage.
    Reply
  • epileptic
    Is it Opera x64 or x86? I remember having tested Opera 12 and the startup was very slow. I'm still using 11.64 atm. The only thing keeping me from moving to Firefox is how sluggish the UI feels... I'd also have to find a new mail client. :/
    Reply