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Which Web Browser Is Best Under Windows 8?

Hardware Acceleration Performance

Hardware Acceleration Composite

Hardware acceleration encompasses both native HTML5 hardware acceleration as well as WebGL. Our hardware acceleration composite is the geometric mean of the results from JSGameBench, WebVizBench, Psychedelic Browsing, WebGL FishIE Tank, and WebGL Solar System.

Firefox takes the lead in both versions of Windows, followed by IE10 in Windows 8 and Chrome in Windows 7. Chrome 23 places third in Microsoft's new OS, as IE9 takes that spot under Windows 7. Opera 12.10 places last on both platforms, though it does six times better in Windows 8 than it did on Windows 7. All four Web browsers, even Opera, receive a massive boost to HWA performance under Microsoft's new OS.

Facebook JSGameBench

JSGameBench is our only benchmark that measures both HTML5 HWA and WebGL performance.

Firefox 16 takes the lead for both versions of Windows in this combined HWA test. Chrome lands in second place on both OSes, followed by Internet Explorer, with both browsers exhibiting far stronger results in Windows 8. Opera takes last place and bucks the trend, earning a higher score in Microsoft's older version of Windows 7.

HTML5 Hardware Acceleration

The HTML5 HWA composite score is derived from the geometric mean of the WebVizBench and Psychedelic Browsing results.

IE10 takes the lead in HTML5 HWA under Windows 8, while IE9 does the same for Windows 7. Chrome places second in Windows 8, while Firefox takes the number-two spot in Windows 7. Third place is the reverse order. Opera again comes in last place, but with version 12.10 arriving sans HWA, this is no surprise.

Drill Down

The charts below contain the individual results of our two HTML5 HWA benchmarks: WebVizBench and Psychedelic Browsing.

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Psychedelic Browsing

Unlike the other contenders, which either show higher results in Windows 8 or equal results on the two OSes, Firefox displays an affinity for Windows 7 over Windows 8.


The WebGL composite score is the geometric mean of our two WebGL tests: WebGL FishIE Tank and WebGL Solar System.

Chrome and Firefox are still the only two browsers to have WebGL turned on by default. Firefox takes the lead in both operating systems, thoroughly beating Chrome in Microsoft's newer OS. Oddly enough, Chrome shows much stronger in Windows 7 than Windows 8.

Drill Down

The charts below are for Chrome Experiments WebGL Solar System and Mozilla's WebGL FishIE Tank.

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WebGL Solar System

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WebGL FishIE Tank

Both browsers exhibit better performance under the older version of Windows in Chrome Experiments WebGL Solar System, much more so in the case of Chrome. Chrome and Firefox finally max out the WebGL FishIE Tank test at 60 frames per second, displaying the maximum of 10 000 fish on-screen. Therefore, we're retiring this test from future editions of the Web Browser Grand Prix.