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Web Browser Grand Prix VIII: Chrome 16, Firefox 9, And Mac OS X

Benchmark Analysis

In our last installment, Web Browser Grand Prix 7: Firefox 7, Chrome 14, Opera 11.51, we completely dropped the raw placing tables in favor of the analysis tables that more closely reflect the scale of victory. Let's quickly take a moment to go over what these mean.

The analysis tables hold categories for each type of benchmark. For example, Mozilla Dromaeo DOM is represented by the DOM category, while Peacekeeper, the Krakens, and SunSpiders are represented together under the JavaScript category.

Each category has four columns: winner, strong, acceptable, and weak. Winner is obviously the browser that achieves the highest scores for the category. The strong column is for those browsers exhibiting superior performance, but no victory. Acceptable is for browsers that perform neither spectacularly nor poorly, but merely adequately. For tests that measure frame rates, a score near the 30 FPS range gets that browser filed into the acceptable column. The weak column is for browsers that perform poorly or substantially lower than their competitors.

In the event of a complete tie in the analysis tables, we simply go back to the individual benchmarks and look at the raw difference in scores.

The Windows 7-based standings for Chrome 16, Firefox 9, Internet Explorer 9, Opera 11.60, and Safari 5.1.2 are found in the table below.

Windows 7 Analysis Table

WinnerStrongAcceptableWeak
Performance Benchmarks
Startup Time, LightSafariChrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera
Startup Time, HeavyInternet ExplorerChrome, OperaFirefoxSafari
Page Load Time, UncachedChromeFirefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Page Load Time, CachedChromeSafariFirefox, OperaInternet Explorer
JavaScriptChromeFirefoxOperaInternet Explorer, Safari
DOMOperaChrome, FirefoxSafariInternet Explorer
CSSSafariChromeInternet Explorer, OperaFirefox
FlashSafariInternet Explorer, OperaChrome, Firefox
JavaFirefoxChromeInternet Explorer, Opera, Safari
SilverlightOperaFirefox, Internet ExplorerChrome, Safari
HTML5Internet ExplorerFirefoxChrome, SafariOpera
HTML5 Hardware AccelerationInternet ExplorerFirefoxChrome, Opera, Safari
WebGLFirefoxChromeInternet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Efficiency Benchmarks
Memory Usage, LightInternet ExplorerSafari, OperaChrome, Firefox
Memory Usage, HeavySafariChrome, Firefox, OperaInternet Explorer
Memory ManagementChromeInternet ExplorerFirefoxOpera, Safari
Reliability Benchmarks
Proper Page LoadsFirefox, OperaSafariChromeInternet Explorer
Conformance Benchmarks
HTML5ChromeFirefox, OperaInternet Explorer, Safari
JavaScriptOperaFirefoxChrome, Internet Explorer, Safari

Now let's see how Chrome 16, Firefox 9, Opera 11.60, and Safari 5.1.2 fare on the MacBook Air's native platform of Mac OS X.

Mac OS X (Lion) Analysis Table

WinnerStrongAcceptableWeak
Performance Benchmarks
Startup Time, LightSafariFirefoxChromeOpera
Startup Time, HeavyFirefoxOperaChrome, Safari
Page Load Time, UncachedChromeFirefoxSafariOpera
Page Load Time, CachedSafariChromeFirefox, Opera
JavaScriptChromeFirefoxSafariOpera
DOMFirefoxChrome, SafariOpera
CSSSafariChromeOperaFirefox
FlashFirefoxChrome, Opera, Safari
JavaOperaSafariChrome, Firefox
SilverlightSafariChrome, Firefox, Opera
HTML5SafariChrome, OperaFirefox
HTML5 Hardware AccelerationSafariChrome, Firefox, Opera
WebGLChrome, FirefoxOpera, Safari
Efficiency Benchmarks
Memory Usage, LightSafariOperaFirefox, Chrome
Memory Usage, HeavyOperaSafariFirefoxChrome
Memory ManagementChromeFirefox, Opera, Safari
Reliability Benchmarks
Proper Page LoadsOperaFirefoxChrome, Safari
Conformance Benchmarks
HTML5ChromeFirefox, OperaSafari
JavaScriptOperaFirefoxChrome, Safari

Without further ado, let's crown our Web Browser Grand Prix VIII champions.

  • twztechman
    Been using Firefox for years - it works best for me.
    Reply
  • shiftmx112
    This makes it worth putting up with the constant updates on Aurora. :)
    Reply
  • The best part is I'm quite sure that this is using an out of the box build. Using a PGO compiled nighlty build, with about:config properly configured, and addons like Adblock/NoScript blocking things from ever loading Firefox is significantly faster than these benchmarks state.
    Reply
  • frost_fenix
    I have use firefox and chrome interchangeably for a few years now. I enjoy chromes streamlined design but have recently discovered the noscript addon for Firefox and have since favored Firefox. I have also found Firefox to be more compatable with school webpages and application pages. Still either firefox or chrome is better than IE.
    Reply
  • pharoahhalfdead
    Good point Stoof. I have IE9 and the newest FF, and with the FF add ons, it blows IE out of the water. The majority of IE pages like yahoo video links, boxingscene etc take 6 or more seconds to load, whereas FF is only a fraction of the time.

    I think add ons are much easier to find with FF, and there seems to be a wider variety. Then again I do realize this article wasn't about browsers with add ons.
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    The only one thing I hate about firefox is that it takes a lot of time to launch.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    stoofThe best part is I'm quite sure that this is using an out of the box build. Using a PGO compiled nighlty build, with about:config properly configured, and addons like Adblock/NoScript blocking things from ever loading Firefox is significantly faster than these benchmarks state.Yes, we're using everything stock. There is no one-size-fits-all combination of plug-ins to standardize on, and every browser might not have the exact same plugins available. So that throws out a fair comparison between browsers - wouldn't work for the WBGP. Perhaps an article concentrating specifically on Firefox (or another Web browser) with and without various plug-ins would clear that up?
    Reply
  • Please use Firefox's latest logo, the one with the shiny orb in Mozilla's press kit! The one they're using now is the old one. http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/brand/identity/
    Reply
  • nevertell
    Chrome is the easiest to use if you've got lots of tabs open. Scrolling through them with mouse is a breeze and tab management is just excellent.
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    frost_fenix. I enjoy chromes streamlined design but have recently discovered the noscript addon for Firefox and have since favored Firefox.
    Why do people seem to forget Chrome has this built in. All you have to do is go into the options menu and disable JavaScript.
    Reply