Web Browser Grand Prix 2: The Top 5 Tested And Ranked


Like last time, we break down the results by category to determine how the browsers perform overall. Now, instead of just leaving you with a winner and calling it a day, we're also going to break down some of the strengths and weaknesses of these browsers, observed during the course of benchmarking. We spotlight the weak points, again, not to beat on any of these apps, but in the hope that it will not be an issue be when the time comes for Web Browser Grand Prix 3.

Winner By Category / Test

During the course of benchmarking, we observed that the WebKit browsers from Apple and Google displayed some troubling non-memory related behavior during the 40 tab memory usage test. Though not specifically tested, the CPU is maxed out by Safari in this benchmark, tying up the system indefinitely. While Google's browser didn't become unresponsive or exhibit any CPU issues, a few Web pages didn't load at all - they didn't freeze or stall, but simply appeared as blank white pages with no activity. Many of the pages that Chrome did load required reloading due to broken or missing elements - significantly more than Firefox, IE8, or Opera. We'll be looking into concocting ways of measuring CPU usage as well as proper, complete, and accurate page rendering for a future edition of the Web Browser Grand Prix.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Category / TestWinnerAlso StrongWeak
Speed Tests
Startup TimesOperaNoneNone
Page Load TimesChromeNoneOpera
JavaScriptChromeOpera, SafariFirefox, Internet Explorer
DOMOperaNoneInternet Explorer
PeacekeeperOperaChromeInternet Explorer
HTML5 PerformanceOperaNoneNone
Acid 3OperaChrome, SafariInternet Explorer
FlashOperaInternet ExplorerChrome
Other Tests
Memory UsageFirefoxNoneSafari
Memory ManagementChromeNoneFirefox, Opera
CSS3 ComplianceFirefoxChrome, Opera, SafariInternet Explorer
HTML5 ComplianceChromeFirefox, Opera, SafariInternet Explorer

In the previous Web Browser Grand Prix, Opera had a small lead on our winner Google Chrome when the results were broken down by category. This time around, Opera wrangles a massive victory, dominating in eight out of the fourteen categories. This makes Opera the hands down winner of Web Browser Grand Prix 2. Though Google Chrome holds a scant lead in points when taking all benchmarks into account, Opera easily wins the speed race and owns over half of the wins per category. Right now, the Norgwegian browser-maker is the only outfit that can claim to have "the world's fastest browser."

Will Opera continue to best the competition in almost every single speed test? Will Chrome again dominate JavaScript and Page Load Times? Will Apple ever get around to fixing Safari's CPU and memory issues (will Opera fix the latter)? Can anyone reach Firefox-level peak memory use, or match Chrome in management? With Chrome 6, Firefox 4, and Internet Explorer 9 just around the bend, it won't be too long before we find out. Until then, stay tuned to Tom's Hardware.

Follow Adam on Twitter

  • The Lady Slayer
    July 7th - Firefox 4 beta released.
    Tom's impending road test STILL BEHIND THE TIMES
  • I agree. Firefox 4 was supposed to have the major speed up (especially in startup time.)
  • But you know what, apple said they have the world's fastest browser. I think we should just pack up and call it a day. The spoken word of god is indisputable...
  • makotech222
    FF4 also has hardware acceleration
  • Tamz_msc
    I'm very happy to see my beloved Firefox's performance.Whatever people say about Opera and Chrome, Firefox is the best IMO.And Apple is proved to be a liar from this article.
  • Poisoner
    Honestly, does browser speed matter?
  • Tamz_msc
    Forgot to add:I cant wait for the final release of FF 4!
  • Maziar
    Great review,
    Have to wait for FF4 release to see how it performs compared to others
  • mx2138
    I've been using Firefox for about to two years now. I can't get enough of adblock plus. One of my favorite plug-ins.
  • wittermark
    lmao @ FFfanboys other review sites posted FF4 numbers, its performance is pathetic to say the least.