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

Benchmark Results: HTML5

For HTML5 performance testing, we utilized the new GUIMark 2 benchmarking suite. Instead of a single test, like the previous version, GUIMark 2 offers three separate tests that showcase popular applications of HTML5: vector, bitmap, and text. The vector test has two versions: one that changes lines by a single pixel and one that changes by two pixels. According to CraftyMind, the makers of GUIMark, the one-pixel version of the test increases performance in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

The benchmark author also states that Safari will not run the test unless the run button is pressed repeatedly. This did occur on our test system as well. However, Safari's showing appears to be accurate still. With the exception of the two-pixel vector test, Safari's scores all seem to be valid.

Internet Explorer 8 would not run either of the vector charting tests, or the bitmap gaming test. The browser reports the current frame rate at 10 FPS for these benchmarks, but displays nothing, and the run button won't initiate the test.

GUIMark 2 HTML5: Vector Charting (1 pixel)

In the one-pixel version of the vector charting test, Opera takes the lead by a solid 1.5 FPS over second-place finisher, Safari. Firefox comes in third, 4.5 FPS behind Safari. Chrome produces a pitiful 4.3 FPS, almost four times lower than Opera's score.

GUIMark 2 HTML5: Vector Charting (2 pixels)

Our experience with the original two-pixel version of the vector charting test mirrors what the benchmark's author described. All of the browsers have very slightly lowered scores, except Safari, which completely tanks the two-pixel test. Opera still holds the top spot with Firefox trailing far behind in second place. Chrome once again performs horribly, barely breaking the 4 FPS barrier. As stated, Safari has an absolutely terrible showing at under 3 FPS.

GUIMark 2 HTML5: Bitmap Gaming

None of the browsers perform particularly well in the HTML5 bitmap gaming test, though Opera has a clear lead over the rest of the pack with slightly over 8 FPS. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox place 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively, with each browser performing about one frame slower than the one before.

GUIMark 2 HTML5: Text Columns

Firefox takes the lead ahead of Google Chrome by nearly a full frame per second. Believe it or not, Chrome is trailed by Internet Explorer, which returned to the race for this final HTML5 test. Safari places fourth, behind IE8 by a mere half frame per second. And in a reversal from the previous HTML5 tests, Opera comes in last, though only 3.36 FPS behind first place finisher Chrome.

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    Top Comments
  • 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.
  • makotech222
    FF4 also has hardware acceleration
  • Anonymous
    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...
  • Other Comments
  • The Lady Slayer
    July 7th - Firefox 4 beta released.
    Tom's impending road test STILL BEHIND THE TIMES
  • Anonymous
    I agree. Firefox 4 was supposed to have the major speed up (especially in startup time.)
  • Anonymous
    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.
  • wheredahoodat
    @Lady slayer, and Boi, this is only for stable releases. Notice that Chrome 6 is not benchmarked. FF4 is a beta, the final product is a long ways off. Judging on what they promising and what they implemented so far in the beta and nightly builds, I wouldn't be surprised if FF4 was delayed until early next year.
  • Anonymous
    FF Fanboys always will be biases fanboys, but the fact is:
    Chrome and Opera are the best ones, the others are just slugs in a F1 race.
    That's the truth. Period.
  • the_krasno
    I care not for speed, but for usability. Chrome's minimalistic design fits my simple needs.
  • Anonymous
    Using the Windows Task Manager to measure memory usage is flawed. Browsers like Chrome that use multiple processors will be incorrectly shown to use more memory than they actually are because of how memory is shared between each process. See http://google-chrome-browser.com/chromium-memory-usage-0 for more information.
  • drudometkin
    Used Firefox for yearssss. Just started using chrome a couple months ago and can't go back to slow ugly Firefox. Love the single address and search bar, tabs on top, minimalist design and speed of chrome.
  • Mark Heath
    First can we have an article like this every month or so, just like the graphics cards for the money articles?

    Second, to sum up the article imo, IE is a clear loser, Safari comes 4th trailing Firefox in 3rd, while Chrome and Opera are up ahead, close enough to say that they share 1st and 2nd, depending on updates.
  • SchizoFrog
    Considering how many websites are yet to be optimised, crash or just do not work for Google Chrome I fail to understand how it can be classed as a winner. When it comes to everyday use for me Chrome is way behind other more established browsers.
  • guid_aaa000001
    Firefox for Windows, Firefox for Mac OS X, Firefox for Linux & Firefox FTW.
  • Anonymous
    How can Opera be #1 when they don't even have a simple ad-blocker? Functionality is much more important than a few ms of loading.
  • Lmeow
    I started using Opera on this computer and have loved it ever since. It's just... nice I suppose. Speed-wise 10.50 was quite a bit slower than Chrome, although when I upgraded to 10.60, I could feel a bit of a speed boost.