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Web Browser Grand Prix 5: Opera 11.50, Firefox 5, And Chrome 12

Analysis And Conclusion

Analysis

WinnerStrongAcceptableWeak
Performance Benchmarks
Startup TimeOperaChrome, Internet ExplorerFirefoxSafari
Page Load TimeChromeFirefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
JavaScriptChromeFirefoxOpera, Internet ExplorerSafari
DOMOperaChrome, Firefox, Internet ExplorerSafari
CSSChromeOperaInternet ExplorerFirefox, Safari
FlashInternet ExplorerOpera, SafariChrome, Firefox
JavaFirefoxChromeInternet Explorer, Opera, Safari
SilverlightOperaInternet ExplorerChrome, Firefox, Safari
HTML5FirefoxInternet ExplorerChromeOpera, Safari
HTML Hardware AccelerationFirefoxInternet ExplorerChrome, Opera, Safari
WebGLChromeFirefoxInternet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Efficiency Benchmarks
Memory UsageSafariFirefoxChrome, Internet Explorer, Opera
Memory ManagementInternet ExplorerChromeFirefox, Safari, Opera
Battery LifeFirefoxChrome, Internet Explorer, OperaSafari
Reliability Benchmarks
Proper Page LoadsFirefox, OperaChromeInternet Explorer, Safari
Conformance Benchmarks
JavaScriptInternet ExplorerOperaChrome, Firefox, Safari
DOMChrome, Opera, SafariFirefox, Internet Explorer
CSS3Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, SafariChrome
HTML5ChromeFirefox, OperaSafariInternet Explorer

Conclusion

When we take raw performance, the conformance grade, total placing, and the categorical analysis tables into account, a clear winner emerges. There's no argument; Chrome 12 is the Web Browser Grand Prix 5 champion. 

Google boosted its numbers in performance, reliability, and standards conformance just enough to take the championship from Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, which just barely holds onto second place ahead of Firefox 5 (though this might be debatable). But it's not just the number of total wins that gives Chrome 12 an edge, but also its low number of losses. In fact, the only area where Chrome falls completely behind is in HTML5 hardware acceleration, which is a feature not yet supported by this browser.

The same could be said for fourth-place finisher Opera. WebGL, HTML5, and HTML5 hardware acceleration are the weak areas of the Norwegian Web browser; those are also features not yet supported.

Safari 5 is simply the oldest browser in the lineup. Being the longest to go without a major refresh makes it somewhat like a control group, a way to gauge the latest against the previous generation. But Mac OS X 'Lion' is so close that we can hear its roar. The big cat brings Safari 6 which is set to be a major upgrade to the browser.

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  • adampower
    Wow, it seems like I upgrade my browsers every week.
    Reply
  • somehow it seems that firefox is focussing more on benchmarks rather than actual real world usage.
    Reply
  • opera keeps impressing me throughout the WBGP
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    Now if just Google would release a 64-bit Chrome browser.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    First of all, this is the most thorough WBGP yet.
    somehow it seems that firefox is focussing more on benchmarks rather than actual real world usage.
    I don't think so - proper page loads and battery life are important considerations.

    I agree that Mozilla did not do a right thing in copying Chrome's release cycle, but at least they're trying - for example, they're trying hard in bringing down memory usage by increasing the garbage collection frequency(check this out in the Aurora and Nightly builds).

    WBGP is basically a test of speed, and Chrome may have won in that, but Firefox is not far behind. I can wait for two or three seconds for my page to load. You can easily bring down the page load times by using addons like AdBlock Plus.

    Even with the faster release cycle, this article clearly states that Firefox is still the most stable browser. Many people say that they've had numerous crashes, but its something wrong with their drivers or OS - I have not had a single crash since FF 4.0 beta 5 (or 7?), when they introduced hardware acceleration for the first time.

    Firefox remains the most customizable browser, while Opera has the most number of features out-of-the-box.

    So overall, according to me Firefox>=Opera>Chrome>IE 9> Safari.
    Reply
  • cadder
    Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    9516697 said:
    Will you guys please investigate the SECURITY of each browser? I would use the one that is most secure even if it is slowest.
    That's easy: FF+AdBlock Plus+ NoScript+Ghostery+BrowserProtect
    Reply
  • ChiefTexas_82
    IE 9 is a speed demon? I droped IE because it started running like ****. I blame loading too many side programs after years on the web. So I wanted to try Chrome or Firefox. Being a Google fan already, I tried Chrome. So far it leaves my old IE8 in the dust. Except for a certain bug, I would say it has been an improvement in almost every way.
    Reply
  • ChiefTexas_82
    I don't like how Nvidia's GPU auto-detect doesn't work on chrome.
    Reply
  • thartist
    Damn, Opera has it's flaws but it's nonetheless the one that does one thing best: browsing.
    Reply