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

Performance Benchmarks: Startup Time

Single Tab

The world's most visited Web site, Google.com, served as our test page for the single-tab startup time test.

Google's own browser, Chrome, loads Google.com in about three quarters of a second. IE9 comes in second, still starting in under one second. Firefox 5 comes in third, starting in 1.11 seconds. Opera starts with a single tab in 1.28 seconds to take fourth place. Safari brings up the rear, taking 1.34 seconds to launch and display the Google home page.

Eight Tabs

Opera surges ahead when it comes to opening eight tabs at once, earning first place with a time of just 2.67 seconds. IE9 holds onto second place, taking 3.37 seconds to open its maximum number of startup tabs. Chrome follows closely in third, finishing in 3.54 seconds. Firefox 5 trails behind at just over five and a half seconds. Safari is again in last place, taking nearly six seconds to start with an eight-tab load.

IE9 and Chrome are the winners for overall page load times, but Opera gives us the biggest surprise. Since all of the Web browsers start up in around one second tasked with a single tab, Opera's sub-three-second result for an eight-tab load which has the most significant real-world impact. Firefox 5 and Safari 5.0.5 both demonstrate the poorest showings for eight-tab page load times, taking between five and six seconds.

  • 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