RoboHornet: The Next Big Thing In Browser Benchmarking

Is RoboHornet The Holy Grail Of Browser Benchmarks?

RoboHornet Alpha1: Initial Results

Now we've truly seen it all. Today, Google helped launch a modular, independent, and open source browser benchmark made up of tests created and voted on by Web developers and designers, with consultation from standards bodies and vendors alike.

Chrome is still the top choice under Linux and Windows 7, and Safari is still king in Mountain Lion. Opera is somewhere in the middle of the pack on Windows and Ubuntu, but lands at the bottom of the heap under OS X. In a surprise upset, Firefox falls flat on its face on every platform except OS X, where it manages to place ahead of Opera. But the real shocker happens on Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8, where the RTM build of Internet Explorer 10 comes out swinging, earning far and away the best score in this new test.

With the exception of the Android tests, we used our usual Web Browser Grand Prix test system. Due to the limited window between gaining access to RoboHornet and publishing, that's the only combination of hardware we could benchmark in time. It should be live and publicly accessible by now, so try it out on your own rig and let us know the results in the comments section. We should note that we also attempted to run RoboHornet on the new iPad, but Safari (and more than likely any other iOS browser) would not get past the first test.

How does RoboHornet affect the Web Browser Grand Prix?

For now, it doesn't. We were told that it would be inappropriate to include RoboHornet in our regular browser benchmarks in its current state. However, we'll most definitely be keeping a close eye on this benchmark for inclusion into the Web Browser Grand Prix. Perhaps one day it can even replace the majority of our performance-oriented metrics. Needless to say, we're very stoked about the future of RoboHornet."

Until then, the next couple articles in the Web Browser Grand Prix are, for the time being, outside of RoboHornet's core competency: Android and iOS. Stay tuned.

Follow Adam on Twitter.

  • aicom
    Nice to see that IE10 has got some fight in it. I haven't really used it much on Win8 after installing Chrome though. If IE can get that plugin ecosystem that Firefox and Chrome have plus some of the nice cloud syncing stuff with Win8/RT/Phone that Safari and Chrome do with their mobile brethren, I'd definitely consider IE.

    They've got to quit bundling OS updates and IE together though. Otherwise, they get left behind when all the other browsers get updated, but IE doesn't. When IE 9 came out, it was quite the monster too, but 3 years is a long time for other browsers to catch and easily overtake it.
  • puddleglum
    Good to see the browsers broken out by OS. Not everyone runs MS.
  • How about firefox on android ?
  • adamovera
    hheexxHow about firefox on android ?Didn't work. It may eventually finish but it spent way too long on the first test, pretty much the same story with Maxthon, Opera, and Sleipnir on Android. Same deal on iOS. They specifically mentioned that mobile was not yet supported, but it will be a priority in the future. Maxthon took a very long time on Windows, OS X, and Android, so I aborted it, but I have a feeling that it would finish eventually (could literally be hours though, and I didn't have time to wait). If anyone reports Maxthon, Sleipnir or Camino actually finishing the test, I'll give them another go and update the article accordingly.
  • aaab
    2 out of 17 benchmark(s) failed.

    My poor work PC :(
  • What an awful collection of microbenchmarks. Go read Hennessy and Patterson; the best benchmarks are real apps, not tiny little tests that measure a single thing.
  • mayankleoboy1
    IE10's win on Win8 makes me wonder if the benchmark makes use of specialised data arrays, which are supported in IE10 only.

    In normal use, IE10 performs worse than FF15, so i dont see how it scored that much better.
  • alikum
    mayankleoboy1IE10's win on Win8 makes me wonder if the benchmark makes use of specialised data arrays, which are supported in IE10 only.In normal use, IE10 performs worse than FF15, so i dont see how it scored that much better.How exactly? I'm using IE10 for work and home and it's been superb thus far, with 0 crashes. Can't say the same for FF. It's a memory hog.
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ to each his own :)

    FWIW, the actual mozilla developers had no clue about this benchmark prior to this article. Infact, they have started working on this benchmark after someone reported this article. So IMO, the presence of Mozilla is marginal at best in the overseeing member committee

    And, mozila has only one representative. More than half of the committee members are google people. Makes me wonder if there is some unintentional bias....
  • freggo
    Win 7 with Firefox 15.0.1

    typed as the URL and get a friendly 404 error.
    Actually have to use !

    Now isn't that kinda sad ? :-)