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Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 20, Opera 12, Firefox 13

Reliability, Responsiveness, And Security

Reliability

Our reliability test is conducted after loading 40 tabs. We open them all simultaneously and record how many pages require a reload due to broken formatting or missing elements. The best score a browser can achieve here is zero, and the worst is 40.

Once again, Opera exhibits solid reliability, only requiring one reload. The second-place finisher is Safari with five failures, followed closely by IE9 with six and Firefox with seven. Chrome suffers nine failures, putting it in last place.

Responsiveness

In the last Web Browser Grand Prix, our dusty old test system made it very easy for us to compare responsiveness. Although none of the browsers slowed to a crawl using our much more modern hardware platform, IE9 does regularly crash and restart itself. And because we have to wait for 40 tabs to finish loading before checking for failures in the reliability test, we noticed we don't wait very long when testing Opera. Firefox treats us to a short wait, too.

We're confident in calling Opera 12 the responsiveness winner. Firefox presents a strong case, while Chrome and Safari are both merely average. IE9 is dubbed weak in this discipline.

Security

BrowserScope Security is the first legitimate security test we've come across that the browsers haven't already beaten. It consists of 17 pass/fail tests, making 17 the maximum score.

Chrome 20 grabs first place with the high score of 16 tests passed, and is followed by fellow WebKit-based Apple Safari. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 passes 13 tests to earn a third-place finish, beating arch-rival Mozilla Firefox. Opera 12 lands at the bottom, passing just ten out of the 17 tests.

  • mayankleoboy1
    1.what the benchmarks dont show is that in Firefox , if a tab has a heavy page with a lot of CPU intensive workload, the complete browser UI starts stuttering. That means the browser UI is on the same thread as the page loading.

    2. in the 40 tab test, try working in a tab during the loading of the 40 tabs. you will find lots of difference between browsers. FF hangs, Opera and Chrome remain fluid.

    3. how about a test where a browser is using 1GB+ RAM and you are trying to open/close tabs. Then see the UI responsiveness. most browsers can easily handle 800MB RAM. but which browser easily handles 1.2GB+ RAM ?
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU.
    i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.
    maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.
    Reply
  • ben850
    WTF Chrome is already on 20?? It ninja updated to 19 just a few days ago..
    Reply
  • lethalsam
    i won't ever use a browser a browser WITHOUT AD BLOCK Plus. (ABP)

    ABP works wonderful on Firefox, i RARELY see any ad. While I have used ABP on Chrome BUT its doesn't block half the ads.
    I know its Not Google's fault, its just that ABP developers are putting more effort with Firefox.

    So for me, Firefox > Chrome.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    @mayankleoboy1: 1+2) Interesting, I'll be looking for that next time 3) That would require a different workload for each browser.
    IE9 does so good on HTML5 HWA accelerated benchmarks because its able to offload more of the processing to the GPU. i tested this and found that during a HTML5 benchmark, IE9 had the least CPU usage, and most GPU usage amongst all the browsers.Really interesting, what utility do you use for measuring GPU usage?
    How many firefox users dont use ADblockPlus ? very very less.Also ABP developer is a regular contributor to the Firefox source code.maybe you should do a few memory benchmarks with ABP installed just to realistically judge what 99.99% of FF users go through.I'd estimate ABP usage on FF at around 5% or less based on ABP and FF usage statistics. Besides, that would give FF an unfair advantage.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Really interesting, what utility do you use for measuring GPU usage?

    MSI afterburner for GPU. windows task manager for CPU.

    @mayankleoboy1: 1+2) Interesting, I'll be looking for that next time

    i sent a mail regarding this to Chris. but maybe i sent it too late for this article...
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    if you open multiple tabs together in chrome, it can use each CPU core for each tab. so if you have a quad core, and you open 4+ tabs together, the CPU usage will be 100% (using all 4 cores) during the tab loading time.
    but if you run 4 instance of dromaeo in 4 tabs, the CPU usage is still 25% (using only 1 core).
    so chrome is not completely multiprocessing.

    in IE10 beta, if you run 4 instances of dromaeo benchmark in 4 tabs, it uses all the for cores. so we can expect better multiprocessing from IE10 and win8 :)
    Reply
  • adamovera
    @mayankleoboy1: I got that email yesterday or the day before, this article was completed a few days before that. Sorry, my inbox usually gets a few pages deep after a doing long benchmark-heavy article.
    Is Dromaeo (the DOM portion) working in Chrome for you? I could not get it to finish in Chrome or Safari on any of my Windows machines.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    i ran the javascript benchmark that ran fine. Didnt run the DOM benches.

    BTW, i run chrome dev version. so that could make a difference.
    Reply