Wait Times: Page Load
Moving on to page load time, we have EEMBC's BrowsingBench. This is one of the more real-world benchmarks in that it uses actual sample Web pages instead of test pages created for the purposes of benchmarking. Like our previous page load timer, BrowsingBench is run from our local Web server. Unlike our previous solution, though, BrowsingBench runs multiple iterations in each session, uses several different pages from the same site, and also tests foreign and mobile pages.
Chrome takes the lead in BrowsingBench, though predictably, Opera Next is right on Google's heels in second place. Switching to a non-Chromium browser, the original Opera is in third, just 400 points behind the leaders. IE10 is another 300 points behind in fourth place, with start-up champ Mozilla Firefox earning last place at nearly 1000 points behind the leaders.
As series regulars know, we load the top 40 Web pages in a single browser window in our memory efficiency and page load reliability testing. Some of you asked us to time this massive workload, so we did. Just like those two tests, all 40 tabs are pre-loaded so that the contents are in cache, and the browsers are started up (hot) before the command to open the 40 tabs is given. Times are taken using a stopwatch and timing begins from the point that the 40 bookmarks are opened to the point that all tabs stop loading.
And we have a winner, folks! It's Opera. Both of them. Opera Next takes an average of only 25 seconds to open the 40-tab workload, while the current version takes just 27 seconds. Internet Explorer 10 takes almost 35 seconds, though there's a caveat. IE still crashes when loading this number of tabs for the first time (uncached/cold) and takes several minutes to recover. Although we're not testing the uncached/cold scenario, none of the other browsers fall to pieces during the setup process for these tests.
Firefox 22 places fourth around the 45-second mark, while Chrome takes more than a minute to finish loading. We need to keep the reliability ratings in mind too, though. Although Firefox comes in behind IE10, Mozilla typically enjoys an edge in properly rendering all 40 of these pages, whereas Redmond's browser has earned some of the worst reliability ratings we've recorded over the years. What's amazing, however, is that Opera traditionally rivals Firefox in proper page loads, yet does so even faster than the less reliable browsers. Later on, we'll see if Opera Next loses or retains this uncanny mix of speed and correctness.
Wait Time Composite
With the wait time composite, we have our first category winner: Opera! While Opera Next earns the best composite score, as we have to keep reminding ourselves, it's still in development and ineligible for the win. As far as the current championship is concerned, the victory goes to the runner-up. Luckily for the folks at Opera, that still makes Opera the winner. Yes, folks, the current version of Opera offers the shortest wait times out of the top four Windows browsers. Firefox and IE10 take very close second- and third-place finishes. Meanwhile, despite rendering most single webpages faster than the competition, Chrome's slowing start-up times and the new heavy workload place the browser quite a bit further behind.