Skip to main content

Web Browser Grand Prix 2: Running The Linux Circuit

System Specs, Setup, And Methodology

Test System Specs

OS 1Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx (64-bit)
OS 2Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
CPUAMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ @2.0 GHz (dual-core)
MotherboardBiostar NF61S-M2 TE
Memory4 GB DDR2 @ 800MHz (2 x 2 GB)
GraphicsEVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB GDDR3), PCIe 1.0
StorageWestern Digital WD2500KS 250 GB SATA 3GB/s, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
OpticalAsus DVD-RW 1814-BLT-BULK-BG
Power SupplyCorsair TX750W (750 W max)

Web Browser Specs

BrowserVersion
Chrome5.0.375.99
Firefox3.6.6
Opera10.60

Additional Software

NameVersion
Adobe Flash10.1 r53
Novell Moonlight3.0.4018.0
Oracle Java6.0.18
Nvidia GeForce Drivers195.36.24

Setup

After Ubuntu was installed, we updated the system with all of the packages recommend by the Update Manager on July 1st, 2010. After the required restart, we installed the latest recommended proprietary Nvidia display driver (in this case, version 195). Firefox came preinstalled on Ubuntu and the Update Manager brought it up to the latest version. Next, we installed Chrome and Opera via the 64-bit .deb files from their respective Web sites.

After the browsers, we installed Flash 10 and Java 6 via the Synaptic Package Manager. After the browsers were installed, we disabled the Chrome and Opera repos via Software Sources to ensure that the Web browsers would not update mid-testing. We ignored all attempts that Update Manager made to update the system during the course of benchmarking. Finally, we switched off all power management and screen saver options.

Methodology

A reboot was performed between each benchmark, per browser. Each time we finished benchmarking a browser, the cache was cleared and the system reset before beginning another benchmark. Most of the benchmarks were run for five iterations per browser, unless specifically mentioned otherwise.

Why Didn't You Test *My* Browser?

I originally wanted to do this article immediately after the first Web Browser Grand Prix. But at that time, the only comparable option available was Firefox. Google had not yet released a stable version of Chrome for Linux, and Opera's version number was several points behind its Windows counterpart. This left me with the idea to do a completely separate Linux browser article using Firefox, Chromium, Epiphany, Konqueror, and SeaMonkey.

Shortly after beginning some preliminary runs to test if the benchmarks worked, I realized that this article was doomed. Chromium updates way too frequently to get current results in an article like this. Epiphany and SeaMonkey wouldn't run several benchmarks at all (different ones, making any comparisons spotty at best). Konqueror seemed to work alright, but Konqueror is always faster in KDE, adding yet another variable with which to contend. Again, this left me with only Firefox for good, complete, and comparable data.

Shortly after Chrome received a stable build for Linux, which brought it up-to-date with Windows, Opera announced that upcoming version 10.60 would be released concurrently across all platforms. The stars aligned for the Linux browser article to fit right in with the timetable of Web Browser Grand Prix 2.

Editorial Leaning

The author currently uses Google Chrome as his primary Web browser with Firefox as his secondary, both on Ubuntu. Bestofmedia uses Mozilla Firefox to interact with their content management system. The OS doesn't matter.

  • Tamz_msc
    The article that I was waiting for.How the tables have turned!
    Conclusion:Firefox is quite capable in both Linux and Windows.
    I'm using Firefox 4 beta and I find it pretty quick.
    Reply
  • micr0be
    yes i would have loved to have seen the firefox 4 beta with the results. although great article.
    Reply
  • opmopadop
    Interesting how FireFox chose to sacrifice speed for memory.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    weirdguy99Why not put firefox 4 into the equation?micr0beyes i would have loved to have seen the firefox 4 beta with the results. although great article.When it's final, I'll test it.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    DamdamanI'll get berated for this I'm sure but will we see an OSX article on browsers as well?You are kidding,right?
    Reply
  • arnweb
    Opera Turbo feature, is not mentioned here, it can boost speed in real surf. And also when we open a closed tab in Opera it opens them instantly, that's why Opera holds memory for closed, tab.
    Reply
  • Sihastru
    Opera still can't render pages properly, still can't print content properly, and we waste our time with senseless tests of imperceptible speed.
    Reply
  • The_King
    I dont think anyone using firefox will change to another browser even if it is Faster. I love my firefox :)
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Wow, Chrome uses more memory than Crysis on my computer. :lol:
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    arnwebOpera Turbo feature, is not mentioned here, it can boost speed in real surf. And also when we open a closed tab in Opera it opens them instantly, that's why Opera holds memory for closed, tab.Opera Turbo increases page load times on slow connections.On my 2Mbps connection the time in which Opera Turbo connects to its servers is the time in which Google loads in Firefox.
    Reply