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Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 25, Firefox 19, And IE10

Possibly The Last "Top Four"

Here’s what has happened in the world of Web browsers since Which Web Browser Is Best Under Windows 8?:

Recent News And Events

11/13/12: The Release Preview of IE10 for Windows 7 is launched
11/18/12: Microsoft claims that WebKit is putting open Web standards in jeopardy
12/17/12: W3C Finalizes the Definition of HTML5
12/27/13: Mozilla intends to include H.264 support in Firefox 20
01/08/13: Mozilla releases Firefox 18 with new IonMonkey JavaScript engine
02/13/13: Opera announces that it’s switching to a Chromium base (WebKit and V8)
02/15/13: President of jQuery sees WebKit as another IE6 in the making
02/16/13: Opera Software purchases Skyfire Labs
02/22/13: Google releases Chrome 25
02/26/13: Microsoft releases IE10 for Windows 7
03/05/13: Chrome’s market share decreases slightly; Firefox, IE, and Safari benefit
03/06/13: EU imposes massive fine on Microsoft for missing Browser Ballot
03/07/13: Reports indicate that Google and Opera tipped the EU on Browser Ballot
03/07/13: Chrome, Firefox, and IE10 hacked at Pwn2Own, Opera and Safari not tested

Wow, what a couple of months, right? Firefox’s long-anticipated IonMonkey JavaScript engine finally landed, Microsoft and jQuery assail WebKit for its use of browser-specific extensions, Opera jumps on-board the Chromium bandwagon, and Google and Opera rat out Microsoft to the EU. Software people are always a riot.

Now, let’s quickly get acquainted with the today’s contenders before checking out the latest changes to our test suite.

  • mayankleoboy1
    1. I am assuming that IE9 was included just to show improvements in IE10, and IE9 will be retired in the next WBGP

    2. " Opera jumps on-board the Chromium bandwagon" is false. Opera is using Webkit rendering engine for rendering. We dont know what the Javascript engine and JIT compiler is going to be.

    3. On page4, in "the average wait time" , you are taking the Geometric Mean. I think that using values less than 1 in a geometric mean is skewing the results. Can you take a Arithmetic Mean, and check please ?

    4. Memory usage reporting of IE9 and IE10 is completely bogus. For some workloads, in TaskManager, IE10 is seen using about 300MB memory, while it is actually using around 3GB RAM ! :O . My 4GB RAM is completely used up, and disk-paging starts occuring.

    5. I am completely mystified why quite a few browsers do better in JS benchmarks on Windows8 . I can understand getting better scores in WebGL or HW acceleration tests (because of potential better Dx) , but JavaScript execution does not use Dx. Any ideas ?
    Reply
  • alidan
    i wish we could get some older browsers in here to to see the difference newerones make.

    i personally am still on ff10, memory is really the reason i use fire fox, along with chrome. i would love to see how older versions stack up to newer ones.
    Reply
  • bison88
    Opera is definitely lagging, but a I love it to death. Hope the switch to the Webkit platform gives them the motivation to start leading some of the boards again as it's still a great browser. The memory problem can get absurd sometimes and builds up fast. I have to say IE 10 has shocked me just toying around with it on Windows 7. The thing is smooth and fast, something I haven't seen since the days when it dethroned Netscape.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy11. I am assuming that IE9 was included just to show improvements in IE10, and IE9 will be retired in the next WBGP2. " Opera jumps on-board the Chromium bandwagon" is false. Opera is using Webkit rendering engine for rendering. We dont know what the Javascript engine and JIT compiler is going to be.3. On page4, in "the average wait time" , you are taking the Geometric Mean. I think that using values less than 1 in a geometric mean is skewing the results. Can you take a Arithmetic Mean, and check please ?4. Memory usage reporting of IE9 and IE10 is completely bogus. For some workloads, in TaskManager, IE10 is seen using about 300MB memory, while it is actually using around 3GB RAM ! . My 4GB RAM is completely used up, and disk-paging starts occuring.5. I am completely mystified why quite a few browsers do better in JS benchmarks on Windows8 . I can understand getting better scores in WebGL or HW acceleration tests (because of potential better Dx) , but JavaScript execution does not use Dx. Any ideas ?1. Yup
    2. The press release mentioned "Chromium", so I'm assuming WebKit/V8.
    3. Yes, you're right! The last timers went by milliseconds, so that wasn't an issue - the replacement charts should appear soon. Good catch!
    4. It seems pretty reasonable to me, basically mirrors Chrome in this regard.
    5. Nope
    Reply
  • caspy7
    @mayankleoboy1
    #2, incorrect, they have said they're going with Chromium's V8.

    @alidan
    Mozilla saw the err of their ways and got after memory. The most recent version of Firefox should beat version 10 in both memory and performance. The last benchmarks I saw had it beating all the other browsers in memory usage as well. (In this article you can see a snapshot of this in the "40 tabs" graphic. Like many techies, this is more what my browsing looks like.)
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    adamovera1. Yup2. The press release mentioned "Chromium", so I'm assuming WebKit/V8.3. Yes, you're right! The last timers went by milliseconds, so that wasn't an issue - the replacement charts should appear soon. Good catch!4. It seems pretty reasonable to me, basically mirrors Chrome in this regard.5. Nope
    #2 : I must have forgotten the release. Thanks for the correction.
    #4 : I am not saying that IE10 uses excessive memory. I am saying that the total memory used by all the ieexplorer processes in the task manager is incorrect. For some image heavy pages, total memory usage of IE as reported by task manager is about 300MB, but total system memory usage gets around 3GB!. So if you close IE10, system memory goes from 90% full to 50% full.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    I currently use Firefox, Chrome, and IE 10. They each have their own advantages. Thanks for the write up. When can be expect the Android browser round up?
    Reply
  • xintox
    Really? I thought you were better than that at Toms.
    The composite hardware acceleration scores is most likely the main reason why IE9/10 is so far behind Firefox and Chrome on performane. Yet, from what I can tell, this composite score is heavily influenced by the WebGL scores, which is exclusive to Chrome and Firefox.
    In that respect, MS has at some point stated that they do not even wish to support WebGL, as it represents a significant security risk, as it gives the browser close access to the computer hardware.
    Long story short, your methods of calculating performance scores heavily favors Chrome and Firefox as they are the only ones to implement support for WebGL.

    Additionally, I wish you would make it more clear how you arrive at your composite scores and of course the final Performance Index. How do you add numbers that are so varied in nature, without some method of normalizing the numbers?
    Reply
  • srap
    @adamovera
    I heard that Futuremark Peacekeeper is unreliable, it used to miscalculate it's own benchmarks and it's still a black box so it may still be buggy. Do you know anything specific about it?
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    Nice to see IE9 AND IE10, as well as Win 7 AND Win8. But I am curious how the final scores were calculated, seeing how WebGL was only supported on 2 browsers, as well as how the other incompatible tests were scored. A 0 vs not including can make a good deal of difference.
    Reply