A new era of browser speed
By Joseph D. Lienjdlien. Thursday, February 11, 2010 7:59:00 AM
There are many ways you can measure browser speed so I have assembled some of the more popular tests. The graph below demonstrates that Opera 10.50 beta is faster than other browsers in most performance tests.
How can you tell which browser is really the fastest? Below are the details of the tests performed, and how to try them yourself. Please post your results in the comments and see the results your computer gets.
You can try each of these tests simply by visiting the preceding links (with the browser you wish to test) and following the instructions.
We ran four tests using a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with 4GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT, running Windows 7 32-bit. The browsers used were Opera 10.50 beta, Google Chrome 18.104.22.168, Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. Here is a description of the tests and the results.
Opera 10.50 is clearly the fastest browser in Sunspider, and outperforms Google Chrome by a healthy margin.
Dromaeo is a test created by Mozilla, named after the Dromaeosaurs (meaning 'fast lizard'). It is currently considered a work in progress. It tests a subset of the tests that Sunspider uses, and it can also test DOM and CSS selector speed. We tested with the 'recommended' test that leaves out the CSS selector engine tests.
Opera excels and bests other browsers in Dromaeo. Internet Explorer 8 failed the Dromaeo test on our test platform each time we attempted running it, so we were not able to include a result for Microsoft's offering.
Opera performs very well on this test, but is behind Chrome, which was heavily optimized for this specific test.
Peacekeeper from FutureMark tests a number of aspects of browser performance, emphasizing the kinds of work browsers do in loading popular Web sites like YouTube, Facebook, and GMail. These tests are: Rendering, Social networking, Complex graphics, Data, DOM operations and Text parsing.
You can find more information about each test in Futuremark's Peacekeeper FAQ.
In Peacekeeper, Opera bests the competition in the Social networking and Text parsing tests, but trails slightly behind in some other tests. Opera 10.50 excels in Complex graphics, and is vastly faster than its closest competitors, but this is not normally taken into account because Internet Explorer 8 does not support it. With that test accounted for in the results, Opera is clearly superior, as can be seen in the graph below.
Browser performance will become an increasingly important factor in the experience of computing and it is important to continue to push the boundaries as developers create more demanding applications – so the race is far from over!
We believe that the improvements made in Opera are already offer a browsing experience that makes Opera the fastest browser on Earth, and the exciting part – we aren't finished yet. Opera 10.50 is merely in beta, and there may be performance improvements to come before Opera 10.50 is finalized. Feel free to try the Opera 10.50 beta for yourself and discover the speed that it offers.