Web Browser Benchmark Results Comparison

These web browser comparison tests are always kind of interesting; it seems like just about every browser that was compared has both strengths and weaknesses …

I compared web browser benchmark results back in 2008. Illustrious browsers such as Google Chrome 1, Firefox 3.1, Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 or Opera 10 alpha were tested and compared. The results from back then are history, with the majority of tested web browser versions no longer available. Google for instance has recently released version 12 of the Chrome browser, Mozilla is closing in on Firefox 4 (which will apparently be released on March 22), Microsoft just released Internet Explorer 9 and Opera the first beta of Opera 11.10.

Time for a now Internet browser benchmark comparison. All benchmarks are run on a 64-bit Windows 7 Professional PC with an Intel Core i7 860 Ghz cpu, 8 Gigabytes of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 display adapter.

The following browsers have been included in the benchmark comparison:

The following benchmarks have been utilized:


Both Google Chrome versions are leading the HTML5 test. They are the only browser that reach a score higher than 300 on the test. Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 3.6.15 bring up the rear with scores below 200 points.

html5 test

The three browsers Safari, Google Chrome 12 and Opera 11.10 Beta manage to score 100 out of 100 points in the Acid 3 test. The remaining browsers all score more than 90 points, with Firefox 3.6.15 bringing up the rear with 94 points. It is a little surprising that the current Dev version of Google Chrome scores 96 points.

acid3 test benchmark

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 scores the best result in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. It took the browser 196.9 ms to complete the benchmark. Firefox 4 RC, Google Chrome and the Opera browsers all completed the benchmark in less than 235 milliseconds. Only Apple’s Safari with more than 300ms and Firefox 3.6.15 with more than 650ms scored considerably worse in the benchmark.

sunspider benchmark

The last benchmark, Microsoft’s IE Fishtank, benefits highly from hardware acceleration. All browsers with hardware acceleration ran the demonstration in 35 fps or more, with Internet Explorer 9 reaching the maximum of 60 fps.

Firefox 3, Opera 11 and Safari do not utilize hardware acceleration yet which explains the mediocre score of 2 respectively 3 fps in the benchmark. Opera Software did however release a special build of the browser not long ago that supports hardware acceleration. The test ran in 60fps in that version of the Opera web browser (see Opera Hardware Acceleration Demo Is Blazingly Fast).

ie fish tank

And here are all results in one chart. Red values indicate the lowest test result, green the highest.

web browser benchmark comparison

Click on the screenshot to see it in its original size.

Closing Words

Benchmarks are not everything, especially since all companies and developers have improved the speed and web standards support of their browsers significantly. Some of the benchmarks may increase in importance over time, the HTML5 benchmark for instance or the Fish Tank demo that benefits from hardware acceleration. They become more relevant when websites start implementing technologies on their websites that make use of those features.

Internet Explorer 9 and Google Chrome have the best scores in two of the four different benchmarks. The browser with the worst scoring is Firefox 3.6.15 which will soon be replaced on many systems with the upcoming Firefox 4 which scored significantly better in most benchmarks.

All browsers have improved significantly when looking back at the test results of the benchmarking test in 2008. Both Google Chrome and Firefox were the two only browsers that completed the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark in less than 1000ms. That’s almost five times as much as today’s browsers need.

© Martin Brinkmann for gHacks Technology News | Latest Tech News, Software And Tutorials, 2011. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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