HTML5 speed test: Firefox 3.7 narrowly beats IE9, Chrome 6 is dead last

Yesterday, Microsoft released the third platform preview of Internet Explorer 9. Nearing it's first beta, IE9 shows a lot of hope and promise for the future of Microsoft's place in the browser wars. Touting its new HTML5 support and better JavaScript engine, IE9 is able to utilize hardware acceleration to deliver a smooth and stellar experience in the browser. As seen in tests, IE9's rendering engine really pushes for overall browser supremacy. This is great news considering the lack of standards, speed, and overall look and feel of previous versions of the world's most dominant browser.

However, let's not forget the other browsers out there. Download Squad decided to do a browser face-off. In a four-way HTML5 speed test between IE9, Firefox 3.7, Chrome 6, and an unspecified version of Opera (probably the latest), Microsoft's latest platform preview held its own. In fact, it was only narrowly beaten out by Firefox (by about 5%). Not only did IE9 and Firefox 3.7 outperform the other browsers by leaps and bounds, both of them also used the least amount of CPU in doing it. Chrome 6 wasn't able to keep up at all. Apparently it doesn't support full-fledged hardware acceleration, yet. Opera performed well for most of the test, but eventually, it wasn't able to keep up.

Keep in mind that these browsers are still in early testing phases (Opera excluded). Many improvements will be made before the browsers actually come to market. With all these improvements being made in attempts to win the browser wars, end-users only have what to gain.

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How about the effects of H/A on functionality being used today. Aren't they using H/A to improve JavaScript performance?! If yes, then this would make a relevant test.

arcane47 said,
"Opera, I don't know which version it is. Does any one care which version it is?"
LOL

What was the point of adding Opera to the competition anyway? And as people said here before, Opera doesn't have any hardware acceleration what so ever.

ie will always try to claim that it is the best but ms exaxerates the tests 10 fold while the others do not. html5 is still in it's infancy so it will take time to iron out the bugs so until then we are stuck with flash crap.

soldier1st said,
ie will always try to claim that it is the best but ms exaxerates the tests 10 fold while the others do not. html5 is still in it's infancy so it will take time to iron out the bugs so until then we are stuck with flash crap.

If that's true, it should be easy for you to do your own test and upload it to youtube. *crickets chirping* yeah that's what I thought, damn you can't admit MS did a good thing even when they do do a good thing? That's sad. Besides this test wasn't done by MS.

i dunno lknow why we are making a big deal about it by the time HTML 5 is standardized we wont be using firefox 4, IE 9, opera 10 or chrome 6

The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) started work on the specification in June 2004 under the name Web Applications 1.0.[1] As of March 2010[update], the specification is in the Draft Standard state at the WHATWG, and in Working Draft state at the W3C. Ian Hickson of Google, Inc. is the editor of HTML5.[2]

The HTML5 specification was adopted as the starting point of the work of the new HTML working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 2007. This working group published the First Public Working Draft of the specification on January 22, 2008.[3] The specification is an ongoing work, and is expected to remain so for many years, although parts of HTML5 are going to be finished and implemented in browsers before the whole specification reaches final Recommendation status.[4]

According to the W3C timetable, it is estimated that HTML5 will reach W3C Recommendation by late 2010. However, the First Public Working Draft estimate was missed by 8 months, and Last Call and Candidate Recommendation were expected to be reached in 2008,[5] but as of May 2010[update] HTML5 is still at Working Draft stage in the W3C.[6] HTML5 has been at Last Call in the WHATWG since October 2009.[7]

Ian Hickson, editor of the HTML5 specification, expects the specification to reach the Candidate Recommendation stage during 2012, and become a W3C Recommendation in the year 2022 or later.[8] However, many parts of the specification are stable and may be implemented in products:

CrossCheck said,
i dunno lknow why we are making a big deal about it by the time HTML 5 is standardized we wont be using firefox 4, IE 9, opera 10 or chrome 6

was he being serious or merely expressing disgust with the delays and problems in the whole procedure? ... I seem to remember people saying the same thing about WiFi N but it was fully ratified this year as scheduled (some people were saying it would be 10+ years or never happen at all).

nullie said,
was he being serious or merely expressing disgust with the delays and problems in the whole procedure? ... I seem to remember people saying the same thing about WiFi N but it was fully ratified this year as scheduled (some people were saying it would be 10+ years or never happen at all).

i was just going off what Hickson said the working draft for HTML5 isn't expected to finished till approx 2012, and possibly made a W3C standard til 2022 or later. so by by the time it is standard we definitely know by then we wont be using FF 3.7, IE9, Chrome 6 or opera. so we are basically making a big deal about HTML5 for nothing. i wanna know which browser is fastest when it becomes standard(HTML5), not when it is in testing

CrossCheck said,
so we are basically making a big deal about HTML5 for nothing. i wanna know which browser is fastest when it becomes standard(HTML5), not when it is in testing
No we aren't. You should read up on W3C standards, and the length of time it takes to ratify. Pre-ratification doesn't really mean it's "in testing". It is quite possible and reasonable for browsers to already be implementing large swathes of HTML5 safely and successfully.

Elliott said,
Good thing HTML5 performance is defined by Canvas, because we all know Canvas = HTML5 just like Video = HTML5.
yeah, canvas draws a pixel? done and done!

Elliott said,
Good thing HTML5 performance is defined by Canvas, because we all know Canvas = HTML5 just like Video = HTML5.

I have to agree, it was silly of the article author to just choose this one test. There are several other tests available even at the IE9 site that showcase virtually every aspect of HTML5.

Firefox with H/A takes a mighty nosedive on many of the tests in rendering quality and performance in comparison to IE9.

Drawing to canvas is one of the easier H/A features to implement, which is why the other tests are just as if not more important than the generic Canvas.

For now Opera, has been able to display full HTML5 components regarding the <canvas> tags and much more, it only lacks video. It has done very well on displaying the HTML roulette and much more.

As long as IE 9 and the new FireFox keep up with one another it will be a good thing. Since IE 9 will only be available to Vista & Win7 users, FireFox should be able to fill the void for those still using XP. Good development happening here on all levels.

Glen said,
As long as IE 9 and the new FireFox keep up with one another it will be a good thing. Since IE 9 will only be available to Vista & Win7 users, FireFox should be able to fill the void for those still using XP. Good development happening here on all levels.

D2D/DW acceleration are not available with firefox 4 in xp
it will come to point when they drop support for xp

Benchmarking a pre-release browser with an incomplete standard is totally pointless. Show me the results in the real world (with everyday websites) when everything is finalized. Then I'll be impressed.

bjoswald said,
Benchmarking a pre-release browser with an incomplete standard is totally pointless. Show me the results in the real world (with everyday websites) when everything is finalized. Then I'll be impressed.

Then admiring development of IE9 is pointless ,you can't use it for daily purposes!

bjoswald said,
Benchmarking a pre-release browser with an incomplete standard is totally pointless. Show me the results in the real world (with everyday websites) when everything is finalized. Then I'll be impressed.

Then admiring development of IE9 is pointless ,you can't use it for daily purposes!

bogas04 said,
If the browsers depend on hardware , then won't they tend to have same performance ?

No, I mean look at games, they use the same hardware but do they all perform the same?

Chrome doesn't have any Hardware acceleration enabled at the moment... There is one or two command switches that can use some hardware acceleration, but they are extremely experimental and buggy.

As a web designer :if a feature is not widely supported then, no matter how worthy or fancy is the new feature, we (web designer) don't use it.
So, the comparison of who is faster with html5, at this point,is really pointless.

Magallanes said,
As a web designer :if a feature is not widely supported then, no matter how worthy or fancy is the new feature, we (web designer) don't use it.
So, the comparison of who is faster with html5, at this point,is really pointless.
As a web designer :if a feature is not widely supported then, no matter how unworthy or ugly is the feature, we (web designer) use it when needed.
So, the comparison of who is faster with html4, at this point,is really pointless.

The comparison of FF and IE9 in this scenario is poor. I mean obviously these two browsers are the winners so far however you cant rely on task manager to measure the performance of any software nor a diffrence of 1 FPS is consider a major win. Also, each browser should be tested separately.

AJC. said,
Chrome seems to lag a lot using Flash. YouTube crashes almost everyday.

Sounds like you have a flash issue... I have had ZERO issues with Chrome and Flash.

vaximily said,

Sounds like you have a flash issue... I have had ZERO issues with Chrome and Flash.


scroll up and down a few times when watching videos on youtube or playing games at armorgames
i have a broken flash in any chrome i use on all 3 systems.

Northgrove said,
This isn't about HTML5, this is about hardware acceleration?

Yeah but with what are they testing hardware acceleration? HTML5.

Firefox is going to do even better in speed tests once layering is landed in beta 2.

But Microsoft should also be really proud of the work that they've done. I'd like to see them supporting elements like <header> and <section>, though.

This is not a smart test because you have four processes competing for the CPU when they all may be trying to use the CPU to display the graphics to various degrees. A better test would be to run each test standalone so you don't have the CPU scheduler determining the winner.

With that said, it's clear that IE9 and Firefox 3.7 are using GPU acceleration intelligently based on the fact that they're still running with the 1,000 fish on-screen as Chrome and Opera fail, but I would be interested to see their actual peak performance.

Great news for IE users such as myself! IE 9 FTW - hopefully this time IE will really reinvent itself to some larger degree.

MistaT40 said,
Great news for IE users such as myself! IE 9 FTW - hopefully this time IE will really reinvent itself to some larger degree.

Not without a TRUE ad blocker it won't. lol

Tanoru said,
At least Chrome still looks the best.

Chrome is an ugly brick of a browser. Chrome reminds me of the shoe a person with one leg shorter than the other wears.

solardog said,

Chrome is an ugly brick of a browser. Chrome reminds me of the shoe a person with one leg shorter than the other wears.

LOL...I agree - I don't think Chrome looks that good - but personal opinion.

MistaT40 said,

LOL...I agree - I don't think Chrome looks that good - but personal opinion.

i too agree , especially the new grey look sukcs

Interesting. But I think a more accurate test would be of final releases... I guess we'll just have to see what happens when they ship...

M_Lyons10 said,
Interesting. But I think a more accurate test would be of final releases... I guess we'll just have to see what happens when they ship...

There will never be a SAME day for final releases... one will releas eit later and you will brag about the dev and alphas the others got which are better. so yeah, the comparison here is fair.

This is just one test of many, although a nice slick looking one.

If you were to use other benchmarks (Peacekeeper being one example) both IE9 and Firefox aren't up there quite yet.

Not really a good test to have them all running at the same time... some of the performance difference could be related to number of threads, priorities, how well the GPU is shared, etc.

With it being all run at once one could surmise that IE9 is just better at sharing resources than Firefox...

HW acceleration APIs are there in Windows 7 for developers to use them.
Although, IE9 is completely rewritten from GDI -> DirectX and can natively accelerate any piece of code through GPU. Clearly winner.

Panda X said,
I was kind of surprised to see how bad Chrome did.

This version of Chrome is not fully enhanced with hardware accelaration as Firefox and Internet Explorer

Tolisss said,

This version of Chrome is not fully enhanced with hardware accelaration as Firefox and Internet Explorer

Does "this version" imply there is one with hardware accel?

Panda X said,

Does "this version" imply there is one with hardware accel?

This implies that they are still working on that. We don't want something to be releashed in a hurry, let them take their time.

Tolisss said,
This version of Chrome is not fully enhanced with hardware accelaration as Firefox and Internet Explorer

Not to mention Chrome 6 is only available in the Dev channel, so it's probably not going to be the most stable and fine-tuned beast... I'd be interested to see what 5 does.

Although like you mentioned, without full hardware acceleration, the results aren't surprising.

Tolisss said,

This implies that they are still working on that. We don't want something to be releashed in a hurry, let them take their time.

Ah ok.

vaximily said,

Not to mention Chrome 6 is only available in the Dev channel, so it's probably not going to be the most stable and fine-tuned beast...


The versions used of all browsers are preview builds/alpha/dev chan.

Tolisss said,

This version of Chrome is not fully enhanced with hardware accelaration as Firefox and Internet Explorer


Still, if all are the most recent versions it's a fair comparison, the point is compare who does the best currently not who does the best when they are all equal, if chrome falls behind that's their problem

vaximily said,
I'd be interested to see what 5 does.
I got a stable 4 FPS. Oddly, it was about the same no matter how many fish I displayed.

Yakuzing said,

The versions used of all browsers are preview builds/alpha/dev chan.

I believe (and I may be mistaken here) that IE / Firefox / Opera were all tested at the Beta level, while Chrome 6 is dev and considered Alpha level while Chrome 5 is the current Beta level.

vaximily said,

I believe (and I may be mistaken here) that IE / Firefox / Opera were all tested at the Beta level, while Chrome 6 is dev and considered Alpha level while Chrome 5 is the current Beta level.

IE PPs are considered equivalent to alpha. Usually when IE hits Beta it clearly says "Beta version"

vaximily said,
Chrome 5 is the current Beta level.
Chrome 5 is the current, and primary, stable release. It is not their beta client.

/- Razorfold said,
Chrome 6 and Opera do not have hardware acceleration. Firefox and IE9 do.

What a truly shocking result

Chrome and Opera both have some form of hardware acceleration. It's just not FULL support.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
Chrome and Opera both have some form of hardware acceleration. It's just not FULL support.

They have implemented some, not all Direct2D and Directdraw APIs. IE9 is another story. It's completely using GPU the way Games are using it.

manosdoc said,

They have implemented some, not all Direct2D and Directdraw APIs. IE9 is another story. It's completely using GPU the way Games are using it.

Opera doesn't use Direct2D or Directdraw - they use their own cross platform Graphics library "Vega", which is currently only software accelerated. Not sure about Chrome, but there's very little *working* hardware acceleration support in it at the moment.

Still, whether it's there or not IE 9 & Firefox are faster, and that's what matters I guess (:

manosdoc said,
They have implemented some, not all Direct2D and Directdraw APIs. IE9 is another story. It's completely using GPU the way Games are using it.

You are completely wrong. There is no hardware acceleration in Opera whatsoever.

Opera does not have hardware acceleration. Yet. However, this is a great testimony to how fast Opera is, even without hardware acceleration.

jedrzej said,
Opera does not have hardware acceleration. Yet. However, this is a great testimony to how fast Opera is, even without hardware acceleration.
I believe Opera does support some form of hardware acceleration.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
I believe Opera does support some form of hardware acceleration.

http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/12/22/
(Check under Vega) - Opera at the moment has no hardware acceleration at all, everything is software accelerated, (though brilliantly optimised). Their back end does support them adding in hardware acceleration though, and it'll probably come with their next major release (v11).

jedrzej said,
Opera does not have hardware acceleration. Yet. However, this is a great testimony to how fast Opera is, even without hardware acceleration.

Apologetic much?

thenonhacker said,

Apologetic much?

In what way? He has a good point - it's bloody quick for software-only rendering whichever way you look at it

Same test on my computer however, and Firefox falters at 1000 fish, hitting around 37FPS (Yes, with hardware acceleration on). IE 9 stays at a smooth 60FPS even with 1000 fish - maybe its dependent on our graphics cards...?

~Johnny said,
Same test on my computer however, and Firefox falters at 1000 fish, hitting around 37FPS (Yes, with hardware acceleration on). IE 9 stays at a smooth 60FPS even with 1000 fish - maybe its dependent on our graphics cards...?
Some here, Firefox falls far behind of IE9. Obviously downloadsquad has got a very very slow old CPU, so he is getting CPU bottleneck.

I get 20 fps with Firefox at 1920x916 and 60 fps in IE9 at 1920x976. Firefox loads CPU at 25%, IE loads it at 7%. Intel Core Q9550 @3,4GHz.

With 500 fishes IE falls down to 53 fps, Firefox makes my CPU stuck, but with just 3 fps.

Edited by coth, Jun 24 2010, 4:25pm :

still1 said,
How do i turn on chrome hardware acceleration?

"Chrome 6 wasn't able to keep up at all. Apparently it doesn't support full-fledged hardware acceleration, yet."