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By the Numbers: the Fastest Browser

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BajiRav    2,119

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The Internet has always been about getting to the information you need faster than you could in any other way. Now it's also about and working with Web-based apps playing games that you want to be as responsive as your desktop programs. Google's Chrome browser became a favorite among many primarily because of its speed?speed of installation, startup, page loading, and running Web applications. This last relies primarily on a browser's JavaScript performance, and initially Chrome trounced competing browsers like Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox in JavaScript benchmarks.

But the other browser makers haven't sat idle. They rebuilt, optimized, and generally revved up their JavaScript engines to the point that on the most cited JavaScript benchmark, Webkit's SunSpider, all of the most popular browsers have gotten within spitting distance of each other. The advances are pretty remarkable if you look back: When I first tested IE7 on Sunspider in, it completed the benchmark in a whopping 47,119ms, compared with the contemporaneous version of Chrome's 749ms. Internet Explorer 8 was much slower, too, at 9015ms. But with IE9 and IE10, this enormous margin has been erased.

But there are now more thorough JavaScript benchmarks, and other important measures of speed deserve consideration, too. With IE9, Microsoft introduced the concept of hardware acceleration?using your PC's graphics card to speed up browser functions. Another important consideration is how long it takes for the browser to get going in the first place. For this speed comparison of browsers, we'll look at performance as measured by four criteria:

  • Startup time, both cold (after a PC reboot) and warm (after the browser has already been running)
  • JavaScript benchmarks (SunSpider, Mozilla Kraken, Google V8)
  • Hardware acceleration tests
  • Independent studies of page loading performance

For the JavaScript benchmarks, I tested on a laptop with 2.53 GHz dual-core CPU and 3GB RAM running 32-bit Windows 7 Professional. Each benchmark was run at least five times, with the best and worst score thrown out before averaging results. For all tests, I shut down all non-essential processes from Task Manager.

Pretty much matches my own experience that IE9/10 and Firefox are not slower than Chrome (might shock some webkit Chrome fans)

post-62693-0-70598500-1357582480.jpg

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vcfan    2,337

yup,pretty much common knowledge lately. IE10 is the fastest out there. Its also the best.

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Lord Method Man    1,613

But, but, but but... but WebGL!!!!11

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f0rk_b0mb    698

IE10 is fast, but I hate how the scroll bar looks in Windows 7. I'll stick with Chrome--I like how easy it is to sync bookmarks my with my nexus 7, adblock plus, etc. :)

Edit: When is the final version of IE10 going to drop for W7?

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Growled    3,880

I find all of the pretty much the same. I use Chrome because I like it better.

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