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Firefox vs Chrome: Mozilla finally manages to trump Google on Windows in a decade old test


Last year, Neowin published a couple of review articles where we compared the performance and efficiency of various popular desktop browsers on Windows. While the second set of tests was looking at the efficiency of the browsers, the first one delved deep into the performance aspect using some appropriate synthetic benchmarks.

As mentioned before, the tests were conducted on Windows so you have to look elsewhere in case you are searching for browser comparisons on other operating systems, like say Linux or iOS. Speaking of that, Mozilla recently added a feather to its cap as Firefox has finally managed to surpass Google Chrome in the most recent SunSpider benchmark test on Windows 10 64-bit.

The performance data was posted by Mozilla's JavaScript team on the Are we fast yet website which keeps track of its browser's performance in JavaScript and how it compares to Chromium.

Firefox vs Chrome performance over last 60 days in SunSpider

The chart above (click to zoom in) suggests that Firefox was able to get ahead of Chrome over the last two months. The tests are run daily. The performance is being measured via execution time (in ms) and hence, the lower the plot points, the faster it is.

For those unaware, SunSpider is a synthetic benchmark designed to test JavaScript performance. First released in 2007 by WebKit, it is a legacy benchmark at the moment which was last updated in 2013 and has since been supplanted for about a decade by newer tests like Google's V8 and Octane. Hence, the victory, even though commendable, may not be highly relevant.

Firefox vs Chrome performance over last 60 days in JetStream 2

Meanwhile, in Apple's JetStream 2, which is another synthetic test for measuring JavaScript performance, Google's Chrome continues to outpace Firefox and the gap is almost as big as ever, though Firefox did gain very slightly.

Firefox vs Chrome performance over last 60 days in Speedometer

Finally, we have Speedometer, which also measures JavaScript throughput, among other things. In this metric, Firefox fell behind recently even though it had actually managed to catch up and slightly surpass Chrome prior to this.

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