Big browser comparison test: Internet Explorer vs. Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome - Update: Firefox 3.5 Final
PC Games Hardware tested the speed of the internet browsers Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Mozilla Firefox 2.0, 3.0.11 and 3.5b99, Opera 9.6 and 10, Safari 3.1.1 and 4.0, Chrome 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 with the benchmarks Peacekeeper and Sunspider and checked them with the Acid tests as well.
Websites become more and more complex and therefore requirements on good internet browsers constantly increase. Certainly a high level of usability and security are important as well but we focus on the pure speed of websites. We therefore use the benchmarks Futuremark Peacekeeper and Sunspider. For evaluating the performance both benchmark programs mainly use Java scripts. In order to stay abreast of current changes we compiled a new comparison test of different versions and manufacturers.
Browser test: System and browser selection
For the comparison test we used the Internet Explorer in version 6,7 and 8. Most of our readers use Firefox in the current version 3.0.11 - for comparison reasons we also included the old version 2.0 and the new beta version 3.5b99. of course Opera 9.6 and Opera 10 Beta were tested, too. We also tested the newcomers in the Windows browser segment delivered by Apple and Google: Safari 3.22 and 4 as well as Chrome 1.0 and 2.0. We run the browsers on a Windows XP x86 SP3 system with a Core 2 Duo E8500 (4 GHz), 6 GiByte RAM and a Geforce GTX 280 OC.
All results are summed up in clearly arranged benchmark tables - overall results of Sunspider and Peacekeeper as well as the stand-alone tests which considerably differ in parts.
Those are the overall results of Sunspider and Peacekeeper which present a considerable difference between the individual versions but also between the browsers of different manufacturers.
Below you can also see the benchmark results for the individual stand-alone tests.
The test Complex Graphics of Peacekeeper is based upon Canvas, an element of the markup language HTML which regrettably is not supported by the Internet Explorer - therefore 0 points for all three versions.
At the end of our tests we added the Acid tests 1 to 3. The table shows if the different browsers passed the rendering tests - only the Acid Test 3 delivers a point value.
|Acid Test 1||Acid Test 2||Acid Test 3||Acid Test 3|
|Firefox 3.5 Final||yes||yes||no||93/100|
|Google Chrome 184.108.40.206||yes||yes||no||79/100|
|Google Chrome 220.127.116.11||yes||yes||no||100/100|
|Google Chrome 18.104.22.168||yes||yes||no||99/100|
|Internet Explorer 6.0.299.331||yes||no||no||12/100|
|Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.13||yes||no||no||11/100|
|Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18702||yes||yes||no||12/100|
|Opera 10.00 Beta Build 1551||yes||yes||yes||100/100|
|Opera 9.64 Build 10487||yes||yes||no||85/100|
|Safari 3.1.1 Build 525.17||yes||yes||no||75/100|
|Safari 4.0 Build 530.17||yes||yes||yes||100/100|
Update: July 3, 2009
Since Mozilla has recently released to final version of Firefox 3.5, we have updated our comparison with results for the new browser: All in all the 3.5 final was able to reach slightly better results than the 3.5b99 Beta. But as the Acid tests are regarded, everything stays the same.
Conclusion: Internet browser test
In his blog Daniel Melanchthon (Technical Evangelist Microsoft) points out that "Mikrobenchmarks” such as Sunspider are not suitable for a general evaluation of webbrowser performances. We basically agree. However, our test is not a "general evaluation”. In fact our comparison test is supposed to show the performance discrepancies concerning the benchmarks Futuremark Peacekeeper and Sunspider. And both benchmarks reveal considerable weaknesses of Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Though Internet Explorer 8 has caught up, it is still on the lower positions. The new Firefox 3.5, here in the beta version 3.5b99, is doing pleasantly well.
More interesting articles about browsers:
• Firefox: Version 3.0.11 fixes several security vulnerabilities
• Internet Explorer 8 ready for download
• Google's Browser Chrome 2.0 now available for download
• Opera 9.5 is ready to go
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