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The Latest Web Browser Grand Prix 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the render-fast-turn-left dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The latest browser benchmarks are in... again. This is one of the better 'browser battle' articles, though. Chrome 13, Firefox 6, IE9, Opera 11.50, and Safari 5.1 are put through 40-some tests on both Windows 7 and Mac OS X Lion. As a PC guy, I was pretty impressed with the performance of Safari on OS X, and the reader feature looks awesome too. The author also uncovered a nasty Catalyst bug that makes IE9 render pages improperly and freeze up under heavy loads of tabs. The tables at the end pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each browser, which is nicer than a 1-10 or star rating. The tests are more thorough than most browser comparisons I've seen."
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The Latest Web Browser Grand Prix

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  • Noscript? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There is only one important question; Does it run Noscript?

  • Am I going to have to read the article to find out who won?

    Actually, it doesn't matter: Only one of them runs adblock and noscript...'nuff said.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it's an advert for views from toms hw, so the article is laid over 17 pages. chrome "won" on windows and safari on osx.

      i'm going to say again that the reason why google created chrome was to get a browser that doesn't have adblock for googleads by default. the 40 tabs test is stuuuupid, I reckon it just tests if the browser does some lazy loading or not.

      • Re:So who won? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by beelsebob (529313) on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:15AM (#37240604)

        http://chromeadblock.com/ [chromeadblock.com]
        http://safariadblock.com/ [safariadblock.com]

        Yep, definitely no adblock there.

        • by nschubach (922175)

          I haven't read up on it lately, but I thought the chrome adblock would not prevent the ad from being requested/downloaded. It would only hide it.

          • by cain (14472)

            From the Adblock Chrome website:

            New in version 2.0: Ads are blocked from downloading, instead of just being removed after the fact!

      • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

        it's an advert for views from toms hw, so the article is laid over 17 pages

        No shit. And then it pissed me off even more when I discovered that you have to register to get the printer version.

        • by wsxyz (543068)
          If you just jump to page 3 of the 17-page extravaganza, they talk about Safari's "Reader" feature, that strips out all of the ads and combines all of the click-through pages into one document. It works great on TH's own article.
          • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

            Yeah, I liked that little bit of irony too. Although I'm sure it still didn't strip out any of the fully unnecessary screenshots. I don't need to see his desktop, much less on Windows and OS X.

            and combines all of the click-through pages into one document

            Does it really? I was under the impression it just stripped out the ads.

            • by macshome (818789)
              Yes, it combines everything into one long document as well if it can. I used to to scroll through TFA.
    • by Dyinobal (1427207)
      Weird I seem to have Adblock and NoScript on Chrome, and on Firefox as well.
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Does the AdBlock really work yet or does it just hide the images once they've downloaded?

        • by Dyinobal (1427207)
          No idea, but I don't see the ads so I it seems to function just fine regardless of what method it uses.
          • by nschubach (922175)

            Part of the point of blocking ads is loading performance and privacy.

          • by tepples (727027)

            I don't see the ads so I it seems to function just fine regardless of what method it uses.

            If you were on a 5 GB per month Internet plan, you'd probably care more.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      What, you mean Safari? I'm running both adblock, and a JS blocker there.... 'nuff said.

    • by Sporkinum (655143)

      Not only that, Firefox has decent cookie management as well. Nothing else compares for the whole package.

      Obviously IE and Chrome don't want to do that, as it cuts into ad revenue. It doesn't make much difference though, as most users go with browser defaults anyway.

    • by Jaktar (975138)

      Yeah, Opera only runs Adblock and Notscript (not a typo). That's too bad, as it's totally not noscript....hey wait a minute..

      Nuff said?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously, not a single clue in TFS tells you that the submitter is the author of TFA ...
    • If thats the case then the author was deceptive how they posted the summary, then again, who would read an article in full and post the results other than the author of said article, so i guess in was kind of a give away :P
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:02AM (#37240484)

    Safari 5.1 on OS X on my 2.26ghz C2D laptop starts up, loads, renders and navigates pages notably faster than any other browser does on my unburdened Win7/64-system that runs a 3ghz C2D. While there is a thing or two that makes me prefer Chrome, Safari under OS X is definitely the absolutely fastest and swiftest browsing experience around.

  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:06AM (#37240510) Homepage Journal

    Windows 7:
    1. Chrome
    2. Firefox
    3. IE9
    4. Opera
    5. Safari

    MacOS (Lion):
    1. Safari
    2. Chrome
    3. Opera
    4. Firefox

    Safari on MacOS is almost as fast as Firefox on Win7.

    • Its "interesting" to see that browsers are struggling to be as fast as windows on osx.
      of course, linux on all tests is missing which is a shame

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Chrome has odd performance issues on Windows 7. It seems to be related to Javascript and causes slow scrolling in heavy apps like Gmail, Google image search and Google Reader. These kinds of benchmarks don't show deal breaking problems like that. If reading RSS feeds wasn't so painful in Chrome I'd switch.

      You would expect Google Chrome to work very well with Google apps, but I guess not.

  • Honestly, do so many people have such a slow computer that they have to care for such minor speed differences?

    I use Firefox because it has so many extensions and plugins. With just a few additional Firefox extensions installed I'm able to run TOR at the click of a button, block Flash selectively, block referer URLs, block Javascript selectively, block "Like" buttons and crap like that, delete cookies and Flash cookies, block Google analytics, control SSL certificates and being warned of bogus ones, and so o

    • Honestly, do so many people have such a slow computer that they have to care for such minor speed differences?

      Seriously. I just switched from a 95 watt Phenom II x4 to a 45 watt Athlon II x2 because I wanted a quieter computer that wasn't warm to the touch.
      As it turns out, it's not only less wasteful but I can't even discern any performance decrease.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I suspect these speed differences are in support of ad supported web sites. Something like /. renderes quickly as long as the google ad servers are responding. Something like the NYT renders quickly in my browser, but I suspect that is because Flash is turned off.

      If browsers are fast, and don't consume many resources, the user will let the ads run. If the browsers are slow, then users will begin to figure out how to fix the problem, perhaps by blocking ads. It is any wonder why Chrome and Safari are f

      • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

        Yeah, I rather enjoyed the graph for page load time labelled "lower scores are better" with Tom's Hardware coming in dead last. I don't think that's what they meant to show by that particular test, but it was amusing.

    • Honestly, do so many people have such a slow computer that they have to care for such minor speed differences?

      Netbooks? Nettops?

      I use Firefox because it has so many extensions and plugins. With just a few additional Firefox extensions installed I'm able to run TOR at the click of a button, block Flash selectively, block referer URLs, block Javascript selectively, block "Like" buttons and crap like that, delete cookies and Flash cookies, block Google analytics, control SSL certificates and being warned of bogus ones, and so on. Unfortunately, such functions and tools are essential nowadays. Not to speak with all the non-privacy related plugins available.

      Similar plugins are available for other browsers. I'm not sure if the list is as extensive, but blocking JS and ads is certainly there.

      And, frankly, 99% of users only care about blocking ads. The rest on your list is geek-centric.

  • by pknoll (215959) <slashdot.pk@grape f i s h . o rg> on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:15AM (#37240602)
    is that it works on Tom's Hardware articles.
  • No Linux? Bah. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serbianheretic (1108833) on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:27AM (#37240694)
    No testing under Linux ... like it is 1999. And this is on supposedly geek site? Meh.
    • Exactly. Plus with Opera getting beat by both Firefox and IE9 on Win7 I call bullshit.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      And much like 1999, the Linux web browsing desktop has less than 1% market share. There's absolutely no imaginary numbers of hidden users you could pull up that would make them more significant in a browser test. There was a time when I wanted to see a trend, but it's not there so you can't really call them up and coming either. Of course it hurts here on slashdot but the truth is pretty plain to see.

      • by Intropy (2009018)
        The latest numbers I saw at Gartner had Linux at about a 2% market share. Compare that with OSX's 4%.
        • by Kjella (173770)

          The latest numbers I saw at Gartner had Linux at about a 2% market share. Compare that with OSX's 4%.

          Source please.
          Hitslink [hitslink.com]: 0,91% vs 5,61%
          Statcounter [statcounter.com]: 0.77% vs 6.27%

          If you saw anything like 2%, it probably includes Android which has somewhat over 1% of the browser market, most of which use the built in browser. At least "What's the best browser for an Android phone?" is a completely different test...

      • by dudpixel (1429789)

        Who cares about market share? Its a geek site, so linux is not outside their scope by any stretch of the imagination. OSX only has 9-10% doesn't it? and yet they include that without any quibble about market share.

        It appears they did include linux in earlier benchmarks (this article is Web Browser Grand Prix 6, and there were 5 others before it).

        I'd say the complaint about linux missing is valid...however I'd say they would have used ubuntu due to its popularity and maybe the linux crowd would still complai

      • by jaminJay (1198469)
        Market share is slowly trending up in an ever-expanding market. 1% is still many millions of users. It's not as though the results would be that much different, causing people to flood to the platform, surely?
    • by bigpet (1695756)

      Here's the thing with making benchmarks under Linux:
      People will have something against your methodology no matter what. "X is faster than Y under windowing toolkit Z" or "No wonder X beat Y when you didn't even install kernel patch Z" or "You better retest this on kernel version X because Y is known to ..."

      Sure you can give ballpark estimations on a specific setup but that's about it.

      • I can't believe that a site like Tom's Hardware is scared of a little criticism. And it seems obvious that you would do the benchmark on the current Ubuntu release, if only because of its relative popularity.

        Any of these systems can be tweaked, not just Linux; if that was an argument, then no-one would ever benchmark anything.

  • by Urza9814 (883915) on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:36AM (#37240778)

    Firefox 6? C'mon! I'm already on Firefox 7! Oh wait, hang on, there's an update for Firefox 8 now. Or should I go with 9 beta? Eh, 10 should be released tomorrow, right?

  • Every one of these features is completely unique to Safari for Mac. ... Like Lion itself, Safari 5.1 supports several multitouch gestures ... Swiping upward with two fingers causes the page to scroll down. Likewise, swiping downward with two fingers scrolls the page up. ... Using the same two-finger swipe as the scroll gesture, performed left and right, controls navigation. Swiping two fingers to the right navigates to the previous page in your history, and swiping left moves forward.

    That's complete bull. My HP laptop supports multitouch gestures just fine, with the exception of the Mac's gestures all being exactly backward. Swiping with two fingers scrolls (in any of the 4 directions, not just vertically). Swiping with three fingers navigates forward/back.

  • Chrome just has terrible page rendering performance. Firefox scrolls so much smoother.

    The best comparison is google image search. Chrome can not even scroll google's own image search smoothly. Firefox does it as smooth as butter. Chrome also scrolls bing's image search poorly as well. Firefox wins in rendering performance.

    Even the fish bowl test shows firefox is far better at rendering.

  • As usual, benchmarks are quite broken.
    I can understand when you get a few FPS on a graphic card but.. lets take startup time..
    0.8s vs 1.1s and the bar is like so much bigger, while in reality this makes almost no difference.

    Then again, testing stuff such as acid3 (which will never be implemented in some browsers to reach 100% because of things the acid3 did not foresee) or memory release wrongly (per process model is forced to release all the memory, threaded models keep a lot in the cache)

    there's many othe

  • I use a process of elimination starting with the most important.

    I want to know if the browser is usable on any machine I use. Firefox, Chrome, Opera.
    I want to know if the browser is capable of displaying content I access without extensions. Firefox, Opera.
    I want to know if the browser is capable of protecting me from certain content. Firefox, Opera
    I want to know if I can enhance the browsers abilities. Firefox

    • by Ksevio (865461)
      You can create extensions for Opera these days (as well as the user javascript and CSS files), so unless you're modifying the source of the layout engine and building your own, then It looks like your final category still has Firefox and Opera.
      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        I was really meaning something deeper in but I didn't know they had extensions. If you use XMLRPC to enhance SVG Opera thinks your displaying an animated image and spins continuously. It also doesn't handle cursor assignments when you "use" "symbols". Neither imposition is worth them fixing any time soon.

        For example, the code below moves an image of an arrow to a specific position in an SVG based interface. When displayed by Opera, the cursor doesn't change to the pointer.
        Note, I had to remove the grea

        • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

          Note, I had to remove the greater signs for the code to display on /. It would be nice if there was a [code] tag.

          Slashdot allows you to format your posts with HTML. Use &lt; for <. And you removed the less-than signs, not the greater signs.

    • by dudpixel (1429789)

      I use a process of elimination starting with the most important.

      I want to know if the browser is usable on any machine I use. Firefox, Chrome, Opera.
      I want to know if the browser is capable of displaying content I access without extensions. Firefox, Opera.
      I want to know if the browser is capable of protecting me from certain content. Firefox, Opera
      I want to know if I can enhance the browsers abilities. Firefox

      this seems a bit inconsistent don't you think?

      Surely criteria #4 makes #2 irrelevant, if #4 satisfies #2 (minus the "without extensions" bogus requirement).

      It reads like you actually started with Firefox as your answer and then constructed the criteria afterwards...

      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        If you look at it you will see it is ordered by work. It starts with "can I install it and be on my way" and ends with "will I have to rewrite base code to get what I need". #3 is such an important need it is listed. It is also the reason "without extensions" is important. For example, adding flash to a browser isn't the safest thing one can do. HTML5 canvas, despite its potential vulnerabilities, can replace that issue.

        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          That use case (no flash) isn't satisfied by any of those points.

          I believe you can disable flash in chrome, if it bothers you. The linux version doesn't include it so its a non-issue there too.

          Not that I'm saying you should use chrome, or any other browser. It just reads exactly like you started with Firefox and thought up a set of criteria that only Firefox can satisfy.

  • Let's admit it folks. We're in a bit of denial. Sure,

    Chrome came out on top. Still not sure why it's not my default browser. And why I cling to Firefox. I think it's cause more sites are still tested with Firefox.

    Safari, showed it's true colors (I've always found Safari on Windows to be slow and fail to load pages. These benchmarks just seemed to confirm my feelings.) I've not been a fan of Safari. Even on Mac it was my secondary browser.

    Firefox has been growing slower, and slower. And these tests just see

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Safari is pretty good on the Mac - I used to use it alongside Firefox but switched to Safari/Chrome after the whole status bar debacle and the trainwreck that was FF4 (and it looks like I got out at the right time).

      I know that I've essentially got two Webkit browsers now, but I'm much happier. In terms of speed I don't really notice any difference in real world use between Safari and Chrome except that Safari has a big memory leak when using Adblock, so it eventually swallows up all the available RAM you ha

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