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The Latest Web Browser Grand Prix 207

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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  • 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 Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Monday August 29, 2011 @09:10AM (#37240548)

    Look at the computer from the next casual person you have? You'll notice that they're using 5% of their RAM and 2% of their cpu(s).

    If only. Try firing up Firefox with 10-12 tabs and see it slowly, but steadly, eating you memory up. A browser is one of the many apps i run on my systems, so good peformance and memory handling has a definite impact on my user experience.

  • Re:Maze solver. bah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BZ ( 40346 ) on Monday August 29, 2011 @10:37AM (#37241396)

    This test exercises a situation that's very rare on the web (where by "rare" I mean that it's only been encountered in this test to my knowledge): thousands of absolutely positioned elements that are all being moved around using CSS transforms, with each one only being moved once by going from no transform to a translate transform. That's just not something anyone other than this test does. Most people who want to move an absolutely positioned element just change its .top and .left, but this test sort of went out of its way to do things the weird way.

    The net result is that this test ends up hitting a rare-case O(N^2) codepath in Gecko. See [] and [] and [] for the bugs tracking this on Mozilla's end.

    Fixing these has not been a terribly high priority, since it would mostly affect this one synthetic benchmark (I say "mostly", because bug 670311 could have benefits elsewhere too).

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Monday August 29, 2011 @11:33AM (#37242132)

    No it isn't. Stop watching the graphs and you won't even know.

    I once had a doctor just like you. I've had a sleep issue for twenty-five years, during which I've become more adept than your average goat at noticing certain details of my physiological state. This particular doctor implied that I was so naive about the scientific process as to verge on creationism and that I matched any wacky hypothesis to reality with no regard to observation. He told me I had no data.

    Actually, what I have is an R workspace with an 80,000 line CSV file extracted from Firefox showing my browsing activity over about a year period during which the white band of "away from my desk" appearing roughly once every 24 hours migrates diagonally on the circadian plot with a one hour daily drift. I've managed to treat this subsequently with carefully timed melatonin administration and have reduced the period to roughly 24.15 hours. Miss just one sunrise control pill and I'm an hour pregnant the next morning. And since I've never had a reverse gear on this hasty blue marble, that adds up to a week of night shifts sooner or later.

    The other aspect of 80,000 Firefox page requests over a one year period is that I have actually noticed Firefox being one of the worst GD memory pigs of in all of god's creation without consulting system monitor, so STFU about the system monitor. Maybe I installed too many useful extensions, but then if I didn't want the extensions, I would use Chrome instead.

    With 200 tabs open in eight FF clients spread over nine desktops, after about ten days, I can often type half a dozen words during frequent FF gcgag stalls (garbage collect gag) before my text blurps out. Whenever FF virtual memory climbs to over a gigabyte, I pretty much have to close my eyes while typing, as the feedback loop in the HTML input box causes me more distress than assistance. I participated heavily in a FF beta a couple of years ago where memory usage was three times worse than it is now. I was restarting FF every few days just to clear the constipation. This on a Linux system with 4GB of memory since upgraded to 8GB.

    Thanks for giving my asshole GP a nice pat on the back in his self-satisfied assessment of the observational powers of his hapless sleep-deprived clients.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.