When it comes to browsers, faster is better. Chrome 10 kicks the butts of the brand new Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 in benchmark tests run on my 2Ghz Intel-based Windows 7 PC. All three new editions of browsers released this month promise performance gains. Of them Chrome 10 really delivers and Firefox 4 is the slowest of the bunch.
I should note here that Firefox 4 is my default browser. I've been using the RC version until Mozilla kindly upgraded me to the final code yesterday (a day before general release today). I'm not compelled to change default browsers because of these tests though I do use Chrome 10 more often. I like the Firefox add-ons I use. I don't like the feeling that Chrome is tracking ALL of my browsing habits. I leave Chrome signed into my Google accounts and Firefox signed out, so Google can't associate all my online activity with my Google account.
I use IE 9 for one of Network World's CMS apps (it prefers IE, and especially prefers it in IE6 Compatibility Mode). I also use IE9 for accessing my Windows Live accounts, though Windows Live performs fine in both Chrome and Firefox.
Still ... I was blown away to discover that Chrome 10 is TWICE AS FAST as the new Firefox 4 officially released today and about a third faster than Internet Explorer 9. Meanwhile Microsoft obviously had Firefox in mind when finalizing IE9. The final version of IE9 is faster than Firefox 4, as tested on my older Dell PC running Windows 7. The final IE9 showed a marked performance leap over the RC version of IE9 ... seemed specially targeted to beat Firefox 4.
As mentioned, the benchmark was run on my Dell D620 laptop which uses an Intel dual-core 2Ghz T2500 (with 2M Cache) running Windows 7. The laptop is old (about four years), but the chip's speed is fast enough to give a fair speed comparison, and all browsers were run on the same machine. My PC doesn't have a graphics processor, however, and Intel's newer built-in graphics capabilities have come a long way since this machine was built. In other words, your results may vary.
Peacekeeper tests for what it calls "complex graphics" performance, meaning 'Canvas', a new web technology for drawing and manipulating graphics without external plug-ins. Not all browsers on the market support Canvas, so it doesn't include those scores in the final overall total. So here's the breakout details of how each browser did in the individual tests. ( More details on the individual tests.)
As you can see, if Peacekeeper had included its Complex Graphics tests in its totals, Firefox 4 would have done far better overall ... probably coming out even with, if not faster than, IE9. Chrome killed in its ability to handle data -- not surprising given it was built by search and Web app giant Google.
Chrome 10 on Acid3.
Firefox 4 on Acid3.
IE9 on Acid3.
The Source Seeker blog is written by Julie Bort, editor of the Open Source Subnet site as well as the Microsoft Subnet, Cisco Subnet sites. Indeed, Bort is the Online Community Editor for all of Network World. She also writes The Microsoft Update blog. If you have an idea for a blog, or a news tip on open source, Microsoft or Cisco, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-482-6454 or follow Julie on Twitter @Julie188.
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