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Friday, June 04, 2010

Benchmarking My Browsers!

The "browser war" has hottened up in recent times. So much so, that I am sure almost  every person who has been accessing the Internet for some time must have come across this fight at least once. Many articles have been written upon, many blogs have been posted, and many results have been and will be published. 

The race for the fastest can be gauged by the fact that a new version is released almost every week. Just for a second, let us ignore all the heaps of data and published results. What really matters to one is how a browser is expected to perform on his/her system. So, if you are really crazy about pace, which in reality should not matter much, the best is to execute a benchmark on your own-used browsers and then analyze the results yourself. That's how it should always be, judge and choose for yourself.

I was going through the Opera blogs when I came upon the Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark. Peacekeeper primarily focuses on the Javascript performance of a browser. Currently, I have not yet studied much about the effectiveness of this benchmark, but the main plus is its ease of use. And for once, I let myself be lured into the race-for-pace. And so here is my take on the browser war.

My system configurations are the following: Compaq SG3770IL desktop with a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E7400 CPU, 945 GC chipset, 3 MB L2 cache, and a  Intel(R) GMA 3000/3100 GPU. I have both a 32-bit Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 OS installed. I performed my tests on both Windows and Ubuntu systems. 

Windows: I have four browsers installed - IE8, FF3.6.3, Google Chrome  6.0.422.0 dev, and Opera 10.60 build 3403. I have also tried to execute the benchmark maintaining identical load conditions. And now the wait is over, here are the results.

Ubuntu: And now for the results from Ubuntu. Note that at the of composing this post, Peacekeeper does not support a Linux system scan. The browsers that I tested on Ubuntu are FF3.6.3, Google Chrome 6.0.422 dev, and Opera 10.60 build 6347. The below figures shows the results obtained.

My Conclusion:
So far so good. Now what to make of the results? I was actually surprised to see IE8 and FF 3.6 lagging so far behind Google Chrome 6 dev and Opera 10.6. For while actually browsing, the difference is hardly noticed. Therefore, just in terms of mere browsing experience, FF is still my favourite. The seemingly extreme control it gives you is no match for the others. I am also impressed with the improvements in Opera 10.6 and recommend it strongly, but unfortunately it is still hardly used outside its niche users. Looks like its not only Microsoft but also Mozilla who has a lot to think about for its version 4.0 excepting the GUI. But for me, Google Chrome 6.0.422.0 dev is the clear winner!

Added on 6th July, 2010:
Results with FF4b1