Charles Engelke's Blog

April 23, 2010

Browser Performance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Charles Engelke @ 8:13 am

I was talking to a colleague the other day about the performance of web software and I mentioned that there was a big difference in how fast different browsers were. I just dug up some recent benchmarks and figured they’d be of interest.  I’m particularly interested in how extremely high-end JavaScript intensive applications perform in different browsers.

First, IE 6 versus 7 versus 8. There’s not much recent, because benchmarkers are focusing on IE 8. But I did find an article from last year at PC Games Hardware. It shows IE 6 and 7 performing about the same, but IE 8 being nearly twice as fast.

Tom’s Hardware is one of the most careful sites about reviews, and its recent article is excellent. On JavaScript performance, one benchmark shows Google Chrome as 30 times faster than IE 8. Firefox is nearly 5 times faster than IE 8. On others, the Chrome:IE speed ratio was about 6:1, 3:1, and 10:1. The Firefox:IE ratios on those tests was about 3:1, 1:1, and 6:1. On tests involving the DOM we see Chrome:IE of 5:1 and Firefox:IE of 4:1. For CSS the benchmarks show Chrome:IE of 12:1 and Firefox:IE of 2:1.

A (possibly self-serving) set of tests by the Opera browser company shows results mostly consistent with Tom’s Hardware.

A less detailed but very good summary of a bunch of tests is available at Six Revisions. Click on the chart to see it better. The JavaScript speed, DOM selection speed, and CSS rendering speed results probably best reflect how high-end intensive web applications will perform.

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