Browser Showdown Pt. 1

6 01 2010

As the first of my blog posts, I plan on doing a short series that will compare some of today’s leading browsers to each other, in an attempt to determine the “best” browser. The browsers we are comparing are: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. Each day I will compare them in one of these categories:

  • Speed
  • Features
  • User friendliness

So today, we’re starting with speed. I found a great site that was done by a man named John Resig, for a purpose completely besides what we are doing now (he was comparing browsers now to the upcoming TraceMonkey system for Firefox, if you care), so it should be a good, unbiased source of information. Here’s a link to the original site if anyone wants to follow-up on this.

Now, I’ll be using the first of his tests for our purposes here, as it covers all the browsers I’m comparing.

Please note that the test is testing the speed of the JavaScript (which is the most widely used scripting language on the web) in the browser, and so should give a good representation of the actual speed that web pages load.

Now, starting with IE (the newest version). It scored somewhere between 8500 – 9500ms. This means that it took IE that much time to complete the test. This may seem fast, but wait until you see the rest of the browsers before you pass judgement.

The other three browsers all came in about the same on the graph, although there is a slight difference between them. They all scored between about 3000 – 4000 ms, over two times as fast as Internet Explorer! Here is the final order:

In first place by just a hair, we have Google Chrome! It is followed closely by Safari, with the newest version of Firefox hot on its heels. Trailing behind the pack is Internet Explorer, at less than half of the speed of the other three browsers. So, our winner for the first round is Google Chrome.

I would like to point out that in a later test, Google Chrome is shown to have a much higher speed of iteration. The more iterations you have, the faster. This means that, while in the first test Chrome only won by a hair, in the later test it was 5 or 6 times better than the second place browser (which was Safari by the way). Internet Explorer wasn’t included in the later test.

That’s all I have to say for now. Check back later. My next edition will be about features, which is a very important category. Also, please vote in the poll. Tell us which browser is your favorite.