Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 18, Firefox 11, Windows XP

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Avro Arrow

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Awesome article. Personally, I use Firefox because my computer is a monster so these differences in performance don't even register on my machine and I love all the add-ons available for it. I only use Internet Exploder 8 at work because the company I work for has a bunch of tech-retards for an IT department and they couldn't be bothered using something better.
 
[citation][nom]ronch79[/nom]I don't know about you guys, but I've been a fan of Opera for a few years now, until recently. I've noticed that the then-latest version, 11.61, took so long to load pages. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my internet connection. For some reason I installed Chrome. I noticed right away that browsing with Chrome was faster (pages loaded quickly). My first suspicion was that it was just plain luck; that the bandwidth simply was faster coincidentally when I was using Chrome. I did a side-by-side comparison with both browsers open, and yes, Opera did load pages sluggishly. I was stumped. For the record, I'm NOT bashing Opera here, folks. I just don't know why this is happening. Heck, I'd switch back to Opera in a flash. This all happened with Opera 11.61. I think I'll give Opera 12 a shot.[/citation]

I've noticed this too, although I was never an Opera fan, just a repetitive visitor. Opera 11.61 was the slowest browser that I've tried on my computer in the last few months and I've tried about three versions of Dragon (based on Chromium), three or four versions of Pale Moon (based on Firefox), Lunascape Orion, MiniBrowser, SWare Iron (18.x), and a few others. It was disheartening because the last time I tried Opera (11.50) was a much better experience.

I run both Dragon and Pale Moon as my regular browsers. Dragon is a little more responsive, but since I now have noscript, Fasterfox lite, Adblock lite, Ghostery, and better privacy, my Pale Moon browser can compete even with Dragon in speed, especially if less than twenty or so tabs are loaded. Pale Moon gets a little slower after that, but not much anyway, so it's no big deal. I grabbed the Firemin program and it keeps Pale Moons memory usage so unbelievably low that no other browser even comes close to being a tenth as memory efficient except for Lunascape. No matter how many tabs are loaded, with Palemin (Firemin for Pale Moon, there is also seamonkeymin and another one or two for other modded FF browsers), Pale Moon's memory usage never even reaches 50MB even if you add up the browser, Palemin, and the plug-in container process. My Task manager has both the private working set and the working set memory usages measured and neither reaches 50MB. My total memory usage is also unprecedentedly low (at least for me) even during high tab count browsing.

Perhaps there is something wrong with Opera 11.61 on my machine? I only tried it on my laptop (Turion 64 x2 TL-60 with 2GB of DDR2-533MHz). With the supposed acceleration improvements that were supposed to be coming up, I'll try Opera again now that it's at 11.62 and see if I still have problems, although looking at this WBGP, I don't think that I will.
 

tanh

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Chrome and Opera tie for first place in Mozilla's Hardware Acceleration Stress Test, both with seven frames per second.
What if Hardware Acceleration disabled? Geforce FX is very slow in dx9.
Under Windows XP is no Content Acceleration (no Direct2D), so Hardware Acceleration performance is limited.

There is not much to say about WebGL on this old XP-based machine. Chrome is the only browser capable of running WebGL content on our decade-old test system, and performance alternates between bad and terrible.
WebGL requirement is graphics card with shaders 3.0 (Geforce FX have only shaders 2.0). What if Geforce 6200 AGP or X1950 AGP?
Proposal for future WebGL tests - maybe pratical test? Like MapsGL?
 

Northwestern

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[citation][nom]bunnywanny[/nom]Anyone who is still stuck using Windows 2000, Opera supports you.[/citation]
Opera is the best (And now only) web browser supported for Windows 2000.
 


That can only last so long. Windows 2K support relies on using old compilers and how much longer will they be in use? If I remember correctly, those compilers are from 2003. Eventually, Opera will need to switch to a newer version and that will be the end of Win 2K support.
 

Nintendo Maniac 64

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I think it would be a good idea to run another XP WBGP in the future, but on somewhat more modern hardware. Perhaps circa 2006? (think early dual-core era) I would think those would be more common than one that's 10 years old at this point. (I mean, Northwood-powered PCs are old enough that people are just giving them to me for free!)

Mainly, we could see what having two CPU cores would do VS just one, along with newer GPU hardware to take advantage of at least SOME hardware acceleration.
 

whyso

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I have to comment here.

Toms, how can you crown a definitive winner based on a 1/2 point difference (~2%) in scoring. Chrome and Opera are effectively equal and close enough together that they are the same. A simple change in RAM or CPU speed could change everything

ERROR BARS on most of the tests should be shown (and for something to definitively won over another it needs to be at least 5% better).

If the results are 3.5, 4, and 5.5 for A and 3, 4.5, 6 for B you can't really say for certain that B is better than A.
The results are too close.

Can you put the error bars on the graphs (representing the best and worst cases). This will help to eliminate misleading statistics.
 

A Bad Day

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I got bashed a while ago for suggesting a benchmark on Windows xp, because such OS is still commonly used.

Those who aren't hypocrites, I expect heated bashing of the the author. Those who are, go burn.
 

srap

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[citation][nom]northwestern[/nom]Opera is the best (And now only) web browser supported for Windows 2000.[/citation]
Get it straight: Firefox 12.0 will be the last version to support Windows 2000, and Firefox 10 ESR will support it for another complete year.
 

ta152h

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[citation][nom]ronch79[/nom]I don't know about you guys, but I've been a fan of Opera for a few years now, until recently. I've noticed that the then-latest version, 11.61, took so long to load pages. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my internet connection. For some reason I installed Chrome. I noticed right away that browsing with Chrome was faster (pages loaded quickly). My first suspicion was that it was just plain luck; that the bandwidth simply was faster coincidentally when I was using Chrome. I did a side-by-side comparison with both browsers open, and yes, Opera did load pages sluggishly. I was stumped. For the record, I'm NOT bashing Opera here, folks. I just don't know why this is happening. Heck, I'd switch back to Opera in a flash. This all happened with Opera 11.61. I think I'll give Opera 12 a shot.[/citation]

I run Opera on an old K7 Athlon, and it has not slowed down at all with 11.61. I use Opera at work too, on a Core 2, and it is not any slower than before. Maybe you should try deleting it and reinstalling it.
 

iamtheking123

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Firefox. has. addons.

Opera always felt too bloated out of the box. I don't need IRC clients and FTP clients and Torrent downloaders. A prog that feels the need to force that much on you from a clean install is one that isn't going to be very customizable. Went back to FF.
 
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I recently tried Chrome again - and immediately ran into videos that would not play. Then, I tried Opera - again, and immediately ran into pages it would not render correctly, including Gmail!!! Run all the meaningless benchmarks you want, if you can't steer the car, who cares how fast it will go??? Firefox is STILL the only real choice.
 

belardo

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Opera is an awesome browser for Windows 7 as well. IE still sucks. firefox 4.x~15~whatever that crap is, is a cheap copy of Opera.

[citation][nom]sheol[/nom]Out of the box, no browser that I know of comes close to Opera when it comes to usability(mouse gestures, tab manangement, "Closed Tabs " - a recycle bin of tabs if you will, an awesome feature that keeps your closed tabs for easy retrieval for when you might need them.This is why I believe Opera uses so much memory after 39 tabs have been closed.And reliability, who could complain? Routinely i have 50+ tabs open for days, and I have not had a single crash because of it.[/citation]
You are correct.... Opera's memory usage is due to its functionality of cache. Its great being able to bring back tabs or windows that you accidently got rid of. Also, Tab stacking rocks... and when I have my default tabs.

TOM, you need to do a review on FUNCTIONALITY of the browsers, not only the PERFORMANCE.
 

aznjoka

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[citation][nom]belardo[/nom]Opera is an awesome browser for Windows 7 as well. IE still sucks. firefox 4.x~15~whatever that crap is, is a cheap copy of Opera.You are correct.... Opera's memory usage is due to its functionality of cache. Its great being able to bring back tabs or windows that you accidently got rid of. Also, Tab stacking rocks... and when I have my default tabs.TOM, you need to do a review on FUNCTIONALITY of the browsers, not only the PERFORMANCE.[/citation]
Opera sacrifices memory for fluid browsing is also another thing. :) which is well worth it :D
 

belardo

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[citation][nom]iamtheking123[/nom]Firefox. has. addons.Opera always felt too bloated out of the box. I don't need IRC clients and FTP clients and Torrent downloaders. A prog that feels the need to force that much on you from a clean install is one that isn't going to be very customizable. Went back to FF.[/citation]
What a load of... If you don't need/use FTP or IRC, then don't use them in Opera, its not like they are IN YOUR face, because they are not.
 

tipoo

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My parents insist on keeping an Athlon XP box, so I appreciate you guys doing this, really. Can't think of anything specific off the top of my head but I would love it if you threw the Pentium 4 in as a reference for other tests.
 

spotify95

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[citation][nom]gwiz1987[/nom]Why is IE8 being benched and not IE9?[/citation] I thought you would know this, but anyway, Internet Explorer dropped support for XP, so unfirtunately the last IE to be supported on Windows XP is IE8. But, it does not ffect me, since I do not use IE.
 

Christopher1

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Not me. I put my foot down ages ago and told everyone on Windows XP for home usage to get a new computer (or upgrade their old computer) with Windows Vista and for the last 3 years, Windows 7.

Pretty soon I'm going to say "Vista, 7 or 8.... get on one of those three or I'm not going to help you!"

I still have some people who are on Windows Vista (driver issues are gone and it runs near as fast as Windows 7) but even they are planning on updating when Windows 8 comes out after using it on the 'show-system' I have put out for people to dabble on.
 
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