This is the Part I of the two-part article, CLICK HERE for Part II
The Browser Wars are heating up again. First there was the funeral party for Internet Explorer 6 (let's hope it stays buried), then we had the EU mandate for the Browser Ballot, a feature which has lead to the corrosion of the IE's install base, Firefox overtook Internet Explorer 7, and recently, we saw the release of Opera 10.50 - the self-proclaimed Fastest Browser on Earth... As we were putting up the finishing touches on this article Microsoft released a sneak peek of Internet Explorer 9; and not a moment too soon as you will learn soon.
This article then is purely about which one of our favourite browsers is the Fastest. We haven't covered all the browsers under the sun but certainly all the usual suspects.
To that end, we will take a look at our favourite browsers' performance across two parts. The first part will take you through the tests we will throw at these browsers, describing in detail our reasoning for picking these tests and what to make of their results. In the second part, we shall produce the comparison data and benchmark details with the conclusion crowning the performance winner.
So before spilling out the names of the gladiators, let's checkout the proving-ground and the gauntlet each competitor will run through. Here's the list of tests that each of the browser took (spoiler alert - some failed these tests):
Acid 3 Test
This one needs little introduction. Our good-old Acid test is a standard tool for testing a browser's standards-compliance and any browser test is incomplete without it.
A note on Internet Explorer 8 here: we could not include Internet Explorer 8 into this test as the browser behaved very erratically. We could not save its test sessions, it failed to complete the entire test on many runs; reporting script alerts often. IE8 did not play nice with Dromaeo and was thus kept out of this round. Considering that these tests used commonly used functions, this ia quite a failure on the browsers part.
JSNES Speed Test
We ran all the tests on the same test machine, under the same test conditions.
Now let's take at our champs, while they are warming up for the big battle:
NOTE: We've also thrown Internet Explorer 9's platform preview into this mix but as Microsoft's licensing restricts us, we cannot publish the benchmarking data. We will suggest how it did across these tests though. We will refer to this preview build as IE9 for the rest of this article.
The test-bed we selected had to strike a delicate balance: it needed to be common enough such that it reflects the "average" computer used to browse and yet it needed to have enough juice to run these applications. We went with a value notebook with the following specs: Intel Core Duo T2300 processor at 1.67GHz on an Intel G945 mainboard, with 1x2GB 667MHz DDR2 Transcend memory and an on-board GMA950 display adapter. Windows 7 was our operating system.
Before we get to our tests - we would like you to give these browsers a spin as well. You have the ingredients right here, get your hands dirty and take your favourite browser for a spin, then let us know your experience and results. Ideas, experiences, comments and suggestions are most welcome at the ThinkDigit Forum.
If you do run these tests do post the links to the results in the forum, and if we get enough samples, we will post aggregated results from across the variety of configurations you test on.
Click here to continue reading Part II - where the browsers meet their fate...