2 min read

The upcoming Web Browser War II - The early Benchmarks

The are a lot of interesting browsers around here: Firefox 3.1 beta2, Opera 10 alpha, Chrome, Safari 4 beta, Epiphany, Arora, but which one will offer the best Web Application Experience?

The Web Applications and HTML5 will be more and more important (Palm Pre did a WebOS on it) and the new HTML5 Storage will permit to decrease the gap between online and offline applications.
if you have a WebKit based browser you can test already the Note demo app. It has nice animations and it works offline.

Dromaeo All tests

This test is Dromaeo (All tests) from Mozilla. It tests some real world javascript libraries like Prototype, YUI,.. and it takes about 33 minutes each browser.
The browsers tested are Firefox 3.1 beta2, Opera 10 alpha, Google Chrome and some WebKit-based browser like Safari 4, Arora(-qt-webkit) and Epiphany(-gtk-webkit)
The Linux binaries come from Mozilla and Opera sites. Windows is XP SP3 and Vista SP1. The Linux OS used is Ubuntu 8.10 (and Ubuntu 9.04).
A benchmark with IE8 is avalable from ZDNet Australia.

Higher is better

The WebKit based browsers are really fast, with the Arora exception.
The same version of Firefox or Opera in Linux are slower than in Windows. We'll investigate this point later but a similar benchmark was already known.

The V8 Benchmark

The V8 test from Google is done with Firefox 3.0.6, Opera 9.6.3, Epiphany -Gecko 1.9 and -WebKit.

Higher is better

Why Firefox is slower on Linux?

Epiphany Gecko acts as Firefox Linux. Opera is Qt4 and it is slower in Linux too. The problem is not the GTK GUI toolkit.

The fglrx or the radeon drivers doesn't change the results and even Firefox/Opera-wine are faster that the Linux native version. Xorg is not the problem.

The Linux version of both browser is proportionally slower.


Maybe the major culprit is the compiler. What do you think?