2008-09-03

Google Chrome: How fast is it?

As I started tweaking with HTML-settings in Blogger I realized how different IE7 and Firefox really are. I know they render web pages differently but I have (still) no idea how it's done. I instead decided to check the speed difference between the two browsers. But what if I added another browser? Since I have a few (very few) blog readers who use Safari, I decided to test the Vista version of this Konqueror offspring. It turned out that I was luckier still. Apparently, to my surprise, Google has decided to launch its own browser Chrome. It is of course in this test.

Test specs:

  • OS: Vista Ultimate 32-bit SP1

  • CPU: Intel Core Duo T2300 @ 1.66GHz

  • RAM: 2 Gb

  • HDD: Samsung HM320JI

  • Internet connection: ADSL 8Mbit/s

  • Time of test 8AM – 9AM GMT Tuesday and Wednesday

No other computers were connected to the network at the time of the tests. No other computer program, than the browsers, took up network space.



Round1 (Startup and Shutdown):


If you're like me you hate waiting for programs to start up. The first start up is a cold start, which means that the browser is started as the first program after OS boot. After that I measured the time to warm start the browsers (running it for a second time). And finally I measured how fast they all shut down. These are the results.



Browser:


Cold Start (s):


Warm Start (s):


Shutdown (s):


Internet Explorer 7


10,5


6,5


1,3


Firefox 3


8,9


4,6


0,5


Safari


15


8,3


0,2


Chrome Beta


2,2


2


0,2



Round2 (Average Page Load Time):


87 random pages were loaded in each browser. Internet cache was cleared in each browser before loading a new page. The time was taken with a standard stopwatch (this is not a proper way of calculating the time, I know) from the push of the enter button until all content on the page was loaded (including ads, no ad-blockers were used). The average time to load a page was calculated:

  • Internet Explorer 7 – Average Page Load in Seconds – 4.3

  • Firefox 3 – Average Page Load in Seconds – 4.0

  • Safari 525.21 – Average Page Load in Seconds – 3.4

  • Chrome Beta – Average Page Load in Seconds – 3.2

Round3 (To Tweak or Not to Tweak):


Only 5 pages were loaded by each browser, otherwise same setup as above. Only the first three browsers were tested since Chrome had not yet been released.



  • Internet Explorer 7 – 7.2% faster

  • Firefox 3 – 17.2% faster

  • Safari 525.21 – 29.4% faster

So it looks like you should apply those tweaks if you don't want to be waiting forever.


Round4 (Security):


The following page was used: http://bcheck.scanit.be/bcheck/ to check browser vulnerability.



  • Internet Explorer 7 – Passed

  • Firefox 3 – Passed

  • Safari 525.21 – Passed

  • Chrome Beta – Test didn't start

Conclusion:


This test really changed my view on browsers. Chrome proves to be a worthy competitor in the browser challenge. It is the faster browser, but its usability is yet to be proved. The other eye-opener in this little test was Safari. I haven't really bothered to check it out before. I knew Konqueror was fast so why not Safari too? Still, it is not the browser I would choose for now. The bookmark menu, among other things, needs improving. Firefox and Internet Explorer have great bookmark menus and I think that Firefox is the overall winner (from my viewpoint). It's a balance between speed and usability that I like. A final note to the Microsoft guys: Work, work, work… unless you want IE8 to do as badly in a browser comparison next time (but I still like IE7 for making my blog look pretty).

Update1: I guess I need to say one other thing. Google Chrome is a revolution in the sense it can treat web applications as if they were programs on your hard disk drive. I am sure Chrome will evolve to a point where we don't need IE7 or any other browser for that matter. But Chrome is still beta so don't expect wonders just yet.

2 comments:

belén said...

Ruub. I say this as a dear friend... but maybe it's time you got a job?

Ruub said...

Thank you for your concern, belén. As a matter of fact I have sent in a few applications. Whilst I'm waiting I thought I could enlighten the whole world, or at least the blogging community, on which browser is the fastest. And since I've applied for some jobs at computer companies this post might actually help me get a job. What I really need is a life. And I just don't see that coming... yet.