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The Wait Is Over: Browser Performance Benchmark Results Released!


Probably a week ago i shared a post where i benchmarked 4 browsers immediately available on one of my PC. Thanks to all of your feedback i am immediately interested in making a more all-round benchmark, this time including over 15 browsers, popular and not-so-popular ones included. All browsers tested are of the latest release unless specified later.

These browsers are tested under these specifications:
Windows OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz
RAM: 2GB Corsair

I ran 3 different performance benchmark: the SunSpider JavaScript test, the Acid3 Dynamic Web & Visual test, as well as my own custom performance test based on browser performance on idle. From these three test, we can understand how each browsers can perform in terms of rendering webpages’s visual elements, render JavaScripts & its PC resources when not active.

1. SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark

Alll browsers are tested immediately on launch, and are tested with a single tab. The beta versions of Chrome and Opera are not tested in this benchmark but their latest final version and Internet Explorer 9 is still in a premature stage to be tested. Also, Firefox, Maxthon, Fizzik & Wyzo are in beta stage, so their resultsmay or may not represent the final versions.To make things easier, i capture this screenshot from Excel to show you each browser’s performance:

As you can see, the top 3 best performing JavaScript-rendering browsers (in yellow) are Google Chrome, Opera and Maxthon running a Webkit Engine, while the worst performing browsers (in red) are Maxthon running a Trident Engine, SpaceTime 3D and Xtravo Explorer. The difference between the top 3 are minimal, which does not really matter if we judge browsing speed in milliseconds. However, note that the best performing browsers tend to use the Webkit Engine (with the only exception of Opera). The best performing browser using the Gecko Engine is Firefox v4, while the best performing browser using the Trident Engine is Fizzik.

.2. Acid3 Dynamic Web Applications & Visual Rendering Benchmark

The previous Javascript test highlight how browsers perform in a javascript rendering situation so it does not feature a complete picture of the browsers performance, for example, how well a browser loads pages with visual elements. Acid3 is primarily testing specifications for Web 2.0 dynamic Web applications and visual rendering test such as webfonts, so it is the perfect test tool. Browsers that can render Web applications and visual elements smoothly in a given timeframe will pass the Acid3 test. Here are each browsers’ results:

I think the table shows us pretty clearly: Browsers running the Webkit Engine and Presto Engine pass the test, albeit some with slight lags during the test process. Browsers using the Gecko Engine does not fare too badly either; although none of the Gecko-based browsers pass the test, they perform quite well in terms of score. Firefox v4 which is still in beta development actually has the best result at 97/100 while Lunascape and Wyzo (also in beta) did well too. The biggest problem lies with browsers using the Trident Engine: none of them pass the Acid3 test and dissapointingly, the highest score among them has been a pathetic 20/100, courtesy of Internet Explorer and Fizzik. All Trident Engine-based browsers also tends to hang/lag for a long time during the test period that makes me initially thought the test itself is not responding.

3. PC Resources Usage (on idle) Benchmark

Browsers are known to suck up lots of PC resources, and while sucking up PC resources during active state is excusable,doing so during idle state is unforgivable. This benchmark focus on how each browser handles PC resources based on CPU usage and RAM usage during idle; whether or not a browser affects productivity of the users during idle state. The browsers’ performance are monitored through Windows Task Manager and here are the results:

Based on the test result, most browsers do not actually hog CPU during idle state (at least when not running on resource-intensive sites like Youtube or Facebook anyway). The only browser to do that is Element Browser, it being the most ridiculous hoggers of the rest, averaging between 0-20 CPU cycles and worse if its in-built malware protection module is turned on.

RAM-wise, most browsers performed reasonably, although Lunascape has problems with memory leaks (regardless of which browser engine used), so as Element Browser, Xtravo Browser and to a very small (& excusable) extent, Maxthon and Flock. Despite its RAM leaks issue, Lunascape has a very interesting performance; when freshly put into idle state, Lunascape is the browser that uses the least RAM (by a very large margin!). Coming behind Lunascape in RAM performance is Internet Explorer, Comodo Dragon and Google Chrome. Meanwhile, browsers that uses the most RAM during idle happens to be Element Browser, SpaceTime 3D and Opera.

Finally, the startup time of each browsers are also timed. Most Webkit-based browser launch very quickly, while Fizzik and SpaceTime 3D performed badly because they uses splash screens and being too GUI-flashy which slows down the entire process. Although not shown above, most of these browser works well in terms of general performance, except for Element Browser which have certain GUI glitches, SpaceTime 3D which is slightly complicated and uncomfortable to use and Fizzik, which is too buggy for daily use.

What do you think of the results above?


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So speed is all that matters?

Imran K

Not really. Speed, stability, performance/usability is what most people usually want for browsers (which is why i didn’t compare their looks or their feature set). The test covered all 3 aspects, although it is for general reference as there are ways to conduct more benchmarking.


Nice test with plenty of results, so basically if i well understood google chrome and opera are the best browser for now, untill others decides to take back the field.

Imran K

I would say that all browsers using the Webkit Engine are worthy of use, not just Chrome and Opera.


very informative!!!!

thanks !

Imran K

Glad to be of help!


Personally, the best browsers for me are those that use WebKit.

In terms of features and usability, it would be;

Chrome, Safari, Maxthon and Element, they are really the cherry on top of browsers.


It would be great to see Safari in that list… may be after the stable release of Firefox 4

Imran K

Hi Sam,
It’s great to see you here. I hope Safari will be there.


If I didn’t logined as imageshack’s member, I can’t see images in your post.

Imran K

I can see the pictures without logging into imageshack. Let me do something.

Imran K

Now you can see the snaps clearly in full-size without imageshack account.


polarity browser is also another good browser. it has low ram usage and very fast too.

Imran K

I think you area talking about the browser on sourceforge here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/polaritybrowser/
Thank you for letting us know. I have not used it yet. May use it some other time.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x