Benchmarking the latest browsers

As the web has evolved it’s become more and more important for browsers to be able to quickly handle any JavaScript which is thrown at them. Along with this have come various benchmarks, online tests which run intense JavaScript tasks to test performance. Recently Mozilla announced their own browser benchmark, Kraken. With beta versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer around, it seemed a good time to put them through their paces and see how they stack up.

I ran the Kraken and SunSpider benchmarks in the latest releases of Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari. I also ran them in the latest betas of Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9.

Kraken results

The Kraken results show Firefox has picked up a clear performance boost in its latest beta, bumping it up to the front of the pack. Meanwhile Internet Explorer 9 seemed to struggle a lot, finishing with a time over four times slower than the latest from Mozilla. Opera’s Carakan JavaScript engine, introduced only in the latest version, continues to impress and takes second place. Safari 5 put in an average performance very close to the performance of Mozilla’s current Firefox offering.

In order of slowest to fastest:

Internet Explorer 9 beta 1 56485.4
Safari 5 19021.0
Firefox 3.6 18897.4
Chrome 6.0 16879.3
Opera 10.6 13754.4
Firefox 4.0 beta 6 12652.4
Kraken benchmark results

Kraken benchmark results

SunSpider results

Thankfully Internet Explorer 9 put in a much more competitive performance with the SunSpider benchmark, beating Safari and both versions of Firefox. Though the latest Firefox offering came very close, with the difference being essentially insignificant. Meanwhile Chrome and Opera put in two very fast performances with Chrome managing to take first place.

In order of slowest to fastest:

Firefox 3.6.10 844.2
Safari 5.0.2 579.4
Firefox 4.0 beta 6 534.6
Internet Explorer 9 beta 1 521.6
Opera 10.60 484.2
Chrome 6.0.472.59 404.2
SunSpider benchmark results

SunSpider benchmark results

Overall the performance boost witnessed in the Firefox 4 beta is promising. There’s clearly something Internet Explorer doesn’t like about the Kraken benchmark as its real world performance and the SunSpider benchmark suggest it’s no slouch. Chrome continues to impress while the much lesser used and talked about Opera proves it’s worth taking notice of.

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