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Benchmark Battle October 2016: Chrome Vs. Firefox Vs. Edge (venturebeat.com) 137

Krystalo quotes a report from VentureBeat: It's been more than a year since our last browser benchmark battle, and the competition remains fierce. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have all gained a variety of new features and improvements over the past year. It's time to see if any of them have managed to pull ahead of the pack. It appears that Edge has made the biggest gains since last year. That said, browser performance is improving at a very rapid pace, and it shouldn't be your only consideration when picking your preferred app for consuming Internet content. You can click on individual tests below to see the details:

SunSpider: Edge wins!
Octane: Edge wins!
Kraken: Chrome wins!
JetStream: Edge wins!
Oort Online: Firefox wins!
Peacekeeper: Firefox wins!
WebXPRT: Edge wins!
HTML5Test: Chrome wins!

You can also read all about the setup used for the benchmark tests here. VentureBeat used a custom desktop PC, featuring an Intel Core i5 4440 processor (6M Cache, 3.10 GHz), 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM, a 500GB SATA hard drive (7200 RPM), an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, and a 24-inch widescreen LED monitor (1920 x 1080).
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Benchmark Battle October 2016: Chrome Vs. Firefox Vs. Edge

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  • Not surprised (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The newest version of Chrome is garbage. Crash city. I had to go back to Firefox.

    • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @07:11PM (#53150833)

      In normal everyday use, I have never had any meaningful performance problems with any of the major browsers. In real life use, you're more likely to have issues with a shitty Internet connection or a website that's a horribly designed shitshow. And all the performance in the world doesn't mean a thing if the UI of the browser sucks donkey balls. Palemoon FTW.

      • WTFDTM?
      • Besides, aren't those all JavaScript benchmarks?

        I couldn't care less about JS performance.

        The most lag for me comes from the network connection's lag and the overloaded servers on the other end that take hundreds of milliseconds to respond.

        If we discount those, the important thing is the layout engine's performance. I don't think any of those benchmarks test it. It's something you can't really test without a physical stopwatch anyway.

        The most slowness comes from the megabyte of HTML, megabyte of CSS, and me

        • >> I couldn't care less about JS performance.

          You are mistaken. The page where I'm typing this reply has 27 seperate Javascript files loaded. Slow parsing and execution of those files can hurt page performance just as much as a slow server connection or busted renderer.

      • Open the source and we will talk. Until such time, keep your black box to yourself.

    • by donaldm ( 919619 )

      The newest version of Chrome is garbage. Crash city. I had to go back to Firefox.

      I am running version 54.0.2840.71 (latest as far as Fedora 24 is concerned) and don't have any problems. Maybe it's the operating system you are running it on.

  • Makes sense to me. Edge has almost always felt quicker, except when the web page doesn't want to play nice with the browser. Firefox after that, and personally Chrome has always been a sh1t show for me. I only use it when for some reason or another Firefox and IE/Edge won't play nice with a website.

    • by FyRE666 ( 263011 )

      Chrome is actually significantly faster with WebGL / GPU accelerated content, when compared to Firefox. I've found FF to feel slower and less stable for some time now.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Chrome is actually significantly faster with WebGL / GPU accelerated content

        Got a benchmark for that? This WebGL benchmark [unity3d.com] says otherwise.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      How about comparing edge of windows 10 to Firefox on Ubuntu and then see which is truly faster, no comparison, Firefox on Ubuntu eats the probe alive. The only advantage edge gets is the coding lie, already running in the background whether you use the browser or not (edge prying into your life, even when you run Firefox), just like the lie about faster boots with delayed service start (most applications will simply not run until delayed start services have finally launched). Just more M$ marketing bullshit

  • Edge: 4
    Chrome: 2
    Firefox: 2

    Cue the bitching about the individual tests Edge won not being relevant.

    Then cue the only opinion that matters: Sites are bloated with trash scripts, ads, tracking, etc. and this performance race would be pointless if sites were designed in a sane manner.

    Fuck Slashdot's subdomains. I lost FP because I had to reload the page and redo my comment since I wasn't logged into it.slashdot.org or whatever the fuck (because I only allow slashdot.org cookies on slashdot.org).

    • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

      Chrome on mobile has a neat feature that takes certain web pages with a lot of text (articles) and allows you to choose a "mobile optimized" version. It is so much faster than the normal bloatware site.

      I wish there were a way to make it default.

      • Firefox also has Reader Mode that does something similar.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So do we all agree that this "benchmark battle" is archaic? The ability to quickly render bloatware sites is fine, but the ability to remove the bloat is much more important. I hope that in 5 years that's how we'll be scoring browsers.

      • I was going to mention Reader Mode on Firefox but someone already beat me to it. Though it should be noted this feature is not just limited to the Mobile Browser, and is available on the Desktop version as well.

    • But at least /. uses subdomains in a meaningful way. It is annoying to allow cookies for *.slashdot.org though.

      Speaking of unnecessary web shit: uBlock shows me 25 blocked resources on this page.

  • Wonder how Palemoon and Chromium fared? I use Palemoon on my Windows laptop, and on my PC-BSD, which doesn't have Chrome, I have Chromium. How different would Chromium be from Chrome?
  • by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @06:04PM (#53150521)

    uBlock Origin, uMatrix, Tab Mix Plus...

    I can't live without them. I worry that they'll all go away when Firefox abandons their extensions system in the future, like they are talking about.

    • by MSG ( 12810 )

      In particular, the ability to have extensions on the mobile app is a major advantage.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        In particular, the ability to have extensions on the mobile app is a major advantage.

        Its been a while since I looked at Firefox for Android. Nice to see uBlock in there. However I switched to Ghostery browser a while ago and haven't looked back. Still, good to have Firefox as an alternative.

    • by jjbenz ( 581536 )
      you forgot noscript.
  • Edge. LOL! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @06:18PM (#53150595) Homepage Journal

    Edge could have won EVERYTHING and I still wouldn't use it.

    • and I'd have a closer look at Sunspider, Octane, Jetstream, and Webxprt. MS has been known for "helping" reviews and articles...
    • by DNAgent ( 31914 )

      Point me to the version of Edge I can install from the Debian repos.... Yeah, not a contender.

      • by donaldm ( 919619 )

        Point me to the version of Edge I can install from the Debian repos.... Yeah, not a contender.

        Can't find the Edge browser in Fedora or Mint repos so I will have to make do with Chrome, Firefox, QupZilla and Konqueror not to mention the other web browsers I can install in a few minutes if I feel like it.

    • Yes, 'cause Microsoft is Evil (TM) and good old religious nutcases must not use Evil (TM) software. Welcome to the Islamic Caliphate of the computer world, Slashdot.
  • All browsers are fast, OK we get it. Now what about the real issue, MEMORY USAGE!!!

    Memory consumption is the big problem with modern browsers, how inefficient are they, how much memory do they consume over time, how often do you need to restart them because they consume all the memory on your machines. I don't use Windows, but I can say on OS X, Chrome is probably about the absolute worst with memory usage, it will typically hog about 200-500 MB per freaking web page. Yes, half a freaking gig just for a
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Now what about the real issue, MEMORY USAGE!!!

      Chrome, the current Firefox and a few others are designed with the assumption that memory usage is not a real issue while speed is - hence all that stuff in tabs being kept in memory. Yes it sucks if you want to use anything other than their application at the same time or have an older machine with less memory than the maxed out dev machines, but those developers do not care about such a situation.
      The answer is an older version or a project that has a goal of

      • Huge memory usage brings with it a range of problems. Instead of the browser itself choking on a page (rarely happens), now the entire operating system chokes because the browser gobbles up all the available memory. I have a bad habit of keeping lots of tabs open, and over time, each of them consumes more memory. I've fairly regularly have a 8GB 2015 iMac completely lock up because the browser used up all the available memory.

        Its just plain sloppy careless coding. If you're not paying attention to how mu
        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          Instead of the browser itself choking on a page (rarely happens), now the entire operating system chokes because the browser gobbles up all the available memory

          That's a WIN for the average application developer. Why would you want to run anything else on your computer other than their masterpiece?

          Thus needing to look outside the mainstream for something to do the job the way you want it instead of the trendy way.

      • by donaldm ( 919619 )

        Now what about the real issue, MEMORY USAGE!!!

        Chrome, the current Firefox and a few others are designed with the assumption that memory usage is not a real issue while speed is - hence all that stuff in tabs being kept in memory. Yes it sucks if you want to use anything other than their application at the same time or have an older machine with less memory than the maxed out dev machines, but those developers do not care about such a situation. The answer is an older version or a project that has a goal of a low memory footprint.

        Having 16GB of DDR4 memory is great except I rarely exceed 4GB of usage even with multiple web browsers and tabs. Most of the time I use Chrome and my overall memory utilization (includes system applications as well) is around 1.5GB to 3GB. Just for your edification, I opened 20 tabs in Chrome and my memory utilization jumped from 2GB to 3GB. Maybe you are running Chrome on the wrong operating system.

        BTW. I run Fedora 24 and on login I automatically run Konsole (six shells) , Dolphin, Ktorrent, System mon

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          Once someone opens a PDF in chrome on linux that memory usage increases a LOT and doesn't reduce when the tab is closed. The same goes with some other plugins. I've had a few people on 8GB go into swap until they close chrome but each time they may have had that instance of chrome running for a couple of months.
          • by donaldm ( 919619 )

            Once someone opens a PDF in chrome on linux that memory usage increases a LOT and doesn't reduce when the tab is closed. The same goes with some other plugins. I've had a few people on 8GB go into swap until they close chrome but each time they may have had that instance of chrome running for a couple of months.

            I am using the QupZilla browser to reply to you on this.

            When I start Chrome my memory utilization goes from 2.3GB to 2.5GB
            Start four tabs and open up some large (3 over 4MB PDF's - one was 35MB). Memory utilization now at 3.38GB.
            Remove the four tabs that contain the PDF's. Memory utilzation now at 3.2GB and is still dropping but very slowly.
            Close Chrome. Memory utilization drops to 2.36GB, which was where I started before firing up Chrome.

            I do concure with what you said but I normally close my brows

            • by dbIII ( 701233 )
              Thanks for the reply.
              The problems (minor ones really) were with Chrome with the Adobe PDF plugin and not the current version of Chrome that renders PDF files itself.
              It had a very bad habit of keeping an "acroread" process running after the tab had closed.
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @06:35PM (#53150659) Homepage

    MathML: Firefox wins!

    Mostly on account of the other browsers not supporting it at all.

    • It seems Chrome had good reasons [quora.com] to remove MathML
      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        The "good reason" being a security bug that no one could be bothered fixing so they just ripped out the whole implementation.

        Never mind that it's an important part of the HTML5 specification and MathJax, while nice, is too slow for many situations and shouldn't be necessary on modern browsers at all.

  • I've since switched to Opera (with built in ad blocking) and things seem faster.

    Unlike FIrefox which would crawl to a stop randomly.

    • I've also switched about 2 months ago or so after trying Opera for a while and have been happy.
  • Who the fuck cares (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nobody

  • by theendlessnow ( 516149 ) * on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @06:39PM (#53150687)
    Where are the Flash benchmarks?

    Preparing to watch this post sink to the ocean floor....
  • These tests are totally rigged. No mention at all of Netscape Navigator. It's a disgrace.

  • The test should be on a local LAN server and a mix of different hardware to test on.

    also re-image the system after each browser change so that so caching can't mess up the tests.

  • All the plots in the referenced article do not start at zero. This leads to very misleading plots so be warned.
  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @07:25PM (#53150905)
    Lynx, the text mode browser, beats the lot in speed.
    How is that for an illustration that features matter and Edge needs more than speed to measure up to the web browsers that have been developed for longer.
    • by DMFNR ( 1986182 )
      Lynx is a bloated mess, I don't understand how something meant just for web browsing can use over two megabytes of memory, that's like a quarter emacs, or one five millionth an LOC, absolutely ridiculous. Real power users should be using either retawq or netrik.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Yes I totally agree (I remember this being discussed when an attempt was made to build lynx for DSLinux on the Nintendo DS) but it's the text mode browser most people have heard of so that is why I used it as an example.
        • by DMFNR ( 1986182 )
          I was just being a smartass really, but it's amazing what difference a change in perspective can make! If you really want to get lightweight check out the ancient line mode browser co-authored by Tim Berners Lee: https://www.w3.org/LineMode/ Only uses 1.2 mb on my system!
  • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @09:14PM (#53151419)

    >"The competition remains fierce. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have all gained a variety of new features and improvements over the past year."

    Isn't it nice to not have just one mega browser? Competition is a wonderful thing.... Edge is not multiplatform, nor open, so not sure it can count, completely. Chrome is not really open-source (the base is, as Chromium), but at least is multiplatform. Firefox is completely open and very multiplatform, but seems to be turning into Chrome for some reason (gotta piss off your user base, you know). But all three are winners in various benchmarks.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Notice that in most of the ones where edge won they didn't zero the bar charts (bottom at zero) so it looks like edge won by a lot. But on most of the other bar charts they did zero them so it looks like the other browsers barely beat edge.

  • by Fencepost ( 107992 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @12:08AM (#53152047) Journal
    Most of the results (despite how the graphs are distorted) are actually really close.

    Sunspider differences were actually big with Edge 108ms, Chrome 190ms, Firefox 254ms

    Octane had Edge winning with 33489, Chrome second with 31839, Firefox last with 30307. That means Edge was about 10% faster than Firefox, with Chrome splitting the difference. Not huge.

    Kraken had Chrome at 938ms, Edge 1160ms, Firefox 1224ms, so around 25% slower for Firefox - enough to be noticeable, depending on what you're doing.

    Jetstream had Edge winning with 219, Chrome with 184, Firefox trailing badly at 154, so again a fairly substantial gap. Looking a little at the details, all had around the same throughput and whatever's being measured on latency was the driver for the differences.

    For the Oort WebGL graphics, Firefox was best with 10000, Chrome second at 9940, Edge third at 9920. Those are not differences that excite me.

    Peacekeeper (no longer maintained) had Firefox first at 4655, Chrome second at 4325 and Edge trailing badly at 3091 - not quite as lopsided as the Sunspider results, but quite the reversal.

    For WebXPRT (HTML5+JS), Edge won with 448, Firefox at 402, Chrome at 396. That's 10% faster for Edge, but margin of error for Chrome and Firefox.

    And finally for the HTML5 test Chrome had 499, Firefox 462, Edge 460 - again around a 10% difference between slowest and fastest.
  • Nice of them to run these benchmarks, but a little better analysis would be nice. Like the Oort Online test. Chrome got 9960 and Firefox "left it in the dust" with 10,000. That's 0.4%. The difference in frame rate would be 59.76 fps vs 60.00 fps if the results are translatable.

    Also, I doubt their results are generalizable across all computers. I just ran the peacekeeper benchmark on all three browsers on my laptop and chrome won.

    Me: Chrome: 3191, Firefox 2908 (-283), Edge 2158 (-1033)

    Them: Firefox

  • Why not include other browsers such as Opera, Vivaldi, or even Safari?
  • the biggest problem that I have is not browser performance, but crap web sites that are badly designed.
    * Download insane amounts of JavaScript from third parties (facebook, linked in, google analytics, ...) none of which improve my experience
    * Have large images or auto start playing some video advert
    * Badly written - fail the W3 validator suite
    * Javascript that sits in a loop using large amounts of CPU doing nothing (that I can see)
    We need a survey for major web sites using metrics like this. The probl

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @07:53AM (#53153539)
    Who are the people for whom the benchmarks are the most important thing about a browser.?

    .
    For me, my concern is more with the disaster that the Firefox UI has turned in to.That affects me whenever I use Firefox.

    How fast does a page load? They all load quickly enough, once I disable advertisements.

  • I'd like to see a Mac version of this, pitting Chrome, Firefox and Safari running natively on the latest OS and recent hardware.
  • Read carefully. Some of the bar graphs seriously distort the truth by using a non-zero origin. Notably, the one for Oort Online makes it look like there are big differences between the three browsers, despite the fact that the slowest browser is less than 1% slower than the fastest one.

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