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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.
A benchmarking program that can test browsers in a definitive way does not exist. As such, we’re once again going through eight separate benchmarks. We’re also only looking at Windows, so as to maintain a common platform and because that’s what the larger majority of desktop users browse on.
We used a custom desktop PC for each benchmark. It features 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).
We split off a new 75GB partition for a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), downloaded the browsers, and ran Windows Update a few times until it had all the latest patches. We then ran all of the eight tests on each browser, taking screenshots along the way.
Please remember that if you try to replicate the tests, your numbers will naturally differ because you’re using a different computer. You will not get the same figures, but you may get similar results.
We used the latest browsers versions available for Windows 10 at the time: Chrome 54.0.2840.71, which was released this month, Firefox 49.0.2, released last month, and Microsoft Edge 38.14393.0.0, released this month.
Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for. Again, please remember that the exact numbers aren’t important: How they compare between browsers within a given test is what counts.
Here’s the rundown (click on an individual test to see the nitty-gritty 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!
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.
As long as you’re using one of the Big Three, you can expect performance to be solid. There is certainly room for improvement, but Chrome, Firefox, and Edge are all quite capable.