It’s been some 18 months since our last browser benchmark battle. What better time to get the latest results than the start of a new year? Over the past year and a half, Google Chrome has continued to dominate market share, Mozilla Firefox has doubled down on privacy, Microsoft Edge has embraced Chromium, and Brave launched out of beta.

Users, developers, and businesses alike want to know which browser performs best. A single benchmark that definitively tests desktop browsers does not exist. As such, we ran eight separate benchmarks to give you a broader overview of what you can expect. We used Windows 10 in order to maintain a common platform, and because that’s what the majority of desktop users browse on.

Setup

Like for the last time around, we used a Surface Laptop (Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD). Most people rely on laptops rather than desktops nowadays. Plus, the desktop we used in the past has become too outdated.

We split off a new 100GB partition for a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), downloaded the browsers, and ran Windows Update a few times. We then ran all eight tests on each browser, taking screenshots along the way. We used the latest browser versions available for Windows 10 at the time of testing: Chrome 79, Firefox 72, Edge 79, and Brave 1.2.

Please remember that if you try to replicate the tests, your numbers will differ because you’re using a different computer. You will not get the same figures, but you may get similar results if you try multiple browsers. The exact numbers aren’t important: How they compare between browsers within a given test is what counts.

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Results

And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for (click on an individual test to see the nitty-gritty details):

The Chromium version of Edge did a lot better given that the stable release only arrived today. We were expecting improvements, but not so many outright wins. That said, browser performance was solid across all four contestants — each browser won at least one test. Performance of course shouldn’t be your only consideration when picking your preferred app for consuming internet content.

As long as you’re using a browser that receives regular updates (and all four of these meet that criteria), you can expect performance to be solid. There is certainly room for improvement, but Chrome, Firefox, and now Edge, as well as Brave, are all quite capable.

SunSpider

SunSpider is a JavaScript benchmark, probably one of the oldest ones around. We ran version 1.0.2, the latest and last version released (SunSpider is no longer maintained).

For this benchmark, a lower number is better.

Chrome started off OK:

Firefox did a lot worse:

Edge managed to slip right underneath Chrome:

Brave did a bit worse than the other Chromium browsers, but better than Firefox:

This is an old test, so it shouldn’t be taken on its own.

Octane

Octane is a JavaScript benchmark developed by Google. We ran the latest version, 2.0. This is also a retired test.

For this benchmark, a higher number is better.

Chrome set the bar high:

Firefox couldn’t match it:

Edge did better than Firefox but couldn’t beat Chrome:

Brave did only slightly worse than Chrome:

Given that Octane was developed by Google, maybe it’s not surprising that Chrome won this test. But it’s also the only test Chrome won this time around.

Kraken

Kraken is a JavaScript benchmark developed by Mozilla. We ran the latest version, 1.1.

For this benchmark, a lower number is better.

Chrome was pretty slow:

Firefox was much faster:

Edge was slower than Chrome and Firefox:

Brave came in second place:

Kraken is Mozilla’s benchmark, and Firefox won this test.

JetStream

JetStream is a JavaScript benchmark developed by Apple. We ran the latest version, 2.0.

For this benchmark, a higher number is better.

Chrome did OK:

Firefox did worse:

Edge managed to edge out Chrome:

Brave took third:

Looks like Microsoft still knows Apple’s benchmark the best, even with Chromium powering it. That’s right: Edge has consistently won this one over the years.

MotionMark

MotionMark is a graphics benchmark developed by the WebKit team. We ran version 1.0.

For this benchmark, a higher number is better.

Chrome did very well:

Firefox did poorly:

Edge again edged out Chrome:

Brave placed third:

This benchmark took the longest to run, and it looks like Edge was the victor, but only by a smidge.

Speedometer

Speedometer is a performance benchmark that repeats the same actions using DOM APIs. We ran version 1.0.

For this benchmark, a higher number is better.

Chrome again did well:

Firefox could not keep up:

Edge managed to sneak through again:

Brave slipped into second:

This benchmark, which is all about measuring how long it takes for a browser to execute repetitive tasks, showed Edge as the winner.

Basemark

Basemark includes various tests that use the newest web standards and features. We ran version 3.0.

For this benchmark, a higher number is better.

Chrome did well:

Firefox could not keep up:

Edge, which last time couldn’t even complete the test due to WebGL 2.0 limitations, did very well:

Brave smashed everyone else:

This benchmark showed Brave as the clear winner. It’s also the only test the new browser won.

WebXPRT

WebXPRT is an HTML5 and JavaScript test developed by benchmark maker Principled Technologies. We ran version 3.

For this benchmark, a higher number is better.

Chrome did OK:

Firefox did better:

Edge did better than Chrome but worse than Firefox:

Brave took fourth:

This benchmark has changed quite a bit over the years, but Firefox comes out on top most often.