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It’s been more than 20 months since our last browser benchmark battle, and we really wanted to avoid letting two years elapse before getting a fresh set of a results. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have all improved significantly over the past year and a half, and as I’ve argued before, the browser wars are back.
A single benchmarking program that definitively tests desktop browsers does not exist. As such, we ran nine separate benchmarks to give you a broader overview of what you can expect. We’re using Windows in order to maintain a common platform, and because that’s what the larger majority of desktop users browse on.
Unlike in past tests, this time around we’re using a Surface Laptop (Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD). Most people use laptops as opposed to desktops nowadays, and the computer we used in the past has simply become too outdated.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 until it had all the latest patches (and to fix some issues). We then ran all nine 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 67, Firefox 61, and Edge 42.
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 across browsers.
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: Chrome wins!
- Kraken: Firefox wins!
- JetStream: Edge wins!
- MotionMark: Edge wins!
- Speedometer: Chrome wins!
- BaseMark: Chrome wins!
- WebXPRT: Firefox wins!
- HTML5Test: Chrome wins!
Chrome looks to be ahead of the pack according to these tests. That said, browser performance was solid across all three contestants, 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.
Note: If you’re wondering why we didn’t include Oort Online and Peacekeeper benchmarks this time around, the simple reason is both were discontinued and are no longer available. We did, however, add new tests to our list: MotionMark, Speedometer, and BaseMark.