Last August, Firefox 7 won Tom’s Hardware regular testing of web browser performance on the Windows platform whilst Safari made off with the OS X crown – could Firefox hold off the onslaught from rivals, especially Google’s Chrome which recently overtook Firefox to become the world’s second most popular browser?
It appears so – new test results on the latest versions of the major web browsers have reached the same conclusion: Firefox still rules the Windows roost, just. On OS X, Safari appears completely unassailable (although I do wonder how hard the others are really trying – considering the relative scarcity of the Mac OS it is hardly the best use of their development time).
The latest versions of the Browsers were tested: Firefox 9, Chrome 16, IE 9, Opera 11.6 and Safari 5.1.2 – all versions were the vanilla products i.e. no add-ons or tweaks which could have improved performance. Tom’s Hardware concluded:
“Although Firefox demonstrates the least number of wins (one less than IE9, Opera, and Safari, and two less than Chrome), it achieves the highest number of strong scores and only turns in one weak performance“.
Chrome came second whilst Opera took a creditable third. IE9 and Safari shared the dubious honor of last place which doesn’t surprise me – Apple aren’t going to waste much time optimizing Safari for Windows and, as I wrote recently, Microsoft seem to have given up on IE.
The full testing methods used, results and conclusions are well worth a read here.
It is important to note that add-ons and plugins can play a large part in speeding up (or slowing down) a web browser so your own experience may not match these conclusions – and Chrome’s meteoric rise will likely remain unaffected by losing such a contest.
What do you think – is browser performance the most important aspect of a web browser or are you more concerned about things like add-ons, features, security, privacy and stability?