We can check your plugins and stuff

Friday, March 25, 2011

Google Chrome Stable vs Firefox 4 -- Let the browser war begin

Well folks of you have been following the browser holy wars online and offline. Then you must be knowing that all the major players have released their updated versions and every one is shouting that their stuff is the "Real Thing".
IE 9 and FireFox 4 both came out of the RC (release candid) status. Google Chrome 10 has been making waves and getting raves reviews.

So today I decided to cut though the hype and check for myself, what the ground realities are. Well we will be looking at the performances of Google Chrome Stable 64bit Linux 10.0.648.204 vs FireFox 4 64 bit (Minefield 4.2a1pre (2011-03-24). This post will be followed up by another to compare IE 9 vs FireFox 4 vs Google Chrome (all 64 bit versions) in Windows 7 64 bit.

The test system is Fedora Core 14 64 bit with the stock kernel and KDE 4.6.1 64 bit version of FireFox 4 (Minefield 4.2a1pre (2011-03-24)) and Google Chrome Stable 64bit Linux 10.0.648.204 were used. If you are wondering why Minefield was used, that is because I was not able to find the 64 bit version of FireFox 4 Final for Linux.

OK a disclaimer first the tests performed were not under strict controlled environment. These tests are meant to show a typical setup and not a uber technical computer lab/testing center. All services/applications/background demons that access the Internet/download updates were closed. This was done to minimize any influence with data transfer and available bandwidth.  The SYNC command was used three times to flush the disk cache/memory buffers before and after every launch of the respective browsers. 

All tests were run three times. This being said these results are subjective as things like I/O, memory buffers and network traffic conditions can never be kept exactly the same on any live system. NO changes were done to the FireFox 4 configuration via about:config. However Google Chrome was run with the following flags.

/google-chrome %U --prelaunch-gpu-process --enable-accelerated-2d-canvas --enable-accelerated-layers --enable-accelerated-plugins --no-pings --enable-snap-start --enable-preconnect --enable-page-prerender --enable-preparsed-js-caching --enable-gpu-plugin --enable-content-prefetch

This I believe enables all the tweaks to make it run as fast as possible for a given system.

The test conducted were for synthetic java Script test, security, Web standards compliance and real world usage. All test were run three times to rule out any one time fluke results.

Web Standards Compliance:

The Acid test was use for this.

Firefox 4.x     97/100
Chrome 10.x     100/100

JavaScript test via sunspider-0.9.1

Firefox 4.x

Total:                 333.9ms +/- 0.8%
Total:                 335.6ms +/- 0.8%
Total:                 336.2ms +/- 0.8%

Chrome 10.x

Total:                 334.6ms +/- 0.8%
Total:                 329.4ms +/- 0.5%
Total:                 330.7ms +/- 0.7%

JavaScript test via V8 version 6

Firefox 4.x

Score: 2935
Richards: 5076
DeltaBlue: 3293
Crypto: 5318
RayTrace: 2223
EarleyBoyer: 2867
RegExp: 1034
Splay: 3203

Score: 2894
Richards: 4949
DeltaBlue: 3111
Crypto: 5206
RayTrace: 2193
EarleyBoyer: 2870
RegExp: 1062
Splay: 3170

Score: 2901
Richards: 5048
DeltaBlue: 3121
Crypto: 5120
RayTrace: 2197
EarleyBoyer: 2857
RegExp: 1086
Splay: 3146

Chrome 10.x

Score: 3502
Richards: 3753
DeltaBlue: 3835
Crypto: 4069
RayTrace: 4046
EarleyBoyer: 11374
RegExp: 1623
Splay: 1478

Score: 3678
Richards: 3802
DeltaBlue: 3927
Crypto: 4095
RayTrace: 4038
EarleyBoyer: 10529
RegExp: 1613
Splay: 2171

Score: 2889
Richards: 3767
DeltaBlue: 1102
Crypto: 4083
RayTrace: 3992
EarleyBoyer: 10340
RegExp: 1546
Splay: 1552
Security Test/vulnerability test 

Firefox 4.x
Chrome 10.x
All test passed

Conclusion: It does seem that the hard working people at the Mozilla Foundation have done some good work. After the long and dead beat release cycle of FireFox 4, they have a real winner at there hand. FireFox 4 does feel fast and light in comparison to FireFox 3.x series. I have been using Chrome 10 Stable as my default web browser for some time on Linux, it provides fast start up, great rendering speed, hardware acceleration, security.

With FireFox 4.x I find the same fast start up, great rendering speed, hardware acceleration, security. It not only feels fast and nimble, have a lovely new Interface, feel and look.

Just to make sure this was not an effect of "feel good factor" of using a new product. Some more test were done to see if it is actually so. Extensive browsing was done with some 20 high traffic popular sites with heavy JavaScript, Ajax, PHP dynamic pages and client side JavaScript. Not only the pages rendered really fast, but over all rendering was also good.

The SYNC command was used three times to flush the disk cache/memory buffers before and after every launch of the respective browsers.

FireFox 4.x uses less memory that Chrome Stable on Linux. Yes you have read it right, it uses less memory. In this test run FireFox 4.x used lesser memory and had better memory management than Chrome Stable.

Total Memory usage Chrome 10 Stable 64bit Linux 10.0.648.204
275.1 M with 3 tabs

Total Memory usage FireFox 4 (Minefield 4.2a1pre (2011-03-24)
157.7 M with 7 tabs

I have been missing and great features that FireFox brings with it, yes you have guessed it right add-on. I just love ad block plus, no scripts, BetterPrivacy and several others. 

Given the speed, features, security that FireFox 4.x brings. All this was out of the box no tweaking was done via about:config, So there is more scope of fine tweaking to ones usage pattern. I will give it a 10/10. Do try it out. I am sure you will love it.

1 comment: