Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Google Chrome Won the Fastest Browser Race In Site-Loading Tests

Last fall, Google claimed that its Chrome 2 Beta browser was “many times faster” than rival browsers at running JavaScript. In February, as it launched the beta of its new browser, Apple asserted that Safari 4 Beta was the world’s fastest browser. And this month, Microsoft started marketing Internet Explorer 8 with videos purporting to prove that it’s faster than its rivals.

Speed test results; click for full-size image.They can’t all be right, so PC World undertook detailed real-world tests to determine how quickly each of four browsers--the three mentioned above and Firefox 3.0.7--loaded a series of popular Web sites. The results: Google Chrome 2 Beta beat the field. Its average page load speed for our nine test sites was 1.3 seconds, half a second faster than runner-up IE 8. Safari and Firefox tied for last with an average loading time of 2.12 seconds for each of the test sites.

They saw the most significant difference in page load times with the English-language Wikipedia home page and the MySpace home page.

Chrome 2 Beta completed the job of loading Wikipedia in a mere 1.12 seconds, easily outpacing the competition. Internet Explorer 8 chugged to a second-place finish, loading the page in 2.24 seconds on average. Firefox 3.0.7 and Safari 4 Beta lagged behind, however, with average load times of 3.31 seconds and 3.38 seconds, respectively.

Chrome 2 also dusted the competition in loading the MySpace home page, getting it done in an average time of 1.43 seconds. Internet Explorer 8 loaded the page in 2.59 seconds, while Firefox took nearly 3 seconds on average, and Safari well over 4 seconds.

Safari's overall results were disappointing, especially given Apple's claim that Safari is the fastest browser on the market. To its credit, though, Safari did load the Amazon home page faster than any of its three competitors.

The ironic thing about browser makers’ speed claims is that many users probably won’t notice the difference between the fastest and slowest browsers. What with fast broadband connections and a bunch of pretty peppy browsers to choose from, few of us spend a lot of time waiting for pages to load. On the other hand, if you're stuck on a slow connection, not even the fastest browser in the world will help you. All four of the modern browsers tested are fast enough. The key factor to consider in determining which one to use shouldn't be "Which one's fastest?" Rather, you should ask "Which one do I like most?" “Which has the features I need?” and "Which one is safest?"

Source: Pcworld.com