“Say Bye Bye to My Fear of Technology”

28 Jun

Few weeks ago, while writing my Blog post about the web browsers I met with this kind of question: which browser is the fastest and the best one? Also last time some of us were arguing about the same questions. Well, I’ve had enough of these unfounded arguments during the semester. That’s why I was eager to test it and now I have a great experience.

As we know, there is a speed war on the web. Browsers compete on many fronts: security, standards support, features and speed. Many organizations and users try to claim that their browser is the fastest. The Opera site claims that Opera is The Fastest Browser on Earth! The Mozilla site claims that Firefox 3.0 empowers you to browse faster. Apple’s Safari pages claim that Safari loads pages more quickly than any other Mac web browser. Internet Explorer users often claim that they use it because of its speed, as the alternatives take longer to start and load pages.

I present my research. This is an honest, get rid of fearing of technology, unbiased view. Unlike most people, I am not only testing all the browsers, I will compare them all on the same computer. Here are the specs of my test system, for comparisons and curiosity:

OS: Windows Vista (64-bit)

Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor

Memory: 1 GB

This, I hope, gives an accurate comparison, and also gives a fairly accurate comparison of the different optimizations for each browser.

The testing system

I installed completely fresh copies of the four browsers on my Windows Vista laptop, with all settings left to defaults. It’s the same system I used to test Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, Chrome and Opera 9.5, so I can make fair comparisons between all the browsers. It’s not scientific in the strict sense, but it’s meant to measure browser performance as real humans experience it—load, click, and wait. So, then I need a timer, and was preferred using Rob Keir’s simple but millisecond-accurate timer, I launched every action with a dual tap of the enter and “\” keys to set the timer, then tapped the “\” key again when what I wanted to load had arrived.

I re-ran the tests when I thought I’d been slow, and each score below is an average of three or more trials.

I timed each browser loading up “cold” load (straight off a system restart) and “warm” (having run twice already). I used a locally-saved copy of Google’s minimalist home page to negate net connection variations and to compensate for Vista’s start-up fickleness, timed each browser exactly two minutes after boot-up. So after few seconds I came up with these following results:

Test 1: Startup time—Winner: Chrome!

In cold loading, Chrome started up two times faster than Firefox or even IE 8.

Let’s check out the warm boots:

Test 2: Warm loading—Winner: Firefox 3!

A pleasant surprise that Firefox boots faster than others, as well as how quick Opera moves in general, at least compared to Chrome in this test.

Even though Chrome was slower at startup than Firefox or even IE 8, it’s less than a second of difference between them all.

So overall, Google’s new Chrome web browser beta is getting a lot of attention with its nice looking logo, helpful features, and better performance. Firefox is bit faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice. However, it is still not as fast as Opera, and Opera also offers a high level of standards support, security and features. Opera is also, in some points seems to be the fastest browser for Windows, and also is a clear winner using history… Of course, its poor standards and security clearly make it a much less attractive prospect.

Well, that is up to you. I am not going to tell this browser exactly the best one or something so similar, I learned during the test that everything depends on how you use your browser and what you use it for, and what operating system you use it on. Although there is also a little difference in using all these web browsers, most of the major browsers perform very fast, with very little to distinguish between them. So, the choice up to you.

References in easy way to test:

Good luck

3 Responses to ““Say Bye Bye to My Fear of Technology””

  1. Lisa June 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    hey eddiiiii.
    great stuff! really.
    You did a really good job in my opinion.
    It was a pleasure to read your well structured and very interesting post.
    Believe it or not, but last week I was really fustrated because my ‘old’ server Opera was stressing me and I didn’t know which new one to choose.
    According to me google chrome is the winner 🙂
    With Opera many things didn’t work so I decided to switch to google chrome.
    I’m really pleased because the design is great and I really like igoogle.
    At work I’m using firefox and I’ve never had problems, too. But for me as a business girl the design plays a role and the usability. igoogle convinced me. But I didn’t recognize that chrome is sooo slow in the warm start…hm. maybe I should think about installing firefox…

    But all in all, thanks for your experiment, eddi.
    super work!

  2. Dian Stefanov June 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Hi Eddy,

    I think you did a really great job by this blog post. I think that knowing which browser is better is a very useful knowledge, because we use these web browsers every day. We also rely on them for conducting our researches which are part of our studies, so basically they take a big part in our academic lives. Thanks to your wonderful blog post I know have an overview of different web browsers, so I can easily make my mind on which one to use for my computer.

    I really like the way you build your blog post, on the basis of comparison. It really helps for the general understanding of the problems you want to explain. It is also very nice that you used the timer, which gives us some quantifiable measures. Usually I do not really like to use graphs, in such posts, but to use graphs in this blog post was totally acceptable and in a way necessary.

    I really like the way you structured your blog post. The combination of text, screen shots, and graphs is really successful. I wished I did the same with my blog post, because in comparison with your one, mine looks too boring.

    Anyway, really great job!

  3. moonjungkoo July 5, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Hi Eddy, great experiments. While I was writing about web-browser wars, I was also curious about its speed to be ready to run. But, I did not really try to run such experiments. Well-done! I especially like the fact that you categorised the tests into cool-loading and warm-loading. I am quite surprised by the fact that Firefox is the winner in terms of warm-loading. Thesedays, I slightly incline to use Firefox after using its Add-ons, though Chrome’s design features are really good!

    Again, thanks for the info and great tests!


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