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Firefox Chrome Opera Software Technology

Firefox Takes the Performance Crown From Chrome 326

Posted by timothy
from the war-you-can-win dept.
diegocg writes "Recent browser benchmarks are showing surprising results: in 'a geometric mean of all four performance-based categories: Wait Times, JavaScript/DOM, HTML5/CSS3, and Hardware Acceleration,' Firefox 22 'pulls off an upset, replacing the long-time performance champion Google Chrome 27 as the new speed king.' (Other browsers benchmarked were IE10, Opera 12, and Opera Next.) With these results, and Firefox developers focusing in fixing the UI sluggishness, can this be the start of a Firefox comeback, after years of slow market share decline?"
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Firefox Takes the Performance Crown From Chrome

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:15AM (#44165175)

    I don't get the love for Chrome among geeks. Why would anyone willingly use a browser funded by a search giant who makes money off of scouring your privacy and already has a history of handing things over to the NSA?

  • Neat test but I think the summary could at least clarify that the test system is Windows 8 64 Bit [tomshardware.com]. It doesn't really mean a whole lot to me when I'm running a 64 bit distribution of GNU/Linux. Also the tests are selected by Tom's Hardware as a suite ... some of these tests are fairly meaningless to me and I feel like something like cold start time should be more heavily weighted than, say, hardware acceleration performance. The wait time on start up affects everyone and is unavoidable where hardware acceleration is nice but also not something I focus on. Also, why is a topic like "security" included in a "performance" test? I think standards compliance and security should be separated out to their own scores.

    Is anyone reading this actually using Windows 8?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:18AM (#44165219)

    I use it because it respects my privacy and freedom, not that i ever complained about firefox being slow, but speed was never the main factor of my decision to use firefox instead of chrome.

  • Re:Adblock plus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:18AM (#44165225)

    Real addons period.
    Chrome still can't really be customized. A great example is vimperator.

  • Re:Geometric mean? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:22AM (#44165283)

    Geometric mean is useful for comparing when the expected range or units of values is different. For example, startup time is measured in seconds, but BrowsingBench numbers are things like the unitless 6646. The arithmetic mean would fail to "normalize" these values and give disproportionate weight to some over others; the geometric mean is one way of trying to account for this.

  • by oGMo (379) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:31AM (#44165411)

    It doesn't matter that much if one is slightly faster in Javascript or rendering when Firefox will halt up for 5-10 seconds rendering a new tab. Maybe it's faster than Chrome, but if I have to wait for it, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how much Firefox devs work on "UI sluggishness" if it's a single thing can lock up all input to the browser.

  • Re:Geometric mean? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:32AM (#44165437)

    So what's your theory on why Tom's Hardware would change their ranking system specifically to engineer a Firefox victory?

    I know people joke about never reading TFA, but knee-jerk cynicism is no replacement for actual knowledge. If you're going to accuse someone of deceit, you really ought to at least check on who's making them claim in the first place.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:33AM (#44165445)

    Mozilla is taking the same direction that google is at this point. I used to love Fx, but now I tolerate it. With the asinine version number bumping, the UI tweaks for no particular purpose and them taking their eye off of the ball when it comes to real improvements.

    Seems like I should just use Chrome because the Mozilla devs seem to want to turn Fx into Chrome.

  • Re:Sadly, no ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:23AM (#44166097) Homepage Journal

    To the people responding "But other browsers support extensions! You're an idiot!", yes, technically you're right, but I'm referring to the specific type of extension that would allow something like NoScript/YesScript to be viable, and I'm talking about mainstream browsers (no, Konqueror is not mainstream.)

    Yes, I'm technically wrong, but in terms of the point I was trying to make, not in any way that matters.

  • Re:Sadly, no ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:51AM (#44166425)

    about:config is the browser equivalent of the Windows registry or /etc/ files. Unless you're actually doing something a computer professional would need to do, it's a failure of user interface to require the user to do it.

  • by mystikkman (1487801) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:22PM (#44166883)

    Well, once you get past the tech savvy crowd which is like 1% of the browsing population, even if Firefox truly beats Chrome by a big margin, I don't think this is going to change things one bit for Firefox.

    Chrome is bundled with Java, Acrobat and Flash updates, which ~98% of computers in the world have. Forget a checkbox in a hurry because you want to do something useful and Chrome is installed.

    It is bundled with many PCs by the OEMs who get paid for it.

    It is constantly advertised on TV and on Google properties like Google search engine and Youtube, especially to Opera and IE users.

    Mozilla doesn't have the resources to do the above and,all this explains Chromes' growth among the nontech crowd more than just performance differences.

    I have personally seen many folks for who I installed Firefox back in the day end up using Chrome. When I ask them, most of the time they don't have no idea how they got it. Google's been sinking a lot of money into Chrome over the years(even paying websites $1 per download they drive) and it makes sense because one more Chrome install they don't have to pay money to Firefox and Opera for being the default search for another user. Benchmarks are not going to change any of this.

  • I think it's the pauses. This is mostly speculation, but from what I understand Firefox runs very quickly but much of it is still single-threaded (or in simpler terms, most of what it does is running in a single sequential order). That means Firefox might be doing important calculations lightning fast in the background, but while those calculations are running the graphical window in front of you pauses temporarily. Chrome is better at multi-threaded, multi-process execution, so the user interface is responsive while background work happens.

    Both might take 12 seconds to render a particular web page, but Chrome might load one visual element every few tenths of a second for the entire 12 seconds. Firefox will appear to load half the page, freeze for 9 seconds, then load the last bits. Either way you're done in 12 seconds, but Firefox gives the impression of being painfully slow.

    The good news is, per the article Firefox is putting a renewed investment in asynchronous operations: https://dutherenverseauborddelatable.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/announcing-project-async-responsive/ [wordpress.com] (same link as up top) and further up in the discussion someone mentioned that Firefox has decided to revisit their abandoned project to split individual browser tabs into separate threads and processes http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3929071&cid=44165865 [slashdot.org]

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