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Visually Demonstrating Chrome's Rendering Speed 140

eldavojohn writes "Recent betas of Google's Chrome browser are getting seriously fast. Couple that with better hardware, on average, and it's getting down to speeds that are difficult to demonstrate in a way users can appreciate. Which is why Google felt that some Rube Goldberg-ish demonstrations with slo-mo are in order. Gone are the days of boring millisecond response time metrics."
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Visually Demonstrating Chrome's Rendering Speed

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  • by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:25AM (#32127490) Homepage Journal

    Your sub-millisecond rendering time enabled me to get FP!

  • Making of Video (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mr.Zuka ( 166632 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:28AM (#32127546)

    If you are interested in the behind the scene info. []

    • I use it on my netbook and it's a huge speed improvement over IE or FF, but it still lacks RSS and that annoys me. I do love that it can kill the non-responsive Flash app without crashing, FF all it does is crash... a lot.
      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        Chrome still has some occasional bugs that lead to annoying "Oh Snap!" errors, but all in all, it's blazingly fast. I develop a web app with some pretty intensive javascript functionality and a good bit of rendering on the DOM. Chrome can actually make full-screen javascript-driven DOM animations almost movie-smooth.

      • by hitmark ( 640295 )

        there is a rss extension available, tho i have not tested it much.

  • I think (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zerospeaks ( 1467571 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:30AM (#32127568) Homepage
    I think that was the coolest commercial I have ever seen.
  • by acid06 ( 917409 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:30AM (#32127588)

    But this is seriously cool stuff.

    This is marketing which probably only really appeals to geeks. Most companies these days are much more worries about the "casual" audience at large.
    Google remains true to its origins and is proud of it.

    So, yeah, you can say this is all a plan to become the big brother, bring profit to their shareholders or whatever. To me it's just plain neat and I'm glad we have Google around to make sure the other players are kept in check.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'm glad we have Google around to make sure the other players are kept in check.

      And vice versa.

    • by Interoperable ( 1651953 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:40AM (#32127752)

      It's great marketing but I'd be interested to see a side-by-side comparison of Chrome and a few other browsers rendering in slow motion for comparison. Chrome is the fastest, but only by about 30% []. Still stands out as a great ad campaign though.

      • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:56AM (#32128014) Homepage

        Notice how the benchmark you linked to tests only JS; not performance in actual usage, which "a side-by-side comparison of Chrome and a few other browsers rendering in slow motion for comparison" would be about. Also, that 30% number is in relation just to previous version of Chrome.

      • "Only by about 30%"?

        That is in relation to the previous Chrome version but even still, 30% is a significant increase in speed over the competition. 30% increase in browsing speed is more than enough reason to change browsers.

      • by electrosoccertux ( 874415 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:51PM (#32128980)

        Set up 20 pages as your homepage in Firefox.

        Now open those same 20 pages in chrome and set them as the pages shown when you open a new instance of Chome.

        Now close both of them.
        Now open Firefox. See how it lags your system and can only max out one of your processors?
        Now open Chrome. See how it pegs all 4 of your cores to 100% for about 2 seconds, and then is done rendering?

        Firefox is so slow at opening my homepages, that it hangs the Windows 7 UI. And before you ask, yes, I have about 20 pages set to my homepage and visit them all multiple times/day-- market news blogs, forums, websites, etc-- most of which an RSS feed is not sufficient.

        • I've given up on firefox. I can't even scroll some days with 5-10 tabs open. I have NoScript so it's not JavaScript slowing it down. But just pressing the down arrow doesn't work, I hold it down for a few seconds and it starts to work again. I disabled everything but Firebug - when something isn't working right in firefox I usually tweak the page, and I don't want to have to restart FF. So firebug is indispensible, if it's the cause then I guess I can't use FF. IE's developer toolbar doesn't slow it d

        • Wow, your comment sounded like those Spice TV ads. LOL.

    • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:41AM (#32127764)

      I think anybody can appreciate the explosions in the potato and lightning tests. After all, Michael Bay is very popular for a reason.

      Geeks likely understand it at a different level, but it's still entertaining for the layman.

    • by butterflysrage ( 1066514 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:53AM (#32127974)

      how many of us here have installed for friends or family because of features that likely appeal mostly or only to geeks? The vast majority of my extended family uses firefox right now because I put in on there and hid IE on them until they got used to it.

      Market to the geeks, and the plebs will follow. If for nothing else than they don't want to seem out of the loop

      • how many of us here have installed for friends or family because of features that likely appeal mostly or only to geeks? The vast majority of my extended family uses firefox right now because I put in on there and hid IE on them until they got used to it.

        Market to the geeks, and the plebs will follow. If for nothing else than they don't want to seem out of the loop

        That's a great point. Grandma texts me. Pretty cool.

      • Market to the geeks, and the plebs will follow. If for nothing else than they don't want to seem out of the loop

        This explains why the iPad has been such a failure.

        Why Linux owns the lion's share of the desktop.

        Oh wait....

        The vast majority of my extended family uses firefox right now because I put in on there and hid IE on them until they got used to it.

        Tell me how this makes the geek any less arrogant and manipulative than Steve Jobs.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Actually, people don't really know what a millisecond is or how it involves their browsing experience. People that are stuck on IE are used to waiting multiple seconds to have pages load.

      Show this ad on national television (not even the superbowl or so) and people will be downloading Chrome in bunches.

      It's an awesome ad not just for geeks but for just about anybody. Being able to compare browsing speeds with 'natural' processes we would describe as instantaneous is just mindblowing.

  • Masked under a cool CSI-like facade... Next....
  • And yet the AJAX on Slashdot still makes Chrome chug.

    • Not really. And it's actually much, much faster than it was with Konqueror.

      • Yes, really. A page with over 300 pages can make a core2quad chug even in chrome.

        • 300+ replies, I mean.

        • Makes my Core2Duo chug for about 5 seconds. Then it's fine -- scrolling is fast, less than a second to bring up a reply box, etc.

          That quad isn't going to help much, unless you've got other tabs that are using tons of CPU -- I doubt very much that Slashdot is multi-threaded.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Then don't use it. I've had slashdot blocked with noscript for at least a year and it's been performing quite nicely for me.

      • I have 14 mod points, but I have to open a new tab, enable slashdot and fsdn for noscript, refresh your comment, click and wait for moderation to happen, disable slashdot and fsdn and close the tab. So instead of modding you up I'll just say yeah, noscript lets it run really well.

        I noticed that when I accidentally left it enabled, I'd do CTRL+W to close the page and the left hand slider thingie says "Loading..." for several seconds and then the window goes away. I can turn off keyboard navigation, but I'd

  • Good stuff! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by yoshi_mon ( 172895 )

    Ok Google, I've resisted getting Chrome up until this point but you've sold me. Until it gets some form of Adblock Plus like functionality it likely will not replace Firefox as my general purpose browser but as a backup browser I am going to give it a try now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ok Google, I've resisted getting Chrome up until this point but you've sold me. Until it gets some form of Adblock Plus like functionality it likely will not replace Firefox as my general purpose browser but as a backup browser I am going to give it a try now.

      It already has that entension, and many others. It's also theme-able. You're behind the times! :P

      • I am indeed! I just installed that extension in Chrome and thought to myself, I better let /. know that I'm not a total noob and missed it!

    • Adblock for chome (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tsaot ( 859424 )
      It exists! [] Now we wait for no-script.
      • by IICV ( 652597 )

        Not exactly []. It just hides ads, it doesn't prevent them from getting downloaded. Since those stupid overloaded ad servers that slow down page loads are like 50% of what I hate about ads, it's not quite as useful.

      • by cynyr ( 703126 )
        Only problem is that it doesn't happen pre render yet. so you still have to wait for the flash ad from a third party site to load before your page loads completely.
  • I'd like to see these tests run around 6pm, not at 3am, which is the typical time of day when a genius such as this would be performing such diabolical experiments.
  • Anyone who can explain why the screen in the first example renders from bottom to top?

    I would expect it to start rendering at the top.

    • For filiming purposes, the monitor was flipped on its side and the video card set to display at 180 degrees. It only appears to render bottom to top.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:46AM (#32127862)

      See the video description for an FAQ (also n.b. this is measuring page rendering, not page downloading - 2 of the 3 sites were loaded locally):

      "Why does in the potato gun sequence appear at once, and not the text first and images second? And why does it appear to render from bottom of the screen to the top?"

      Chrome sends the rendered page to the video card buffer all at once, which is why appears at once, and not with the text first and images second. Chrome actually paints the page from top to bottom, but to eliminate a shadow from the driver board, we had to flip the monitor upside down and set the system preferences in Windows to rotate everything 180 degrees, resulting in the page appearing to render from bottom to top.

      Equipment used:

      - Computer: MacBook Pro laptop with Windows installed
      - Monitor - 24" Asus: We had to replace the standard fluorescent backlight with very large tungsten fixtures to funnel in more light to capture the screen. In addition, we flipped the monitor 180 degrees to eliminate a shadow from the driver board and set the system preferences on the computer to rotate 180 degrees. No special software was used in this process.
      - Camera: Phantom v640 High Speed Camera at 1920 x 1080, films up to 2700 fps

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      According to the description, the monitor is actually flipped upside down in order to eliminate some shadow.

    • Says in the video description, the mac is upside down and the screen rotated by the video driver.

  • file://... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Zarjazz ( 36278 )

    Cool video but probably not as impressive when you don't load from the page cache and add network latency and overloaded webservers to the mix.

    • Yep, gotta read that fine print:
      "While we had a super fast 15Mbps internet connection in the studio, any live internet connection introduces quite a bit of variability. To run speed tests on page rendering times, saving locally and loading from the local disk can help reduce this variability."

      So all the examples are loading from the hard drive. While the commercial is cool, I still think they cheated.
      • by sznupi ( 719324 )

        But still the browser really dedicated [] to overall snappiness (and for quite some time now) will yet again be forgotten.

        • Opera is dedicated to compliance to the fscking standards, secondly new innovative features and at third place is speed. Chrome is about minimalism and mostly speed. In-sane-speed.

          Chrome is way faster from an end user perspective. Opera is kinda slow in that regard...

          It's hazardously addicting. Once you're used to the speed of Chrome you cannot go back. I have a social networking page with embedded YouTube vids, 1024*768 res background, multiple levels of transparancy, images, java, a complete IM and whatev

          • by sznupi ( 719324 )

            I have clocked months using Chrome as my main browser (also quite recently, around 2009/2010 date change)...a common thing for me really, I go through most browsers over the year and check their progress; in my case its performance was unbearable in the end. But then for me it's "overall snappiness", and also when generously using such features as...tabs.

      • Cheated? Chrome can't do anything about how crappy your Internet connection is. They're just showing off how fast it can be.

        • I'm amazed at how many people blame their computer for their Internet speeds. Several years ago, someone I knew had a good computer, but was on dialup. They brought the computer to me. I plugged it into my network, played with it a little, and then asked them to demonstrate the problem. "Oh, you fixed it!". I hadn't done anything. I tried to explain that their bottleneck was their dialup speeds. They didn't quite understand. They took it home, and called to say it's still slow.

        • Rendering a previously visited page from disk is very fast in any modern browser; but no one actually browses that way.

          The marketing value of this ad is in how fast the pages load...but in real life they'd never load that fast due to the network. And Google knows it.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

      when you want to measure a certain value, you try your best to isolate it. It's hard to "see" how fast a page is rendered when you start to add a ton of other variables that could slow down the response.

  • [] All the pages loaded from a local source (as seen in the image linked), so this is a render demo only. I will admit that the render speeds are lightning fast and I've come to prefer Chrome over FF for my casual browsing. However, If I'm doing research of any kind, I know I'm going to have some 50+ tabs and until Chrome has a tree style tab plugin, FF has the job.
    • by gotpoetry ( 1185519 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:50AM (#32127922)
      Two of the three were from local source. The Pandora example was not.

      From TFYTV []:

      Chrome Browser vs. Sound: We loaded an artist page from, a streaming internet radio service directly off the web on a 15Mbps internet connection.

      The other two examples were indeed from a local disk copy.

    • These speed tests were filmed at actual web page rendering times.

      First line of the description of the video. Granted they could've put it in the title instead of just 'speed', but I think they're being pretty straightforward in stating that this is just a rendering test.

  • Most days, I love me some Chrome. But a proper ad blocking solution is an absolute must on Windows.

    Google makes money off advertising. I get that. But many ads on the internet pose legitimate security risks.

    Give me a Chrome with a proper ad block (that stops the ad from loading, not just hiding it) and I'll use Chrome every day. I'd even subscribe to a filter that blocks other ads, and allows Google ads through.

    • Either run the latest IE on Vista/7 which is sandboxed, or switch to Linux/BSD/Haiku/ReactOS.

      Adblock isn't the solution. Maybe some slick virtualisation of a minimal Linux distro like CrunchBang! Linux would help?

      • ReactOS is designed to run Windows code. Windows malware should run just fine on it. How is that secure? Likewise, people have proven you can run Windows malware on Wine. Which is why you should avoid running IE in Wine unless you absolutely need to.

        Linux/BSD/openSolaris is the solution and I highly recommend it. openSUSE is my distro of choice. I keep Windows on my gaming rig largely for gaming.

        The sandboxed IE is anything but secure, especially since plugins aren't sandboxed.

        All those Flash ads that IE is

    • by cynyr ( 703126 ) [] the only problem is that it happens after the page render, not before so if a third party ad is slow so is the whole page. There is no support currently for addons to get access to the page before render.
  • by stazeii ( 1148459 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:50AM (#32127916) Homepage
    Chrome is caching ALL content, even stuff that says "no-cache". While "no-cache" is somewhat broken, things like the horrible "Blackboard" web apps don't really work in Chrome because it's caching things that shouldn't be cached. If Google intends to do this, and encourage this with other browsers, they need to start teaching designers how to properly use caching headers so that Chrome doesn't break usability with it's aggressiveness.
  • I just checked Chrome out for the first time, and yes it does render pages quickly. But it's no faster (to my naked eye, at least) than Firefox with the NoScript extension running. And since Firefox+NoScript is also blocking scripts, Flash applets, etc. from running, it seems to me that it would be safer than Chrome anyway. YMMV, but I think I'll stick with my Firefox a bit longer.

  • I'd like to see a rig where they cause multiple computers running one browser each loading the page in the same way versus each of the objects. Or see if lightning could cook a potato before a historic browser finishes rendering.
  • I'm surprised to see an ad where they introduce the product or brand before the actual video, which is the opposite way from which things are normally done. If my psychology learnings are correct, this is actually more likely to get a strong association (through Pavlovian conditioning) than doing things the 'normal' way. I've often wondered why advertisers don't typically show their product in the first few seconds of the ad. Any ideas?

    • by cynyr ( 703126 )
      it's not as good of a hook, and they are worried that people will just leave/change channels, etc.
  • I don't know about you, but Slashdot comment pages are slooow for me to load under Firefox 3.6. The initial story block loads quick, the sidebars fill in, and then there's the painful wait for the rest of the page to pop. Large comment sections can take long enough that I get bored and try flipping to another tab -- which doesn't work under Firefox and gives the "app is busy" cursor and shades the window as "not updating".

    The latest Chrome: much faster. Zip, zip, done. 600 Comment article gives the busy-

    • FF 3.6.4 here on OSX 10.4 and 3 seconds is about all it usually takes, although you're apt to see the spinning beach ball in the meantime.
      • by cynyr ( 703126 )
        thats my big complaint, i wouldn't mind 30 second render times for slashdot, but the fact that i can't do anything else(like look for something else in google reader), really makes firefox feel really really slow.
    • With Firefox it isn't just the one window that sleeps - it's every Firefox window. Suppose you have two Firefox windows open (say, one on each monitor), each with its own set of tabs. You load up a Slashdot article, and both Firefox windows will freeze. (Turns out Firefox only runs one process, regardless of how many windows you have open.)

    • I'm using a browser that progressively renders the page as it is downloaded, interactive all the way through to the best of my abilities to check (scrolled way down while it was loading)

      ..under 2 seconds.. all download time.. none of this 'busy' shit you are getting with Chrome or Firefox.

      "Fastest browser on earth", or so claims it developers. Opera. Give it a chance.
  • Google Error
    Server Error
    The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds.

    ... when using Safari. I am sure that's on purpose.

  • by NicknamesAreStupid ( 1040118 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @02:03PM (#32130262)
    Earlier this week, I attended Web 2.0, a conference in San Francisco. One of the big exhibitors is Microsoft. At their booth was a beautiful woman demonstrating a preview of IE9. At the time, she was demonstrating the graphics performance of IE9, highlighting the fact that they used the graphics controller directly to render the spinning graphics (which looked like a Windows-NT-3GL-screen-saver) much faster than Firefox and slightly faster than Chrome. She mentioned that it was “HTML5 rendering” and pointed to the site where you or I could prove it to ourselves -- []. As she stood their beaming, I innocently asked if I could try, and she foolishly agreed to let me browse [] which gave IE9 a score of 19/160 (BTW, that is what IE8 shows too). Then I tried it with Firefox and got 101/160, and Chrome 118/160. The beautiful woman was taken aback, obviously never having seen this site or acting as such. After learning what the site was about then generally questioning its motives, she dismissed the tests out of hand, saying they were basically irrelevant when compared to Microsoft’s. A gentleman standing next to me replied something like, “browser compatibility has been the biggest issue in developing applications, and now that most other browsers seem to have converged on a common standard, you dismiss it as irrelevant. You demonstrate a new version that will not be out for a year but does not feature any movement toward compatibility with anything but yourself.” The beautiful woman went into damage control, replying that what was being demonstrated was a preview, not even beta, and implied that many things may be added by the time it ships. I hope so, but I doubt it. BTW, others at the kiosk demonstrating Windows Mobile 7 were saying that will ship by the end of the year with IE8 and , of course, Silverlight.
    • What's funny to me is that my iPhone gets 113/160 and at least 7 points were lost because of video/ audio codecs. The rest was web workers and forms.

      I actually agree w the MS rep though. HTML 5 is not yet a standard and there are a lot of things (like web workers and forms) that haven't really been fully thought out.

  • Except the Google toolbar...... WTF. Seriously, do they get how many people are sticking with FF, or even [shudder] IE, just because of that?

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann