With the release of Opera 9.5 & Firefox 3 in the past few days, the browser war has once again begun. Apple released Safari 3.1 for Windows with big claims which started ‘who’s the fastest’ war & now all three claiming to be the fastest browser.
I am going to test Internet Explorer 7 (as Internet Explorer 8 is in beta stage), Firefox 3, Opera 9.5 and Safari 3.1.
What I’ve used in the test:
Operating System- Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 x64
Processor-AMD Turion X2 64bit 1.70 GHz
Memory (RAM)- 1.50 GB
Internet connection-128 Kbps broadband
Stop Watch- Casio (Digital)
These are the reference snapshots of the Acid tests (2 & 3) which a browser must display in order to pass the test:
Internet Explorer 7:
Internet Explorer 7 loaded pretty fast, second only to Safari 3.1. It really lacks web standards support as it could only pass Acid 1 test and failed badly in Acid 2 & Acid 3 tests.
There is no thumbnail preview for tabs, no recently closed tabs history & lacks download manager too. As we all know, It is also more prone to malwares & spywares as well.
The memory usage was the lowest when one tab was opened, however it was the highest when four websites were opened in four tabs.
Processor usage, when idle, was 4-7 %, which is also high compared to Opera 9.5 & Firefox 3.
It took more time than Opera 9.5 & Firefox 3 when loading http://techiesrealm.com & fastest while loading http://thinkdigit.com/forum when the cache was empty. It was slowest, in both, when loading pages which were already in cache.
Firefox 3 took more time to load than Internet Explorer. It is very much web standard compliant. Firefox 3 passed Acid 1 & Acid 2 test but failed in Acid 3 test. However the results of Acid 3 test were pretty much better than Internet Explorer 7.
Like Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3 has no thumbnail previews for open tabs. It lists recently closed tabs which can be very helpful if you accidentally close a tab. Firefox 3 also has a decent download manager which supports pausing of downloads, not to mention the huge library of addons. Firefox has improved security in this version & the platform native user interface is one of the best things in Firefox 3.
The memory usage was a little bit more than Internet Explorer 7 when one tab was opened however it was lowest amongst all when websites in four tabs were opened.
Processor usage when idle was 2-5%, which is the lowest in all the browsers.
It was second to Opera 9.5 while loading http://techiesrealm.com & was second to Internet Explorer while loading http://thinkdigit.com/forum when the cache was empty. It was second to Opera & almost matched Safari while loading pages which were already in cache.
Opera 9.5 took the highest time to load compared to all other browsers. Opera 9.5, like Firefox 3, has improved on web standards front. It passed Acid 1 & Acid 2 tests but failed in Acid 3 test. However Opera 9.5 scored highest in Acid 3 test.
Unlike its counterparts, Opera 9.5 shows thumbnail previews for all open tabs & like Firefox 3 it provides a list of recently closed tabs. The placement of the recently closed button is next to address bar, which is better than Firefox 3. Firefox 3 lists recently closed tabs in History menu. Opera 9.5 has the best download manager which supports pausing, resuming of downloads. You can also enter address directly in Transfers window to start downloading. This version of Opera has some problems with buttons on webpages. The size of the button appears smaller than the text written on it.
Opera 9.5 used more memory than Firefox but lesser than Internet Explorer 7 & Safari 3.1.
The processor usage, when idle, was 2-5 %, which is the lowest & is same with Firefox 3.
It was the fastest while loading http://techiesrealm.com & almost matched Safari as the slowest browser while loading http://thinkdigit.com/forumwhen the cache was empty. Opera 9.5 was blazing fast when loading pages which were already in cache.
Safari 3.1 was the fastest while loading itself. Safari 3.1’s web standards support is similar to Opera 9.5 & Firefox 3. It passed Acid 1, Acid 2 test & failed in Acid 3 test. Acid 3 test score was a little better than Firefox 3.
Safari 3.1, like Internet Explorer 7 & Firefox 3, doesn’t show preview thumbnails for open tabs. It also has no recently closed tabs feature. The download manager is a decent one. The user interface is pretty much cool with the bluish buttons & scroll bars. However some some displays do not properly display text in Safari 3.1 as it appears smudged.
Safari took a lot of memory as compared to its counterparts & was less than only Internet Explorer 7.
The processor usage, when idle, was the highest.
It was second last while loading http://techiesrealm.com & was the slowest browser while loading http://thinkdigit.com/forum when the cache was empty. There was not much time difference between Safari 3.1 & Opera 9.5 when loading pages which were already in cache.
Have a look at the graphs of the browser tests:
The browser load time:
Average Processor Usage (Idle):
Loading of Think Digit Forum:
Loading of cached pages:
These graphs prove that it is a tough fight between Firefox 3, Opera 9.5 & Safari 3.1. Internet Explorer 7 is a clear loser in terms of features & web standards. I really hope Internet Explorer 8 will catch up with the rest three.
Now, for the winner title I’ll have to admit it’s a tie between Firefox 3 & Opera 9.5. They’ll have to share the crown. As far as Safari 3.1 is concerned, I must say it is not a loser. It gave a very tough fight to these two & lost out in memory & font display departments although the overall difference is not huge.
Choose your poison!