*JSGamebench was conducted by Facebook developers. The test was included because it's a publicly available test of real-world gameplay, though we opted to use Facebook's published data for simplicity's sake. The hardware acceleration using WebGL results were not included because only Firefox 4 and Chrome 11 were included in the test group, and Chrome 11 was not tested by CNET this round because it's still in beta.
|Chrome 10||Internet Explorer 9||Firefox 4|
|SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms)||336.20||250.60||292.37|
|V8 v6 (higher is better)||5,173.67||2,235.33||3540.33|
|JSGamebench 0.3* (higher is better)||322.00||1,156.00||1,482.00|
|Boot time (s)||26.22||21.86||17.80|
Chrome, however, is absolutely killing it on Google's V8 benchmark. Expect the next version of Chrome to perform much better on the JSGamebench test, once hardware acceleration has been fully enabled. You currently have to toggle a few switches in about:flags to get it all. Also expect Chrome's boot time and memory performance to improve--Google has said it plans to spend more time working on Chrome's memory hogginess in the coming versions.
Given the renewed resurgence in Internet Explorer, it's also hard to imagine that the IE development team isn't already working on making the browser better.
Also of interest is that the SunSpider results are extremely close. The gulf between 250 milliseconds and 290 milliseconds is just not going to be that detectable by the average person.
How we tested
Our test machine was a Lenovo T400, with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 chip running at 2.53GHz, with 3GB of RAM, using Windows 7 x86. We used four publicly available tests: WebKit SunSpider 0.9.1, Mozilla Kraken 1.0, Google V8 version 6, and JSGameBench 0.3. All tests except for JSGamebench were conducted using a "cold boot" of the browser, that is, both the computer and the browser being tested were restarted before each test. Each test was performed three times, and the results you see are the averages. Browsers had all extensions and add-ons deactivated for the tests.
The boot time benchmarks were conducted by manually starting a stopwatch when clicking on the browser's taskbar icon, and then hitting stop when the last tab's resolving indicator stopped rotating. One half-second was subtracted from Internet Explorer 9's pre-averaged times to account for the extra time it took to hit the Reload previous session link, since the browser doesn't support that feature the way Firefox 4 and Chrome 10 do.
The memory test was conducted by opening the aforementioned set of tabs and looking at Google Chrome's memory manager. You can access it by typing "about:memory" into the Chrome location bar. The figure we used is the Private Memory, which only totals memory used by the browser that's not shared by other processes. It's also useful because it tallies all of Chrome's open tab memory usage into one convenient number.