Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Firefox

On Tuesday, Mozilla released Firefox 3.1 beta 2 and Google released Chrome 0.4.154.33, so it’s time for the latest installment of JavaScript performance testing.

Here’s the highlight: Though Firefox remains the leader on the SunSpider test, with a score of 2,110, Chrome edged very close with 2,140. A lower score is better; because of some variation in results, the numbers I quoted are an average of several runs.

 

Firefox beats out Google Chrome-- by a small margin

Firefox beats out Google Chrome-- by a small margin

Firefox and Chrome aren’t the only browsers out there, but they’re interesting to compare for a few reasons. First, they’re both open-source projects launched to shake up the establishment with new ideas about the browsing experience. Second, given that philosophical alignment, they’re likely to appeal to the same early-adopter crowd. Finally, both have new JavaScript engines, Chrome’s V8 and Mozilla’s TraceMonkey, which in the new beta is switched on by default.

JavaScript is used to build sophisticated Web sites such as Gmail or Google Docs, but it’s also widely used for more ordinary operations, so faster JavaScript performance is desirable. One interesting possibility Google has raised for Web applications though is to bypass JavaScript altogether and use Google’s new Native Client software, a research project that lets Web-based software run closer to the speeds of regular software on a computer.

 

Results of Chrome/Friefox Javascript comparison

Results of Chrome/Friefox Javascript comparison

 

The usual caveats: your mileage may vary. JavaScript is only one aspect of Web browsing performance, and indeed of browsers overall. Also, this software is still in beta, Chrome in particular a developer beta.

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