Firefox 9 vs Chrome 16 vs Opera 11.6 – The Big Browser Benchmark Test

Late this week, the internet has been abuzz with shiny new releases of Chrome and Firefox, 16 and 9 respectively. We had previously organized a battle between Firefox 8 and Chrome 15, where Firefox 8 was the clear winner, in terms of “lightness”.

This time, we did some elbow greasing to check out the differences the new versions of these two browsers and also including Opera this time which are making to the already soaring browser benchmarks, with more benchmark tests. We decided to perform all the standard benchmarks for the browsers namely:


In the Kraken Benchmarks where lower score is better, Firefox was obviously inching closer to Chrome but Chrome still leads the pack. Opera performed pathetically.


In the sunspider browser benchmark though, (again where lower score is better), Opera and Firefox where almost neck and neck. Firefox came first by a very close margin while surprisingly this time Chrome came pretty far behind!


In v8 benchmark suite though, Chrome was leading by a fair enough margin. V8 is Google’s own benchmark suite and you can never expect Chrome to perform better than others, though the difference was not as huge as once it used to be!

Coming to my favourite memory and CPU consumption benchmarks (everybody clap!) where I note down the CPU and Memory Consumption of the browsers when loading  tabs, the results were interesting.


As you can see in all the tests above, Chrome by each version, while adding to the significant bloat it carries, is definitely slower than its predecessors, while the JavaScript enhancements made by Mozilla for Firefox 9 definitely shows up. Kudos to Mozilla! On another note, apart from Kraken, Opera performs reasonably well too, but some sites (like Google+) still have formatting issues with it.

Mozilla claims that FF9 shows an improvement of 20-30% in their javascript engine as compared to previous versions. But according to Anandtech’s tests, the change isn’t anywhere near 30%. Interesting.

So who’s the winner?

In terms of Hardware acceleration – Both Firefox 9 and Chrome 16 are good with each 60+ fps of scores, tested with Mozilla’s Hardware Acceleration Stress Test.

JavaScript engine speed – Benchmarks show mixed results. Sunspider ranks Firefox 9 as the winner while Kraken and V8 say it’s Chrome 16.

Memory Consumption – Opera is the real winner here, though Firefox 9 is very close too.

The benchmarks were performed on HP G42-478TX, with GPU acceleration enabled in all the browsers. Turning GPU acceleration off results in a huge difference in the scores, though the rankings remain same.