Murphy's Law: Is a Firefox 3.5 Really That Fast?



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Java Script Benchmarks alone is like the smallest fraction of the internet browsing experience.  How quick does flash load, flash video play, image loads, long table pages, heavy div layers, multiple tabs, applets, processor usage, memory usage.  Where are the other benchmarks besides java script. 



raw speed tests are great, but they do no necessarily represent the real-internet performance of the browsers-I, like many, run firefox with an array of add-ons. Some add-ons, like adblock, are not availible for chrome, and help web pages load faster by not bothering to load ads.



I agree.  I agree so much that I will recopy part of the last paragraph in the article for your perusal:

"You made it this far--so which browser is faster? Eh. To really get a sense of how your browser performs, you have to factor in more than just the JavaScript benchmark numbers. What's the memory use of the browser? What kind of content exists on the sites are you hitting up? What's your Internet connection?"



David, thanks for the review.  But I wonder if the benchmarks were done with Firefox tuned/tweaked?  Becuase I've done some benchmarking with Firefox 3.5 tweaked (using firetune), and the results were totally different in favor of Firefox.  It was about 55% faster than Chrome.  I don't know if Chrome can be tweaked as well, but it'd be only a fare comparison if both browsers were benchmarked at their maximum strength.  Just wanted to share that with you, and it'd be good to get some feedback.



Interesting.  I haven't futzed around with firetune myself, but would be curious to hear about the different settings you used to maximize your browser's performance.

As for the benchmarks, I can only assume that they were run on plain-jane browsers. No add-ons, mods, whatever. That's how I ran mine, at least.  One has to think of the normal users, after all--I bet there are people out there who have no idea what a Firefox add-on even is.



Thanks for the info David!



So, chrome is faster, I get it, and by a margin measured in the same units usually reserved for things like blinking.  I like google, I even own stock; so as soon as they add support for extensions we'll be good to go.  Don't get me wrong, faster is better, even if it's just a tiny bit.  No extensions is a deal breaker, hands down, end of story.  I just can't see giving up all that cutomization for a very small speed increase.


.a nut for a jar of tunA



One can say the same thing about any technology: what separates a videocard that spits out 70 frames per second versus a videocard that spits out 75?  Can you actually see a discernable difference?

Although a number of other factors should go into your purchasing decision beyond mere speed ratings--the same holds true for the browsers you download--some people nevertheless want the fastest technology they can get, regardless of any external factors.  This article thus served a twofold purpse: Answering whether Firefox 3.5 is faster than 3.1 (and to what extent), and whether the improvements in Firefox 3.5 are enough to topple the other browsers on the benchmarks.


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