Google Updates V8 JavaScript Benchmark Suite

Paul Lilly

The latest batch of browsers barely resemble those from just a few years ago, both on the surface and, more importantly, under the hood. Recent releases have focused heavily on JavaScript performance, and when you see Browser Maker X claiming their browser is twice as fast as the previous version, or three times as fast as the competition, they're usually referring to JavaScript performance. But it's not just browsers that need to evolve, so too do the benchmarks that we use to evaluate them. With that in mind, Google just updated its popular V8 benchmark suite.

"We've been constantly updating our V8 benchmark suite to force us to get faster in areas that are important to web developers," G oogle said in a blog post . "We've fixed bugs and added new tests for regular expressions and memory management. We're very focused on JavaScript performance, so we scrutinize our benchmark carefully to make sure that it's as useful a measuring stick as possible."

Google went on to credit Apple's SunSpider benchmark as having played an important role in promoting JavaScript performance and help improve JS engines, "but many of the tests in the suite are less relevant to the web in 2011. Even for the more relevant tests, JavaScript has gotten so fast that many finish in only a few milliseconds."

The reason this matters, says Google, is that such a speedy finish isn't long enough to determine which browser engine is truly the fastest. As Google points out, "a golf cart and a Tesla will finish a 10-foot race in nearly the same time."

Point taken.


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