File Under: Software & Tools

Chrome is Fast, But Not That Fast

Just how fast is Google’s Chrome browser? JavaScript performance-lover (and Mozilla employee) John Resig ran some tests that show Chrome may be fast, but other browsers aren’t that far behind.

When Google released Chrome, it included benchmarks that show its browser zipping away from the competition at light speed. There’s no doubt Chrome is fast and we think it’s already changed the web. It seems, like with most statistics, it all depends whose benchmarks you believe.

Resig works for the company that creates the rival Firefox browser, so you might take his results with a grain of salt. But unlike Google’s charts, Resig’s don’t show one browser incredibly faster than others (except for Internet Explorer, the obvious slow-poke).

SunSpider test of browsers

According to Resig, Chrome really shines in the recursion-heavy benchmarks Google provided. Even the above tests are JavaScript-only, and don’t include DOM manipulations, the basis for a lot of new web interfaces. To test this, Resig used Dromaeo, a Mozilla-created project. Again, put the bias detector on.

Dromaeo test of browsers

The results show Chrome is still fast, though bested by its WebKit cousin, Safari. Firefox is close behind, especially when TraceMonkey (no relation!), its JavaScript supercharger coming in 3.1 is included. Resig points out that TraceMonkey has been in development for two months, while Google’s V8 engine apparently represents two years of work.

Yes, Chrome is fast, but it may not be that fast. For now, it’s probably best to assume everyone’s stats are a little skewed in their own direction. Don’t be surprised if Microsoft comes out with their own benchmarks that show Internet Explorer is faster than all other browsers. Okay, be a little surprised.

Possibly the best thing that could come from the release of Chrome is that all browsers–yes, including the behemoth from Redmond–pay attention to the performance needed to run today’s web apps.

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