For our objective testing, we'll take a look at memory usage, rendering performance, and website compatibility among the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. For rendering performance in particular we will be using the tried & true stopwatch method, recording the amount of time it takes for each browser to load each of the following sites: AnandTech, Slashdot, CNN, and The White House.gov. Due to the greater variability of this method of testing because of network conditions and human response lag, the results are the average of 5 runs of each test. All temporary files are deleted between runs to prevent any caching issues.
For our subjective testing, we'll be looking at feature comparisons, look & feel, flow, and more. In the interest of fairness we'll be excluding Opera from these comparisons as we do not regularly use it and as such can not properly comment on its abilities.
It's important to note that Safari 3.0 is still in beta and as such things are subject to change. Apple's public betas tend to be far more stable and usable than most other beta software we look at, and as such this beta version will closely reflect the final version, but none the less things can change.
The test setup was the following:
|Software Test Bed|
|Processor||AMD Athlon 64 4600+
(2x2.4GHz/512KB Cache, S939)
|RAM||OCZ EL Platinum DDR-400 (4x512GB)|
|Motherboard||ASUS A8N-SLI Premium (nForce 4 SLI)|
|System Platform Drivers||NV 15.00|
|Hard Drive||Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500GB SATA|
|Video Cards||1 x GeForce 8800GTX|
|Video Drivers||NV ForceWare 158.45|
|Power Supply||OCZ GameXStream 700W|
Internet Explorer 7
|Operating System||Windows Vista Ultimate 32-Bit|