The Test

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
Desktop Resolution 1600x1200
Software

Internet Explorer 7
FireFox 2.0.0.4
Opera 9.2.1
Safari 3.0.1

Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 32-Bit
.
Index Objective Testing
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  • sprockkets - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I think I'll stick with Konqueror on Linux, oh wait... Reply
  • Googer - Sunday, July 8, 2007 - link

    Opera and Safari are the only two that get a passing grade with ACID 2.

    Konqueror cannot pass the ACID 2 browser test. And that's not the only one IE, Mozilla, and Konqueror cannot pass. There are others.



    http://www.webstandards.org/">http://www.webstandards.org/

    Reply
  • Googer - Sunday, July 8, 2007 - link

    Also according to Extremetech, Safari had problems with Citibank.com

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2152775...">http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2152775...
    Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I use portable firefox everywhere, and could see the usefulness of having a portable safari on my flashdrive. Is there any chance this is portable, or could be easily be made such?

    John Haller, I'm looking at you.
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I know in Firefox you can type
    about:config

    and then you can turn on pipelining etc, and it greatly speeds up rendering and loading of websites by enabling more simultaneous pipes.
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    Just to confirm this, even tho ff supports pipelining it is indeed disabled by default. All the other browsers have it enabled as far as I know, which at least explains part of the loading issue.

    As to why it is disabled by default, the only reason I can remember were some dodgy webservers not supporting the feature properly.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    Yes, it was all done with default settings. Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, July 12, 2007 - link

    I appreciate keeping things at default settings, but I'd be very interested to see Firefox's load times with the one simple pipeline tweak enabled. Reply

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