Web Browser Comparison and Benchmarks - Linux

By Pratik Shivarkar | Labels: , , ,

This is the result of running the Acid3 test o...Image via Wikipedia
Head to Head comparison of some commonly used Linux ‘Web Browsers’
Comparison includes – JavaScript and CSS Rendering Tests, Start-Up Time, Memory Usage and Key Features
Participants -
Firefox 3.5.2
Chromium 4 [Dev build]
Opera 10 Beta 3
Epiphany 2.26.1
Konqueror 4.2.2
Operating System -
Ubuntu 9.04 ( Jaunty Jackalope ) – i386


A. Start Up -
1. Cold Start -
Browser’s first startup after boot.
[ All browsers using their default settings, No extensions loaded ]

2. Warm Start -
Average startup time of browser’s 2nd 3rd and 4th launch.
[ All browsers using their default settings, No extensions loaded ]


B. CSS Rendering Time
Test carried out – CSS Benchmark Test by nontroppo
Time required to render a page consisting of almost 2500 positioned DIVs is calculated. Result is taken from average of 5 tests.


C. JavaScript Speed Tests.
Tests carried out – Acid 3, SunSpider Benchmark, Kane’s JavaScript Benchmark
1. Acid 3 -

2. SunSpider Benchmark -

3. Kane’s JavaScript Benchmark -


D. Memory Usage
Memory usage measured with 2 Tabs and 10 Tabs opened.


E. Feature Comparison..
Features without any addon is taken into consideration.
Feature Firefox 3.5.2 Opera 10 beta 3 Chromium 4 Epiphany 2.26.1 Konqueror 4.2.2
Form Auto-Filling YES YES YES NO YES
Privacy Mode YES NO YES NO NO
Per-site security configuration YES YES Limited NO NO
Pop-up blocking YES YES YES YES YES
Full-text history search NO YES YES YES NO
Ad/Content filtering NO (Plug-in) YES NO (Plug-in) NO (Plug-in) YES
Mouse Gestures NO (Plug-in) YES NO (Plug-in) NO (Plug-in) NO
Text to Speech NO (Plug-in) YES NO NO NO
Voice Control NO YES NO NO NO
Spatial Navigation NO YES NO NO YES
Quick Search YES YES YES NO YES
Mail Client NO (Plug-in) YES NO NO NO
IRC Client NO (Plug-in) YES NO NO NO
RSS/Feed Reader YES YES NO NO (Plug-in) NO
Spell Checker YES YES YES YES YES
Crash Recovery YES YES YES YES YES
Auto Reload NO (Plug-in) YES NO NO (Plug-in) NO
Extensible YES YES YES YES YES
Themes YES YES YES NO NO
User Scripts YES YES YES YES YES
Java Plug-in YES YES NO YES YES
PDF Plug-in YES YES NO YES NO
Flash Plug-in YES YES YES YES YES
Mplayer Plug-in YES YES NO YES YES (KMPlayer)
Cross Platform YES YES YES YES (*nix only) YES

Conclusion -
There is no perfect browser, but you need to select a browser that is best suited to you.
For me I would declare Opera 10 Beta 3 as a winner..
Opera 10 almost covers every feature which is needed, and that too with lowest memory usage.
On the other hand Chromium 4 which is still in heavy development, is the fastest but lacks on many important features and most unfriendly with system resources, but browser is still in development so I’m not going to rate it bad.
Firefox 3.5 offers a balanced deal, memory usage are quite high enough but browser speed is acceptable, however Firefox 3.5 has the best extensibility among all browsers.
Epiphany is like lower-end version of Firefox, limiting to fewer features. Epiphany is good for minimalistic people, or for those who like to use Gnome defaults.
Konqueror, which is default browser of KDE, is one of the slowest browsers, also lacks some third party plug-in support. but covers essential features. KDE fans can still stick to it, but Konqueror is not useful for desperate times.

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