Thursday, February 26th 2009

Safari 4 Beta Tested, Gives IE7 a Sound Thrashing at JavaScript Performance

There is a valid reason behind why Safari is growing in browser market-share, apart from the fact that iPhone carries it: it is arguably the fastest browser there is. The fourth beta version that surfaced earlier this week went a few notches ahead of Firefox (Minefield) 3.2a1 and Google Chrome in a review conducted by CNet, to take the top-sport for the fastest web-browser. Internet Explorer (IE) versions 7 and 8, Opera 9.6, Firefox 3, Chrome, Firefox(Minefield) 3.1 Alpha 1 and Safari 4 were put through JavaScript tests using the SunSpider suite. The PC was equipped with a Core 2 Duo processor running at 2.10 GHz. Safari 4 beta gave IE 7 a sound thrashing at the test, emerging 42 times faster. The performance difference between the two were so vast that the reviewers had to prepare a seperate graph without IE 7 so there could be more resolution in the charts showing the differences between the rest of the contendors. Then again, one must take into account the fact that Chrome and Firefox (Minefield) 3.2 weren't all that behind Safari 4 beta, only a few notches. The scores are denoted by render time in terms of milliseconds. Lesser the better. The scores stand at:
  • Safari 4 (Total time: 910 ms)
  • Mozilla Minefield 3.2a1 (1,136 ms)
  • Google Chrome (1,177 ms)
  • Firefox 3 (3,250 ms)
  • Opera 9.6 (4,076 ms)
  • Internet Explorer 8 (5,839 ms)
  • Internet Explorer 7 (39,026 ms)

Source: CNET
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36 Comments on Safari 4 Beta Tested, Gives IE7 a Sound Thrashing at JavaScript Performance

#1
xfire
they should have tested opera 10 alpha too, but I got to agree that safari is very fast. Not there for Linux though. Opera is all I need.
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#2
oli_ramsay
by: xfire
they should have tested opera 10 alpha too, but I got to agree that safari is very fast. Not there for Linux though. Opera is all I need.
Agreed, opera 10 alpha is supposed to be 30% faster. Would be cool to see it included in the test.
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#3
iStink
As much as I hate Apple, I have to say, this browser does seem very quick, so my hats off to them.

Looking at the numbers, however, I think some of the results are close enough that people won't be looking at browsers like safari, google chrome, or minefield for their speed over one another, but for their UI. How features are laid out and the software's ease of use is what will increase users. For instance, how fast is fast enough? At what point can the human brain tell a difference in speed between one browser to the next? If minefield feels better, people will download it, but if safari has a better feel, and it's easier to use, then people will go with it. 500ms isnt enough to convince me to take safari over minefield if safari feels awkward to use...
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#4
spearman914
I really don't care bout this. I just love firefox because of their add-ons.
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#5
mdm-adph
I like the speed, but they couldn't have taken more design cues from Google's current Chrome if they had tried. :shadedshu
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#6
mtosev
ahhh. Safari doesn't support eBay, also it crashes (3.2 too). not a good browser.
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#7
farlex85
Fantastic, those extra 200 ms will save oodles of time for me, a modern man with a busy lifestyle. I just don't have all second to be waiting around on java to load the page. Apple you've done it again. *stands and applauds*
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#8
Assimilator
Pro: Internet Explorer 8 is 8x faster than IE7.
Con: Internet Explorer is still the slowest browser on test.

Microsoft needs to stop wasting their time on IE development, because it's obvious they just can't compete.
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#9
csendesmark
There is Safari 4 beta, but where is FF 3.1 and Opera 10? ^^

.....and where can I find those webbrowser benchmarks?

This "Web browser benchmark reseult" is too lame.. ....I mean NONAME :laugh:

ACID1-2-3 is a test, and it has a name :)

by: Assimilator
Pro: Internet Explorer 8 is 8x faster than IE7.
Con: Internet Explorer is still the slowest browser on test.

Microsoft needs to stop wasting their time on IE development, because it's obvious they just can't compete.
They started a new project to retire IE, it's name is: Gazelle
But it is not fast as the name... it's a turtle :D
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#10
Valdez
Minefield is not the code-name of FF 64bit?
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#11
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
Does anyone realise that IE8 is only 2 seconds slower than firefox. Either way even though safari is the fastest it doesn't fit in with windows and lots of webpages don't work with it etc even though I like it the most.
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#12
niko084
by: mtosev
ahhh. Safari doesn't support eBay, also it crashes (3.2 too). not a good browser.
Indeed, most Mac users don't even use Safari... But it's not that its not a good browser, its that web programmers don't follow "STANDARDS", if you check it Safari follows more standards than any other browser by a LONG shot.

12yr old kids need not be doing web work!
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#13
npp
I don't care at all about the JavaScript processing speed of browsers, and I never had the feeling any of the browsers I'de used was slow. They're are close enough, that's it.

The only thing that counts for me is functionality, and Opera has by far the most functional and flexible interface I've seen. I was sceptical about that once, but now I can't even imagine switching back to Firefox, or even Safari (I used to have that for a couple of hours once, and it simply felt wrong - I'm a windows UI retard, obviously).

As for compatibility - if a web site is lame, chances are it will be rendered incorrectly in any browser, at least that's what I've seen. So Safari may be a good choice, but Apple will have to do miracles to convince Firefox/Opera users to switch to it. Any ideas what those might be? :)
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#14
Ravenas
by: mtosev
ahhh. Safari doesn't support eBay, also it crashes (3.2 too). not a good browser.
Lol. Really? What are you talking about man. eBay doesn't support Safari because they don't want to spend the development dollars. Not the other way around.

Why doesn't ebay support development for Safari because the market share for Safari isn't really all that high as of right now.

Additionally, you can use eBay with Safari easily if you know html. All the eBay script does is convert a word like processor to html. I use it all the time.

Love how everyone makes everything out to be Apple's fault.

Also, bta...no offense man, but didn't a I already post this?

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=86345
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#15
mtosev
by: Ravenas
Lol. Really? What are you talking about man. eBay doesn't support Safari because they don't want to spend the development dollars. Not the other way around.

Why doesn't ebay support development for Safari because the market share for Safari isn't really all that high as of right now.

Additionally, you can use eBay with Safari easily if you know html. All the eBay script does is convert a word like processor to html. I use it all the time.

Love how everyone makes everything out to be Apple's fault.

Also, bta...no offense man, but didn't a I already post this?

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=86345
when i tried to pay something on ebay (paypal): safari is not supported. please use ie or firefox."
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#16
lemonadesoda
the reviewers had to prepare a seperate graph without IE 7 so there could be more resolution
These reviewers need to be introduced to a LOG SCALE graph. LOL

Anyway, javascript, what about HTML rendering. Isnt that what 99% of web data is?

And personally, I want my javascript as SLOW as possible. Nothing worse than extra fast malware getting hold of the PC through adverts you dont want to see. :roll:

(I turn javascript off, to avoid ADVERTISING, MALWARE, and other scripted-but-not-wanted rubbish).
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#17
Ravenas
by: mtosev
when i tried to pay something on ebay (paypal): safari is not supported. please use ie or firefox."
Yes, you just restated what I said, eBay doesn't support Safari. Safari supports and will work with eBay, however, eBay won't spend the development dollars for Safari support.

However, what you said is completely untrue, at least with my past 3 years experience of using Safari with eBay.

I've been using eBay with Safari for the last 3+ years. I got my Macbook when I was 18 and I've been using Safari since then. I have no other browsers on my HDD. I've never once encountered a problem with eBay on it, everything works perfect. (Except for the word processing script that converts text to html when you enter an item description.)

Here's a look at my eBay profile:

http://myworld.ebay.com/rasnyder5
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#18
cyriene
Looks nice, but Opera suits me the best. Have it customized just the way I like it
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#19
mtosev
by: Ravenas
Yes, you just restated what I said, eBay doesn't support Safari. Safari supports and will work with eBay, however, eBay won't spend the development dollars for Safari support.

However, what you said is completely untrue, at least with my past 3 years experience of using Safari with eBay.

I've been using eBay with Safari for the last 3+ years. I got my Macbook when I was 18 and I've been using Safari since then. I have no other browsers on my HDD. I've never once encountered a problem with eBay on it, everything works perfect. (Except for the word processing script that converts text to html when you enter an item description.)

Here's a look at my eBay profile:

http://myworld.ebay.com/rasnyder5
Safari crashes often. Like this: there is no error just all of the open safari windows close and that's that. also sometimes it wont play youtube videos. the same work on ie or ff. it helps to terminate safari then start it again then it works for sometime until it happens again.

no thank you apple.
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#20
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
Although firefox is allegedly slower, I will still stick with it.
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#21
Ravenas
by: mtosev
Safari crashes often. Like this: there is no error just all of the open safari windows close and that's that. also sometimes it wont play youtube videos. the same work on ie or ff. it helps to terminate safari then start it again then it works for sometime until it happens again.

no thank you apple.
First it was eBay, then its Safari randomly crashes. The eBay part I've never experienced the problems you are trying to explain. Safari does sometimes, although I will say its rare, crash on Windows platform. I report it to Apple every time it happens.

I will say though, you don't have to convince me of reasons why you don't want to use Safari. To each man his own, and I won't try to convince you to use it either way. The benches and tests are there, do with them what you will.

:toast:
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#22
iStink
i finally downloaded and tried google chrome. My dear God in heaven. Apple sues any company that even remotely copies anything from the iphone, and yet they completely and utterly rip off google chrome's UI.

I hate apple and I hate anyone who likes apple.
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#23
Ravenas
by: iStink
i finally downloaded and tried google chrome. My dear God in heaven. Apple sues any company that even remotely copies anything from the iphone, and yet they completely and utterly rip off google chrome's UI.

I hate apple and I hate anyone who likes apple.
Apple already had their UI. Google Chrome came out and introduced tabs at the top.

I mean, FFS the old tabs were used by everyone and their mother. IE, FF, and Safari all had tabs situated right below the address bar.

Lets not get into who started what here... Bias posting at its best.
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#24
aj28
by: Valdez
Minefield is not the code-name of FF 64bit?
Minefield is the codename for nightly builds of Firefox.
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#25
Black Hades
I agree that this is a bit to obscure of a test, no name no specific method mentioned... wouldnt use a browser just for java's sake.
I'll stick with my Opera, it let me down at rendering pages far lesser times than Firefox did. And it has all I need.
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