Opera – Still The Speed King

Opera Browser You must have come across one of the many browser comparisons which rely on benchmarks like Dromaeo, Sunspider, V8 and Peacekeeper. The main problems with these synthetic tests are that they simply measure the JavaScript rendering speeds. While rendering JavaScript is one of the more time consuming aspects of page rendering, js rendering speed tells only a part of the story. There are various other aspects like HTML/CSS rendering that must be taken into account in order to truly judge a browsers rendering speed.

Frustrated with artificial and misleading tests, a blogger took it upon himself to measure the real rendering speed of browsers. In order to achieve this he utilised offline copies of popular websites including Baidu.com, Blogger.com, Facebook.com, Google.com, Havenworks.com, Live.com, Myspace.com/tom, Reddit.com and Wikipedia.org. The average time taken to render each of these pages by all popular browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome) was noted. And here are the results:

Arrow Opera – 204
Arrow Safari – 205.2
Arrow Chrome – 205.5
Arrow Firefox – 416
Arrow Internet Explorer – 556.8

Browser Speed Test

You can find a more detailed results table here and download and run the tests yourself from here.

The biggest surprise here is Firefox’s rather shabby performance (it’s nearly as bad as Internet Explorer). These results validate what I have been saying for a long time and are consistent with my own experience. In fact I remember proving to my friends (in a rather unscientific test) that Neowin.net forum loads faster in Opera than in Firefox. Opera has traditionally been the speed king. It’s only in during the last year or so, with the advent of native js rendering that Opera has fallen behind. But, this data does illustrate that thanks to its superior rendering of HTML/CSS Opera still renders a normal webpage faster than its competitors. Although initially reluctant (due to increased CPU resource consumption), Opera has decided to implement native code compiling and is working behind the scenes on a new engine codenamed Carakan. That should help Opera perform well even in vanity tests. For now, there is little difference between Opera, Chrome and Safari as far as rendering speed is concerned.

4 Responses to Opera – Still The Speed King

  1. S.Pradeep Kumar July 30, 2009 at 6:36 am #

    I’m a regular user of Opera. It is good at speed and design. It helps a lot !

    And Opera became quite famous now-a-days because of the introduction of Opera Unite ! 😉
    .-= S.Pradeep Kumar´s last blog ..How To Check Whether A Blog Is Do Follow Or Not? =-.

  2. asdfg December 6, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    Personally I find that by testing on numerous sites and using my own judgement, Chrome is faster than Opera.

  3. used tires January 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I wonder how the recent version of Firefox, that is slated to be released soon will compare to these numbers. Talking about Firefox 4.


  4. event lighting rental February 10, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    I was never able to figure out Opera because I like the extensions from Firefox, and I don’t think widgets do the same things. If they do, someone clue me in!

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