As Browsers Remain in Transition, Firefox 22 Serves Up Blazing Speed
For years now, open source browsers--led by Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome--have been setting the pace of innovation. Ask many people which browser is the fastest, and they'll instantly say Google Chrome, but Firefox version 22--released only days ago--actually takes the performance crown in Tom's Hardware's latest round of browser tests, which are always rigorous. In addition, the underlying engines of popular browsers are heading in some surprising directions.
According to the Tom's Hardware tests, Firefox's new version 22 wins against Chrome version 27 in a lot of key performance tests, including average startup times across hot and cold scenarios.
Among surprises in the tests, Opera actually fares much better in performance tests than it has in the past. In case you haven't heard, Opera is in development with a new Chromium core, and Tom's Hardware tested this new development version. It looks like the switch to Chromioum will serve Opera well, and it remains a popular browser with many users.
Chrome version 27 remains fast, but it's also worth noting that Google's strategy with Chrome (from a performance perspective) is in transition. Google is creating a fork of the underlying WebKit engine called Blink, transitioning from Chromium to a combination of Blink/V8, and Opera has plans to make the same move. For these reasons, the latest performance results may give way to updated ones very soon.
Of course, speed isn't the only reason to pick a browser. I happen to use both Chrome and Firefox, and part of the reason for that is that some of my favorite extensions are only available for Firefox. You have to hand it to Mozilla, though. The company only moved to a rapid release cycle for Firefox a couple of years ago, and it has helped keep Firefox very competitive with Chrome.
You can get many more comparative results involving the top browsers here.