In New Tests, Chrome on the Mac Provides Fastest Browsing

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 05, 2012

Many of us have become accustomed to using multiple browsers, and there are lots of people in the open source community who rely exclusively on the top two open source browsers--Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome--while ignoring Microsoft's Internet Explorer. When it comes to sheer speed, all three of these browsers have played a game of leapfrog over the years, and which is the fastest tends to depend on which kind of task the browsers are performing. In one of the more exhaustive recent performance tests, New Relic, which specializes in web application monitoring, evaluated the speed of a number of browsers, yielding some surprises.

Because New Relic's business is in web application monitoring, it has a Real User Monitoring app that allows it to track real-time data on user experience directly from browsers. The data for its latest browser performance test was compiled by monitoring an average of 694,000 page views per minute.

According to New Relic's results, Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) surpassed Google Chrome for speed on Windows platforms, while Chrome 13 on Mac offered the fastest overall browsing experience. BlackBerry Opera Mini provided the fastest mobile browsing experience, twice as fast as its iPad counterparts.  

"Despite significant advances in browser technology, most users still have a sub-par web browsing experience," said Chris Cook, president and COO at New Relic, in a statement. "We found that the average page load time was still more than five seconds. Most people sense a delay on a web page after the blink of an eye. Waiting five seconds is still too long for any user."

In New Relic's tests, IE 9 outperformed Google Chrome and Firefox on Windows platforms, loading web pages in 3 seconds compared to Chrome and Firefox's 3.5 second page load speeds. That doesn't mean that IE9 is crowned the fastest browser, though. New Relic's tests confirmed that Chrome 13 on the Mac was the fastest overall browser across its tests.

Indeed, Chrome 13 on the Mac is very fast at browser startup and page load speeds. New Relic's test didn't include any browsers running on Linux, though. From my experience, Chromium running on Ubuntu is extremely speedy. 

You can find a full breakdown of the New Relic results here