Speed Test: Firefox 3 vs. IE 8 vs Opera 9.5 - gHacks Tech News

Speed Test: Firefox 3 vs. IE 8 vs Opera 9.5

I have not done any tests lately that would reveal the speed of each of the new upcoming browsers. The latest official builds have been tested, they are at the time of the test: Opera 9.5 build 9815/1834, Firefox 3 Gran Paradiso beta 4 and Internet Explorer 8 beta 1. I have been using the Webwait application for this test which monitors page loading times of pages that you select.

All browsers were already in memory and the following pages were each loaded once to avoid cache issues: Digg, CNN, Ghacks and Facebook. The results were pretty astonishing and I'm still thinking that some of the slow loading times might have been caused by a server hickup or a short prob with my Internet connection although I did not see any signs for that on my part. Another possible cause could be add-ons that have are already working in Firefox.

The most astonishing values are two page loading times of Firefox 3. It tool 13.17 seconds to load Digg while Opera needed 5.59 seconds and Internet Explorer 8 only 5.28 seconds. The second huge difference was encountered on Facebook where Opera 9.5 was the fastest browser with a loading time of 1.95 seconds.

Internet Explorer 8 followed with 2.83 seconds and Firefox 3 needed 22.60 seconds to load the page. Firefox on the other hand was the fastest browser when loading my site with 1.9 seconds followed by Opera with 2.38 and Internet Explorer with 4.83 seconds.

The same can be said for the loading time of CNN where Firefox needed 2.94 seocnds, Opera 3.38 seconds and Internet Explorer 8 4.58 seconds.

The only two values that stick out are the Firefox loading times of Facebook and Digg. Anyone here who would like to test the speeds on their connection and post the results in this thread ?





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    Comments

    1. Rob said on March 12, 2008 at 2:00 am
      Reply

      When I loaded Digg (which I never visit) into FF3b4 over a pretty loaded corporate network with a 100Mbit feed (no, it’s not a direct pipe, theres QoS policies and a firewall in the way), it loaded in 7.96sec, the next load took only 2.56sec.

    2. Gemini said on March 12, 2008 at 3:25 am
      Reply

      -2.22 for facebook
      -22.93 for digg

    3. Aaron said on March 12, 2008 at 3:28 am
      Reply

      Hi,

      Great Blog,

      My results using Firefox 2.0.0.12 and a 512kbps Broadband Connection were

      Digg – 14.09
      Facebook – 19.11 (That’s Gotta Be A Record)
      GHacks – 23.88 (But Wait, It Gets Better)
      CNN – 60.86 (That just can’t be right)

      Anyway, Make what you like of those

    4. Oropher8598 said on March 12, 2008 at 3:31 am
      Reply

      Facebook and Digg both use forms of browser detection that look for ‘Firefox’ in the browser’s user-agent string. The problem you’re seeing is because pre-release verions of Firefox 3 announce themselves as ‘Minefield’ instead.
      While any form of browser detection is a bad idea, sites that have to do it should actually look in the user-agent string for ‘Gecko’, the underlying engine used by Firefox and an increasing number of other browsers

    5. Stallon said on March 12, 2008 at 5:47 am
      Reply

      FF 2
      digg 9.52
      ghacks 2.71
      facebook 3.87
      cnn 13.55

      FF 3
      digg 10.84
      ghacks 2.91
      facebook 5.02
      cnn 12.39

      FF 4
      digg 10.22
      ghacks 2.83
      facebook 4.51
      cnn 12.17

      IE 8
      digg 13.53
      ghacks 9.98
      facebook 5.39
      cnn 20.27

      Opera 9.5 (could not test with webwait)
      digg
      ghacks
      facebook
      cnn

      (sorry for the terrible format of results, was in great hurry :) )

    6. Tehmul Ghyara said on March 12, 2008 at 6:55 am
      Reply

      I got different results:
      Facebook, with Firefox 3 : 11.28 seconds
      Facebook, with Opera 9: 29.84 seconds
      Digg.com got stuck in both Firefox and Opera, with the statusbar in FF reading ‘Transferring data from y.digg.com’ which turns out to be a Hitbox counter

    7. BT said on March 12, 2008 at 7:00 am
      Reply

      I think it is still too early to judge firefox, Im sure they will deal with speed optimization before they release. They are doing major overhaul changes every build.

    8. lol said on March 12, 2008 at 7:02 am
      Reply

      its because digg sucks

    9. BT said on March 12, 2008 at 7:05 am
      Reply

      Also check out other benchmarks,
      http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=8203

    10. BT said on March 12, 2008 at 7:34 am
      Reply

      Firefox has capabilities that have not be really unleashed. If you want check out my results with Firefox 3b4
      Applying the following tweaks:
      Quick and Dirty Settings
      Fast Computer Fast Connection
      Common to all configurations
      http://www.tweakfactor.com/articles/tweaks/firefoxtweak/4.html

      and the results are: As you can see I got a 2.03 Second benchmark result for Facebook. I would love to write detailed guide on how to do it without all the hassle of going through all the old outdated guides.

    11. indy said on March 12, 2008 at 11:08 am
      Reply

      ok… uhmm… i’m running ff3b4, here’s my results:
      http://www.digg.com/ –> 6.22s
      http://www.cnn.com/ –> 8.38s
      https://www.ghacks.net/ –> 2.98s
      http://www.facebook.com/ –> 6.60s

      just installed opera Version 9.25 Build 687
      same order:
      16.62s
      14.86s
      4.90s
      2.42s

      not sure i really want to send this as i know it’s very useless :D

    12. Adi said on March 12, 2008 at 1:10 pm
      Reply

      These results are really confusing, is there some benchmark for these tests and results

    13. Jawwad @ Inspired Geek said on March 12, 2008 at 7:12 pm
      Reply

      Yeah! they indeed are looking confusing. I also wonder if someone can come with a standardized way to test these big websites loading time to gauge the performance. Although theoretically ajax intensive websites should load/render very fast in Firefox 3.0 b4 because of the enhancements that they have made. Unfortunately personally I can’t test it very authentically because I am on a very slow connection(for now).

    14. Anonymous said on March 12, 2008 at 11:12 pm
      Reply

      Actually, for digg.com at least, I find that if I just prematurely kill the loading once the website looks loaded (I have no idea why the digg page takes so long to load when most of it loads within three seconds, is it hanging on some image or something?). Nothing big happens, it’s just annoying. I hope they get this fixed before final release.

    15. exglade said on March 13, 2008 at 4:58 am
      Reply
    16. Derek said on March 18, 2008 at 7:23 pm
      Reply

      CNN.com: 14 seconds with FF3B4

    17. ear said on April 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm
      Reply

      FF 3beta5

      Digg-7.39s
      CNN 9.45s
      Facebook 5.17s

    18. james said on May 20, 2008 at 5:51 am
      Reply

      weird everyone must have slow connections all my pages load instantly on each browser opera has been the fasted and so hase firfox 3, safari is ok but lags, and ie 8 vista lags some too so far i like firefox 3 dont have 2 on mine cuz for some reason it lags ALOT

    19. SteveLuke said on June 6, 2008 at 1:20 am
      Reply

      Trying FF3RC2 for first time. Latest IE8 release is still B1. My results:

      FF3RC2 CNN=2.99 Digg=5.84 Facebook=1.31 GHacks=3.28
      IE8B1 CNN=7.70 Digg=6.23 Facebook=7.09 GHacks=6.08

      I am on a residential cable line, shared with 3 other computers on a 2 year old computer. This was the first time I visited any of those 4 sites on these browsers (or this computer for that matter) so I don’t think caching played a part.

      Personally, I just installed FF3RC2 today and was immediately surprised at the speed on pages I frequent regularly. Probably 3x faster over what I was seeing with FF2 for some sites.

    20. AcrankyGeek said on June 7, 2008 at 4:37 am
      Reply

      There are so many variables that you will never get a valid speed test. Everything from your systems mem/cpu load at the time of browsing, your router, your carriers exchange, your isp, the web route to the website, the bandwidth available to the website, the number of users on any of the above, the number of downloads/bandwidth to or from any one of the above, the time of day (carriers share/donate their capacity to other carriers under load) etc, etc. It aint never going to show you the relative speed of one browser versus another. Just select a browser based on features you need/like and on how much security does/doesnt matter to you.

    21. Antic said on June 18, 2008 at 11:58 am
      Reply

      I tested Firefox 3 Final.
      My bandwith is 1 Mbs
      Facebook: 4,8 sek
      Digg: 15,2 sek

    22. joey said on June 20, 2008 at 3:23 am
      Reply

      You are testing Webwait, not the browsers.
      And the conclusion is : Webwait returns random results and should be removed from your PCs :-)

    23. Jeffro said on June 21, 2008 at 6:08 pm
      Reply

      I tested firefox3 Final w/ black aero theme.
      5 meg cable connection.
      Digg 2.8 sec
      Facebook 2.9 sec
      ghacks 2.9 sec

      p.s. The aero theme actually feels a hair slower than the default ffox theme
      p.s.s I used a stopwatch, not webwait
      p.s.s.s the only siete that was cached was facebook

    24. alex said on July 1, 2008 at 3:53 am
      Reply

      digg took 6 seconds
      facebook took 2 seconds
      google took under 1 second
      youtube took under 2 seconds

    25. arash said on August 30, 2008 at 8:20 am
      Reply

      Hello guys, i used opera for 5 years, since opera 7 was releasd
      OK, I test Google Mail
      by the way I’m leaving in iran and my internet speed is ~40kbps
      Opera 9.5 ~21 s Gmail(older version) ~28 s
      IE 7 ~ 35 s (older version) ~ 43 s
      FF 3 ~ 23 s (older version) ~ 27 s

      Just test Opera 9.52 for 1 time, I know you will love it

    26. tim said on March 12, 2009 at 5:17 am
      Reply

      for me opera is the best i mean very little against firefox aqnd for me is more firendly user (pretty lol) so ill stick with opera

    27. Victor said on March 18, 2009 at 2:35 am
      Reply

      Firefox 3 is by far the fastest browser in the market. Firefox Loading problems with the above mentioned pages is due to firwall settings. I tested IE 7 Opera 9.64 and Firefox 3.0.7. All 3 with the same firewall settings used in KIS 2008. Firefox was 40% fastest than the other 2. With Opera and IE to be very close. If you use Firefox 3.0.7 and you have KIS 2008 you have to modify your firewall not to monitor the network traffic of firefox. This will have as an effect many ads and banners. However, by putting adblockplus the problems get solved. This is due to the fact that KIS 2008 has default settings for ONLY 2 Browsers, Opera and IE. So, if you use firefox the KIS 2008 will assign settings automatically as internet browser type “IE and Opera”. But this will cause certainly a problem with accessing pages since firefox has totally different code than IE and Opera. Hence, change the firewall settings.

    28. Victor said on March 18, 2009 at 2:38 am
      Reply

      I forgot to tell you that if you are lacking memory, do not use firefox, just use opera. Otherwise the fox is unbeatable.

    29. Yeahboi said on June 1, 2009 at 1:44 am
      Reply

      I get around 3 seconds for Facebook and same with Digg.

    30. Alex said on August 15, 2009 at 1:52 am
      Reply

      Firefox 3.5 is sooo much faster now. (on Mac, used to be much slower than Safari)

      Facebook (being logged in): 2.64
      Digg: 2.84 (down to 1.3 after refresh)
      CNN: 1.77

    31. Tech Helper said on May 4, 2011 at 1:44 am
      Reply

      Firefox is a top browser but you do need to speed it up by tweaking the settings in about:config, see here http://www.techhelpcentre.com/showthread.php?t=118553.
      Personally out of the box I think Chrome is probably superior now it used to be Firefox, Safari is very close.

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