IE beats Firefox, Chrome in Microsoft's Penguin Mark

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 22, 2012
Internet Explorer

Microsoft has released a new benchmark to demonstrate the power of Internet Explorer 10. Penguin Mark has been uploaded to the IE Testdrive website to test web browsers in a new taxing technology mix. The benchmark uses a variety of technologies including HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, Canvas. When you click the test your browser button on the main page you are taken to a page that displays various animations and plays a rather annoying sound at the same time. A score is displayed at the bottom left that highlights how fast the browser is in the benchmark. If you compare web browsers, you will notice that animations tend to be faster on faster systems.

When you run the benchmark you are probably expecting Google Chrome to take the crown as it is generally seen as the fastest browser on today's Internet. Chrome users will however face some disappointment when they realize the Internet Explorer is whipping the floor with the browser in that benchmark.

Chrome users will get scores between 50 to 150 points in the benchmark, while Internet Explorer 10 scores go well in the thousands. The IEBlog screenshot shows a score of 24281 and while I was not able to come close to that score running IE10 on Windows 7, the 4000 that I got were a lot better than Chrome's 69 points, Firefox's score of 102 or Opera's score of 39.

Why is Internet Explorer 10 that fast in the benchmark while both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are not? Hardware acceleration is supported by all three browsers so that can't be it, at least not if you do not believe that Microsoft's implementation is that faster than that of the other two browsers.

This leaves either another feature that IE supports that the other browsers do not, or a benchmark that Internet Explorer in some form or another has been optimized for. I'm not saying Microsoft cheated here or anything, but there must be an explanation for the discrepancy.

What is your take on this? Why is Internet Explorer beating all other browsers by such a large margin?


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  1. Pie said on February 10, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Ha ha ha !!!
    Just change the user agent of your browser, clean your cache, and you’ve got VERY different results with the same browser if he claims being Firefox/Linux or iExplorer10/Windows…
    Ha ha ha !!!
    Microsoft has a very big experience in the falsification of result according to the Internet navigator… Just remember 2003 : Opera Software has accused Microsoft of deliberately engineering the MSN home page in order to make it look as if the Opera browser has a serious flaw.
    Bad boys !

  2. steve said on December 19, 2013 at 3:27 am

    if you look at the official test i.e.11 is the most up to date with new technology, so it is not surprising that it is faster. in i.e.11 desktop score is 18545 and in i.e.11 metro mode score is 36000. most of the time when I encounter web problem is the web site that as error it takes only a fee second to find those web error using the f12 tool that comes with i.e.11. some web site are not even ready for i.e. 8 and are using deprecated j-query lower then 1.6.3 , knowing that browser can be updated free at no cost and that if you have a 32 bit pc single core you can use i.e.8 make you wonder why those web site are not updated and error corrected since you also have free tool on the net for this. especially when some of those web site are business web site and make money with technology. this will probably change next year when update and support for os windows xp will stop(april 2014) and people will buy new computer. google also have a test for browser feature where they score higher then i.e. 11 but some of those feature are not always official or followed and might change in the future since html5 css3 java svg ecma and other new technology can already do those same feature. simple example: would be animation, video and audio. will also say that i.e. 11 use pre fetch and pre render using the gpu or the software for acceleration. giving faster performance.

  3. steve said on December 13, 2013 at 5:21 am

    my score is 18545 using i.e. 11

    take a look at this and you will know the difference across browser

    if you go through all the test made you will know the difference across browser and what browser pass all the test on the new modern standard.

  4. Edin said on April 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    IE 10 do have some improvements over chrome with image manipulation using javascript, e.g. using jQuery fadeIn, fadeOut for me it works better in IE. This test IE scores better because of use of setImmediate function, for chrome and other browsers setTimeout function is used with lower timer resolution. You can check this by executing following js code in IE console:

    window.requestCallback = function (callback) { window.setTimeout(callback, 0);};

  5. Mayank Singh said on March 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    IE 10 gets a score of 9982, oddly enough, I ran the test 2times and got different results each time. Once, it also well upto 24,000.

  6. Matt said on December 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    In Internet Explorer 10 I got 9038 score.

  7. Ricus said on December 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

    So how is this different than the other vendor inspired and created benchmarks like peacekeeper ,kraken etc… ?

    Even the vaunted (testing some none actual html 5 specifications or vendor prefixed ones.)

    I call hypocrisy from everyone frothing at the mouth because MS dared make a benchmark casting them in a good light.

    “Hypocrisy is the state of promoting or administering virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have and is also guilty of violating.[1] Hypocrisy often involves the deception of others and thus can be considered a kind of lie”

  8. Caspy7 said on December 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Microsoft creates a benchmark.
    IE blows everyone else out of the water with it.
    We all try to act not-surprised.

    This is not news. Please don’t waste our time with it.

  9. No bias please said on December 25, 2012 at 3:33 am

    I got 0 on Firefox 17.
    What. The. Heck.

  10. Gregg DesElms said on December 25, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Why is anyone surprised by this. It’s Microsoft’s test, so, of course, Micrsoft wins.

    It’s no different from feature “comparison” charts/tables on product websites: The maker of the chart cherry-picks the features its product has which its competitors’ products don’t, and then those things dominate the features compared on said chart. This is exactly the same.

    And Microsoft, long ago, showed itself capable of such manipulation. So, then, I just don’t understand why anyone is surprised. C’mon.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  11. Eric said on December 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    In the Netherlands there is an expression “Wij van WC-Eend adviseren … WC-Eend”. Meaning “We from Toilet Duck advise … Toilet Duck”, in our country this has become synonymous for conflicting interests and “not-so-neutral” advise. It seems that Microsoft has the same marketing consulancy people as this toilet cleaner firm…

  12. Denroser said on December 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    My Results are :
    IE 10
    Win 8 Pro 32 bit
    i7 2600 @ 3400 GHz
    4 GB Ram DDR3 @ 682 MHz

  13. Dennis said on December 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    The scoring calculation exploits the deferred rendering of IE context2d so the calls return very fast. for more technical details. is a modified version that just counts number of frames rendered within the timespan that the benchmark runs. IE still beats Chrome and Firefox with a factor two though, their canvas is very fast.

  14. Omegadrive said on December 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Win7 64 in 60Gb SSD, Radeon HD 6950 OC, Intel i7 2700k @ 4.5Ghz

    This test is sooooo bogus…

    Opera 12: 104 (Froze at the end)
    Crome 23: 218
    Firefox 17: 295
    IE 10 Preview: 78687 ROFL!!!

    Way to go MS…. :P

  15. ghostwind said on December 23, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Does anyone actually know what is being tested? The test is clearly either tuned to IE or the results are fake. Either way, I will never trust a test created by a vendor for one of its own products. Microsoft has everything to gain by fabricating tests like this in order to gain market share.

  16. Andrew said on December 23, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I got…

    3 on chrome 23
    21 on Firefox 17
    70 on Opera 12.12

    …and 14731 on IE 10…

    what the…

  17. Wayfarer said on December 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Microsoft now trying to dominate the snake-oil market?

  18. roderick said on December 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Score 123 with chrome. Yeah it has to be rigged.

  19. MacMac said on December 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Is this a speed test? That score means time to completion?
    In that case, a lower number means a better (faster) browser.

  20. Rohit said on December 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Scored 41 and 11 with Google Chrome 23
    Scored 31 with Firefox 16
    Bad luck with Opera 12.11 didn’t even manage to get above 0

    Clearly, PenguinMark is not a trustable benchmarking system and Internet Explorer 10 is optimized for this test.

  21. Chris said on December 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I fit right here, scored zero with Pale Moon. Maybe the lower the score the better; in that case, most all of us seem good to go.

  22. Shea Bunge said on December 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Why does IE score so high? Because Microsoft made the damn thing!

    1. Shea Bunge said on December 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      As in, the benchmark is highly optimized for IE. I scored a total of 1 in Google Chrome 23

  23. No bias please. said on December 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Like…out of nowhere, Internet Explorer is winning. Obviously Microsoft is cheating.

    Like… we DONT EVEN KNOW where the heck PenguinMark came out of. No background, unlike Peacekeeper. There is no heck of a history on PenguinMark, that they give reliable results or in any way really tests your browser. Peackeeper is a more reliable one, and HAS NO BIAS.

    Words mean NOTHING. Just because it says it tests CSS, Canvas and all those other random stuff, it provides ABSOLUTELY ZERO evidence that it really tests it. Like several penguins popping around means absolutely nothing.

    THIRD of all, this ‘Penguin Mark’ test is by Microsoft. Sure, i’ll give it some credit if it was by some company that has no bias and no motive to be bias. But PenguinMark is BY MICROSOFT, and tells that Microsoft can edit the results freely.

    Three reasons why Microsoft is cheating.
    1. PenguinMark just popped out of nowhere saying that IE10 is best. It’s no like it was here for 5 or 10 years and gave legitimate results for those years.
    2. Words mean nothing. Just because it has penguins popping and numbers rolling doesn’t mean it actually tests your browser fairly.
    3. To add to that, Microsoft made it. Microsoft could have done anything to enlarge IE10’s results, and could have cheated.

    Really, PenguinMark is the last benchmarking system i’ll ever trust in my life.

  24. bastik said on December 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Windows 7 64bit, AMD processor and graphics card (which might explain something, because the may optimized their benchmark for Intel!?)
    Firefox 17: 131 (on results page)
    IE 9 (32bit): 195 (does not show results page*)
    IE 9 (64bit): 149 (does not show results page*)
    IE 10 isn’t available on my system; Opera Portable would be.

    *finishes, but stops without any result page

    My system wasn’t idle at any point but CPU and RAM usage (non browsing related, non benchmark related) should have been constant enough to not influence the results to a too high degree. (I re-ran in Firefox 17 and got 134 points)

    Vendors create benchmarks that are biased towards their own product, so far so good. Browsers in Google and Mozilla based tests as well as independent ones pass those more or less as expected. For me it is the case with this benchmark, referring to my results.

    Seeing the whole thing it might be that they optimized it for their browser and “special” hardware. The results are not comparable, like you’d compare a racing car with nitro against a wheelchair.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I think it would be interesting to understand why Internet Explorer 10 is scoring so far ahead of other browser.

      1. bastik said on December 23, 2012 at 10:14 am

        Of course. I’d like to know why this is happening as well.

  25. Maou said on December 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Score 0 zero using firefox 17.
    Same 0 zero using IE 10.
    Strange indeed…

  26. Morely the IT Guy said on December 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Let me see, I have an inferior product that fails to adhere to world standards, so to make it seem better to ignorant nitwits, I will create a test that favors the eccentricities of my product and penalizes products that adhere to standards.

    “Penguin Mark” is nothing more than a marketing tool. Furthermore, it’s a deliberate attempt by Microsoft to mislead people who know that Tux the Penguin is the mascot of Linux; Microsoft clearly wants us to believe that this “benchmark” was written by Linux developers.

    1. Carlito said on December 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      I’d like to see a Venn diagram of “ignorant nitwits” and “people who know that Tux the Penguin is the mascot of Linux.”

  27. sades said on December 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Another useless shill benchmark from *insert vendor* to promote their browser. Wow.

  28. Jack said on December 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I tested and I got 0 score with Windows 7 + ATI HD Radeon 8500 + Firefox 17.

    Answer: Microsoft is cheating.

  29. Doon said on December 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t claim to have a clue what is going on here, but if I run the test in IE10 with my Nvidia Optmus card switched on , it scores a big fat zero??????
    Using supposedly inferior Intel graphics it scores 15000.
    Chrome, as you said, scores 120 using either card.

  30. morph said on December 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    151 in Chrome, unknown in IE10 – no test launched after pressing “Start” button in my IE10 :)

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