Firefox best browser to run Unity WebGL content according to Unity

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 8, 2014

If you are serious about browser games you may have the Unity plugin installed in your browser of choice. This plugin is currently required to play games that use Unity, a cross-platform game creation system that includes a game engine and an integrated development environment (IDE).

The company is currently working on supporting WebGL due to the fact that most companies that create browsers are moving away from the plugin system.

One of the challenges of the move is to find out if WebGL is fast enough to play games and how different browsers, operating systems and hardware compare.

A benchmark has been created to measure the performance. You can run the benchmark right on this page if you are interested to find out how your system runs fares in those tests.

You may receive an error message when you load the page depending on the browser that you use. If you load the page with Firefox or Chrome, all is fine but if you run it with Chromium for example, you will get an error message and the test won't run at all.

You can select to run all or just some of the benchmarks. It takes a couple of minutes to complete the benchmark, and the Unity team notes that the Mandelbrot GPU benchmark has a bug on Windows currently which affects the score of that test when run on the operating system.

The Unity team ran tests on a 2.6 GHz i7 MacBook Pro system running OS X 10.10. It compared the native performance with that when run using Firefox 32, Chrome 37 and Safari 8.

According to this test, Firefox is faster in almost all benchmarks which makes it the best browser currently to run Unity WebGL content.

As you can see, it is leading the two other browsers by a large margin.While that is just one test on one system, it highlights how well Firefox with asm.js performs when it comes to WebGL.

If you check individual benchmark results, you will notice that WebGL outperformed native code significantly. This is the case for tests that rely on script performance according to the Unity team.

It should be interesting to see how browsers on other systems perform in the test. I'd like to see how Internet Explorer and Opera perform in this test, even though it is almost certain that Opera will perform similarly to Chrome and Safari.

Article Name
Firefox best browser to run Unity WebGL content according to Unity
Unity Benchmarks is a new tool by the Unity team to measure the WebGL performance of web browsers that support the standard.

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  1. dmacleo said on October 9, 2014 at 1:26 am

    site is erroring out now, first tells me I need firefox (I am on 33beta) then dumps to the IIS 404 error page.

  2. CHEF-KOCH said on October 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    You simply can’t compare other browser that use different api’s and engines. If any seriously IT-site shows anything about it, they really don’t know anything. Chrome use a different javascript engine, another webgl render technique and such things. And of course different hardware/drivers/os may also shows you different results.

    Each browser have there own pro and con, to say “best” is also very stupid (unity should better say optimized), it’s may optimized but there is no “best” since browser and engines getting updates very regular. Maybe in 10 years IE 15 is the best, nobody knows. And think about it, there are not many webgl standard tools available atm.

    I really shake my head everytime I read anything about “best” “excellent” and such things. Best tool is useless if the user does not need it, not use it or if there is nothing you can compare with it, as always it’s matter of taste what is “the best”.

    1. Martin Mandemaker said on October 9, 2014 at 12:07 am

      This sentence sums it up very nicely:
      “According to this test, Firefox is faster in almost all benchmarks which makes it the best browser currently to run Unity WebGL content.”

      I don’t think you can put it more factual than that.

  3. TheAslan said on October 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Chromium 40.0.2179.0 x64 portable on Windows 7:


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      The problem is that you cannot really compare results on different machines. I get 246,000 with Firefox and 36,000 with Chrome.

      1. TheAslan said on October 10, 2014 at 12:56 am

        I know. It’s weird though why test results gives so much lower score for Chrome than my Chromium gave. Like your Chrome gave only 36000.

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