Microsoft Edge benefits significantly from Mozilla's asm.js
One fundamental difference between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, the company's upcoming web browser, is that Microsoft began to integrate third-party technologies into Edge.
The current version of Microsoft Edge ships with preliminary asm.js integration that users that run recent Windows 10 builds can enable in the browser.
To enable the feature in Edge, type about:flags in the browser's address bar and hit enter. Scroll down until you find "Enable asm.js" and check its box to enable it. You need to restart the browser before the changes take effect.
Edge with asm.js enabled performed more than 300% better in the Unity Benchmark and 200% better performance in Octane's zlib test according to Microsoft.
It is interesting to note that Edge without asm.js performed considerably better than the latest version of Internet Explorer 11.
I ran a series of benchmarks comparing Edge with asm.js to Edge without asm.js on a Windows 10 test system with an Intel Core i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz, 8 Gigabyte of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti.
Microsoft Edge got an overall score of 32403 points in the Unity Benchmark while the asm.js enabled benchmark almost doubled that score as it landed at 59068 points.
While there are sub-benchmarks where asm.js did not have an effect, Mandelbrot GPU for instance, others differed by (almost) a factor of 10.
The overall score on Google's Octane 2.0 benchmark did not differ much between Edge with and without asm.js but the zlib performance in that benchmark needs specific mentioning as it made a huge jump from 46k to 65k. While I was not able to confirm the 200% improvement that Microsoft noticed when the company ran the benchmark, it is still an impressive gain.
How does this compare to Chrome and Firefox?
I ran the tests again this time with the most recent stable versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to see how they would perform under the same conditions and to get a better picture of Edge's performance gains.
Google Chrome scored 46503 in the Unity Benchmark while Mozilla Firefox managed to get a score of 62918 in the same benchmark.
Scores were a lot closer in Google's Octane benchmark. Google Chrome scored 29144 in the benchmark matching Microsoft's Edge's score with asm.js enabled while Firefox scored 25717.
And Internet Explorer 11? The browser came dead last in all benchmarks scoring 14678 points in the Octane benchmark and would not even fully run the Unity benchmark.
Benchmarks are not necessarily a reflection of real-world performance but it cannot be denied that Microsoft managed to catch up to Firefox and Google Chrome which is good for everyone.
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