Which browser is the fastest?

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 23, 2016

Which browser is the fastest? When Google introduced Chrome, one area the company put a lot of emphasize on was performance.

Google ran benchmarks regularly showing that the browser's performance was way better than that of other browsers such as Firefox or Internet Explorer which were dominating the landscape at that time.

Today, Chrome is the leading browser used by many. Microsoft tries to regain some control of the market with Microsoft Edge, Opera reinvented itself after its move to using the same engine as Chrome, and Mozilla is working on major changes in Firefox as well.

And Google? It seems that the company has lost some of its edge in the browser world. That does not mean that Chrome is not working well for the majority of users who run it, but that Google for the most part seems to have taken a more conservative stance in regards to development priorities.

Which browser is the fastest?

which browser is fastest

Being fast is not the only thing that counts, obviously. There is web standards support, support for features that assist users in day to day tasks, privacy or security related features, perceived performance, and extensions support which all play a role when it comes to picking a browser.

We will be looking exclusively at browser performance though, as everything else comes down to what each individual user requires of a browser.

The browsers

We ran benchmarks on two different Windows 10 operating systems, one running the latest stable version of it, the other the latest Insider Build.

Machine 1 (Win 10 Stable)

  • Google Chrome Dev (version 53.0.2767)
  • Microsoft Edge Stable (version 25.10586)
  • Mozilla Firefox Nightly (version 50.0a1)
  • Opera Developer (version 40.0.2267.0)
  • Vivaldi (1.3.501.6)

Machine 2 (Win 10 Insider)

  • Google Chrome Stable (version 51.0.2704.103)
  • Mozilla Firefox (version 47.0)
  • Microsoft Edge (version 38.14371)
  • Opera (version 38)
  • Vivaldi (version 1.2)

The benchmarks

We used the following benchmarks to check the performance of all test browsers.

  1. JetStream
  2. Octane 2.0
  3. Speedometer

Each benchmark was run twice and without background activity.

The results

Machine 1 JetStream Octane 2.0 Speedometer
Google Chrome Dev (version 53.0.2767) 80.98 14103 63.38
Microsoft Edge Stable (version 25.10586) 147.41 21609 22.6
Mozilla Firefox Nightly (version 50.0a1) 96.07 13942 29
Opera Developer (version 40.0.2267.0) 110.09 17112 33.94
Vivaldi (1.3.501.6) 110.25 18697 55.7
Machine 2 JetStream Octane 2.0 Speedometer
Google Chrome Stable (version 51.0.2704) 155.55 28205 88.16
Microsoft Edge (version 38.14371) 208.91 30084 32.49
Mozilla Firefox Stable (version 47) 155.72 25691 41.1
Opera Stable 155.02 27497 57.96
Vivaldi (version 1.2.490.43) 158.16 26455 82.79

So which browser is the fastest?

The results are somewhat surprising. Chrome's performance on machine 1 is not good in two of the three benchmarks, especially when compared to Vivaldi or Opera which use the same engine. This could be caused by an issue in that particular build of Chrome.

Microsoft Edge did best in JetStream and Octane, but not so good on the Speedometer benchmark. It is rather surprising that there are huge differences between browsers that use the same engine.

Chrome did worse on JetStream and Octane than Opera and Vivaldi, but beat the two in the Speedometer benchmark.

Vivaldi on the other hand did a lot better in the Speedometer benchmark than Opera.

The picture is similar on machine 2. Microsoft Edge was fastest in the first two benchmarks, but came last in the Speedometer benchmark.

Chrome Stable performed about the same as Opera and Vivaldi in the first two benchmarks this time, and Opera's Speedometer performance once again was not close to Vivaldi's or Chrome's.

The takeaway

Google Chrome is not the uncrowned king of browser performance anymore. On machine 2 for instance, it is performing at least as good as all the other browsers in the test, and in the Speedometer benchmark better than them all.

The result on machine 1 paints a different picture but needs verification once newer Dev versions of Google Chrome are released. It is more likely that a bug crept in that caused the lower scores than a major change.

There is no dominating browser anymore, as Edge and Chrome are doing best in different benchmarks.

All in all, it is clear that JavaScript performance, and that is what these benchmarks test after all, is not all that different anymore.

Perceived performance, how fast a browser reacts to user input and page loading times, is more important.

Which browser is the fastest?
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Which browser is the fastest?
Which browser is the fastest? When Google introduced Chrome, one area the company put a lot of emphasize on was performance.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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