Back when Firefox 3's final release candidate dropped, we ran some tests to compare its page-loading, memory use, and technical timing to Internet Explorer 7, Opera, and Safari for Windows. Then Google Chrome arrived, so we pitted it against the betas for Firefox 3.1 and Internet Explorer 8, and shared the results. The tests were by and large the same, but many commenters wisely asked to see all the results, betas or no betas. Well, today we've patched together all our data, thrown in a fresh test of the Opera 9.6 beta, and we're sharing all the graphy goodness. Read on to see a full comparison of the major browsers you can load on Windows.
Test 1: Page Loading—Winner: Opera (9.5)!
No surprise that Opera 9.6's beta performed just as well as the official release, on start-ups both both cold (right after boot-up) and warm (having launched at least once). I'm heartened to see comparable results between the first batch of browsers I tested and their newer betas.
The next speed test, loading eight pages from a bookmark folder, left me scratching my head. Why did the newer betas take so much longer to load a similar set of pages? As stated above, my best guess is the dynamic nature of at least one page in the group, but Opera was tested separately from the other betas, and didn't gain much in speed.
Test 3: Memory Use—Winner: Firefox!
It's reassuring that Mozilla puts so much effort into memory usage in Firefox 3 releases—seeing as how most readers of this site are more than open to extension suggestions.
So that's all the testing data we have on the latest web browsers here at Lifehacker Labs. Got another set of test results you put faith in? Surprised at any of our outcomes? Tell us about it in the comments.