Is Chrome The Best Browser For macOS?

When Google originally launched Chrome, it made a point of promoting the browser’s performance over its competitors. But that was almost 10 years ago and both Chrome and Apple’s desktop OS have changed… a lot. Given this large chunk of time, has Chrome remained on top of the pile when it comes to grunt? The answer is “mostly”.

ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes cracked out the benchmarks for four of the most popular macOS browsers — Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera. What’s interesting is that three of these four share a common rendering ancestor — WebKit — with Firefox using its own Gecko engine.

In the case of Chrome and Opera, they use a fork of WebKit, called Blink. No surprise then that all but Firefox managed to come first in at least one of the benchmarks.

Which benchmarks? Here’s Kingsley-Hughes’ chosen suite:

JetStream 1.1: A JavaScript benchmark that includes benchmarks from the SunSpider 1.0.2 and Octane 2 JavaScript benchmark suites. Larger scores are better.
Kraken-1.1: An updated version of the SunSpider benchmark. Lower scores are better.
Octane 2.0: A JavaScript test that includes tests that focus on interactive scripting. Higher scores are better.
WebXPRT 2015: This benchmark contains six HTML5 and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Enhancement, Organize Album, Stock Option Pricing, Local Notes, Sales Graphs, and Explore DNA Sequencing. Higher scores are better.
HTML5 Test: A web standards compliance test. The maximum score is 550, and a higher score is better.

Unfortunately, Kingsley-Hughes doesn’t provide raw numbers, so there’s no way to know how large a difference there is between first and fourth.

In addition, the HTML5 test doesn’t even measure performance, rather correctness. So excluding that test, Chrome had two wins and where it wasn’t first, it came second, with Opera and Safari getting one each.

So, Chrome does remain on the speed roost, but how much better it is isn’t so clear cut. That… and sticking with Safari is perfectly fine if you’re happy with it.

What’s the fastest web browser for the Mac? [ZDNet]

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