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browser benchmarkWeb browsers have become arguably the most important application on a modern computer. If you wish, you can replace many applications with websites viewed through your web browser. You can choose to use web mail instead of an email client, Google Docs instead of Word or OpenOffice, and you can keep yourself entertained with games and video.

Browser performance has a big impact on how you experience all of this. A slow browser might skip or stutter while a fast one breezes through without batting an eye. If you’d like to learn how to judge browser performance for yourself on your own computer, read on.

Peacekeeper

browser benchmark

Among the most well rounded and professional browser benchmarks currently available, Peacekeeper is the creation of Futuremark, the company behind industry-standard benchmarks like PCMark and 3DMark The 5 Best Free Benchmark Programs for Windows The 5 Best Free Benchmark Programs for Windows There are many tools that promise to optimize or speed up your Windows computer, but how can you make sure the software did what it promised? Confirmation bias can make it very, very hard to... Read More .

Unlike most benchmarks, which are very bare-bones, Peacekeeper has great presentation and wraps the benchmark into a tidy score at the end. You can even directly compare that score to other browsers, view statistics, and read tips on how to improve your score.

Peacekeeper’s final score is based on an array of test groups. The social networking test, for example, throws your browser through JavaScript What is JavaScript and How Does It Work? [Technology Explained] What is JavaScript and How Does It Work? [Technology Explained] Read More tests meant to replicate the navigation and features of a social networking site. Due to Peacekeeper’s diversity, presentation and in-depth benchmarking, it’s my personal favorite, and the one I turn to first.

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SunSpider JavaScript

benchmark your browser

This very popular browser benchmark is focused exclusively on JavaScript and replicates a number of potential Javascript usage scenarios such as 3D content and code decompression. SunSpider doesn’t have a library of results available for easy comparisons, but it does provide you with a link to your results when you are done.

SunSpider’s specificity makes this a poor benchmark to use as a sole determination of browser performance, but it does allow for consistency. Using Google Chrome 10, I received results between 262.9ms and 269.2ms after ten runs. That’s a very tight range that inspires confidence in the validity of the results.

V8

benchmark your browser

This benchmark tests your browser using the V8 Javascript engine. As the name implies, V8 is designed to be big, powerful and fast. It was also developed by Google and is a part of the Chrome browser, so this benchmark is a bit of a showboat for Google’s technology.

It might be worth wondering if the benchmark is a fair assessment, and indeed, Chrome does rule the roost here. But then, Chrome stomps most browsers in most benchmarks, so that’s no big surprise. Given that this is a quick benchmark, it’s not a bad idea to give it a go.

Dormaeo

benchmark your browser

While V8 is associated with Google, Dormaeo is associated with Mozilla. It was created by John Resig, who works for Mozilla as a JavaScript Tool Developer. This is not just a JavaScript test, however. It’s actually a collection of a number of benchmarks which are broken up into two main categories – JavaScript and DOM.

Some of the browser benchmarks in Dormaeo are those which were already explained above, such as the SunSpider and V8 JavaScript benchmarks. Dormaeo also includes a number of JavaScript library benchmarks, CSS benchmarks, and unique Javascript benchmarks found only in Dromaeo. Due to the huge number tests in this benchmark, running the whole thing can take a half hour or more on slower PCs, so be prepared to give your computer some alone time.

Acid3

browser benchmark

Unlike the other benchmarks in this article, Acid3 is not a performance test. Instead it is a compliance test created by the Web Standards Project. It checks a browser’s ability to properly render a complex series of instructions.

Acid3 is actually a number of individual sub-tests which, as they are completed, will cause the test page score to rise. The maximum score is 100/100, but unlike a high school math test, that’s the only score that counts. Anything less than a perfect 100 is considered a “failed” test. In fact, even a 100/100 may not be enough to pass, because the completed test page must also match the reference rendering and be completed without any protest (error messages) from your browser.

Conclusion

Benchmarking your browser can be fun, and it will help keep you informed about how your browser performs and keep track of performance when new updates are made available. You can also use most of these tests (except Acid3) as a means of testing computer performance, as browser performance is tied not only to the browser itself but also the hardware it is running on.

Let us know what benchmarking method you prefer and why.

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