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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/browerbenchthumb.jpg”>Web 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.