Monday, October 19, 2009

Performance Comparison of Major Web Browsers

I just finished reading this article about performance comparison of major web browser by Jacob Gube and wondered if everything was said. Unsurprisingly, Internet Explorer is presented as the worst and slowest browser. By the way, I often consider that people tend to appreciate criticizing when talking about Microsoft products in general.

But in the case were the tests complete ? It talked about speed, CPU, and read access time. But nothing about memory consumption. I jumped on the gun, took a look at my dozen tabs opened on Firefox and opened them as well under Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) and Chrome.

As you can see, Firefox momory consumption is bundled inside a single process while IE8 and Chrome creates several processes with different memory consumption.

But after summing all results, I was astonished to see that Internet Explorer 8 is the best browser concerning memory consumption. The fancy Excel graphic below perfectly illustrate that fact.

There is no doubt that IE 8 requires less memory than Chrome or Firefox.

For the sake of fairness, here are the types of websites I used for the test. All of them are common sites I use on a day-to-day basis:
  • iGoogle
  • Two bugtrackers: Mantis and Jira
  • Two tabs concerned games on
  • A PHPMyAdmin and a MediaWiki pages
  • A page on my online game (MMOG): Star Wars Combine
  • A web page from the MySQL site, one from an online banking, one from a newspaper with forums, and that blog on
In my next post, I will maybe make performance and statistics reports about the number of crashes of each browser. ;)


Khan said...

That's quite curious. I just checked how much memory my Firefox is using with 15 tabs open and I came up with 182,572 K.

Arthur said...

With 5 tabs open (a wikiedia article, a phpbb forums page, your mmorpg and this blog) firefox is consuming 134k of memory.

Jehan said...

Normal Arthur, you're only reading normal pages without any specific applications (no flash, no silverlight, no heavy javascript or complex css).

Arthur said...

True, I only meant to point out that Khan must be using a very fast computer, and that even opening up 5 pages takes up significant amount of memory more than other programmes use - to test I opened a 3d MMORPG ad it took up the same amount of memory as firefox, which seems rather abnormal in itself, but goes to show firefox does indeed take up too much memory.

Elmo Freesky said...

I also notice this problem from the firefox that it is eating a lot of my memory. I've been comparing the memory usage to one of my browser which is the Crazy Browser, there's a big difference.