Objective Testing

For testing memory usage we opened up each of our testing sites in a separate tab and then checked how much memory each application was using. Since we're now using Vista, the Internet Explorer results should be more representative of actual memory usage since it's no longer integrated in to Explorer.

Other than Internet Explorer at 72MB, the rest of the browsers are fairly close. Safari comes out on top at 44MB, barely edging out Firefox at 46MB.

Not surprisingly, there's no clear-cut winner as certain browsers tend to favor one site over another. Firefox is the slowest by a good margin, while IE and Opera do well except for faltering at rendering AnandTech and CNN respectively. In line with Apple's claims, Safari is the fastest browser on average, however it only actually takes Slashdot, otherwise it loses or is in a dead heat. We suspect that this is the case overall too, for most sites Safari won't be significantly faster than at least one other browser but it's fast enough to vie for the top.

Compatibility testing was surprisingly hard, largely because it's not a true compatibility test until we somehow manage to break something. Try as we might, the biggest incompatibility we could find was a minor graphical problem with a date header at the gaming news site Blue's News. Safari otherwise was able to properly render every site we visited. The only weakness we know of here, and this applies to every other non-Microsoft browser too, is that some sites still require ActiveX controls which only Internet Explorer supports.

Internet Explorer


The Test Subjective Testing
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  • sprockkets - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I think I'll stick with Konqueror on Linux, oh wait...
  • Googer - Sunday, July 8, 2007 - link

    Opera and Safari are the only two that get a passing grade with ACID 2.

    Konqueror cannot pass the ACID 2 browser test. And that's not the only one IE, Mozilla, and Konqueror cannot pass. There are others.


  • Googer - Sunday, July 8, 2007 - link

    Also according to Extremetech, Safari had problems with Citibank.com

  • Xenoterranos - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I use portable firefox everywhere, and could see the usefulness of having a portable safari on my flashdrive. Is there any chance this is portable, or could be easily be made such?

    John Haller, I'm looking at you.
  • SilthDraeth - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I know in Firefox you can type

    and then you can turn on pipelining etc, and it greatly speeds up rendering and loading of websites by enabling more simultaneous pipes.
  • Spoelie - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    Just to confirm this, even tho ff supports pipelining it is indeed disabled by default. All the other browsers have it enabled as far as I know, which at least explains part of the loading issue.

    As to why it is disabled by default, the only reason I can remember were some dodgy webservers not supporting the feature properly.
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    Yes, it was all done with default settings.
  • crimson117 - Thursday, July 12, 2007 - link

    I appreciate keeping things at default settings, but I'd be very interested to see Firefox's load times with the one simple pipeline tweak enabled.

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