Safari 4 vs. Firefox 3 vs. Google Chrome vs. Opera 10, 9.6 vs. Internet Explorer 8, 7

By | March 1, 2009

Nate Lanxon from CNet UK has benchmarked Safari 4 Beta, Firefox 3, Mozilla’s Minefield, Google Chrome, Opera 9.6 (note on Opera 10 results were added to article later), Internet Explorer 8 and 7 using SunSpider suite.

Same Graph with Internet Explorer 7 included.

From article:

Update: Some commenters have suggested we should have tested Opera’s latest alpha release of Opera 10, as it features an improved rendering engine. We just benchmarked it and it scored 3706ms, putting it in fifth position on the PC, only marginally faster than Opera 9.6.

As you can see from SunSpider results, Safari 4 is in the lead.

For some more details, please check the following post.

Thanks to bartas39 for suggesting this post.

About (Author Profile)

Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

Comments (39)

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  1. Safari 4 is Fast! | Rob O'Toole - Flex Developer | June 10, 2009
  1. Tiago Sá says:

    Firefox right there on the front. I don’t know how Safari does it, but since it’s third version it’s been lightning fast on javascript. Too bad it’s not as good in other fields.

    Namely font rendering XD

  2. Foo says:

    What’s this font rendering problem you speak of, any links?? I’ve tried searching but found nothing relevant.

  3. DeclinedDoomed says:

    Previous versions of Safari for Windows used the exact same Quartz font rendering technology that the Mac uses, as opposed to Windows’ ClearType. This problem has been fixed in Safari 4, but the option to use Mac-style font rendering is available in the Preferences.

  4. Stahn says:

    It’s still amazing how the technologies are improving… Opera was in the lead not too much time ago. Let’s see how they do for Opera 10.x

  5. heh says:


    It’s easy to improve when it’s just an artificial benchmark with no relevance to real sites. But being extremely fast at SunSpider doesn’t automatically mean that you are fast on real sites. It just means that you are fast at that particular test.

  6. lucideer says:

    “It just means that you are fast at that particular test.”
    And guess who wrote “that particular test”…. hardly the browser in pole position? Nah… couldn’t be..

  7. Grrblt says:

    I think the only interesting thing to see here (because it is not interesting to see that Safari is leading in a benchmark they designed themselves) is the difference between IE8 and IE7.

    Also important to note that Opera is working on a new javascript engine, but it won’t be in 10.

  8. The Bo$$ says:

    Grrblt , Opera 10 will have the full Javascript engine , but alpha version only got like small amount.

    Safri got the place it deserved , even I don’t like Safari as much as I do to Opera , Safri and Opera always give the best to there users.
    100% acid 3 test , Safri make it easy to report bugs and Opera always fix bugs fast and safest browser currently (but sadly people think FF is the safest browser).

  9. lucideer says:

    “Opera 10 will have the full Javascript engine , but alpha version only got like small amount.”
    Where did you hear this? I doubt it’s true.

    Agreed on other points though.. FF is woefully unsecure.

  10. Grrblt says:

    “Grrblt , Opera 10 will have the full Javascript engine , but alpha version only got like small amount.”

    Not true. Check comment number 5 on

  11. What’s the score on Safari 3?
    I would like to see the improvement :)

  12. bo$$ says:

    Opera 9.64 got the least amount of bugs compared with the other browsers , Opera Rules.

  13. bo$$ says:

    Agree with you Grrblt.

    Carakan will be 2.5 times faster than Opera alpha but available after Opera 10.

    I think they work so hard to figure out to make browser more stable than faster , but Opera 10 will be faster than Opera alpha , at-least slightly.(Because there is less difference in speed in Opera 9.64 and Opera alpha 1285 build)

    From (First sentence is based on)
    In Future development ( read it plz)

  14. bo$$ says:
    ( go to the whole link plz) (Including web browser part)

  15. bb says:

    Safari uses webkit, and webkit is the best renderer hands down.

  16. honey says:

    safari 4 and firefox 3 best excellent

  17. Jordon says:

    Safari is by far the fastest and most stable browser there is. I laugh at any one who uses IE(anything) due to the fact that it is slow and shitfully laid out. Firefox has always been ugly to my eyes. And every time anyone makes changes to FF like themes and stuff, it has to restart. Which is why I like Opera because it doesn’t have to restart after changes and applying themes.

    But to the point. IE sucks, Opera is a step better, FF is ugly and I can’t stand it, Google Chrome reminds me too much of a Safari rip off, but I like Chrome. it just crashes too much but it’s okay because it’s still beta (although Safari 4 is too and never crashes.) Safari pwns all.

    As for Minefield, I cannot say much about it because I have never used it. But I’ll be sure to test it out. Judging by the statistics, it’s pretty good.


    • h says:

      hehe thats true IE sucks even on fast computers they really need to work on it but chrome is also has pop add blocks wich kinda prevent virus.ummm its cool but i havennt tried the other browsers

  18. penguinkribo says:

    uh…I get confused more and more…damn…
    which one should I use?? hmmm….

  19. Fariborz says:

    I love Opera and I think it’s best always
    it’s from 1995 when there were no FF or Chrome only same address bar and search bar in chrome is what Opera need

  20. mabdul says:

    opera has already this feature! you don’t need the searchbar at the right. i have it turned off by default (right-click and remove from bar). opera is the real inventor of the oneandonly bar!

  21. Fariborz says:

    a WISE address bar

  22. Karl says:

    I’m using Safari 4 now and it’s slow as hell. IE8 is faster. For me the fastest browser has been Opera or maybe Chrome but Safari is really slow.

  23. rob says:

    Thanks for the great write up. I totally stole your charts. :X

    @karl try the sunspider test.

  24. Memo says:

    La verdad he probado safari 4 y la version beta de firefox 3.5.99 y les puedo decir que safari es mas rapido en la lectura de java, pero no se compara con las aplicaciones de firefox como aceleradores de descraga y demas adoons que le daran la delantera siempre, total pruebenlos a ver si me apoyan o me conradicen.

  25. Eh ? says:

    Safari is fast , agree , but no features , I don’t want a car which can go 300 km/h but have no air condition lol .

  26. hazneo says:

    ok…..lets compare…
    so we should use which one ha?
    mozilla,safari 4 or opera…
    pls vote….TQ

  27. Clytia says:

    I love Safari and i am very happy with that (I am using it as my standardbrowser).
    For me, the layout is cool (almost like iphone), the webbrowser is nice (it can show two parts of history).
    It’s also easy to be used.

  28. hanum says:

    I still like mozilla as my favorite browser. Thank’s a lot for info sharing. Nice posting ^_^

  29. Anwar says:

    I am using safari 4 it is a fastest browser. It is a ultimate experience of the browsing. Try it..

  30. Tom Wieken says:

    I’ve tried all the web browsers and find that Chrome is now by far the best. It seems to work better all the time and I think that Google continues to improve it without any fanfare.

  31. bdidol says:

    Mozilla sucks after the version 3, specially after 3.6. I am using this since 2003 and it was my fav. But they have to fix all these shit. I am switching to chrome today….

  32. dj a. says:

    for me the fastest browser is google chorme  not safari safari has 15 seconds for loading chorme has 3 seconds so which is the fastest

  33. Dr Don says:

    Here is what web browser you should use:

    – If you are on 95/98/ME -> Opera wins, hands down.
    – If you use XP/Vista/7 -> Chrome on a slow machine, Firefox on a fast.

    – Opera – Has bugs such as infinitely shrinking tabs as you open sites
    – Chrome – Weird layout + hides ads instead of blocking them
    – Safari – Why use Apple? They support DRM tech & are clunky to use.
    – Firefox – Best support of plugins people use, + familiar interface.

    * The other browsers could be good if they fix a few nigglies. Firefox is set to become the fastest browser ever in a few versions. Firefox regularly patches security holes + works on java performance.

    The other web browsers are cool to test from time to time, but when you have problems closing a tab because it is so needle thin like in Opera after you opened a lot of tabs, or when you try to view certain sites & the page layout is all out of whack, you learn that the other players are just toys at the moment.

    Sorry for the naysay. That’s just the way it is.


    • Andylee says:

      a Bug is an unwanted behaviour… the tabs shrinking in opera is wanted. (close your tab with a mouse gesture, a shortcut, voice input… whatsoever if you are unable to navigate the mouse to the x… or open multiple windows for sessions with more than 100 tabs (I currently run on 86 Tabs and all are very visible and easy to click on a 17″ display).

      • nobody says:

        since when voice works again in opera? it got broken in 10.0 AFAIK and was never fixed since, had it changed?

        “Firefox regularly patches security holes + works on java performance.”

        not java, but javascript. please, educate yourself..

        “If you are on 95/98/ME -> Opera wins, hands down.”

        opera does no longer support these OS. opera 11 will work only on xp/vista/7

        and yes, i had no problem with opera tabs, but it would be nice if there was an option to customize its wrapping, default wrapping was REALLY bad.