Fastest Web Browser, 2011 Edition

Codrut Nistor March 7, 2011 41

Last year, on the 16th of July, we talked about the fastest Web browser in the wild, running Futuremark’s Peacekeeper benchmark on Opera 10.60, Chrome 5 and IE 8. Yesterday morning, I woke up having this question in my head again – what’s the fastest Web browser in March 2011? Nothing easier to do – the free benchmark I mentioned above is still there, so I only had to choose some browsers worthy of my attention…

… and yesterday I chose to play with the following: Opera 11.01, Firefox 3.6.13, Chrome 7, LunaScape 6, IE 7/8, Safari 5 and, finally, Maxthon 3. In case you’re wondering about others like Pale Moon, Avant, Flock, GreenBrowser and so on, I am sure you also know they use the same rendering engines as IE, Firefox or Chrome as their foundation, so you can’t expect any surprises from them, trust me!

To spare you from the effort of staring at some small image with a lot of numbers in it, here you have the overall results:

Chrome 7: 5618
Opera 11: 5288
Maxthon 3 (Ultra Mode): 4427
Safari 5: 3681
Firefox 3.6: 2140
Lunascape 6 (Gecko/Trident): 2095/840
IE 7/8: 598/638

Oh, yeah, I guess there’s no big news that I didn’t manage to upgrade my PC since this last summer, so the setup I used was about the same, except my “winter overclocking” allowed by the lower temperatures: AMD X2 4000+ Brisbane CPU@2.5 GHz, 2 GB DDR2@840MHz and 4-4-4-11 CR2 latency, my good old MSI NEO-F v3 mainboard, a single Samsung 1 TB 7200 rpm drive with 32 MB buffer, HD 4770 video card with 512 MB GDDR5 memory (anyway, the HDD and video card don’t really matter, but in case you were wondering…) running that Windows XP SP3 Professional most of my friends still use, too.

To be sure the results come out as accurate as possible, I only had Xion Player, Pidgin and the antivirus – Avira AntiVir Personal running while messing with the benchmark. Since this was a pure speed test, I ran it with a single window/tab open, so results may be slightly different if you launch Peacekeeper in the 30th tab of your browser, while 10 sites full of Flash content still load stuff in the background…

For detailed results of each browser’s performance, see the gallery below. Any comments? ;)


  1. Airkin March 11, 2011 at 6:27 am - Reply

    awesome test! good job. i have several browsers installed and I constantly keep track on their performance and their ability to load pages, images, ajax, jave, flash, etc. I agree with results, but it would be awesome to see firefox rc1 (came out yesterday) vs ie9 (beta) vs latest chrome beta vs opera 11.01 , I think those browsers are going to dominate the net this year.

  2. Andrew March 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Safari – jack of all trades, master of none. Opera and Safari are amazing though.

  3. Praveen March 18, 2011 at 8:14 am - Reply

    In my opinion Opera 11 is error free & full featured (Speed dial, anti freeze & extensions like youtube downloader etc) browser. I tested almost all leading browsers, but they always freezes (pages with a lot of images (opens only 10/15.. like problems). Second suggestion is ie9. Hope it will released with full features in final version.(faster than opera 11)

  4. Codrut Nistor March 18, 2011 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I use Opera as my primary browser and I love it, but I also must say that it freezes and even crashes once in a while and, as you can see here – – IE 9 final is still below Opera, Chrome and Firefox, despite the fact it’s the best IE ever. Well… ;)

  5. Kyle March 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Problem… The scores you list seem to have no connection to the pictures. Safari’s score, for instance, should be wonderful looking at this comparison, no? Seems like they have the fullest bars. I don’t understand how the score correlates to the test? Where are those numbers coming from?

    And I definitely agree, Firefox 4RC1 is something that really interests me.

  6. Codrut Nistor March 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Look at the pictures CAREFULLY – what do you see up there? Chrome 5618 points and so on… exactly the big numbers I listed. The screenshots show results for each browser in various areas – number crunching, graphics and so on. Any other questions?

  7. James March 21, 2011 at 6:51 am - Reply

    If you want to test beta vs beta, the latest beta of Opera is 11.10. It’s faster. 11.01 is the current release :)

  8. James March 21, 2011 at 6:58 am - Reply

    @Codrut Nistor – I had crashes for a while with Opera 9 and 10. Seemed to be related to Flash. BUT – since updating to Opera 11 I’ve had no crashes! It might have been the Flash update that happened around the same time tho.

  9. triple six April 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    try a browser speed test crhomeplus

  10. andrei April 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Testing IE7 which is few years old and Opera 11 which is a new one is a nonsense.

  11. Codrut Nistor April 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    @Triple Six: As I said in the article, various browsers built using IE/Chrome or Firefox as foundation usually bring only some extra features and the increase in speed is minimal, if any. Did you try to run the test in both Chrome and ChromePlus and noticed any solid gain when using the last one?

    @Andrei: You would be right if not wrong – I just tested IE 7 to see where it stands compared to IE 8. If you look at the results, there’s no significant speed gain. On the other hand, IE 9 is really fast compared to these two, only that it’s not available for Windows XP users… so I’ll probably run the test in at least 3-4 browsers on Windows 7 pretty soon.

  12. Elmo Joseph Tel May 3, 2011 at 4:04 am - Reply

    so what happen to Flock and Maxthon browsers…….?

  13. Codrut Nistor May 3, 2011 at 6:09 am - Reply

    Well… Flock is dead now ( and Maxthon is alive and well. ;)

  14. faridcod666 May 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    chromeplus i like it

  15. vcxvxv May 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    2011 benchmark and you are testing ie7?? twat fuck

  16. Codrut Nistor May 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Our brilliant and most-intelligent & mannered friend, I tested IE 7 to have it as a companion to IE 8 more than anything else, not to mention that there are still way too many people using it.

  17. Kiolo June 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    This test sucks, uncorrelated numbers, old browsers tested, no way to present results… Brilliant work. Also nothing can be said of Codturd… his test is perfect for him…

  18. Codrut Nistor June 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Kiolo, dear friend, thank you very much for your kind words! In case you missed a few things, please let me remind them to you:

    1. All the tests were conducted in March, when Firefox 4 final wasn’t available yet.

    2. Since I ran the tests on my Windows XP computer, IE 9 was out of question. I conducted some IE 9 vs others tests on my laptop in the meantime, I am sure you can click the link to that IE 9 download & benchmark article.

    3. What’s to correlate? You can take a look at those numbers yourself, you can run the test on your own computer and browsers, nothing stops you.

    Relax, buddy, relax. Getting angry only shortens your life. Peace on you!

  19. Daniel July 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I just did the test today (July 5, 2011) on Google Chrome, IE 8, and Safari 5, IE 8 failed epically, Safari 5 did OK, but Google Chrome 12.0.742.112 did the best.

  20. Csaba Kissi July 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Chrome is the best one for me. No doubt ! I personally hate FF more and more because of speed goes downhill.

  21. sdsmdp August 2, 2011 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Just a note for all regarding the graphs:

    The length of the bars on any one graph are relative to other bars *on the same graph*. In other words, if one area of a browser performed twice as well as a second area of the same browser, then the first bar will be twice as long as the second bar. The graph shows you the particular strengths and weaknesses of an individual browser and is not meant to be a visual comparison between browsers. High scores across the board would be great. Low scores across the board means a browser is mediocre at best – a kind of generalist. As we can see, most browsers have particular strengths and weaknesses and for some, even their strengths are weak compared to other browsers.

    When comparing one graph to another, look at the *numbers* (both the overall score at the top and the individual scores for the category in which you are interested). Ignore the size of the bars because, again, the bars’ sizes are relative to other bars for the same browser, not across browsers. The graphs are not all drawn to the same scale. Which browsers have higher overall scores? Try ranking the browsers by the performance categories important to you (just look at the scores for that category for each browser).

    So which browser is “best?” That may depend on your needs. If I want a browser that excels at handling data and complex graphics, then Chrome blows Firefox out of the water (as does Maxthon 3, I believe, though its graph does not appear above). If I care more about rendering, DOM operations and text parsing, then Opera edges out Chrome. If I don’t really know what I need more of then I would pick the one with the highest overall score (Chrome). And of course these decisions are all purely performance related. We know there is a lot more to being “best” then pure performance (though that sure helps). Maybe you are looking for or have become attached to specific features (e.g., I really like Maxthon’s built in dual display engine). Aargh, why can’t there be a simple one-size fits all answer?! Oh yeah, we’re all as different as the browsers we try (hopefully more so).

  22. jaswinder singh August 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    i want to say that if you want speed so download google chrome

  23. jaswinder singh August 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    i want to say that if you want speed so download google chrome i check that i is very very good

  24. shane martin September 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    i like firefox because its faster

  25. Guganeshan September 9, 2011 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Firefox has been my favorite browser always. Today I loaded up Opera and was surprised at the speed and Googled “fastest browser” and ended up here :D

    I read the post, and was about to leave, then I saw some ‘not-so-polite’ comments. I was really impressed because you have approved those comments and have also replied to them politely :)

    Keep up the good work! Back to Firefox ;)

  26. Richard Delaney October 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Agree with Guganeshan – you did not deserve the juvenile rude comments. People need to chill…

  27. felipe October 6, 2011 at 4:43 am - Reply

    what did you use to test your browser speeds?

    • Codrut Nistor October 6, 2011 at 6:30 am - Reply

      Peackeeper benchmark, it’s available on FutureMark’s website.

  28. Indian October 8, 2011 at 5:57 am - Reply


  29. rabin October 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    in my opinion, as on date, firefox -7.0.1. is the speediest.

  30. ashi November 14, 2011 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Wat abt lunascape . Avant . Ace explorer

    • Codrut Nistor November 14, 2011 at 7:12 am - Reply

      It seems you missed a little part of this article, so let me quote it for you – “In case you’re wondering about others like Pale Moon, Avant, Flock, GreenBrowser and so on, I am sure you also know they use the same rendering engines as IE, Firefox or Chrome as their foundation, so you can’t expect any surprises from them, trust me!”

  31. Jayasankar K November 16, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

    hi.Top fastest browser is Google chrome.But fastest download from Opera mini.

  32. JustIna December 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    I’m using Opera and I also download other web Browser like Safari or Google Chorme…but nothing compares to Opera ! That’s the Greatest !

  33. lucas December 5, 2011 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Avant is so fast and it is based on trident and gecko cores.

  34. Jatins February 3, 2012 at 8:59 am - Reply

    What a powerful browser..

  35. Jatins February 3, 2012 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Tell me about all the powerful web browsers.

  36. steve May 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Chrome browser speed ??? Maybe without everything ! Opera browser rules out here not only in speed and also tiny compared to chrome and safari and some others ! I don’t know who make this tests and how – i don’t care – but in real praxtical computer use opera wins every time !!! Those who say’s chrome is fast, they lay or do not know what are saying ! And chrome is huge resource cpu power and ram consumption app – at least 2 GB RAM or more ! Chrome can choke Computer like some heavy computing simulation CAD app with very intensive calculations ! O yeah ! Someone is massive working for hardware industry coding browsers that need some sort of home supercomputer to work as Opera browser some years ago ! Chrome maybe fast on Cray supecomputer but on common home computer – when pigs will fly – TWICE and taht without any extensions installed ! One can imagine what happens with extensions installed ! Wake up and stop lying about chrome speed and some other browser to !!!! On my computer chrome needs 10x or more times to open google as opera ! This apply to all chrome based browser’s ! The second best is Firefox ! I don’t understand why is chrome developed at all ! Maybe Google want to spy on users ???

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