Major Browsers

Browser Comparison

NOTE: This is a little outdated now. I haven't had time to keep it current, but don't think I should take it down either. Enjoy.
As a web developer, I always have to check my sites against the majority of browsers so that visitors can all have an enjoyable experience. I decided I'd get a nice assessment of the browsers capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and compare their operating envrionments as well.

The five browsers compared are
Browser Metrics Analyzed
Memory Use and Stragety
How browsers render pages, the memory consumed, and how it is stored are all integral to speed and the memory footprint on the other running processes on the system.

Windows Task Manager Browser Memory Usage

How they compare - Total Memory Usage
  1. [25.13 MB] Opera 9
  2. [26.16 MB] Internet Explorer 6*
  3. [41.74 MB] Safari 4
  4. [47.09 MB] Firefox 3
  5. [85.75 MB] Chrome 1**
*-Internet Explorer had an additional 10,000 K added each to VM and RAM due to integration into OS for runtime requirements and upgrade systems).
**-Google Chrome ran three processes and an updater for one browser window. All values were totalled to calculate the total memory footprint.

The browser values as calculated were shown with no addons, in their most recent version (exception being Internet Explorer 6), on a fresh open with this site's homepage opened.

The values in "Peak Mem Usage" were not used due to their lack of relevancy. Applications tend to require more resources upon startup.

How they compare - Memory Utilization
  1. [39.41%] Firefox 3
  2. [55.68%] Chrome 1
  3. [57.86%] Internet Explorer 6*
  4. [75.71%] Safari 4
  5. [86.23%] Opera 9
Percent of virtual memory( VM) used by browsers of total memory consumption (RAM + VM).

Substantial Effect of this Finding
RAM usage is representitive of the total use of the Random Access Memory devices of the system.
VM usage is representitive of the total Virtual Memory used (Hard disk paging file) of the system.

RAM is the fastest memory available to any system. The lower the percentage shown displays that the browser utilizes more of the faster memory of the system. Due to this prioritization, browsers with a lower percentage are expected to have faster response time to the system, and reduce hard disk reads.

Image Rendering
Images are one of the most substantial medias available to web sites. Images alone differentiate them from older BBS services such as TELNET pages. This makes browser compatibility with varying image types key in how successful a browser is in the market.

Image Types Tested

  1. Opera - All Images Render Correctly
  2. Firefox - SVG Graphics Do Not Render Correctly (Inline)
  3. Safari - Animated PNG and SVG Do Not Render Correctly
  4. Chrome - Animated PNG and SVG Do Not Render Correctly
  5. Internet Explorer 6 - Animated PNG, 1-Bit and 8-Bit Alpha PNG, and SVG Do Not Render Correctly

Visual Rendering Representation

Opera Rendering of Image Types
Firefox Rendering of Image Types
Safari Rendering of Image Types
Chrome Rendering of Image Types
  Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer Rendering of Image Types