The Peacekeeper

Peacekeeper on an iMac 3.0 Ghz
I decided to try out Futuremaks spanking "new" Peacekeeper browser tester today. In contrast to other more "nerdy" tests like Acid3 and SunSpider which are useful for people like me, Peacekeepers tests are more targeted at actual normal usage of a browser, making it slightly more interesting for users without a degree in computer science.

On the other hand, if you want to understand the six test, well.. it gets a bit technical. The first test «rendering» is a test of how fast the browser can draw stuff to the screen, while doing other calculations and operations at the same time. The second test which Futuremark calls «social networking» is actually a test in how fast the browser can create a SHA1 hash, parse some XML and filtering and sorting the elements of an array. Thirdly we arrive at the «complex graphics» test, which is a test on canvas drawing operations, canvas being part of the new HTML 5 standard. The «data» test which I have renamed to "arrays" does work on exactly that, array manipulation. The «DOM manipulation» test, is one of the most important tests as this tests the browsers ability to look up elements in the DOM fast. This should be of particular interest to jQuery fans. The last test «text parsing», is what its name suggests, parsing and searching in strings. To get a full detailed explanation of what the individual test entails, see Futuremarks FAQ site.

My testcomputer was an iMac 3.06 GHz, with 8GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card running OS X 10.6.7. It matters, because these tests will very, much, depending on your computer and OS.

As for the results one can clearly see that the WebKit browsers beat the snot out of Firefox. Chrome is clearly the fastest browser overall, however for DOM manipulation Safari is slightly faster than Chrome. Again, beware of this one jQuery fans because this is where all those selectors come into play. Chrome is ruling the array manipulation speed, this might be due to the V8 JavaScript engine. All the browsers basically suck when it comes to rendering HTML 5 Canvas graphics. As a side-note, I observed a test that was run on a Windows based computer as well. To our surprise, both Chrome and Opera beat Internet Explorer 9 into the slippers when it came to canvas performance. Beauty of the web my ass, in your own tests internally made tests perhaps.

So, judging from this Google Chrome is the browser your should go for. And in my opinion, it is. For me, I'm sticking with Safari for my day to day use, but I'm using Chrome when writing this blog post.

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