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Opera 9.5 Beats Firefox and IE7 As Fastest Browser

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the internet-races dept.

510

Abhinav Peddada writes "Ars Technica takes Opera 9.5, the latest from Opera's stable, for a test run and finds some interesting results, including it being a 'solid improvement to an already very strong browser.' On the performance front, Ars Technica reports 'Opera 9.5 scored slightly higher (281ms) than the previous released version, 9.23 (546ms). And Opera 9.x, let it be known, smacks silly the likes of Firefox and Internet Explorer, which tend to have results in the 900-1500ms range on this test machine (a 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM). Opera was 50 percent faster on average than Firefox, and 100 percent faster than IE7 on Windows Vista, for instance.'"

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Wasn't that always the case? (3, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504625)

From what I've seen the speed rankings in all tests always have Opera and Safari leading with IE and FF being behind.

Re:Wasn't that always the case? (-1, Troll)

GLowder (622780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504685)


I guess it'll use that extra time to download the advertisement you are to view for the "free" version.

Re:Wasn't that always the case? (5, Informative)

vipw (228) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504751)

The Opera web browser is no longer ad supported. Just thought you should know.

Re:Wasn't that always the case? (5, Informative)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504775)

You're only 2 years out - the ads were dumped in Opera 8.5, and that was released on the 20th of September 2005.

If you're going to complain about something, please try and make it relevant.

Re:Wasn't that always the case? (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505223)

Forgive the person for not knowing, he's still waiting for the news to load in one of the slower browsers.

Re:Wasn't that always the case? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505241)

Yes, the Qt it is based on is not GPL! Evil trolltech! ;)

Re:Different market (2, Informative)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504923)

From what I've seen the speed rankings in all tests always have Opera and Safari leading with IE and FF being behind.

Opera aims at different market -- small gadgets. This is where the speed is really critical. For IE and FF good enough is enough, since performance on modern desktops is not that critical.

Re:Different market (5, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505155)

From what I've seen the speed rankings in all tests always have Opera and Safari leading with IE and FF being behind.


Opera aims at different market -- small gadgets. This is where the speed is really critical. For IE and FF good enough is enough, since performance on modern desktops is not that critical.

From what I've seen the speed rankings in all tests always have Opera and Safari leading with IE and FF being behind.


Opera aims at different market -- small gadgets. This is where the speed is really critical. For IE and FF good enough is enough, since performance on modern desktops is not that critical.

As a Quad G5 (4x 2500) Mac owner with lots of RAM, I really don't want a browser choking up an entire CPU and flooding my memory. I didn't pay money to cover amateur programming mistakes by other people. As same guy, I flamed Opera guys about not fixing a bug happens on Slashdot beta, first thing I checked was that after getting that awesome 9.5 alpha and yes it is fixed.

I have used a Xeon Video workstation lately and poor AVID was acting like it is on 80386 because a stupid "free" antivirus was taking whole CPU cycles trying to "scan" gigabyte level raw videos while it was asked to ignore them.

It is common getting replies as "get more RAM" or "upgrade your CPU" from various browser fans but when I see a browser using 100% CPU , I get alerted about what kind of security issues it may have and why I should be wasting my CPU to it.

Opera's power comes from managing to code and sell full feature browsers which would even run on Nokia 7650 with 2 MB of RAM. Don't let the Desktop versions memory usage fool you, it is mostly RAM Cache, not memory "flood". Instead of flooding memory, they use it for a good reason and release immediately when another app needs it.

Re:Different market (2, Insightful)

ForeverFaithless (894809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505187)

From what I've seen the speed rankings in all tests always have Opera and Safari leading with IE and FF being behind.

Opera aims at different market -- small gadgets. This is where the speed is really critical. For IE and FF good enough is enough, since performance on modern desktops is not that critical.

I really wouldn't say that. Once you've used a browser that renders pages considerably faster than your old browser, there's no going back. It makes a *big* difference.

With Opera 9.5, I can browse my API docs on the web just as fast as if the data were local. It's incredibly comfortable, and for me definitely worth the switch. (I had been using Firefox for a while before going back to Opera)

Client-side XSLT support (1)

elh_inny (557966) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505239)

Opera was one the last major browser that didn't support client-side XSL transformation.
With the upgrade, Opera added the support, which in my view is more important than some milliseconds.

Now you can push raw XML to browsers along with the stylesheet(s) and let them handle the load of processing.

This introduces a lot of new opportunities, for instance, since XSL is way more powerful than CSS, you may for instance rearrange the whole content of the page ways beyond what CSS positioning tricks allow for, you cna also do some computation etc.

Unfortunately, all the browers support XSLT 1.0 for now, while 2.0 offers substantial improvements.

I wonder........ (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504627)

I wonder if they would have said this if Pavarotti hadnt just died?

Re:I wonder........ (0, Offtopic)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504901)

Whoever modded this Off-topic clearly cannot make the mental leap from Opera coming in first, to Pavarotti dying. Sad, really.

Re:I wonder........ (0, Redundant)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505161)

Oh, look, you still had mod points to waste. Good boy.

Grade article: incomplete (3, Interesting)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504631)

Well... okay. That was a short article.

I'm not expecting them to try Lynx or anything, but at least test Safari on Windows? The one that also claims to be fast?

Re:Grade article: incomplete (2, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504663)

Does it choke rendering Digg's Sucky Comment system, like FF?

Re:Grade article: incomplete (4, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505119)

Opera used to have problems with Digg back in the 8.x days, but since 9.x it works just fine.

Re:Grade article: incomplete (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505257)

Does it choke rendering Digg's Sucky Comment system, like FF?
I did the evil Digg.com test and slashdot beta test, never goes up over 5% CPU which is AMAZING!!!! (hi digg guys)

Re:Grade article: incomplete (1)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504681)

You mean Firefox 2, don't you? I mean I've been using it for about 1 year now, and it's not even mentioned.
Also, just from personal experience I have my doubts that IE 6 is faster than FF1.5 in JS.

my 0.02$

Re:Grade article: incomplete (2, Informative)

oatworm (969674) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504825)

They did a review of Safari 3 back in June [arstechnica.com] . As for comparing against Opera, they probably elected not to due to their opinion of Safari, as noted in the first paragraph:

At the World Wide Developer Conference this week, Apple announced the availability of Safari 3 for the Windows operating system. Today, we put the Safari 3 beta to the test to see how it compares to Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 on Windows. What we found didn't impress us very much. Although Safari offers slightly faster page loading, the beta is extremely unstable and suffers from interface deficiencies that make its value on the Windows platform questionable at best.
In other words, they may not think it's worth reviewing, at least on a Windows platform, especially since it's not a Windows-native browser. Think of it as being similar to comparing browsers on Ubuntu and including IE 6 under WINE.

Re:Grade article: incomplete (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505029)

Konqueror (sp?) feels very fast too (though I have no objective measurements), especially compared to firefox. It would be nice to see a comparison.

Re:Grade article: incomplete (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505195)

Well... okay. That was a short article.

I'm not expecting them to try Lynx or anything, but at least test Safari on Windows? The one that also claims to be fast?
IT media has "Apple Fan" phobia lately. If I was a professional reviewer working for that kind of site, I would ignore Safari. :)

I have even paid for Webkit based browser (Omniweb) long time ago but it wasn't for the speed. It was how native it works,feels and being coded by professional developers. I never heard anyone other than Apple to advertise how "fast" Safari is. Yes, it will be fast since it uses native system frameworks and developed by professionals. It uses ColorSync, Quartz can even display CYMK jpeg images but for speed? I never got the deal really.

First post thanks to OPERA!!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504635)

Those milliseconds really add up...

Re:First post thanks to OPERA!!!! (5, Funny)

PenguSven (988769) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504649)

so i guess it really isnt that fast then?

Re:First post thanks to OPERA!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504911)

Nah, the speed problem was because AC was using Vista [technet.com] .

You need to use Gentoo Linux with a minimum of CFLAGS="-O3 -finline-functions -funswitch-loops" to get the best speed results with Opera.

Re:First post thanks to OPERA!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505007)

Wow, cool! Where did you find the source code of Opera?

Re:First post thanks to OPERA!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505255)

I've never heard of -funswitch-loops .

Is that anything like -funroll-loops ?

Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504655)

The article links to a Javascript benchmark only. There are many many more variables involved in determining how fast a given browser is, although certainly Javascript plays it's part. Variables like how soon does the browser start processing incoming, but yet incomplete data, etc. influence the browser's snappiness a lot aswell.

Basically, the speed of the browser depends upon the speed of the html parsing engine, available bandwidth, browser settings, speed of the cache and Javascript, just to mention the main variables.

Still, I'm interested how comes Opera's Javascript is so fast compared to the other browsers.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (5, Informative)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504759)

"Still, I'm interested how comes Opera's Javascript is so fast compared to the other browsers."

Well, they didn't test it against WebKit/Safari/Konq, which blazes through Javascript tests. Firefox's Javascript engine (SpiderMonkey) leaves a lot to be desired, and well, Internet Exploder is just plain terrible at everything. Things will get better for Firefox once Mozilla figures out a way to integrate Tamarin, but this is still a while off.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504925)

Well, they didn't test it against WebKit/Safari/Konq, which blazes through Javascript tests

It may blaze through tests, but in real life Konq is considerably slower than Firefox. I have to deal with a number of javascript ladden juggernauts like the ex-PeopleSoft eBusieness suite on a daily basis and konq is visibly much slower than Firefox.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505069)

I haven't got any figures, but subjectively I find konqueror faster than firefox. I don't often use it because so many sites don't render well, but speed wise I would rate it as much faster

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505181)

I find konqueror faster than firefox. I don't often use it because so many sites don't render well
Details!

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (1, Troll)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504929)

Well, they didn't test it against WebKit/Safari/Konq, which blazes through Javascript tests.
Testing javascript with Safari is like testing javascript with NoScript [noscript.net] -- of course it's going to be faster since it doesn't really work.

The WebKit implementation is superior IMO (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505219)

Testing javascript with Safari is like testing javascript with NoScript -- of course it's going to be faster since it doesn't really work
The WebKit implementation of JavaScript is easily better than the implementation in FireFox, Opera or Internet Explorer's JScript. Note I'm not saying just 'different', actually better - by which I mean it's demonstrably faster, is more feature complete, and requires less workarounds when you start doing complicated things (all centered around event handling though really, both FireFox and IE have issues with what you can/can't do when it comes to events and referencing properties of objects - in Safari everything I would expect to work, just does, though YMMV).

I've written both simple demos [iaincollins.com] and fairly sophisticated JavaScript apps [google.co.uk] (which can do Sim City / Civilization 2.5 isometric views like this [googlegroups.com] - and render them extremely quickly so you that you can pan around the environment as if it was a native title)).

When it comes to looping through a large array of arrays (e.g. the terrain tile detail in one of the above examples), applying style or class attributes to DOM elements, creating or moving DOM elements on a page and dealing with event handlers Safari wins hands down, followed by FireFox, Opera and IE (in all respects). The "Opera is the fastest" claim holds very little weight with me having compared them. What Opera has is a very fast UI that's extremely responsive, which is all a bit smoke and mirrors really. It's not particularly fast at script execution or object manipulation as soon as things get interesting (it lags behind Safari and FireFox certainly, but it's still far ahead of IE), and of course it renders perfectly valid pages very differently from Safari and FireFox (for which is sometimes possible to blame ambiguities in the standards, but that it doesn't follow the lead of Gecko/KHTML/Webkit or IE is a bit annoying - though do I appreciate the complexity involved).

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (5, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504939)

Well it depends at what, i had an MD5 routine and benchmark in javascript that was laughably slow on konqueror/safari...
The benchmark is at:
http://pentestmonkey.net/jsbm/index.html [pentestmonkey.net]

And i get the following results on a macbook pro 2.16ghz core2 duo running osx 10.4.10:

Safari (2.0.4):
MD5 Benchmark took 15.136 seconds for 3000 hashes (198 hashes/second)
MD4 Benchmark took 10.876 seconds for 2700 hashes (248 hashes/second)
SHA1 Benchmark took 19.052 seconds for 1900 hashes (100 hashes/second)

Camino (1.5.1):
MD5 Benchmark took 1.78 seconds for 3000 hashes (1685 hashes/second)
MD4 Benchmark took 1.271 seconds for 2700 hashes (2124 hashes/second)
SHA1 Benchmark took 1.931 seconds for 1900 hashes (984 hashes/second)

Firefox (latest nightly build):
MD5 Benchmark took 1.867 seconds for 3000 hashes (1607 hashes/second)
MD4 Benchmark took 1.299 seconds for 2700 hashes (2079 hashes/second)
SHA1 Benchmark took 2.077 seconds for 1900 hashes (915 hashes/second)

Firefox (2.0.5):
MD5 Benchmark took 2.628 seconds for 3000 hashes (1142 hashes/second)
MD4 Benchmark took 1.919 seconds for 2700 hashes (1407 hashes/second)
SHA1 Benchmark took 2.872 seconds for 1900 hashes (662 hashes/second)

Opera 9.23 (current stable):
MD5 Benchmark took 4.561 seconds for 3000 hashes (658 hashes/second)
MD4 Benchmark took 3.163 seconds for 2700 hashes (854 hashes/second)
SHA1 Benchmark took 4.812 seconds for 1900 hashes (395 hashes/second)

Opera 9.50 alpha (build 4404):
MD5 Benchmark took 1.446 seconds for 3000 hashes (2075 hashes/second)
MD4 Benchmark took 1.021 seconds for 2700 hashes (2644 hashes/second)
SHA1 Benchmark took 1.607 seconds for 1900 hashes (1182 hashes/second)

Quite impressive the improvements that have been made in the latest opera... Also, camino wasn't faster than the firefox nightlies last time i tried it (camino 1.0.4)...
I don't have access to msie or konqueror, i would assume konqueror performance would be similar to safari tho.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (5, Informative)

othermaciej (1153185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505005)

Here's some results on Mac OSX (MacBook Pro Core Duo 2GHz):

Prerelease builds:

Safari 3 Nightly 177ms
Opera 9.5 Alpha 278ms
Firefox 3 Nightly 823ms

Production builds:

Safari 2 423ms
Opera 9.2 684ms
Firefox 2 880ms

Looks like Safari wins this one.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505157)

Back when I benchmarked kjs against spidermonkey (both cli builds), kjs was laughably slow. I also ran the some tests in browser. The test I remember most clearly was that for 2 methods of base64 encoding a string, Opera was fastest on one and slowest on the other. Overall firefox had the most consistent performance and had (on average) the fastest javascript engine.

As you say, tamarin [mozilla.org] will give performance even more of a boost.

Disclaimer: My testing was done 18 months back.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505261)

"and well, Internet Exploder is just plain terrible at everything."

Hey, it's great at being terrible at everything (else)! That's something the other guys probably won't ever catch up on.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504791)

I think the reason they're focusing on Javascript here is because that's a major optimization that took place in Opera 9.5. Actually, the changelog tells that they rewrote the ECMAScript engine. But Opera also had optimizations done to its table renderer, and due to the still all too frequent table layouts on the web, even used by modern web designers, it would be interesting to see more general tests of loading times etc. Opera would probably still come out very close on top though, as it has before in the pre-9.5 versions too.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (2, Interesting)

localman (111171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505233)

I just want to mention an unpopular fact: there is a point in every project I've worked on where table-based layout is either the only way to get a particular detail to work properly in all common browsers, or the CSS solution is so convoluted and absurd as to make multiple nested tables seem proper.

I do like CSS, but it seemingly hasn't covered all bases yet.

Cheers.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504843)

Not to mention font rendering. If using sub-pixel anti-aliasing, or anti-aliasing against the real background and not the document's bgcolor (or css equivalent), yes, it takes a lot longer, for a much better rendered result. Opera can be downright ugly when using small serif fonts on a non-uniform background, and Safari tends to dither against the wrong colour, especially if a table cell has a different colour than the document itself.

Regarding text rendering... What bugs me is that since the first Firefox, every so often, you get a horisontal line which is skewed by one pixel. This happens on both Linux and Windows, on different machines, with different fonts, with all Gecko engines. When this happens between lines, it's not TOO bad -- it just looks odd when there's suddenly a pixel more space between two lines than all the others, but when it happens in the text itself, it's VERY noticable. And if you select the text on that line and unselect it again, the problem goes away. It's like the rendering engine pre-calculates how much vertical space to set aside for the text in order to to increase rendering speed. Then, when drawing the text, the actual result never matches the space, so it duplicates or chops lines at random intervals until it the text fits. I'd rather wait a little longer and avoid this problem.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (1)

Misagon (1135) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505013)

In my experience with the previous revisions of Opera 9.x, the browser chokes completely on individual elements on a web page, if the server for that element is slow to respond.
This gets more of a nuisance the more pages, tabs and windows you have loading at once.
This program design flaw slows down the browsing experience considerably if you like me, use multiple windows.
Sometimes, I have just xkill'd Opera and restarted it, because that was faster than waiting for it to respond to me clicking the "back" button.

Re:Article is very misleading - JS benchmark only (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505041)

That's easy to explain. When a browser only supports 90% of the standard (which is pretty much 100% of real life applications, but still...), it can cut some slack.

On the up side, this also means that a lot of exploits simply do not work in Opera.

Opera faster _with JavaScript_ (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504659)

Okay, so Opera is probably a bit faster than Firefox in page rendering as well if they're faster at JavaScript, but the actual quote (emphasis mine) is:

When running various JavaScript speed tests, Opera 9.5 scored slightly higher (281ms) than the previous released version, 9.23 (546ms)

So Opera is much faster than FF when running JavaScript tests, according to Ars Technica.

Numbers are meaningless without context ;)

I'm fed up with the anti-Opera crap here... (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504995)

Opera is faster than Firefox across the board. Always has been, and probably always will be. Put that into context whatever way you want. So what's the point of your emphasis again?

At the same time, Opera is also smaller, lighter, more stable, more innovative, better integrated, and comes from a company that behaves ethically towards the rest of the software community (eg, it does not engage in patent warfare to pummel the competition).

Yet because it's not open source (it's been "free as in beer" for quite some time now, but even that's news to some people here) it's practically awarded pariah status by many Firefox zealots who typically use nothing more than ignorance and FUD to put it down.

Seriously, the amount of anti-Opera, pro-Firefox propaganda (for want of a better word) here on Slashdot is ridiculous. Opera is, and always has been, a top-notch product.

In the eyes of this humble observer, it's a far better browser than any other, but regardless of our personal preferences, isn't it time that people gave it due respect? Or is good software engineering only to be appreciated if it comes from the open source community?

Re:I'm fed up with the anti-Opera crap here... (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505037)

I used Opera for several months a year or two ago and ultimately I found it to be slower then Firefox. I can't truly explain how this doesn't match up with what experiences and tests other people have had, but for me its quite true. So no, its not necessarily propaganda, but simply personal anecdotal evidence which you'll find is stronger for people then impartial evidence (after all, if Firefox is consistently slower for me, why would I want to use something else I perceive as slower?)

Re:I'm fed up with the anti-Opera crap here... (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505133)

Having said that I'll give Opera one more chance in the interest of fairness.

Re:I'm fed up with the anti-Opera crap here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505107)

Hear Hear. All any of the FF lot can do is pull out the 'wheres the source code so i can make sure those pesky Norwegians aren't secretly keylogging' bullshit arguments against it. Face it people it's a good browser, always has been ( even with the adverts a few years ago) and always will be.

(Posting anon because im moderating)

Re:Opera faster _with JavaScript_ (5, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505011)

You've clearly never used Opera if you're attempting to spin this article by claiming that we just plain don't know that Opera renders stuff in general near the top of the pack already, and also is perhaps the most standards compliant browser.

Not to mention that Opera 9.x is one of the only stable browsers with tentative support for HTML 5.

I get a kick out of FF fans on this site. FF is by no means bad, but Opera clearly has areas where it consistently outshines the open-source browser. Before, people used to say "I don't like ads in my browser" as an excuse for not using it. Then when it became free, it was "I use lots of GreaseMonkey scripts", despite the fact that you can use most GM scripts in Opera too.

Opera leads the way for most browsing achievements, and they show no signs of stopping. I've been using it since version 6, and though I give FF a whirl every .x build, I still have yet to see anything on FF that makes me believe it's worth the switch... and to top it off I'm a web developer by trade. I code for Opera, then break it for FF and IE.

Re:Opera faster _with JavaScript_ (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505245)

I have used Opera, but it was back around 6.0 or 7.0 and I preferred Firebird (as it was then - about v0.6) and stuck with it since. At the time it was the adverts, now I still use it to check website design but still don't like the interface. It's all down to personal preference, though.

I'm not attempting to spin the article at all (hence "Opera is probably a bit faster than Firefox in page rendering as well"), I'm trying to de-spin the summary which just takes the fact of "Ars Technica does JavaScript test and Opera is fastest" and converts that to "Extra! Extra! Opera is fastest browser of all".

It's kinda like seeing an article about how a politician told the truth and then posting the headline "Politicians tell the truth". While it might be true in some cases, the article gives one specific instance but the headline and /. article stretch that instance beyond what the source provides facts for.

Again, that isn't to say that Opera isn't faster overall, just that the article only talks about JavaScript.

Those numbers mean nothing... (5, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504661)

without units. 281ms per what? Apparently a bunch of tests listed on http://celtickane.com/projects/jsspeed.php [celtickane.com]

Now my question is, how significant is ~500 ms for these tests? All I care about is how long it takes to load a typical webpage I surf, and for me, Firefox seems almost instantaneous for most pages. "Smacks silly" my be an overstatement.

Re:Those numbers mean nothing... (2, Informative)

hernyo (770695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504781)

It's the ratio what matters. While rendering a random page, opening a huge html, processing arbitrary js code, or whatever: Opera is 2x faster than the others.

Forget the units, use the ratio.

Re:Those numbers mean nothing... (1, Insightful)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504905)

Indeed. Aside from ambitious Ajax applications doing client side calculation, does the speed of Javascript matter much?

In addition to that - something I just thought of - I would much rather that the Javascript engine be VERY secure and reliable, rather than fast.

Re:Those numbers mean nothing... (2, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505055)

The funny thing is that Opera currently has no JS exploits (at least none that I'm aware of, couldn't test the 9.5 build yet), while both IE and FF suffer from a number of bugs that can be abused for privilege escalation (and are exploited with packages like MPack).

"Browser Not Supported" pages are fast to load too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504671)

405 - Browser Not Supported

these pages are fast to load too, how many of those did the other two hit?

Who cares? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504679)

How the fuck cares? Has anyone in the history of the world ever really been bottle necked by the speed of thier browser?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504719)

When I open the Digg front page with my Toshiba Satellite Pro (Pentium M, 1.6 GHz), there is a noticeable speed difference between using Opera and Firefox. Opera wins.

Re:Who cares? (3, Funny)

bamsebomsen (1146053) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504723)

It's the internet, of course someone cares. I've actually been in a debate about wich browser is the fastest one, I cried a little bit and a part of my soul was forever gone.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504795)

I've been in a debate as well. Only thing is that I had a lot of fun and my soul was replenished with joy afterwards.

What are you doing on slashdot? I don't think you belong here.

Re:Who cares? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505075)

Hopefully the debate was not on a dial-up connection- if it was , then I feel for ya, if not, then fsck ya.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504737)

Me. That's why I use Opera.

It's fast foo: like Mr T's Van.

Re:Who cares? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504839)

Funny but true. Well, back in the day Netscape did used to take a while to render... but in the last 5 years I don't think I've been seriously irritated by the speed (or lack thereof) of any web browser I've used. So while snappier, more responsive software is always better, rendering speed is not the massive selling point that it used to be for browsers.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505053)

I'd like a multi threaded browser, where something heavy in one tab doesnt drag the rest of the browser down to a crawl...

Re:Who cares? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504895)

Pretty funny when the best the fanbois can come up with is performance.

What next, security?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505021)

Memory footprint.

Resource-conservation, not speed (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504699)

Right now, the biggest issues with both IE and Firefox is a huge memory footprint. If Opera wants to bring something valuable to the table, make sure it can run smoothly on XP with 256 megs of memory. That would be valuable for a lot of people with aging hardware.

Aging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504763)

It'd be invaluable for people with modern hardware.

I'm already looking for a replacement for FF. FF is fast becoming Netscape: the Next Generation - huge, unweildy, and bloated to hell and back.

What happened to my insta-loading browser that kicked ass and took names?

Re:Resource-conservation, not speed (2, Informative)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504841)

From what I have seen from running Opera over the years (was a total convert since 8.5) is that one of its' consistent nature is a lower memory footprint and yes it even runs on our old 128megs XP Box.

Re:Resource-conservation, not speed (1)

saisuman (1041662) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504937)

I just opened amazon.com, slashdot.org, Google docs, and PicasaWeb in different tabs in FF and Opera. I'm on FC7 i686, and I see on 'top' that Opera has virt about 30 MB less than FF and res is about the same. So while my test is by no means complete or conclusive, it would appear that there isn't a serious difference in their memory footprints.

Re:Resource-conservation, not speed (4, Interesting)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505015)

Don't laugh: I'm running the latest version of Opera on an almost 10 year old Libretto 110CT with 32 MB RAM running Windows 98SE.

It works quite well, and a lot better than most browsers on portable devices.

Thank you, Opera !

Re:Resource-conservation, not speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505169)

Opera is fine with 256.

If you want to run with 128 0r 64 then you want K-Meleon (pronounced Chameleon). It was designed to give a tabbed modern browser experience with as little memory or other resource usage as possible.

Re:Resource-conservation, not speed (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505217)

Memory footprint is by large dependant on how many tabs you have open and what those tabs contain. Its mostly the pages you view that craves memory, not the browser in itself.

The only time i have had problems with memory in Firefox is when ive been running many java and flash applications in various tabs but thats something the browser cant solve in any way since its all in the plugins.

ok, really? (1, Informative)

markybob (802458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504707)

c'mon...like the average person can even notice a 400ms difference. is this a joke? gimme a break

Re:ok, really? (2, Informative)

meh106 (168666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504969)

Last time I looked, 400ms is the better part of half a second - quite noticeable in my experience!

Re:ok, really? (1)

Niffux (824706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505231)

Your 400 ms part might be the *better* part, but my 600ms part is 1.5 times as big! It can beat up your part with ease!

Opera faster, really? (3, Funny)

semiotec (948062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504711)

I'd have sworn that the Youtube videos ran as fast on Firefox as they do on Opera, and I haven't really noticed myself reading slashdot articles faster on Opera than Firefox.

I guess I am just getting too old for these newfangled Web 2.0 stuff.

Re:Opera faster, really? (3, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504815)

Wow, you must be a favorite at Microsoft!

To hell with optimizations and fancy-schmancy new standard support, can you read forums and visit YouTube? Ship it!

Re:Opera faster, really? (3, Funny)

rishistar (662278) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504855)

I actually find the YouTube videos run faster on Opera. For example, a typical clip lasting 30 seconds in Firefox and IE will be over in 26 seconds when viewed in Opera.

Re:Opera faster, really? (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504977)

I haven't really noticed myself reading slashdot articles faster on Opera than Firefox.

Wait.... someone actually *reads* the articles on /.? Will wonders never cease?

its all about the addons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504739)

when i see adblock plus, flashblock and noscript, I'll think about using opera.

Re:its all about the addons (1, Insightful)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504885)

Exactly. I won't even consider switching browsers unless it has the same functionality that's provided by those three add-ons. I know that some of the other browsers have similar features, but the way those features are implemented isn't nearly as convenient. I use a couple of other add-ons as well, but AdBlock Plus, FlashBlock and NoScript are the only ones I refuse to live without.

Re:its all about the addons (5, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505049)

adblock plus

Right-click --> Block content

flashblock

F12 --> Enable plug-ins

noscript

F12 --> Enable JavaScript

If you need to do any of these on a per-site basis: F12 --> Edit site preferences. Additionally you can also switch off:

  1. GIF/SVG animation
  2. Sound (ever come across a site with an annoying MIDI tune playing in the background?)
  3. Java
  4. JavaScript scripts receiving right-clicks (and some other JavaScript settings)
  5. Referrer logging
  6. Lots of other stuff, above is what I've found useful.

You can change these settings for one site or all sites. Now is that enough for you, or do Opera need to call this functionality 'adblock plus', 'flashblock' and 'noscript' and supply it in addon form? :-)

Re:its all about the addons (5, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505159)

Automatically updating block lists, Opera doesn't have that. Flashblock displays an inline play button over all flash content so you can choose to play something instantly. Noscript gives you an icon right at the bottom showing what domains are allowed and what are blocked from running scripts and you can white and black list things through the same menu. Opera doesn't even come close to matching these features natively, and if there's plugins that do I'm not aware of them. And I'll kick in Down Them All plugin that I can't live without now. So that's four reasons I can't use Opera, even though I like it better than FF in a lot of ways, the UI is solid and it's very snappy with a low memory footprint.

Re:its all about the addons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505167)

The way you describe flashblock and noscript for Opera seems to be far less convenient and usable than Flashblock and Noscript on Firefox. Have you used Flashblock and Noscript on Firefox?

I will admit I haven't tried Opera recently, maybe I'll give it another try soon. But the reason I choose not to use it before is that I didn't like the UI and didn't want to spend the time trying to customize it to my tastes.

Re:its all about the addons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505171)

Even better, you can customize the interface to have those options available all the time.

- Shift+F12
- Under the "Buttons" tab, select "Preferences"
- Drag the items you want into Opera

The sad part of the whole browsing experience (3, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504771)

Is that overall time to get and display an average page has gone up for me atleast in the last 10 years.

This despite the fact that the computer speeds have increased and the connection speeds even more.

The bigest fault lies ofcourse with maers of those silly pages with 100 different elements that have to be loaded and displayed separately, but also both IE and Firefox have become more and more bloated with functionality making them slower and bigger memory hogs.

Tabs (1)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504773)

What I care for most is the speed of the browser when dealing with multiple tabs... Firefox (using on both XP and Archlinux) slows down to a crawl when I middleclick a lot of links, sometimes up to 7 or so seconds. This is on a P4 2.6... Sure, not the fastest thing out there, but it shouldn't lock up while loading all the tabs in the background... I have Deer Park installed and IIRC it behaves the same. No?

Let them fix their canvas implementation.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504809)

...Opera has a canvas-element implementation that sucks in speed compared to Mozilla - try running a simple ball-animation in both browsers. IMHO this makes them never the "fastest" browser (whatever that really means).

speed requirements (1)

hernyo (770695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504819)

Ok, but where do you need the speed of the browser? Rendering regular web pages does not take any considerable amount of time(*), so where does the regular user see the speed improvement? (*) except of a few very rare cases - but then transferring the html data takes more time than rendering; and let's not take into account huge local html docs.

The reason for using OPERA is not speed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504865)

The reason is that it's:

1) The most standards-conformant browser
2) The most secure-by-default browser

Now, both these things cause problems in a world where non-compliance and sloppy security is common. That's why most people give up using Opera. The ones who use it are the true nerds, who WILL refuse to accept a certificate if the revocation server for that certificate is providing out-of-date data.

Other browsers neither seem to know nor care what a revocation server is.

So how about the browser that really matters? (4, Insightful)

atlep (36041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504947)

I can't believe they left out Konqueror!

Re:So how about the browser that really matters? (3, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504989)

I can't believe they left out Konqueror!

I'm still miffed that they not only left out Lynx, but also accessing webpages using a telnet client.

Re:So how about the browser that really matters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505131)

I'm still miffed that they not only left out Lynx, but also accessing webpages using a telnet client.

The manual rendering needed with telnet web pages is incredibly slow. Most people using that method don't even bother, but just look at the HTML source.

Milliseconds? who cares? (0, Redundant)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504967)

Surely the most important thing about your browser is that is is secure, renders pages well and doesn't crash every 5 minutes.

I can understand why Opera is fast, they have a lot of experience in the embedded market. Doesn't make it the best choice for the desktop though.

Opera faster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20504985)

Just downloaded opera, tried it out on a couple of pages, waaaaaay slower than ff. Where do they get this shit from.

and? (1, Interesting)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504993)

With apologies to Old Ben, I for one would rather give up a little speed for stability, portability, and adblock, foxmarks, and the very real benefits of using an open source product.

But, if they were to GPL it.....

rhY

Re:and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20505183)

People are always yelling give me opensource software,
as if 99,99% of them are actually going to look at or change the source.

wat is wrong with a free product that does the job well?

Re:and? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505229)

With apologies to Old Ben, I for one would rather give up a little speed for stability, portability, and adblock, foxmarks, and the very real benefits of using an open source product.

But, if they were to GPL it.....

rhY
They won't GPL it, their users, customers (a lot!) and fans are happy with a limited but professional developer community and your slashdot message won't change it.

Opera ALPHA (yes, not even beta) showing blank page:40 MB RAM
Firefox final, stable: 65,2 MB

That Opera figure contains IMAP client, IRC client, News client, full feature RSS and even Bittorrent.

Why change a working thing?

Also Firefox being GPL really doesn't matter to me anymore, they should explain WHY they dropped official support from that IMAP Client, Thunderbird. Some say it has something to do with Google relations and Gmail.

A true open source (along with philosophy and without shadowy agreements) browser these days is Konqueror and nothing else. 99% chance it will work natively on Windows and OS X when KDE 4 releases too.

and yet still no fundamental authentication.. (4, Informative)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20504999)

wake me up when it supports spnego/kerberos auth. Then I can tell my users they use opera at work.

Faster? I could care less. (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20505213)

Its not like I actually notice the speed of my browser on a daily basis. I have 3 browsers to choose from between my laptop and iMac. Those are Firefox, IE, and Safari. I tend to use FireFox on both machines as it provides a consistent experience regardless of platform. I also find many of the plug ins to be very useful.

Should I care? With today's machines the only performance issue I ever encounter is my connection. Frankly, if someone wants to sell me on a new browser then speed isn't the way to do it. Provide some convienence or functionality I can't live without. You are probably going to have to work hard at it and it will have to be something most of us haven't thought of. Sorry, but browsers are not rocket science and in this day they really aren't viable commercial products - you just have to have one and its expected your OS provider will have one for you.
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