Let's get into it. Click any of the images below for a larger view (which you'll likely need).
Cold Boot-Up — Winner: Opera 11!
Internet Explorer remains surprisingly not that fast out of the gate, despite having some elements of itself baked into Windows. You might note that we're not including "warm start" results this time around; when looking at our preliminary results, we realised that all the browsers start up fast enough, after having already started once, that to rate a winner would require a near-certain faith in timer-finger speed. But that's a good thing.
Tab Loading — Winner: Chrome 10 (Stable)!
Given nine tabs to load up — Google.com, YouTube, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and each of the browsers' home pages — the wide-release version of Chrome won out. It's a pretty tight competition, though, with just over two seconds separating the majority of the pack.
Not a huge surprise, given previous speed tests. Firefox 4 looks about par with Opera 11, and we must say, we're happy to see Internet Explorer 9 fully completing the Dromaeo suite on each run.
DOM/CSS — Winner: Opera 11!
Memory Use (No Extensions) — Winner: Chrome Dev and Opera 11!
Chrome's bleeding-edge version obviously doesn't take its memory use for granted, and neither does Opera. Those browsers use the least memory upon just starting, and after having loaded the same nine-tab load tested above.
Memory Use (with Five Extensions) — Winner: Opera 11 & Firefox 4!
Let it be said that the LastPass, Gmail-checking and Cooliris image display extensions available for Chrome and Opera are certainly lighter than the full-fledged extensions available for Firefox — but they are what's available. With that stated, Firefox actually did the best out of all the browsers with five extensions and nine tabs, which is certainly brag-worthy. Opera 11 remains a tightwad with memory in all cases, and wins when its (lighter) extensions are installed on startup.
Those are our findings from a lot of timer-clicking, patient test-loading and memory measuring. Each browser has its own use case beyond pure speed or efficiency, of course, and all hardware is different. But tell us how our tests match up with your own experiments in the comments.
Republished from Lifehacker