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A Quick Look At The Firefox 66.0 vs. Chrome 73.0 Performance Benchmarks

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Given the recent releases of Chrome 73 and Firefox 66, here are some fresh tests of these latest browsers on Linux under a variety of popular browser benchmarks.

This initial round of testing was done on the latest of Intel’s Clear Linux with a Core i9 9900K and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card. Originally the intent was to look at the performance of Clear Linux’s default Firefox build compared to the upstream Firefox x86_64 Linux binary to see how the performance differed or if any Clear optimizations paid off there. In this particular instance, Clear Linux’s Firefox build and that of the upstream/generic Firefox Linux binary basically came down to the same. (Update: It turns out Clear currently isn’t optimizing Firefox but simply re-packaging Firefox, thus explaining the flat performance difference there.) As a follow-up though will be tests of Firefox/Chrome running on Clear Linux against the likes of Ubuntu to see if the underlying operating system changes yield any performance difference.

For this article is thus primarily looking at the Firefox 66.0 performance against Chrome 73.0 on Clear Linux. While Google’s Chrome is not officially available for Clear Linux at this point, if you simply extract the upstream Chrome RPM it’s possible to easily run google-chrome on Clear.

Selenium/WebDriver support was recently added to the Phoronix Test Suite so now it’s possible to automate all of these browser benchmarks in the same manner as our other benchmarks, thus you’ll be seeing more tests on Phoronix of the browser performance. The phoronix-test-suite benchmark selenium currently works on both Windows and Linux and for Chrome/Firefox.

To some surprise, ARES-6 performance was twice as fast as in Chrome 73 as it was in Firefox 66. Both browsers were using their stock settings / new profile / no extra plug-ins.

Within the long-standing Octane benchmark, Chrome was only about 4% faster than Firefox.

The WebXPRT 3 benchmark ended up being the only win for Firefox where it had a 10% advantage over the current Chrome release.

Basemark was another benchmark where Chrome’s lead was huge over Firefox.

MotionMark was a similar story.

Lastly was the Speedometer test where Chrome still won but by a much smaller margin. Again, that’s for both browsers in their stock/new configurations without any tweaking or other changes.

Stay tuned for the Chrome/Firefox Ubuntu vs. Clear Linux benchmarks coming up next in this latest browser comparison.

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