Ryan Lanciaux

Random programming blog.

Browser Beta Battle - IE8 vs Firefox 3.0b5

After reading Steve Souders' article on IE8 speed enhancements, I became curious about how page download times in IE8 stacked up against the latest beta of Firefox (3.0b5). I realize that both of these browsers are in beta so the release product may be signficantly different. Also, please keep in mind these results are not very scientific (obviously). To obtain download times, I used Fiddler for Internet Explorer and Firebug for Firefox.

First off, I loaded a several higher volume websites to compare page download times. Each page was loaded three times (for extreme statistical accuracy :P) and the average load time was calculated.

Google News


0 Javascript Requests - 0 CSS Requests - 32 Images
Firefox: 1.08 Seconds
IE8: 2.43 Seconds



12 Javascript Requests - 2 CSS Requests - 96 Images
Firefox: 5.59 Seconds
IE8: 4.86 Seconds



15 Javascript Requests - 6 CSS Requests - 44 Images
Firefox: 5.74 Seconds
IE8: 4.52 Seconds

Finally, I ran Steve Souders' Parellel downloads test; the results were almost identical.


Internet Explorer

It was really odd to me that Google News loaded almost two times as fast on Firefox while all the other sites loaded close to the same speed or slightly faster on Internet Explorer. The only difference I notice off the bat is the number of JS/CSS files; maybe its something to do with that? It would be very interesting to see how the browsers compare when rendering pages. Have you found results similar to this or know of a good way to test render time? Let me know what you think.