Wed, 25 Feb 2009 Speed Test: Safari 4 Beta
We put Safari 4 Beta’s Nitro Engine through some speed tests and see how it blazes
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Cons: Is only a beta so there may be some stability issues
- Min specs: Compatible with Mac OSX 10.4.11 (Tiger), 10.5.6 (Leopard), Safari 4 requires Security Update 2009-001. Safari 4 is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire.
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
In amongst the noise surrounding Apple’s release of the Safari 4 Beta, and the spectacular visual inclusion of Cover Flow, Top Sites and a radical new departure for the menu bar, was Apple’s claim that Safari 4 remains the world’s fastest Web browser.
Powered by a new technology Apple refers to as the Nitro Engine, Safari 4 is - according to Apple - 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3.
We also used the CSS Test found on How To Create’s Web site, which can be found here. (You need to download this to a disk for it to work).
We’re not claiming that these tests are the be-all and end-all of Web testing, far from it. But they offer some quick insights into the current state of play for Web browser ability. We tested the Safari 4 beta against Safari 3.2.1, Firefox 3.06, Firefox 3.1beta2, Opera 9.63 and OmniWeb 9.3.
All scores are in ms (milliseconds); lower scores are better. The results are as follows:
Safari 4 Beta Speed Test
CSS: 48 ms
CSS: 46 ms
CSS: 367 ms
CSS: 376 ms
CSS: 54 ms
CSS: 57 ms
Safari 4's ability to render CSS pages seems fairly static though (technically it was 2ms slower than Safari 3.2.1 although such a small difference could be down to testing variation). Safari still renders pages slightly faster than the other browsers we tested though and it's substantially faster than Firefox; although seems fairly parallel with OmniWeb and Opera.
All of this will come as no real surprise to long-term users of Safari and Firefox. The faster speed of the browser has been felt in day-to-day use. Although that shouldn't prevent users from testing out FireFox as an alternative to Safari. Omni Group’s decision to give away OmniWeb away for free should be a good reason for many Mac owners to check out this browser as well.
Update: One of our sister titles, Computerworld, has tested Safari 4 on the PC and the results are much closer. Most notably because Google's Chrome Browser offers similar speed results to Safari. Click here to read the speed test results for Safari 4 Beta running on a Windows PC.
Sat, 28 Feb 2009Reviewed by: nhengen
Duration of ownership: 2 days
Strengths: on windows, not many.
Weaknesses: despite these test results: the windows version at work is SLOW. Plus some odd behaviour when copying and pasting data, which I guess will be fixed in the final version.
Overall Evaluation: Not very happy with this on my work windows machine: it is no longer anti-aliasing on windows. Plus, with the usual workplace setup of firewalls, LANS, multi-site etc, it performs SLOW. Slower than FF3. Automatic update still not finding the proxy hence no internet access (but safari does...), hence no updates. Mac software is clearly not 100% comfortable on Windows (who can blame it).