It’s been some 18 months since our last browser benchmark battle. What better time to get the latest results than the start of a new year? Over the past year and a half, Google Chrome has continued to dominate market share, Mozilla Firefox has doubled down on privacy, Microsoft Edge has embraced Chromium, and Brave launched out of beta.
Users, developers, and businesses alike want to know which browser performs best. A single benchmark that definitively tests desktop browsers does not exist. As such, we ran eight separate benchmarks to give you a broader overview of what you can expect. We used Windows 10 in order to maintain a common platform, and because that’s what the majority of desktop users browse on.
Like for the last time around, we used a Surface Laptop (Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD). Most people rely on laptops rather than desktops nowadays. Plus, the desktop we used in the past has become too outdated.
We split off a new 100GB partition for a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), downloaded the browsers, and ran Windows Update a few times. We then ran all eight tests on each browser, taking screenshots along the way. We used the latest browser versions available for Windows 10 at the time of testing: Chrome 79, Firefox 72, Edge 79, and Brave 1.2.
Please remember that if you try to replicate the tests, your numbers will differ because you’re using a different computer. You will not get the same figures, but you may get similar results if you try multiple browsers. The exact numbers aren’t important: How they compare between browsers within a given test is what counts.
And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for (click on an individual test to see the nitty-gritty details):
The Chromium version of Edge did a lot better given that the stable release only arrived today. We were expecting improvements, but not so many outright wins. That said, browser performance was solid across all four contestants — each browser won at least one test. Performance of course shouldn’t be your only consideration when picking your preferred app for consuming internet content.
As long as you’re using a browser that receives regular updates (and all four of these meet that criteria), you can expect performance to be solid. There is certainly room for improvement, but Chrome, Firefox, and now Edge, as well as Brave, are all quite capable.