Maximum PC tested all current main browsers on the market including their latest alpha and beta versions (except Chrome 2). The tests are semi-extensive, 7 pages all up but most of the space is taken up by images. Final release browsers tested were IE 7, Firefox 3, Safari 3, Opera 9.6 and Chrome 1. In addition they also put through the paces the alpha version of Opera 10 and the betas of IE 8 (beta 2), Firefox 3.1 (beta 2, now maybe becoming Firefox version 5) and Safari 4; I wonder why Chrome 2 wasn’t tested.
The detailed browser comparison starts with a look at the different rendering engines used, moves on to the various interfaces as well as support for web standards (using the acid 2 and 3 tests). Security & privacy, add-ons & themes and finally a benchmark performance test round up the test regime. In regards to benchmark testing it is not surprising that the answer to questions like ‘is Safari 4 really 3 times faster than IE 7’ is a clear no. There are so many variables involved that it’s impossible to come up with a completely reliable performance yardstick. However, Maximum PC did notice differences among browsers, just not as pronounced as their benchmarks indicate. Safari 4 and, to their surprise, Internet Explorer 8 felt the snappiest, though neither version of Firefox ever felt slow by comparison.
Anyway, it’s worthwhile reading the whole article to get a better feel for the differences between the browsers and their soon to be released new incarnations. Click here to go to the Maximum PC pages.