According to a study conducted by New Relic, Internet Explorer 9 is the fastest browser under Windows. For OS X, it’s Google Chrome.
New Relic has published the results of a study looking at the performance of web browsers, particularly focussing on their speed at displaying web pages. This study is based on New Relic’s Real User Monitoring technology which provides real time data on the users experience taken directly from the browser.
New Relic has announced that they have monitored more than 5 billion web page loads each week across 20 000 active accounts. The research data was collected on the 22nd of March 2012 (between midnight and 3pm) with close to 690 000 pages being seen each minute.
On average, the load time of pages was faster than 5 seconds (5.5 seconds). This average time takes into account users on mobile devices, with New Relic believing that this speed is too slow when you consider the significant technology advances made in browsers.
Under Windows, Internet Explorer 9 came in first place by loading web pages at an average of 3 seconds, a half a second better than its closer rivals Firefox 11 and Google Chrome 17.
Under OS X (where the pages loaded faster), the difference between browsers was less, although Google Chrome came out slightly ahead. For mobile devices, the differences between Opera Mini 6.5 on the BlackBerry and Safari 5.1 on the iPad were remarkably different, with Opera loading pages twice as fast.
It is nevertheless difficult to draw significant conclusions from this, although it has allowed New Relic to draw up some results from their tests:
On Windows and OS X platforms
On mobile platforms
The feeling is that under Windows or OS X, there is hardly any difference with the users probably not noticing the half a second difference. The selection of browsers for users will therefore not be made on this aspect.
Microsoft has of course reacted following these results being released: "Internet Explorer 9, the fastest way to browse the Web on Windows". It shouldn’t be forgotten that IE9 isn’t compatible with Windows XP. The latest Net Applications statistics has indicated that Internet Explorer may have held their market share, with this previously being in decline.