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Windows 10 Browser Benchmarks: Spartan vs. IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

Posted by Jim Tanous on April 1, 2015
project spartan windows 10

With the release of Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 Build 10049, Windows Insiders have received their first hands-on look at Project Spartan, Microsoft’s next generation Web browser that will be the centerpiece of Windows 10. While Microsoft is not killing off Internet Explorer (despite many erroneous reports to the contrary), Spartan will be the default browser for consumers who upgrade to the next version of Windows later this year.

Spartan, and the broader Windows 10 operating system, are still in beta, of course, but we wanted to take a look at how this new browser compares from a performance perspective, both with IE 11 and with competing browsers. Spartan’s new rendering engine, EdgeHTML, has already been available in the Windows 10 preview release of IE for several months, but we’ve decided to test the engine natively in Spartan.

For our Spartan benchmarks, we compared Spartan to IE 11.0.10011.0 running its default Trident engine, Chrome 42.0.2311.60, Firefox 37.0, and Opera 28.0. Other sites that have looked at browser benchmarks have run their tests on mid-tier hardware, but we wanted to give these browsers as much power as they can handle, to see a “best case scenario” of performance. We therefore used our high-end test platform: a Haswell-based Intel i7-5960x, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD.

For each browser, we ran the following tests: Sunspider 1.0.2, Kraken 1.1, Octane 2.0, Futuremark Peacekeeper, WebXPRT, HTML5Test, and the Oort Online benchmark. Without further ado, the results of our Spartan benchmarks:

[table id=24 /]

Here’s another look at the same tests, this time focusing strictly on Spartan vs. IE:

[table id=25 /]

It appears that Spartan certainly offers some performance improvements over IE, and even has the best Sunspider score out of all the major Windows browsers, but it’s still behind by quite a bit compared to its competitors, especially in the WebGL rendering tested by the Oort Online benchmark (of note, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all scored the maximum 10,000 points on that test, which explains their identical scores).

Spartan brings with it a number of interesting new features in addition to pure performance, such as integrated annotations and support for Cortana, but users shouldn’t expect this new browser to immediately leapfrog performance leaders like Chrome any time soon.

3 thoughts on “Windows 10 Browser Benchmarks: Spartan vs. IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera”

silvestris says:
Was the FF version used the release version of 37? If so, it would have been the 32-bit version, as the x64 is not in release yet.

Firefox looks like it is pretty close to Chrome’s performance, besting it in some of your benchmarks. While there is no official Windows release of Firefox x64, it is coming, and the betas are here now (which is a good sign in itself– the dailies have had x64 builds for years, but never any betas). FF38.0.5 x64 beta is rock stable for me, far better than any release version of FF has been in ages. ‘

On my system, Firefox 37 (release, 32 bit) scored 5308 on Peacekeeper. FF38.0.5 x64 beta increased that to 5785, a boost of 9%. That looks like it would be enough for FF to be essentially tied with Chrome for speed in the aggregate of all of your tests.

I know, the test is really about Spartan, but if FF is the only 32 bit in the test, it will improve once Mozilla finally gets around to releasing a 64-bit FF for Windows.

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ber4444 says:
If you’d use the 64 bit Chrome, it would improve on the benchmarks
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TekRevue says:
We did. Those numbers are for 64-bit Chrome.
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QueensGambit says:
Any chance of an update on this test? Cheers.
Danmansonman says:
Would be interesting to see how the Spartan 1.0 tests out.
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