Which Web Browser to Use – The JavaScript Test

Colin Farrell

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Recently I showed you which browser is best to use considering the speed test, however you still may feel a little cold regarding which to use. So now we are concluding which browsers to use by adding some more real world usage tests which include JavaScript and cold + hot starting browsers. You may be thinking what does it all mean? Don’t worry it is all done very simply and will be explained in an easy to understand way. The approach is semi scientific aimed towards real world usage.

One of the most important parts of browser speed is fast broadband which I use bespoke Magnet fibre broadband for the performance I need when running demanding JavaScript websites.

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Test 2 – JavaScript

Javascript is a programming language that is part of HTML and CSS which forms the main components of Web browsers, it works in the background. But why would the average person care about JavaScript? JavaScript is responsible for:

  • Autocompleting forms.
  • Dropdown menu and pointer rollover features.
  • Animating page elements such as fading, resizing or relocating.
  • Playing audio and video files.
  • Validating Web forms locally.
  • Repairing browser compatibility issues.
  • Loading new content or data onto the page without reloading.

JavaScript is essential for operation of modern websites and general browser operation. We will test JavaScript in each browser (JavaScript has been enabled in each browser). But before that, a little coding humour that can apply to Javascript or any programming language.


Programming! A nightmare incarnate.

We are using JetStream software to test various different scripts.

How to JavaScript Test

Visit:  http://browserbench.org/JetStream/in-depth.html  – to view what each script is doing and why and http://browserbench.org/JetStream/ – to test your own browser. Lets see who comes out top dog!

Mozilla Firefox Scores Well in JavaScript Test but behind the Competition

Firefox was up first and it scored well although lower than most of the competition. Firefox is clearly up there with the modern browsers however improvements need to be made. Add-ons can enhance or detract from this score, but in this test no add-ons were downloaded or active except Cisco video codec and adblock plus.


Google Chrome passes the JavaScript Test for Multimedia

Chrome did well as expected due to its multimedia nature and reasonably high ram usage. This scored a close second place in testing in which add-ons were not active except adblock plus and siteadvisor extension. This reinforces that for multimedia Chrome is one of the best.


JavaScript Testing Internet Explorer was Torturous

IE was the most troublesome to get results from. I had to run the test 5 times and restart the test computer so I could get a test fully completed. The end result was for the geometric mean result is 129.43. This score is the lowest and computer performance degraded rapidly as waiting for IE to respond was torturous.


Opera’s Lightweight and Low Resource Demand Proves a Hit

Opera performed admirably being the most lightweight and least resource intensive browser. This browser is close to Chrome in JavaScript performance. Being a modern browser it has the ability to have add-ons but none are enabled. This means that the score above would slightly be degraded if there was an add-on or two were enabled like the browsers above.


Microscoft Edge Delivers a Javtastic Surprise

Microsoft’s Edge browser was the most surprising, this browser smashed the others in JavaScript performance with high performance in every category. Of course this comes at a cost which is hardware performance being reduced due to being Edge using lots of ram, like Chrome. It is noted that no extensions were enabled in Edge. However as pure in browser performance for web browsing it is unsurpassed in these tests.


In conclusion:

From a Javascript point of view, Edge was the surprising winner and Chrome was a close second with a big appetite for ram. Unsurprisingly Internet Explorer was at the bottom on the pile with no light at the end of the tunnel in sight. So if you haven’t already, ditch Internet Explorer!


As you can see from these tests they are not fully scientific being that some had add-ons and some had no add-ons at all. But the reason tests were done this way was simply because in the real world when you are using browsers, you will not always have the same settings as the previous browser. Therefore this is as mix of real world testing and scientific testing. In part 3 next month Hot and cold browser testing will be conducted showing the real world in browser speed and loading from cold.


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