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Chrome Speed Crushed By New Opera Browser

Gordon Kelly


Chrome Speed Crushed By New Opera Browser

If you go by conventional thinking Internet Explorer 8 is the slowest of the current web browsers, followed by Opera, with Firefox in third place, Safari taking the silver and Google Chrome leaping ahead in first. Time for a rethink.

Opera has announced v10.5 of its browser this week in an ‘alpha’ format (read: this isn’t even beta yet, casual users stay away). Despite this, however, it represents a potential game changing update for the company.

According to the respected benchmark of suites run by specialist site betanews.com Opera 10.5 not only boosts the speed of its web browsing performance, but jet propels it to speeds in excess of anything we’ve even seen from the beta and developer versions of Chrome.

To put this into some context Betanews uses a benchmark whereby the speed of Internet Explorer 7 is classed as 1.0 using Windows 7 making all other browsers results relative to this. Consequently, IE8 scores 1.55, Opera 10.2 5.85, Firefox 3.5 11.12 (3.7 alpha 13.29), Safari 4 20.83, Chrome 22.5 and Opera 10.5 24.5.

This is a monstrous turnaround and is also backed up by a stylish redesign of the interface which makes us think why oh why has Opera not classified this v11.0. Where more stable versions of Opera 10.5 can go from here, nobody knows!

So Opera 10.5 represents a real twist in the tale. How will other browser developers respond? Well, can only rub our hands with glee at the prospect of finding out…


Opera 10.5

Betanews.com test results


December 26, 2009, 11:19 am

Unfortunately, if speed were everything Internet Explorer would long ago have lost its dominant market share, so I don't see Opera making huge gains.

However, the new interface looks spiffy (Chrome-like?) so I hope it does gain market share. I might give it a go when 10.5 is released.

Dark of Day

December 26, 2009, 11:32 am

Well done Opera! Was still my default browser tho Chrome was getting more and more tempting. Roll on a stable 10.5 build


December 26, 2009, 4:11 pm

isnt the interface first introduced by Apple and with strong criticism, they went back to the full title old style. & now everyone is adopting it...

Martin Daler

December 26, 2009, 4:20 pm

The latest Opera Mobile 10 beta 2 is rather sweet too. I use it on my iPaq 214, and it really is very good, although it occasionally seems to stop bluetooth from working for some strange reason, which is a pain. I keep reading random stats which say something like 50% (and rising) of all web page hits are from handheld devices, so maybe Opera Mobile will be the more significant development?


December 26, 2009, 6:12 pm

@xbrumster - The first time I saw this kind of interface was on Google Chrome and Safari used it later on. If you can show me a screenshot of this interface style from an earlier version of Safari than Safari 4, then you can prove me wrong, but I can't find it. Which to me makes Google Chrome the first with this interface style.

You gotta love the fierce competition between the current browsers though. Let's see what the other browsers will do in response :D


December 26, 2009, 6:31 pm


Actually, the tabs above the address bar was introduced by Opera. Apple and Google decided to follow in Opera's steps, and did the same thing, but removed the title bar as well.

Apple added the title bar back, but Chrome kept it hidden.


December 26, 2009, 6:31 pm

How do they measure the speed on these browsers? Because my Firefox 3.5 is a lot faster than Chrome. I play a text based Facebook MMO which requires you to change pages fast (otherwise you get killed and lose money). Firefox 3.5 switches pages instantly, Chrome goes to a blank page for a fraction of a second and the mouse pointer turns to a 'busy' animation, stopping you from pressing buttons and scrolling the page. This is on a quadcore and 64bit Windows 7. Javascript or whatever performance they measure isn't the whole story.


December 26, 2009, 7:26 pm

Chrome is way faster. I just migrated all my extensions from Firefox.


December 26, 2009, 7:36 pm

Opera has been my browser of choice for years. I was hooked the moment I seen speed dial and mouse gestures. Glad to see it playing with the big boys as I know its niche


December 26, 2009, 9:29 pm

@jopey - Betanews goes into a lot of depth about how its testing method works (it's pretty good), but I suspect you may have an error with your Chrome installation because it is vastly quicker than Firefox in every benchmark you can run. So much so I have finally migrated from Firefox to Chrome in the last month after five years of Mozilla loyalty and I'm thrilled at the difference.


December 26, 2009, 10:45 pm

My Chrome is a bare install. I don't think I've done anything that could mess it up. Do you get the little Windows Vista/7 circular loading animation on your cursor for half a second when a page loads Gordon? Firefox doesn't do that.

Hmm I'll give chrome another look but it just seems to "stick" when it loads a new page and firefox "snaps" to a new page.


December 27, 2009, 12:54 am

Chrome's nice but does it have the extensions and add ons Firefox has?


December 27, 2009, 1:13 am

@jopey - I sort of have the same problem as you do, but only on my laptop. My laptop has a faster CPU than my desktop, but on my desktop Chrome runs faster and I never have to wait for anything. On my laptop Chrome can lag for a moment whenever I switch pages or try to scroll and things like that. I'm not sure what it is, it even does that when there is nothing else running and put my laptop on High Performance. It doesn't always do that, I can sometimes use it for hours on end without any unresponsiveness, but other times it does right from the moment I start it up.

On my desktop, Chrome is a completely different animal.


December 27, 2009, 4:00 am

An interface resign is a much more important prospect. I use opera because it's one of the few stable browsers with a half decent feature set but the interface is long overdue a redesign. (even just putting the tabs beside the webpage on larger widescreen monitors would be a good start).


December 27, 2009, 12:03 pm

The only reason why Firefox still keeps me as a loyal customer is because of it's extensions and addons the others still lack.

That, and the kickass reactions when people ask me what does that "Minefield" icon do.


December 28, 2009, 5:28 am

@jopey, no I don't get that at all. Sounds like some sort of software incompatibility. That's definitely not normal.

@Xiphias - you did read this article, right? ;)

@Rickysio - That was what kept me loyal to FF, but Chrome extensions made me switch. Instant installs, no restarts to add or remove and a large number of FF third party features are now available. I also prefer the pop-out window functionality in Chrome extensions for sites like Wikipedia and Facebook.

Paul 28

December 28, 2009, 2:59 pm

Just tried it(opera 10.5), it takes twice as long as FireFox because it displays advertisements. I wish people would stop promoting web clients that put the needs of large corporations before their initial customers. I searched Opera for Add Blocker, nada, the most popular add-ons are Tetris in 3D and clocks, are you guys serious ?

Firefox is the only browser that puts the user in the driving seat and not some large faceless corporation.

Joseph Middleton

December 28, 2009, 9:14 pm

For me. The best thing about chrome is the lack of a big ui. Meaning loads more space for the content which is the most important thing right?

I love the fact that the tabs make up the top border and then you have the address bar, your bookmarks and thats it.

Its clean, fast and stable. I love it.


December 28, 2009, 9:43 pm


Dude, you're a fool. Opera has a built-in ad-blocker unlike your fanboy-favorite Firefox. Just right-click and click on the block content option. Obviously you're not serious when it comes to making sure you know what you're talking about. Besides, you searched for widgets, which aren't even fully functional in the Alpha, which makes me question if you even downloaded the right thing.


December 29, 2009, 5:19 pm

i'm numb,,,, i can't tell the difference in terms of speed between browsers, chrome, firefox, safari are on my computer and tested each one of them opening the same site with the same hi-speed connection at home.... so as long as the internet connection is fast, then it's, well, fast...


December 29, 2009, 7:10 pm

@sonisoe - then just use Chrome, trust me. Over time you'll spot a huge difference. But use the Beta edition, it's vastly better.

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