Choosing a web browser is not an exact science. Generally, the choice that takes place between the various players in the market more often depends on the affinities and habits of each. Each of them offers features that are specific to them and that are enough to seduce users to comfort them in their choice.
On Windows, Chrome is beloved by users for its perfect integration with Google’s ecosystem, which has now become difficult to circumvent.
Firefox is appreciated for its semblance of independence and for its many privacy protection features. As for Edge, Microsoft’s web browser has long been the unloved, before making a meteoric reassembled with the public after switching to Chromium, the browser open-source of Google on which Chrome is based. And even if the methods used by Microsoft to impose it as the default browser on Windows are questionable, it is clear that it has become very effective and can compete without blushing with Chrome.
On macOS, purists usually only have eyes for Safari, Apple’s web browser, reputed to be the most capable on the platform. However, Chrome, Firefox and Edge, also available on the Apple OS, also have their public, and fervent defenders.
Apart from the functionality aspect, are the performances of the main browsers on the market all similar depending on the OS? If they obviously differ according to the number of open tabs, the power of the machine and the tasks that are carried out there, we decided to subject the browsers most commonly used on Windows and macOS to a series of tests simulating uses currents. These benchmarks, which only measure the raw performance of each, allow you to get a fairly concrete idea of the speed of each of them, whether they are used on Windows or on macOS.
Analysis tools and methodology
To carry out our tests, we used a portable machine, a Surface Laptop Go under Windows 11 (21H2 build 22000.376), equipped with 16 GB RAM and powered by an Intel Core i5 1035G1 CPU at 1 GHz. During our measurements, no software was open apart from the web browser itself.
On macOS, the measurements were performed on a MacBook Air M1 with 8 GB RAM, under macOS Monterey 12.1. Similar to Windows, the tests were performed for each browser under the same conditions, with no other software running other than the web browser.
The tests were carried out on Google Chrome 96.0.4664.110, Microsoft Edge 96.0.1054.62, Mozilla Firefox 95.0.2 and Safari 15.2.
We used five online benchmarking tools covering all possible uses with web browsers. For each of these benches, three measurements were carried out, the final score having then been calculated by taking the average of the three measurements taken, rounded up to the next higher unit.
Dedicated to graphics performance, MotionMark is responsible for measuring a browser’s ability to animate complex scenes with a certain frame rate. The highest score is the best.
This benchmark created by Apple in collaboration with Google aims to measure the responsiveness of web applications. For this, it relies on demonstrations of Web applications and simulates the actions most commonly performed by users. The highest score is the best.
Windows 11: Chrome, Edge and Firefox
On Windows, the results are quite tight, especially between Chrome and Edge. This is hardly surprising since both browsers are based on the same open source browser project, Chromium.
If the tests seem to show a slight lead for Chrome, Firefox, the Mozilla browser finished last in four of the five tests carried out, with scores well below those of Chrome and Edge.
Even with Kraken 1.1, Mozilla’s benchmark (lowest score is best), Firefox falls behind last, well behind web browsers from Google and Microsoft.
Read also: Discover 10 hidden functions for Google Chrome
macOS: Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari
Unsurprisingly under macOS, Safari lived up to its reputation and took first place in four of the five tests carried out. Apple’s web browser stands out particularly well with a score far superior to its competitors in terms of graphics performance (MotionMark), followed closely by Firefox in this area, Chrome and Edge being lagging behind on Apple’s OS.
As on Windows, Google and Microsoft browsers are neck and neck, Edge being noticeably better than Chrome with JetStream 2 and MotionMark.
Read also: 10 tips and hidden functions to master Microsoft Edge
Chrome on Windows, Safari on macOS
Although the results obtained during our tests only allow us to know the raw performance of each of the browsers, they may be able to encourage you to drop your usual browser to take a look at what is being done elsewhere.
On Windows, apart from graphics performance where Microsoft Edge does best, the fastest browser is unquestionably Google Chrome.
On the other hand, if you are using macOS, forget about all other browsers and stick to Safari. Apple’s native web browser offers performance on macOS far above that of Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
Now remains the question of the functions, each seeking to distinguish themselves, and the synchronization between your different devices. If you use an Android smartphone, it is quite possible that Chrome will give you more satisfaction. Ditto if you have an iPhone and use a Mac, synchronizing data in Safari, especially with passwords, can simplify a lot of things. At least now you know if your favorite is the most powerful browser…