Google's Octane claims to be "real-world" browser benchmark

By on August 22, 2012, 5:30 PM

Google has long been an advocate of making the web a faster place. This ideal is epitomized by the company's increasingly popular (and speedy) Internet browser, Chrome. Remaining focused on that quest for speed, today the company revealed Octane, a browser-based performance benchmark which aims to better report "real-world" performance.

Octane joins numerous other browser benchmarks but Google stresses that Octane is a little different. Although the new suite of tests is really just a revamp of V8, Octane extends Google's former benchmark suite with five new routines based on unaltered, well-known web applications. The thinking is, since these applications/libraries are independent of Google and the tests leverage many functions, Octane should provide the most realistic, impartial results yet by any browser benchmark.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not), Wired found that Chrome is king when it comes to Octane's performance evaluation. Chrome scored 8,517 points where runner up, Safari 6, reached only 6007 on the same system.

Although Octane's underlying principle of using well-known web apps appears reasonably fair, some may contend that Chrome's higher scores are simply a product of Google cherry-picking web apps. Conspiracies aside though, the other explanation is: maybe Chrome really is just that fast? It's difficult to know for sure.

Amongst the benchmarks added to evaluate real-world performance is an open-source GameBoy emulator. Originally written by Grant Galitz, the author (presumably) made a friendly jibe about Google using his old, freely-distributable code at The Verge.

The remaining four JavaScript apps/libraries includes are Mandreel, a 3D bullet engine; Pdf.js, an open-source PDF reader by Mozilla; a popular 3D physics engine called Box2DWeb; and CodeLoad, a code bootstrapping library.

Octane's source code is readily available to anyone who wants a peek under the hood. Readers can run Octane for themselves here.




User Comments: 22

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If "real-world" is what we're talking about here, then Firefox 15 is king.

Wait, that can't be?! Sure is.

Firefox renders websites seemingly faster than Chrome, especially since it's HW acceleration is superior.

Guess who's second? IE10.

*Gasps*

Guess who's third? Opera 12.

*Screams*

Other than that, though, difference becomes negligible as Chrome's UI is both faster and better designed, adding to the overall placebo effect. One I proudly am under the influence of.

Jibberish18 said:

You know, I've done all types of benchmarks with all types of browsers and of course, Chrome is king, followed by Opera and as of recently, Safari 6. Benchmarks aside though, I use the browser that works the best for my needs personally and that is either Chrome or Opera. To be honest, I'm not terribly fond of either. I'd use Safari but there is no way to stop flash from playing other than using an extension that notably slows down the browser. Not by much but still. Also, Safari will not play certain Flash videos without stuttering.

nuttynuts nuttynuts said:

based on html5Scores chrome got the highest and firefox comes second.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I just run the test in my Firefox which has 33 tabs open and I got a score of 6985?

Safari definitely isn't faster, besides I don't trust Google's Browser, I don't know why and I can't put my Finger on it but I can almost guarantee once Google has got most of the browser market share they will surely then suddenly change the browser to show Ad's all the time or will track everything you do more.

Arris Arris said:

Chrome 21.0.1180.83m - 7352

Opera 12.01 - 2951

Firefox 14 - 3656

Safari 5.1.7 - 2054

iE 8 - Can't even load the page properly let alone run the test.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

After seeing Arris's results and I got a few guys here to run this test, I wouldn't say its reliable at all, In fact it seems completely erratic. The scores seem to change hugely each time it is run.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

After seeing Arris's results and I got a few guys here to run this test, I wouldn't say its reliable at all, In fact it seems completely erratic. The scores seem to change hugely each time it is run.

Exactly. There are too many variables that are involved. To do this test even half way accurately, you would have to run the tests of the browsers on identical computers running the same OS and load pages from a computer NOT hooked up to the internet (local network or the such). People connect from different parts of the world, net congestion, and latency would effect final results.

Also without looking at the code, Google could be identifying browsers and skewing results. I'm not saying that is happening, it is just a possibility. An independent party needs to run the tests. There is too much of a conflict of interest.

Result: Use whatever browser you like. Saving 10 minutes a day because you are using the "fastest browser" has no bearing on how productive you are if you waste 30 minutes at the water cooler BSing.

bitaljus bitaljus said:

FF 17.0a1 (Nightly) - 7224

chrome stable - 7321

very little different's

Guest said:

Firefox Aurora 16.0a2 comes in with 6713!

Arris Arris said:

Well the tests were run on an old dual core machine running XP over 20Mbit company internet.

Safari 5.1.7 only got 2054 on this machine. Which isn't that far off Opera's score. Which is surprising as I usually find Safari for Windows an awfully slow experience compared to pretty much anything else.

CryVer CryVer said:

Other than that, though, difference becomes negligible as Chrome's UI is both faster and better designed, adding to the overall placebo effect. One I proudly am under the influence of.

I don't agree that Chrome's UI is faster than Firefox's. If we are thinking overall useability, then managing bookmarks in Firefox is a lot quicker and easier than Chrome. I also prefer the Firefox options menu to that of Chrome, and I think the option to press "Alt" in Firefox to get the old menu up is nice (at times). It's also easier in Firefox to get to the addons page (Ctrl+Shift+A), as there is no shortcut in Chrome to do that (that I know of).

Zoltan Head said:

lawfer said: '

Other than that, though, difference becomes negligible as Chrome's UI is both faster and better designed, adding to the overall placebo effect. One I proudly am under the influence of.

I don't agree that Chrome's UI is faster than Firefox's. If we are thinking overall useability, then managing bookmarks in Firefox is a lot quicker and easier than Chrome. I also prefer the Firefox options menu to that of Chrome, and I think the option to press "Alt" in Firefox to get the old menu up is nice (at times). It's also easier in Firefox to get to the addons page (Ctrl+Shift+A), as there is no shortcut in Chrome to do that (that I know of).

I use Firefox & Chrome daily, and they are much the same in the real world, if there's microseconds or even milliseconds difference, it just doesn't matter in the average workplace (mine's very average! )

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Other than that, though, difference becomes negligible as Chrome's UI is both faster and better designed, adding to the overall placebo effect. One I proudly am under the influence of.

I don't agree that Chrome's UI is faster than Firefox's. If we are thinking overall useability, then managing bookmarks in Firefox is a lot quicker and easier than Chrome. I also prefer the Firefox options menu to that of Chrome, and I think the option to press "Alt" in Firefox to get the old menu up is nice (at times). It's also easier in Firefox to get to the addons page (Ctrl+Shift+A), as there is no shortcut in Chrome to do that (that I know of).

I'm not sure how you'd improve bookmarks on chrome seeing how they are conveniently lined up right under the address bar, but in my experience chrome is more reliable and more integrated with the other Google services I regularly use. I haven't tried Firefox recently, but it wouldn't matter since chrome already has everything I want in a browser.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Other than that, though, difference becomes negligible as Chrome's UI is both faster and better designed, adding to the overall placebo effect. One I proudly am under the influence of.

I don't agree that Chrome's UI is faster than Firefox's. If we are thinking overall useability, then managing bookmarks in Firefox is a lot quicker and easier than Chrome. I also prefer the Firefox options menu to that of Chrome, and I think the option to press "Alt" in Firefox to get the old menu up is nice (at times). It's also easier in Firefox to get to the addons page (Ctrl+Shift+A), as there is no shortcut in Chrome to do that (that I know of).

Right. Too bad we're <I>not</I> thinking overall usability. I said faster and better designed.

Guest said:

Chrome 21: 10146

Is that good?

Arris Arris said:

Well hardware makes a big difference. 3mbit broadband but my i7 2600K @ 4.6Ghz gets 19405 for Chrome. Although Opera 12 on this machine seems to crash on the Mandreel test.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Chrome 21: 11015

Firefox 14: 7160

Opera 12: 4744

There's my scores. I do notice Chrome loading pages about a second or so faster than Firefox, and going back and forth between FF an Opera, there's not too much of a difference (if I time it, Opera is usually off by half a second every time). So on my laptop, at least, Chrome does indeed run faster.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My results with installed browsers:

  • Firefox 14.0.1: 9996
  • Opera 12.01: 6439 (my default browser)
  • IE9: Loaded page loaded but benchmark wouldn't start!
  • Chrome: I've never supported Google.
Zoltan Head said:

My results with installed browsers:

  • Firefox 14.0.1: 9996
  • Opera 12.01: 6439 (my default browser)
  • IE9: Loaded page loaded but benchmark wouldn't start!
  • Chrome: I've never supported Google.

Benchmarking Chrome would only support Google if it won.....

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

I have no idea what the scores mean... but I ran it with chrome and got 11342.

COOL... I think?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Benchmarking Chrome would only support Google if it won.....

I'm sure Chrome benchmark would have been the highest, judging by all the other scores. I have nothing against installing the application and presenting a benchmark score, that will not change how I feel toward Google. My hatred for Chrome started way before I even considered it as a browser alternative.

I've lost count how many times I have un-installed Chrome because of Installers including Chrome within their package. The continuous need to watch installers for included additional applications has created a hatred for the included additional applications.

Zoltan Head said:

I'm sure Chrome benchmark would have been the highest, judging by all the other scores. I have nothing against installing the application and presenting a benchmark score, that will not change how I feel toward Google. My hatred for Chrome started way before I even considered it as a browser alternative.

I've lost count how many times I have un-installed Chrome because of Installers including Chrome within their package. The continuous need to watch installers for included additional applications has created a hatred for the included additional applications.

Yep, I see what you're saying, drives me nuts too (especially toolbars, if you forget to untick the box!)

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