My Browser War (Firefox vs. Safari vs. Chrome vs. IE7)


My first semi technical post. The fun world of the technology we often neglect, Web Browsers (you are using one to view this!!!). I have now been using Google Chrome for over a week. I am pleasently impressed by it. Now the question is: Should I switch? The first problam is that I use Firefox on all of the platforms I use. I mean I have firefox on my Mac OS, on My work Linux Mint (Pre Installed), My Windows XP and Vista installations. All of the firefox installs also talk to each other and  synchronise. I have become hyper productiive using Firefox, to the extent that I have developed some bad browser habits. I have been one to experiment with browsers in the past and seem to have never moved away from Firefox since version 1. Yes its a memory hog (with lots of plugins, which I have), but it works and I have even become accustomed to the crashes (sounding like microsoft now, maybe I am getting old). It started out simple and now is a complicated beautiful organised mess of add-ons and themes.

First lets look at memory. There are a lot of articles on this out there on the interweb. Let me show you how Chrome runs on my machine. Just take a look at the task manager stats.


Breakdown of memory usage of browsers
TaskManager: Breakdown of memory usage of browsers

Now Firefox has one window open with just one web page. It is taking up a lot of memory already. Safari is second there. Then if you look at the chrome processes (yes multiple), there a lot of them. This is because I have about 10 tabs open in chrome. Each tab in chrome is a seperate process in the OS (Check out the info on Chrome: Comic Book style).  It provides some robustness for the browser. So if one page has problems loading it will not halt the whole browser. This happens to me frequently with webites that have java apps (not javascript).  Now look at the google chrome task manager that allows you to kill problematic pages;


Pretty neat. There are even more articles on memory and browsers check and pros and cons of the multi-process model. Now back to will it replace my Firefox. Not at the moment. While writing this post chrome did a halt, the whole browser. I had to try and kill the process in windows. Problem is now I see 15 processes. I did find it finaly. The glitch happened with trying to import settings Firefox. Didnt work out. Another thing I wanted to look at is the acid test. This is a test of web standard compatability. Check out the details here. All of the browsers I have on my windows XP install passed. Check

Acid2 test.
Acid2 test.

Top right is safari, clockwise, then Chrome, then Firefox then IE7. All of them have the smiley face so they all passed. I dont have opera. Still dont like it. I use it on my cellphone but cant get into it on my PC. You can also check out my website rendered by each of the browsers. Look and see if you can spot any differences or not. Chrome Rendering Chrome Rendering Firefox Rendering Firefox Rendering Safari Rendering Safari Rendering IE 7 Rendering IE 7 Rendering

Well thats it for today. This is not an in depth analysis of the browsers. Sorry Mitry. I do not have that type of technical expertise but it was fun for me to write. I did not have Netscape. I dont think I will ever install it again on my machines.Feel free to leave any comments about your experiences.

You can check out the specs of the machine I used for testing here (its the windows desktop)

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