Thursday, September 16, 2010

Internet_Explorer_9_beta_1 vs Mozilla_Firefox_4_beta_6

I ran a browser performance test for normal 1080p video playback with
  • Internet Explorer 9 beta1
  • Mozilla Firefox 4 beta6
  • Google Chrome 6.1
Reason for this test:
Internet Explorer 9 and Mozilla Firefox 4 represent new hardware acceleration. These versions are in beta state and already available for public (free download for both). Google is adding this feature to its browser Chrome too, it should be up on version 7 (Current version is 6.1 and 7 beta is not yet there). At this point it's good to check if the new feature have any affect on normal 2D playback which is much more used in browsers than 3D rendering features. This balance might turn later, but normal 2D videos will still be played in future too.
Test Setup is a low power system with just enough juice for HD playback:
E8400 @1,8GHz @0,8V, 4Gb DDR2 @800MHz, Nvidia G210 passive
Internet Explorer 9 beta 1 with Adobe Flash player version 10,2,161,22
Mozilla Firefox 4 beta6 with Adobe Flash player version 10,1,82,76
Google Chrome 6.1 with Adobe Flash player version 10,1,82,76
Player Hardware acceleration: on
Youtube test video: Dark Night Trailer 1080p in popup-window
Everest ultimate: measuring CPU, GPU, GPU MEM, Video engine

RESULTS IE9 beta1 FF4 beta6 Chrome 6.1
Visual look (subjective valuation) freezing smooth smooth
Average fps 17,7 20,0 20,4
Dropped frames 12 0 0
CPU core1 usage 25%-35% 45-55% 35-52%
CPU core2 usage 65%-75% 45-55% 27-45%
GPU usage (max value) 35% 20% 27%
GPU MEM usage (max value) 44% 27% 27%
Video engine usage (max value) 35% 31% 34%

Notes for results:
  • IE seems to use a lot of GPU resources and only other core of a dual processor. Where does all this power go? Not to best possible playback, frames were freezed every second when there was action on screen.
  • FF is using dual core CPU with a balanced load for both cores. GPU isn't stressed a lot. This has some value for users with passive cooled graphic card.
  • Chrome isn't using much of CPU, it seems to target it's load more on GPU. Good for those who have slower processors and decent graphic cards.
Firefox gives CPU a steady load during two minutes HD 1080p playback.
In this average chart IE seems to load CPU a bit more in the middle of the video.

Chrome keeps up its repurtation as a fast browser, the video also started to play faster. New features of Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 does not help them in normal video playback - performance difference between these two was there before and is there still - Firefox has got the lead against IE, but the gap has become smaller compared to earlier versions.




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