Javascript: Pre-version of Mozilla Firefox holds up against Google Chrome

Sep 04, 2008

Google touts its Javascript engine version 8, among other things, as setting new speed records for its Chrome browser. Linux Magazine found during a benchmark test that the next Firefox generation can keep up with it.

As Javascript expert John Resig of the Mozilla Corporation informs us in his blog, Mozilla developers can currently benefit from its new homegrown script engine. Known by its codename TraceMonkey, it supposedly leaves the previous SpiderMonkey engine in the dust through its Just In Time (JIT) compiling to native code in terms of processing JavaScript code.

We used a small JavaScript benchmark, SunSpider 0.9 from the WebKit team, to test Google’s Chrome beta against the newest nightly build of the Firefox 3.1 in development, code name Minefield. The JIT compilation was activated with JavaScript variable javascript.options.jit.content. For lack of a workable Linux version of the Chrome browser (installation attempts under Wine ended within a second), Windows Vista was used instead, with an Intel Core2 dual processor of 2.20 GHz and 4 GB RAM.

Benchmark Chrome
The editorial staff ran a benchmark of a nightly Firefox 3.l “Minefield” build against Google Chrome.

The result: Both JavaScript engines ran in a virtual tie, with the Google product slightly ahead, perhaps faster by 15 percent, not a substantial Chrome lead, considering the margin of error inherent in the SunSpider test. Significant differences emerged, however, in performing certain tasks: Chrome did better with 3D and crypto tasks; Firefox with strings, regex, and math. The German sister publication Linux Magazin Online provides the test results as a download.

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  • Google

    Google does not need to go home, but they do need to be more humble in presenting a beta product to the public.

    Anyway, it is good news that Firefox will have parity in Javascript engine speed.
  • Good stuff

    Google go home!
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