Experience Reports

Google Chrome is faster than ....

For me the word Chrome evokes images of the shiny, the futuristic and the fast. Clean, efficient and well built. Google Chrome developer preview doesn't disappoint. Google has taken WebKit, the same Open Source browsing engine that Safari is built on, and in a very short time developed a browser for Mac and Windows that is winning converts everywhere. On my work PC (Windows XP) Google Chrome has displaced Firefox as my "get things done quickly" browser.

To Safari users, Chrome's no-frills GUI will appear familiar. However, Chrome offers one interface tweak that Safari does not. Chrome can be "skinned" using themes. Some of the themes are designed by Google but there are over 90 themes designed by artist like Karim Rashid and Wes Craven.

Chrome is based on WebKit and has a similar feature set as Safari, and has the same limitations (no plugins or extensions). They are so similar that one could almost believe they were developed by the same software engineers. GUI enhancement aside, why run Chrome at all if Safari meets your needs? Quite simple, speed. Using the UNIX time utility I tested how long it took to load the default Apple home page from both Safari and Google when each launched for the first time. In my unscientific tests Google Chrome beat Safari each time, but only by a few seconds. For a more objective test I used the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark browser benchmark tests on the WebKit web site. This benchmark runs each test multiple times. I ran the tests in both browsers (Safari first) and then compared the results. Based on this benchmark Google Chrome's JavaScript is 1.23 faster than Safari. Download Chrome and test for yourself. Although it's a developer preview it's rock solid.

Screen shot 2009-10-27 at 12.58.00 PM

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  • Khürt L. Williams
    29th December 2009 at 12:02 PM

    I think you'll like Google Chrome. The latest development build provides an extension mechanism similar to Firefox.


  • Fernando Avirez
    27th November 2009 at 1:22 AM

    Well, after reading this, I might as well give it a try. I'm still using good old IE, time to head for a new experience then.

  • Frederik
    4th November 2009 at 8:57 PM

    I discovered Chrome to be the fastest browser after Opera went in some direction I do not like. So Google's baby replaced Opera (I never used Firefox at that time). As I am currently using Windows and Safari is just not fitting in the "environment" I still use Chrome although I recently switched to Firefox. That is because Chrome sucks in some ways it's treating my WordPress admin panel and some other minor things. That really pisses me off because I love the speed and the clutter-free look of Chrome.

    Long story made short: Do you know a method to get rid off any theme installed? I was playing around with the themes that came along with the new version and now I'm stuck with something I would like to change to "standard" again...

    • Khürt Williams
      4th November 2009 at 11:38 PM

      Remove a theme

      Go to the Options menu to reset your theme. Follow these steps:

      Click the wrench menu .
      Select Options.
      Click the Personal Stuff tab.
      In the Themes section, click Reset to default theme.
      You'll see the classic Google Chrome blue theme again.

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