WebKit Day 2 - Benchmarks

After using WebKit for the past few days it is evident to me that it performs better than Firefox on my Macs. The question is how much better? Is it possible to quantify the performance difference? After searching around found this JavaScript benchmarking site.

Details

The data was obtained by running the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark.

The benchmark was run on a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook equipped with 4 gigs of memory running Leopard (10.5.3).

To generate the below results for your self, follow the WebKit Results Link and then paste the Firefox results link in to the box that says “To compare to another run…”

    TEST                   COMPARISON         FROM (Firefox)  TO (WebKit Nightly)

    =============================================================================

    ** TOTAL **:           1.57x as fast     3002.8ms +/- 1.3%   1918.6ms +/- 0.9%

    =============================================================================

      3d:                  1.47x as fast      383.8ms +/- 7.3%    260.6ms +/- 2.9%
        cube:              1.61x as fast      135.2ms +/- 2.9%     84.2ms +/- 5.9%
        morph:             1.53x as fast      126.4ms +/- 20.3%     82.8ms +/- 2.0%
        raytrace:          1.31x as fast      122.2ms +/- 4.7%     93.6ms +/- 4.3%

      access:              1.49x as fast      418.2ms +/- 3.4%    280.2ms +/- 4.1%
        binary-trees:      1.38x as fast       49.8ms +/- 3.7%     36.0ms +/- 15.1%
        fannkuch:          1.83x as fast      162.4ms +/- 4.5%     88.6ms +/- 3.8%
        nbody:             1.19x as fast      149.0ms +/- 7.6%    124.8ms +/- 7.3%
        nsieve:            1.85x as fast       57.0ms +/- 9.5%     30.8ms +/- 7.2%

      bitops:              1.57x as fast      296.6ms +/- 3.6%    188.8ms +/- 4.5%
        3bit-bits-in-byte: 1.84x as fast       49.0ms +/- 10.3%     26.6ms +/- 13.5%
        bits-in-byte:      2.34x as fast       76.2ms +/- 3.1%     32.6ms +/- 8.8%
        bitwise-and:       1.43x as fast       78.2ms +/- 5.9%     54.8ms +/- 4.4%
        nsieve-bits:       1.25x as fast       93.2ms +/- 7.7%     74.8ms +/- 14.5%

      controlflow:         1.46x as fast       39.4ms +/- 6.9%     27.0ms +/- 22.6%
        recursive:         1.46x as fast       39.4ms +/- 6.9%     27.0ms +/- 22.6%

      crypto:              1.44x as fast      186.8ms +/- 3.7%    129.6ms +/- 7.7%
        aes:               1.59x as fast       72.4ms +/- 4.9%     45.6ms +/- 14.8%
        md5:               1.45x as fast       57.6ms +/- 7.6%     39.6ms +/- 14.8%
        sha1:              1.28x as fast       56.8ms +/- 9.3%     44.4ms +/- 27.6%

      date:                2.12x as fast      365.8ms +/- 2.1%    172.6ms +/- 2.6%
        format-tofte:      2.01x as fast      211.8ms +/- 1.1%    105.2ms +/- 3.5%
        format-xparb:      2.28x as fast      154.0ms +/- 4.5%     67.4ms +/- 5.6%

      math:                1.51x as fast      312.6ms +/- 4.9%    206.6ms +/- 4.1%
        cordic:            1.79x as fast      121.2ms +/- 2.9%     67.6ms +/- 5.9%
        partial-sums:      1.35x as fast      132.2ms +/- 9.7%     97.8ms +/- 3.7%
        spectral-norm:     1.44x as fast       59.2ms +/- 8.3%     41.2ms +/- 8.6%

      regexp:              1.33x as fast      265.0ms +/- 0.5%    198.8ms +/- 1.6%
        dna:               1.33x as fast      265.0ms +/- 0.5%    198.8ms +/- 1.6%

      string:              1.62x as fast      734.6ms +/- 0.7%    454.4ms +/- 1.6%
        base64:            1.33x as fast       85.8ms +/- 1.9%     64.6ms +/- 4.0%
        fasta:             2.25x as fast      192.2ms +/- 2.3%     85.4ms +/- 3.4%
        tagcloud:          1.38x as fast      154.2ms +/- 1.4%    112.0ms +/- 7.2%
        unpack-code:       1.67x as fast      197.8ms +/- 0.5%    118.6ms +/- 3.4%
        validate-input:    1.42x as fast      104.6ms +/- 1.4%     73.8ms +/- 4.0%

As you can see from the benchmark results, WebKit performs ~1.57x’s faster. The results are pretty much in line with my browsing experience. Please keep in mind these results are very specific to the conditions of my network, my computer, and the current utilization of the web server. Your results may vary.

Disclaimer

Please keep in mind benchmarks are benchmarks, and they are nothing more than numbers. This benchmark was not chosen because it favors WebKit in any way. Several sites use it to compare not only WebKit, but other browsers on other operating systems as well. Example here.

FYI

Webkit comes in ~1.68x’s faster than Safari 3.1.1. Safari 4 should be comparable to WebKit, since Safari 4 is based on the same code base as the current WebKit build which is based on the SquirrelFish JavaScript engine.

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