Browser benchmarks 2: even Wine beats Linux Firefox


We posted yesterday about Firefox having very different JavaScript performance on Windows and Linux, despite being the same version of the software.

Some people have said that we should have used a stock build from Mozilla. (We disagree, because we'd argue that most Linux users use software from their package manager rather than downloading bits and pieces from the web.) Others have said that Opera should be tested. And some people have said that it's Nvidia/AMD/Intel drivers that are slowing down Linux.

Anyway, we thought we would conduct a couple more quick benchmarks to see whether we can eliminate some of these variants. We don't have time to run the full benchmark suite and fiddle around from scratch, so we ran just a few quick tests to see what we could find.

This time the information you need to know is:

  • These benchmarks were run on the same computer as before, running the same Fedora 10 install.
  • We tried Mozilla Firefox for Linux as downloaded straight from Mozilla.
  • We also tried Mozilla Firefox for Windows as downloaded from Mozilla, but running it using Wine on Fedora.
  • We installed and tested Opera 9.63 for Fedora 10, as downloaded from Note: we were only able to find i386 builds on the Opera site; this isn't optimal so if someone can point us towards an i686 build for Fedora 10 we will happily update the article.
  • We ran the Google V8 Benchmark suite V3, as before.

To be absolutely clear: we took the Windows Firefox and ran it on Fedora Linux using Wine 1.1.12 as provided by Fedora:

  • "Firefox Windows" is Firefox running on Windows.
  • "Firefox Fedora" is Firefox running on Fedora using the Fedora package.
  • "Firefox Mozilla" is Firefox running on Fedora using the Mozilla build.
  • "Firefox Wine" is Firefox as compiled for Windows running on Fedora using Wine.
  • "Opera" is, well, Opera 9.63 running on Fedora.

With all that in mind, here's how the results look now:

Firefox on Windows, Linux and Linux/Wine

Firefox running on Windows, Linux and Linux/Wine, plus Opera.

The end result: Firefox from Mozilla or from Fedora has almost nil speed difference, and Firefox running on Wine is faster than native Firefox. Opera lags behind, but we're inclined to believe that number would increase if a better build was used.

Is this the end of the story? Probably not - we expect some commenters will come up with some other reason why the slowdown is clearly Nvidia/ATI/someone else's fault. Go on, folks: try the benchmark yourself. If you're running Linux, install Wine and try Windows Firefox on Wine and make up your own mind.

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