Google Chrome adds HTML 5 Functionality & Speed (but does it matter?)

O.K.  I figure it’s time to say something nice about Google Chrome.

It’s faster, yes, than it was (that was nice, wasn’t it?) and it’s added preliminary support for HTML 5. That’s it!  That’s the big news about Google Chrome.

So, it’s supposedly 30% faster than the previous iteration.  What does that mean?  Can I browse the Internet 30% faster?  I don’t think so.  It means that in benchmark tests (SunSpider, Peacekeeper, etc.), the scores achieved are higher.

Forget the benchmark tests.  They’re meaningless  (the average person cannot interpret the scores anyway, and if you can figure out what the scores are really measuring, you’re smarter than me – or, more likely, you’re a liar).  If you need more speed from your browser, I’d suggest paying for a faster Internet connection.  Here’s the best way to “speed test” your browser.  Go to nba.com or nfl.com and time how long it takes the page to fully load.  Be precise.  Open up the next browser.  Go to the same website and test the load time.  And so on.  Bingo.

I have Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.5 and Google Chrome (latest beta version) on this computer (Vista).  I shall now perform the scientific test.  I’ll get out my handy Dell Axim and use the stopwatch.  I’ll wait for a page to load in Firefox, then IE, then Chrome.  I’ll round to the nearest second.

Here goes.

Test  #1:  cnn.com

With my 1.2 mbps download speed, using Firefox 3.5,  cnn.com loaded fully in 23 seconds.  Internet Explorer 8 loaded it in 17 seconds.  Google Chrome loaded the page in 19 seconds.  Speed winner:  IE

Let’s try again.

Test #2:  oregonlive.com

Firefox:  25 seconds.  Internet Explorer:  30 seconds.  Chrome:  25.  Speed winner:  Chrome and Firefox tied!   Hmmmm.  What CAN this mean?

Test #3:  costco.com

Firefox:  11 seconds.   IE:  13 seconds.   Chrome:  10 seconds.  Speed winner:  Chrome.

What’s my point?  So what if Google Chrome is 30% faster than it was before?    It’s not much faster IE or Firefox . . . and sometimes it’s slower.  For you and me, this can only mean one thing.  If you really want speedy Internet browsing, pay for a faster Internet connection.

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