Opera 10.5 grabs browser speed crown

Windows beta blows by former champs Safari and Chrome in JavaScript benchmarks

Web browser war

Web browser war

Opera Software's beta of Opera 10.5 leapfrogged every rival to become the world's fastest browser, benchmark tests show.

Released on Thursday and powered by a new JavaScript engine, Opera 10.5 beat all comers to easily take the top speed spot.

According to tests run by Computerworld , Opera 10.5 was nearly 15% faster than Safari for Windows and almost 20% faster than Google 's Chrome, the previous No. 1 and No. 2 browsers. Opera's preview was more than twice as fast as Mozilla's Firefox 3.6, over eight times faster than Opera 10.10, and 10 times faster than Microsoft 's Internet Explorer 8 (IE8).

Opera has been an also-ran in JavaScript speed tests for almost two years, ever since developers working on WebKit, the open-source browser engine that powers Apple 's Safari, began bragging about massive JavaScript performance increases . Since then Mozilla built a new JavaScript engine for Firefox, and Google raised the speed ante with Chrome.

The only browser Opera regularly beat in JavaScript races was the even more sluggish IE8.

Computerworld ran the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite in Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) three times for each browser, then averaged the scores to arrive at the final rankings.

Opera 10.5 features a new JavaScript rendering engine, dubbed Carakan, and boasts a new vector graphics library called Vega that handles all graphics rendering in the browser. Opera claims that Vega renders graphics about three times faster than the library utilized by Opera 10.10, the company's current production browser.

Other additions to the beta include a revamped interface that reduces the space allotted to menus, support for Windows 7 's Aero Peek and Jump List features, an address bar that brings the history and bookmark search of Firefox's Awesomebar to Opera, and the ability to mark any tab as private so there's no record kept of sites visited or actions taken within that tab.

Opera 10.5's beta is available for Windows only, but alpha builds of the Mac and Linux versions can be downloaded from the Opera Desktop Team blog .

The Norwegian browser maker has not set a ship date for the final of 10.5, but has said that the Windows version will beat the others to that milestone as well. About the time that the final code for Windows is released, Opera will have the Mac and Linux betas ready.

Opera 10.5 beta can be downloaded from the company's Web site.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld . Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com .

Read more about internet applications in Computerworld's Internet Applications Knowledge Center.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags operaweb browsers

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?