Google ups speed of Chrome 10

Beta also accelerates video, automatically disables outdated plug-ins

Google yesterday released the first beta of Chrome 10, touting the new version's faster JavaScript engine.

According to tests run by Computerworld, Chrome 10 is 64 per cent faster than its predecessor on Google's own V8 JavaScript benchmarks. Google shipped the stable version of Chrome 9 earlier this month .

Google maintains three separate "channels" of Chrome -- stable, beta and dev -- that denote increasingly rougher-edged editions.

But in another JavaScript benchmark -- WebKit's widely-cited SunSpider -- Chrome 10 beta was no faster than Chrome 9. WebKit is the open-source project that develops the browser engine by the same name; both Chrome and Apple's Safari rely on the WebKit engine.

Google debuted a new optimization technology, dubbed "Crankshaft," in December when it added it to Chrome's V8 JavaScript rendering engine. Yesterday's release was the first beta build to feature Crankshaft.

Computerworld ran Chrome 9 and 10 three times each through V8 and SunSpider on a Windows 7 PC, then averaged the three scores.

Chrome 10 beta was 64 per cent faster than Chrome 9 in V8, but only a statistically-insignificant 0.1 per cent faster in SunSpider.

Two months ago, Google engineers explained why SunSpider scores for a Crankshaft-equipped Chrome show little, if any, improvement over browsers that don't include the optimization technology.

"The idea [in Crankshaft] is to heavily optimize code that is frequently executed and not waste time optimizing code that is not," said the engineers. "Because of this, benchmarks that finish in just a few milliseconds, such as SunSpider, will show little improvement with Crankshaft. The more work an application does, the bigger the gains will be."

Other additions to Chrome 10 beta include hardware-accelerated video, a change to how the browser's options are displayed, automatic password synchronization and a new security feature that automatically disables older plug-ins.

The new hardware acceleration shifts some of the video load onto the computer's graphics processor, thus reducing the impact on the system's CPU. Google said the new technology was still under construction, and the feature in Chrome 10 beta was a "preliminary implementation."

Passwords are now synched by default with Chrome's integrated synchronization tool, which also keeps bookmarks, extensions, apps and other settings consistent across copies of Chrome running on different machines.

The browser now also automatically disables out-of-date plug-ins to keep users safer -- plug-ins have become a major target of hackers, who aim exploits at vulnerable versions. Nearly 80 per cent of the browsers used by consumers require patching, a security firm said this week, with most of the unfixed flaws residing in plug-ins such as Oracle's Java and Adobe's Reader.

Mozilla's Firefox includes similar protection, warning users when they're about to use an obsolete plug-in.

Users can download Chrome 10 beta from Google's site.

If Google keeps to its usual six-to-eight-week schedule, most if not all of the features in the beta will make it into the stable version in late March or early April.

Chrome 10 beta was 64 per cent faster than the "stable" edition of Chrome 9 in Google's own V8 JavaScript benchmark tests. (In V8, higher scores are better.)

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@computerworld.com .

Read more about browsers in Computerworld's Browsers Topic Center.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleapplicationsGooglebrowserssoftwareinternet

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?