IE9 Leaves Chrome 11, Firefox 4.0 and Safari 5 in the Dust in Hardware Acceleration Test

With the RTW (release to web) deadline for Internet Explorer 9 now closer than ever, Microsoft has published the results of a new comparison between the next major iteration of IE and rival browsers.

This time around, the software giant used one of the hardware acceleration tests available to the public on the IE Test Drive site in order to highlight the gap between IE9 and rival next generation browsers.

Santa’s Workshop is a performance demo written entirely in SVG and JavaScript. The more efficiently your browser can animate elves moving around on the screen, the more elves will appear and the faster they’ll be able to pack presents,” noted Seth McLaughlin, Program Manager, Internet Explorer

“Santa’s Workshop uses many emerging HTML5 and SVG patterns, including SVG DOM manipulation, applying transforms to groups of SVG elements, and playing background music through the HTML5 audio tag.”

The company put time and again a strong emphasis on the fact that IE9 is fully hardware accelerated, covering video, audio and graphics content. It also pointed out that rivals such as Mozilla, Google and Apple choose to use the GPU to render only certain examples of content.

A Dell Laptop was used for the test, packing a 2.26 GHz Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M graphics card, 250GB 7200 RPM drive, and running Windows 7.

Internet Explorer 9 RC was used for the Santa’s Workshop test, with the Build capable of going as high as 50 elves and no less than 238 presents per minute.

Chrome 11 Canary was runner up, but it only managed to deliver 30% of the quantity of presents that IE9 achieved.

“With Google Chrome 11 we can only achieve 15 elves packing 71 presents per minute. When we look at the CPU, GPU, and updates we see that Google Chrome 11 is essentially using the same amount of machine resources as Internet Explorer 9,” McLaughlin said.

“Firefox 4 (Beta 12) now leverages hardware acceleration by default, however this most recent version of Firefox was only able to achieve 1 elf working and pack 4 presents per minute. In addition, the frame rate quickly fell to 13 frames per second. When we again look at the CPU, GPU, and updates charts you can see that Firefox’s usage of the GPU is very sporadic,” he added.

“Safari 5 did a bit better than Firefox 4 and was able to achieve one elf working and pack four presents per minute at a frame rate of 20fps. Here’s how Safari uses the machines resources to animate the one elf around the screen.”

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Release Candidate (RC) Build 9.0.8080.16413 is available for download here.


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