Chrome vs Safari - some informal testing

truth1ness

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 8, 2011
109
4
I read some comments saying Safari is faster than Chrome and vice versa, though more people seem to be citing Safari as faster due to the framework it uses. There's also claims of Chrome being a mega battery hog. However, I haven't seen any current side by side tests and everything seems to be "this feels faster or feels like a battery hog" and so I thought I'd try some actual tests.

These are simple informal side by side tests, I'm not a full time reviewer with benchmarking equipment and hours to test battery draw down, I'm just sharing my experience with a few simple side by sides. You are welcome to do more rigorous testing yourself and share your results.

For speed I simply loaded a few common sites and counted in my head. I tested Chrome both with and without its extra data compression feature. To my surprise Chrome was actually a bit faster for almost every page both ways, and especially faster with the data compression.

**Site ChromeCompression/ChromeNoCompression Safari**
Yahoo 4/4 3
Amazon 1/1 3
TED 1/2 3
Reddit 1/2 2
Apple 2/2 2
Youtube 2/2 5

Another thing with a lot of anecdotes is battery life. Well this one is harder to test for long term usage unless you get two people to browse all day, but I did a quick battery drain rate test that I think gives a bit of an objective look at this claim. I simply refreshed youtube.com on both browsers over and over and counted how many refreshes I could get before the battery dropped by 1%. I repeated it twice to make sure the initial starting point was at the very top of a percent change for each.

Safari - 27
Chrome - 26

*note Chrome also had 5 tabs open and Safari 1 tab, I should have closed them but didn't notice until after.

Honestly these browsers seem neck and neck on power and if anything Chrome is faster than Safari despite the faster rendering engine. The iPhone 6 processor is so much faster that network lag pretty much trumps page rendering speed differences these days for all but the craziest pages, imo, and in that networking respect Chrome actually has the advantage due to its compression/caching (something Apple will have trouble replicating) and pre-loading features. Also, I think Chrome will pull way ahead once they switch to the new rendering engine now that Apple is allowing third party browsers to. Something may be going on longer term with battery life that nulls out my power consumption results, but if this intensive battery draw test is any indication both browsers are neck to neck in that area, too.

I say these differences are so negligible you should just use the browser that integrates best with your workflow. I use Chrome because it works great with the Gmail app which I think is much better than Mail.app, and it syncs my active tabs with Chrome Desktop which I use because of the superior extensions selection. Even *if* mobile Safari was faster the tiny speed difference wouldn't save me any more time than these integration pathways do.
 
Last edited:

Zaft

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2009
4,071
3,266
Brooklyn, NY
I read some comments saying Safari is faster than Chrome and vice versa, though more people seem to be citing Safari as faster due to the framework it uses. There's also claims of Chrome being a mega battery hog. However, I haven't seen any current side by side tests and everything seems to be "this feels faster or feels like a battery hog" and so I thought I'd try some actual tests.

These are simple informal side by side tests, I'm not a full time reviewer with benchmarking equipment and hours to test battery draw down, I'm just sharing my experience with a few simple side by sides. You are welcome to do more rigorous testing yourself and share your results.

For speed I simply loaded a few common sites and counted in my head. I tested Chrome both with and without its extra data compression feature. To my surprise Chrome was actually a bit faster for almost every page both ways, and especially faster with the data compression.

**Site ChromeCompression/ChromeNoCompression Safari**
Yahoo 4/4 3
Amazon 1/1 3
TED 1/2 3
Reddit 1/2 2
Apple 2/2 2
Youtube 2/2 5

Another thing with a lot of anecdotes is battery life. Well this one is harder to test for long term usage unless you get two people to browse all day, but I did a quick battery drain rate test that I think gives a bit of an objective look at this claim. I simply refreshed youtube.com on both browsers over and over and counted how many refreshes I could get before the battery dropped by 1%. I repeated it twice to make sure the initial starting point was at the very top of a percent change for each.

Safari - 27
Chrome - 26

*note Chrome also had 5 tabs open and Safari 1 tab, I should have closed them but didn't notice until after.

Honestly these browsers seem neck and neck on power and if anything Chrome is faster than Safari despite the faster rendering engine. The iPhone 6 processor is so much faster that network lag pretty much trumps page rendering speed differences these days for all but the craziest pages, imo, and in that networking respect Chrome actually has the advantage due to its compression and pre-loading features. Also, I think Chrome will pull way ahead once they switch to the new rendering engine now that Apple is allowing third party browsers to. Something may be going on longer term with battery life that nulls out my power consumption results, but if this intensive battery draw test is any indication both browsers are neck to neck in that area, too.

I say these differences are so negligible you should just use the browser that integrates best with your workflow. I use Chrome because it works great with the Gmail app which I think is much better than Mail.app, and it syncs my active tabs with Chrome Desktop which I use because of the superior extensions selection. Even *if* mobile Safari was faster the tiny speed difference wouldn't save me any more time than these integration pathways do.
"Also, I think Chrome will pull way ahead once they switch to the new rendering engine now that Apple is allowing third party browsers to"

You have a source for this?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
"Also, I think Chrome will pull way ahead once they switch to the new rendering engine now that Apple is allowing third party browsers to"



You have a source for this?

Google it. I believe Apple announced it at WWDC. I'll find a source when I get home from work.

They opened up access to nitrojavascript engine to 3rd party devs.
 

Razeus

macrumors 603
Jul 11, 2008
5,255
1,925

Hustler1337

macrumors 68000
Dec 23, 2010
1,785
1,514
London, UK
With Google, who knows how long that will be though. I'm still waiting on 6 Plus resolution updates for their current apps.
Google Chrome has already been optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over 2 weeks ago. Google Hangoutshas also been updated. In fact, they've done better than most other developers. It's a shame that the majority of the most popular apps have still not been optimized for the 6 and 6 Plus.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
With Google, who knows how long that will be though. I'm still waiting on 6 Plus resolution updates for their current apps.
Google is generally pretty quick with updates in my experience.

I've always thought they made better iOS apps then they made Android apps. Lol. I even venture to say they make better iOS apps then Apple does on occasion. However limited integration will always be there downfall with iOS.
 
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