Chrome OS Update: Is Latest Version Of Google's OS Faster?


Is the latest version of Chrome OS really faster than its predecessor? The CRN Test Center has the answer.

Last week, developers of Google's browser-based operating system announced a major Chrome OS update that includes support for VPN, secure WiFi and other security enhancements, a 32 percent reduction in resume time, as well as other performance improvements.

The update was supposed to install automatically on most systems, and did so upon booting our review unit. While we're unable to verify the claim of faster resume times precisely, our test Samsung Series 5 Chromebook does seem to come on a bit faster than before; about eight seconds from sleep to log-in.

As for the browser itself, or more precisely the V8 JavaScript engine, performance on the whole is about four percent faster than results we found published on June 23, soon after the release of Chrome OS.

For a fair comparison, we measured performance using the same tool as those earlier results, version 6 of the V8 Benchmark Suite, which is a set of JavaScript code that V8 developers have been using themselves to fine-tune the engine. In June, the Chromebook delivered a combined score of 1919, and today, our machine yielded 1991, an improvement of about four percent.

V8 Benchmark Suite comprises seven individual scripts, each designed to measure a specific performance metric. The biggest improvement was in the Splay test, which measures data manipulation. In June, the V8 benchmark scored 789 on the Splay test, and today it scored 947. The splay test measures the ability to manage splay trees, which are binary decision trees that adjust with time and as decisions are made so that search results can be improved.

Another positive step for the enterprise was the release of a tech preview version of Citrix Receiver ICA client for Chrome OS. This will enable Chromebooks to launch and control full-scale desktop apps through the browser, adding to the device's lure in the enterprise by increasing substantially the number of available applications and affording control over their deployment and security of their data.

Installing the Citrix Receiver required just a few clicks, after which it puts a Citrix Receiver icon on Chrome's startup page. Clicking the icon prompts the user for a URL and presents a connect button. From there, the Citrix ICA client works much as it does on Windows or any other platform.