Mozilla, via its Web site, is claiming Firefox 3.5 is the fastest version to date. Benchmarking tests done by Test Center reviewers prove that claim to be well-founded. In fact, Chrome, heralded for its nimbleness, and Firefox are at a pretty even level when it comes to performance. Both battered Internet Explorer 8 in benchmark testing.
Tests were run on a robust desktop installed with Vista SP1, 4 GB of memory and Intel Core Duo E7200 2.53GHz processors.
IE 8: 675
Chrome: 924.2 ms
Firefox 3.5: 1517.4 ms
IE 8: 8131.8 ms
Finally, we loaded in each browser one of our favorite sites for testing how a browser can handle serious graphics: www.papervision3d. It was amazing how much faster Firefox 3.5 loads this graphics-heavy site than in previous versions of Firefox. Firefox fully loaded the site in 10 seconds. Compare that to the 25 seconds it took Firefox 3.1 to load the same site and the 45 seconds it took to load the site with Firefox 3.
In comparison, Google Chrome essentially tied with Firefox 3.5, taking 12 seconds to load papervision3d.org. IE 8 was right on par with Firefox in this case, taking about 10 seconds to fully load. Mozilla's mantra with Firefox releases is "Fast, Faster, Fastest." That certainly seems to be the case according to test results, with each subsequent release outperforming the last.