Mozilla has just made available for download Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1, code- named "Namoroka." Benchmarking this very preliminary sneak peek version against Firefox 3.5 showed about a 43 percent increase in one benchmark score, running on the same hardware.
When using the Peacekeeper benchmark test, Firefox 3.5 scored 1843. Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 scored a whopping 2647.
Peacekeeper put a browser through a series of stress tests, including rendering, which tests a browser's ability to render and modify specific elements used in typical Web pages; social networking, which measures common Web page functions found on social networking sites like loading, sorting and searching for data; and complex graphics, which uses the "Canvas" Web technology for drawing and manipulating graphics without external plug-ins.
Peacekeeper also tests how well a browser handles data arrays, document object model operations and text parsing. When testing with Peacekeeper, the higher the score, the better and faster the browser's performance.
Both benchmarks, as mentioned, were performed on the same hardware. The PC has an Intel Core Duo E7200 2.53-GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM. The big difference, however, is that the first series of tests were conducted on Vista SP2, and the second on Windows 7 RTM.
There are two implications here: Windows 7 will aid in boosting the performance of applications, or Firefox 3.6 really trounces 3.5.
One of the features Mozilla is focused on is performance improvement with the final release of 3.6. These benchmark results show it is on the right path.