Veteran Mac expert and writer Joe Kissell is among the first to report that Google’s brand new Chrome browser appears to be “way faster” than Safari, even running in a virtualization environment like VMWare Fusion.
Kissell ran a quick, informal head-to-head on his MacBook Pro, comparing Safari on OS X to Chrome running under Windows XP and VMWare Fusion.
“Chrome launched in the blink of an eye (really shockingly fast) and I tried a few web pages side by side in Chrome and the Mac Safari, and they loaded noticeably faster in Chrome,” said Kissell.
Chrome is Google’s entry in the web browser sweepstakes, currently a Windows-only offering that launched today. The browser is based, however, on Apple’s webkit, the same rendering engine that powers the Safari browser. Mac and Linux versions of Chrome are in the works but Google has yet to announce a time frame for releasing those versions.
Kissell’s initial report came over Twitter, saying he ran Chrome in XP under VMware Fusion on a MacBook Pro and that it “is way faster than the Mac version of Safari on the same machine. Wow.” But some of his reaction may be chalked up to perception, and later off-the-cuff speed tests presented a mixed bag.
In tests done on a regular work machine with a zillion things running in the background, not a clean environment to be sure, but representative of the “real world” in which many are likely to use the browser,
- Chrome launched in < 2 seconds in XP under VMware Fusion
- Native Mac Safari launched in ~9 seconds
- loaded in 7.254 seconds in Chrome
- loaded in 9.531 seconds in Safari
- rendered in 162 ms in Chrome
- rendered in 37 ms in Safari
Despite his admittedly highly unscientific testing, Kissell reported “AJAXy things like Google Docs seemed zippier in Chrome, but it’s possible that my perceptions are incorrect, because I expect everything in a Windows VM to be slower.”
Let us know in comments below how Chrome works for you.