Chrome beats Safari in Apple’s Speedometer browser test

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Google Chrome has become the fastest web browser on Mac, and it has managed to outperform Safari in Apple’s speedometer browser response tests.

Over the years, improvements have been made to Chrome to make it run better and faster in macOS. The developers of Chromium, the basis of Google Chrome, now say that its browser now runs better than Apple’s Safari in terms of speed.

In a blog post from Monday, the team claims that M99, Chrome on Mac, has achieved a score of 300 in Apple’s browser responsiveness speedometer. The score is said to be the highest of any browser that has taken the test to date.

To hit the mark, the team expanded on other previous performance improvements by enabling ThinLTO, a build optimization technique that inline “speed-critical parts of the code base, even when spanning multiple files or libraries,” according to the post.

Enabling ThinLTO made Chrome’s speed bump 7% faster than current Safari builds. When added to other recent graphics optimizations, the team’s tests push Chrome’s lead to 15% faster than Safari.

Other recent improvements include the V8 Sparkplug JavaScript compiler, which generates code with low compilation overhead. By also using short built-in calls that optimize the placement of code in memory, the result is a performance improvement by “avoiding indirect jumps when calling functions”.

The test was conducted on Speedometer 2.0, running on a 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Max, 32 GPU cores and 64 GB of memory, while connected to a power supply.

“Overall, since the launch of Chrome on M1-based Macs in late 2020, Chrome is now 43% faster than it was 17 months ago!” claims the team.

Benchmarks are just one way to determine the fastest browser, but Max Christoff, senior director of Chrome Engineering, also emphasizes that “the most important thing is that Chrome is actually faster and more efficient in everyday use.” Christoff promises the team will invest more in “innovative performance improvements” for the browser.

In previous major updates, March 2021 had assurances that work was underway to reduce Chrome’s resource usage on macOS. Back in August, a beta version of Chrome included a change to graphics processing that uses Metal.

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