Monday, May 19, 2008

Web browsers. The Fastest and The Best.

Yesterday, I was going through my stat counter and was surprised to see actually how many people still use Internet Explorer 6.0. And there were couple of people using 'Camino', which is the Mac version of Mozilla. So I ran a quick check on Mac's native safari, and the reviews came out to be pretty impressive. Even though I am not a apple fan, a fast and most importantly an 'accurate' web browser is not something that I can reject. So after a couple of minutes, here I was, starring at apple website(yeah, safari's home page is And also, a couple of weeks ago I installed Opera 9.27 following a comment from Om Malik of GigaOm network stating that it is a faster browser.

So, after all, I had the 4 most popular web browsers asking "Do you like to make ......... your default browser?" all the time! So which one am I going to choose????

Let's see.

The user expects a several things from a browser.
  1. Speed
  2. Accurate display (you dont want everything to be a mess, with half lines and overlapping..etc)
  3. Low resource usage.
  4. Features (everything from tabbed browsing to IM and IRC support)
I found some great tools for web browser benchmarking and for now, I will just take a look at the first two points, the speed and accuracy. And since the system configuration can change the results, here is my test system configuration if you want to compare.
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 32bit(I have installed some critical updates but not all)
  • Intel Core2Quad Q6700 (2.66GHz)
  • 2GB DDR2 @ 667MHz
  • Maxtor 320GB SATAII 16MB cache
  • 8800GTS 512MB GDDR3
Almost all the pages in the web today uses CSS. So rendering and downloading speed of CSS based web pages is a very important factor. To benchmark these settings, I used the CSS benchmark from The results were quite surprising.

Yes, It is surprising, And that is something that steve jobs worshipers can brag for years saying "
Steve jobs said that, apples are superior because Safari is from apple". Well Safari really do kick butt here...! Or does it???

I had to digg a little bit to find the truth. These tests are based on documents onLoad() event that occurs after completely displaying a web page. So the page calculates the time between start and onLoad() event and takes that as the time to display the whole page. But what Safari does, is trigger the onLoad event as soon as it starts displaying. So actually, it will still keep loading the page even after the onLoad event. OH!!!!!! is apple cheating???? well, it is half true. Because steve jobs publicly benchmarked IE and Safari based on this method and said Safari "rules" (not exactly his words :D) but they knew that is not true(Safari is faster than IE but not from a big margin as benchmarks say). In the other hand, safari actually uses a different approach for rendering so there is nothing wrong with firing onLoad event early (You can read the full article about safari and bechmarking here).

So, moving to the next test from Sun, what this measures is the JavaScript evaluation speed of the browser. Like CSS, most web sites uses JavaScript as a main scripting language, hence this too can be considered as an integral part of a browser benchmarking collection.

Here, the clear winner is Firefox 3 (Release candidate 1). New Safari and Opera comes close leaving Microsoft to re-walk their new to-be-released Internet Explorer 8(beta 1). And if you are using either IE7 or IE6, yes, bang your head on the wall and download another browser before you read the next!!!!!

Yes, this is the part that Internet Explorer sucks by all means. It is the Acid3 standards compliance test. This talks about accuracy of a browser (that's my opinion. Some might say Microsoft can do whatever they want because they have the biggest market share, here's my answer). It test how good the browser handle web pages according to web standards. When you open a web page, If you see scattered borders or gibberish text, that is because the browsers does not comply with web standards 100%.

And if you are not familiar with ACID3, it is a test where the browser is given specific instructions and see how many of them, can the browser handle correctly. The tests are divided into 6 areas and are shown with 6 boxes. ACID3 is written extensively hard that actually no web browser has passed the test yet.(Some browsers has got internal versions -Opera, IE8, Safari- that gets 100% but does not pass the smoothness test.) You can read more about ACID3 here and test your browser here.




Opera 9.27

Firefox 2.0

Firefox 3RC1

Safari 3.1

Opera 9.5b

And this the way that actually all the browsers are 'supposed' to display the image.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fastest flash drives.

A couple of weeks ago I was answering the above question on eggXpert forum. (which you can read here) I answered that because a person who had very high ranking on the forum was saying that all the flash drives work at the same speed. IF YOU EVER HAD a flash drive, you know what a bullshit that is...!!! then here was another guy telling his flash drive which is A-Data PD7 has the fastest data rate and asking the readers to google it up, which brings up his blog!!!!!! any way, 24MBps is not bad. But I decided to put up some information and benchmark results I found, so that any one looking for a fast flash drive can have some idea. (these data is found here)

So lets just see what I found
Note : if you have any more data, please submit as a comment. It will really help anyone reading this. Specially if you have a benchmarking result

Higher numbers means better performance.

The chart shows the differences between the speeds very clearly. The tiny sandisk lagging far behind can be explained because it is made to be small, rather than to be fast. And the corsair survivor has a huge 32GB capasity, but does not offer as much speed. And the corsair 2GB voyager falls in the middle whereas it's 4GB version leads the competition. My flash drive, Patriot XT, has the best burst transfer rate, but as a brand, Corsair, Lexar, Kingston and Sandisk can be said better.

And if you take a look at the seek times,

lower times are better
Well, the differences are suppressed by the Sandisk cruzer mini, which has a ridiculous access time.

And the CPU usage heavily depend on the CPU and memory

The patriot leads because I have a quad core processor.

So here is my HDTunes screen capture,
Patriot Xporter XT 4GB

You can view the spread sheet here,
you also can submit your data.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Turn on, browse web. Nothing in between.

Have you ever (or haven't you always, to be precise) turned on your computer wanting to check your mail, read some news or just browse internet, and wondered if you can just turn it on like a TV and do those things????? I have. and i bet almost every one of you have. It is just a pain in the butt to wait for the computer with all other software to boot-up, just to browse internet.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Open DNS servers down

Well I am an Open DNS user. But a couple of minutes ago, when I was tryin to access some web pages, it would just give connection error message. Well it turns out to be, that the openDNS servers are down. I changed my DNS settings to automatic and now it goes through att DNS servers (or whatever they point to).

Monday, May 5, 2008

2008 Purchase program, Intel retail edge. Prices are UP!!

So, Today Intel launched the new Reatiledge site. And yeah! that looks really cool. But the coolest thing is that they announced the Purchase program (Or the online store, as they now call it!) items and Prices.

Lenovo Thinkpad Y510 - 500$
INtel QX6850 - 240$
Intel QX6700 - 200$

Friday, May 2, 2008

Intel retailedge and Iron man.

Well, I was really surprised when I got the invitation for the Iron man screening, from Intel. The actual surprise was that the event date, May 1st, the day right before the official screening of the movie. And they were offering 2000 chips too, which indeed was tempting.

So, this is the trailer of the movie..