Update: IE9 Preview released: IE9 vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Opera Performance Benchmark
The most interesting part is that Internet Explorer 9 will move graphics and text rendering to the graphics chip (GPU), using DirectX‘s Direct2D. In one of the demonstrations, which showed the difference between non-GPU and GPU rendering: Bing Maps did about 14fps without using the GPU, and up to 60fps while using the GPU. A similar difference will of course be seen for Google Maps.
Rendering the web page in IE8 is performed on the CPU. Direct2D (a new Windows API in Windows 7) uses hardware Direct3D acceleration to accelerate 2D graphics. This would be available as a patch for Windows Vista. Through the use of Direct2D, IE9 will perform all graphics rendering on the GPU, providing quicker page rendering, faster, smoother animation, and high quality image scaling, resulting in richer experience.
We don’t go by the words of the manufacturer, we like to test it on our own. We got our handson on a developer preview of IE9. We used SunSpider benchmark to get Real world-alike results.
Results: IE9 is whoopingly 2.5x times faster than IE8, and 13x times than IE7 but still lags behind ALL other browsers.
Browser Time IE 5500 IE9 1620 Firefox 3.6 Beta 3 1498 Chrome 4 (Nightly) 590 Safari (Nightly) 605
The Results claim that the current IE9 performs nearly as good as betas of Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. IE is still the slowest, but the difference now ranges from 9% slower compared to Firefox to 260% slower compared to Chrome, rather than 800% slower, which was the case with IE8.
Since this is not even a beta version, we can expect better performance in upcoming versions ,and I won’t be surprised if it beats Firefox 3.6. And as far as graphics rendering is concerned, we need some real world FPS test, but Running ChromeExperiments was no where near to Chrome.
Compliance and standards
IE was, once, leader in this area. But when Firefox took on the Browser wars, followed by Chrome and Safari, IE started looking outdated, which was the case with IE6. IE7 made some small improvements, and IE8 did some homework by giving out at least HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1 specifications.
Today, there is Huge demand (among developers) for new features: HTML5, CSS 3, SVG, & Canvas. Many of these standards are still themselves in draft, But, their craving features like HTML 5′s native support for embedded video, CSS 3′s rounded corners, Canvas’s extensive graphical capabilities are in demand.
IE9 will surely incorporate HTML5, CSS, however there is no word on SVG, canvas. What they did mention was that the company’s focus would be on providing the features that were actually most useful to developers, and ensuring that those features had robust test suites. So that means Microsoft finally wants to work with web developers, hand-in-hand.
IE9 is still in its early days, and there is no hint of a date at which a beta might become available. Many questions, especially about standards support, remain unanswered. The switch to Direct2D may also mean an end to XP support (Direct2D is unavailable on that OS).
Nonetheless, the announcements give a strong indication that Microsoft is taking its browser seriously, and wants it to be a viable alternative to its competitors.