The SunSpider test suite is a comprehensive one that simulates situations that users will encounter when they browse the web, such as generation of tag clouds from JSON input. In running these tests, I ensured that I was using the latest versions of these web browsers. I also ensured that no other browser tabs were open when I ran these tests. I also created a new Firefox profile and used it to run the SunSpider tests on Firefox. I wanted to ensure that these test results would be as accurate as possible.
I found it interesting to see the mean times it took for the tests in the SunSpider suite to be completed. It was also interesting to see what the 95% confidence intervals were, which as some of those reading this may know, are used to determine with 95% certainty that true mean values are within those intervals. I viewed the source code on the SunSpider website to see how those values were calculated using a Student’s t-distribution, and was reminded of concepts that I learned about in a university statistics course. After running the tests three times with Google Chrome, the average time it took for the tests to be completed was 822.2 ms. I then ran the tests three times with Firefox, and the average time it took for the tests on Firefox to be completed was 1756.8 ms. Firefox took more than twice as long as Chrome to complete the suite of tests. One can verify this after viewing the results of the first, second, and third tests I ran with Chrome, and the results of the first, second, and third tests I ran with Firefox. One can also copy and paste URLs from one set of test results into a text box on a page that contains the other browser’s results to compare results.