Google claims that the latest Chrome update, version M99, is faster and more responsive on Macs than Safari, according to Apple’s Speedometer web benchmark. A post on the Chromium Blog delves into how Chrome’s speed has improved over the last year or so when building JavaScript and rendering graphics.

According to Google, this results in its browser being the quickest on M1 Macs, with a benchmarking time of roughly 7% faster than Safari. According to the blog post, Chrome M99 also established a speed record with a score of 300 on a benchmark created by Apple’s WebKit team. The Speedometer test is designed to emulate the experience of using a web app that runs on various technologies to assess how responsive it is.

The tests were carried out on a 14-inch MacBook Pro with a 10-core M1 Max processor and 64 GB of RAM, according to Google. When I repeated the test on my 13-inch M1-powered MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM, the difference was even greater: Chrome scored 252 runs per minute, plus or minus 8.6, while Safari scored 185, plus or minus 46. That’s almost a 30% difference on average, though there was obviously a lot of variation with Safari. I didn’t reach the 300 threshold because my PC had a slower processor and less RAM than the Google team said.

When it comes to normal web browsing, performance is critical – you don’t want to be waiting when utilizing a web app. However, the majority of the complaints I’ve heard from coworkers and strangers on the internet are that Chrome is a resource eater, not that it is slow. While Chrome isn’t totally to blame for high RAM utilization (all those scripts it runs so quickly eat up space and resources of their own, and measuring system resource usage can be difficult), it does have a reputation for consuming a lot of memory.

Benchmarks, in my opinion, are probably not worth considering when choosing a browser. I use both Chrome and Safari, and I don’t notice any significant variations in speed. There’s more to consider than just performance; one of my coworkers recently claimed that Chrome was “a complete disaster” in terms of battery life on their M1 MacBook Air.

On the other hand, if you’re happy with the features Chrome offers and it doesn’t appear to slow down your computer, I’d recommend sticking with it. You can even brag about how well it performs in benchmark tests now and again.


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