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22 Dec 12 IE beats Firefox, Chrome in Microsoft’s Penguin Mark

Microsoft has released a new benchmark to demonstrate the power of Internet Explorer 10. Penguin Mark has been uploaded to the IE Testdrive website to test web browsers in a new taxing technology mix. The benchmark uses a variety of technologies including HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, Canvas. When you click the test your browser button on the main page you are taken to a page that displays various animations and plays a rather annoying sound at the same time. A score is displayed at the bottom left that highlights how fast the browser is in the benchmark. If you compare web browsers, you will notice that animations tend to be faster on faster systems.

When you run the benchmark you are probably expecting Google Chrome to take the crown as it is generally seen as the fastest browser on today’s Internet. Chrome users will however face some disappointment when they realize the Internet Explorer is whipping the floor with the browser in that benchmark.

Chrome users will get scores between 50 to 150 points in the benchmark, while Internet Explorer 10 scores go well in the thousands. The IEBlog screenshot shows a score of 24281 and while I was not able to come close to that score running IE10 on Windows 7, the 4000 that I got were a lot better than Chrome’s 69 points, Firefox’s score of 102 or Opera’s score of 39.

penguin mark

Why is Internet Explorer 10 that fast in the benchmark while both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are not? Hardware acceleration is supported by all three browsers so that can’t be it, at least not if you do not believe that Microsoft’s implementation is that faster than that of the other two browsers.

This leaves either another feature that IE supports that the other browsers do not, or a benchmark that Internet Explorer in some form or another has been optimized for. I’m not saying Microsoft cheated here or anything, but there must be an explanation for the discrepancy.

What is your take on this? Why is Internet Explorer beating all other browsers by such a large margin?

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Responses so far:

  1. 151 in Chrome, unknown in IE10 – no test launched after pressing “Start” button in my IE10 :)

  2. I don’t claim to have a clue what is going on here, but if I run the test in IE10 with my Nvidia Optmus card switched on , it scores a big fat zero??????
    Using supposedly inferior Intel graphics it scores 15000.
    Chrome, as you said, scores 120 using either card.

  3. I tested and I got 0 score with Windows 7 + ATI HD Radeon 8500 + Firefox 17.

    Answer: Microsoft is cheating.

  4. Another useless shill benchmark from *insert vendor* to promote their browser. Wow.

  5. Let me see, I have an inferior product that fails to adhere to world standards, so to make it seem better to ignorant nitwits, I will create a test that favors the eccentricities of my product and penalizes products that adhere to standards.

    “Penguin Mark” is nothing more than a marketing tool. Furthermore, it’s a deliberate attempt by Microsoft to mislead people who know that Tux the Penguin is the mascot of Linux; Microsoft clearly wants us to believe that this “benchmark” was written by Linux developers.

  6. Score 0 zero using firefox 17.
    Same 0 zero using IE 10.
    Strange indeed…

  7. Windows 7 64bit, AMD processor and graphics card (which might explain something, because the may optimized their benchmark for Intel!?)
    Firefox 17: 131 (on results page)
    IE 9 (32bit): 195 (does not show results page*)
    IE 9 (64bit): 149 (does not show results page*)
    IE 10 isn’t available on my system; Opera Portable would be.

    *finishes, but stops without any result page

    My system wasn’t idle at any point but CPU and RAM usage (non browsing related, non benchmark related) should have been constant enough to not influence the results to a too high degree. (I re-ran in Firefox 17 and got 134 points)

    Vendors create benchmarks that are biased towards their own product, so far so good. Browsers in Google and Mozilla based tests as well as independent ones pass those more or less as expected. For me it is the case with this benchmark, referring to my results.

    Seeing the whole thing it might be that they optimized it for their browser and “special” hardware. The results are not comparable, like you’d compare a racing car with nitro against a wheelchair.

    • I think it would be interesting to understand why Internet Explorer 10 is scoring so far ahead of other browser.

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