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3-way hardware accelerated browser rematch: Internet Explorer 9 finally on top (video)

3-way browser rematch
Earlier this year, in June, I ran the first of my side-by-side deathmatches to try and work out which, if any, of the browsers is truly the hardware accelerated king. As it turned out, Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 were pretty equally balanced. Just two months later, in August, Chrome had stolen the top spot and sent Firefox 4, in a fit of tears, to the bottom of the heap.

In the last five months, all three browsers have been maturing. Chrome has leapfrogged from version 7 to 9, Firefox has been working frantically on its JavaScript engine to catch Chrome, and Internet Explorer 9 has been quietly -- but confidently -- working behind the scenes on the entire package. The emergence of new features has all but ceased: all three vendors are now readying themselves for an epic market share battle at the start of 2011.

The good news is, at least for the users, is that all three browsers are very fast. All three browsers have significantly improved since August, both in speed and standards-compliance, and it's now clear that you'll enjoy the Web no matter your browser. The only real question mark hovers over Opera -- version 11 is meant to be hardware accelerated, but until we actually see it, who knows.

In this new deathmatch, there is no run-away winner. Firefox 4 certainly looks like the slowest of the three, and Chrome -- dirty, pulls-no-punches Chrome -- is definitely faster, but I still don't think it matches the shiny, smooth slickness of Microsoft's newest browser. Internet Explorer 9, if you watch its side-by-side performance and figure in its excellent results from other benchmarks, must surely be the current king of HTML5-enabled, hardware-accelerated browsers.

Hardware setup: Intel i7 930 @ 3.8GHz, NVIDIA GTX 460, 6GB RAM.
Software setup: Windows 7 64-bit, Firefox 4b7, IE9b2, Chrome 9 (build 64562).

Tags: browser, deathmatch, firefox, google chrome, GoogleChrome, hardware acceleration, HardwareAcceleration, html5, ie9, internet explorer, InternetExplorer, video, video review, VideoReview, web browser, WebBrowser