Opera is the fastest browser again

A lot of people have put the pre-alpha of Opera 10.5 released today to the test, and it seems that Opera now has the fastest JavaScript engine (by a pretty decent margin). At least according to benchmarks like SunSpider and Peacekeper. …

I still maintain, as I wrote earlier this year, that these benchmarks are artificial, and do not really represent real-world performance. That is not to say that Carakan wasn't really needed. In my opinion, it was important for at least two reasons:

  1. Future-proofing Opera: Future Web applications (including widgets) will require super-fast JavaScript to run well. We need to have a good enough engine ready when the new generation of Web applications appear.
  2. Marketing: Let's face it – marketing matters. Today, SunSpider and Peacekeeper are probably little more than a way to create pretty graphs that people can understand. These benchmarks may be artificial, but most people are not treating them that way.

I'm really impressed and excited by what the Carakan team has been able to do so far. Their work is very important, and the full impact of the new engine will become apparent when a new generation of Web applications enters the stage.

In the meantime, we can at least benefit from pretty graphs showing Opera as #1 πŸ™‚

Oh, and don't forget about Vega. Keep in mind that hardware acceleration isn't even enabled yet!

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16 thoughts on “Opera is the fastest browser again

  1. I agree with every single word of your post πŸ™‚ Opera is much more than the speed of its js engine but the new engine is cool.

  2. Improving stability will surely affect the performance. ;)Even though the margin still seems to be safe, do not rest on your laurels. πŸ™‚ Other browsers' developers surely do not sleep, and what really matters is the performance of stable release. So other browsers have lots of time to reduce the backlog.

  3. nice to see Opera is fast with a new compiler design. I agree with haavard, current engine is just a fraction of sec slower for daily use, but in future jit compilers is the way to go, so it's important to be there.To me what I welcomed the most, was the finally improved address bar, which its older versions were a big big can of worms. 10.5 in overall is a great upgrade.

  4. Totally agree with Haavard, especially with marketing issues πŸ˜‰ It's really exciting that Carakan made it this far; the problem I see is cross-platform compatibility. Native code isn't that simply ported, but if Opera Team copes with it, mobile browsers will be put at a new height :-)@andol: I'm pretty sure that the script compiler part is nearly stable – there is some place for optimizations, but bugs are more or less eradicated, and no extra heavy checks will be necessary. Besides – correct me if I'm wrong – Carakan performs two stages of script processing: compiling source into internal bytecode, and then converting bytecode into native instructions. The former part is already present in Futhark – and that's a significant piece of work done and thoroughly tested.

  5. Yeah, Opera's been doing lots of bytecode work for a long time. Since Carakan is mostly regarded as being cross-platform, only the native code compiler needs to be tuned for different processors.However, comments about Carakan being in need of more tuning in OSX have led me to speculate about which portions depend on the host Operating System. Probably has to do with different methods of scheduling the CPU. Once the core has been tuned for Linux kernels and BSD kernels, many embedded devices will benefit from the improvements.I am guessing that ARM development is waiting on the promised future reductions in memory requirement. Right now, there would be no point in adding it to Opera Mobile.

  6. Awesome release. It's speed all around – from the unnervingly fast startup to rendering js heavy pages. And the press is also going all ga ga over it.Well done Opera Soft. Now go and get drunk. :wine: And Merry Christmas.

  7. 10.5 will be a GREAT release. There are wonderful features, additions and improvements and I LOVE to see how all those Firefox-fanboys are getting crazy in every forumpost or comment on newspages. That makes me feel veeeery comfortable πŸ˜€ And I did not read nearly one comment talking bullshit. Everyone seems to be impressed.THANK YOU OPERA! A WONDERFUL build at a absolutely PERFECT time released and with A LOT of attention.Merry Christmas to everyone from the Opera staff :hat:

  8. Time for the marketing people to reclaim the "Fastest browser in the world title" that Opera in the past righteously gave its self.It's good to be part of the "winning team" again.:yes: :cheers: 😎 :devil: :yes: :cheers: :wizard: :hat: Congrats to the devs for all the hard work on all the aspects of this release.

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