Tuesday, January 27, 2009


As an addendum to the Javascript testing I did here, I've tested the first release candidate of Internet Explorer 8 on the same machine. First the numbers:

Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18372 (Released 1/26/2009)
SunSpider: 11062
Dromaeo: 5000

Some thoughts:

1. Notably, RC1 is now able to complete the Dromaeo suite, which gives us another point of comparison vs. the other browsers. IE8 Beta 2 and IE7 were both unable to complete Dromaeo.

2. IE8 RC1 is 57% quicker in executing the SunSpider tests compared to IE8 Beta2. Microsoft has been busy. However, its SunSpider score still places it behind even the slowest currently released browser (Opera). RC1 beats Beta2 in every single SunSpider test; there were no regressions. The largest gain from Beta2 to RC1 was in the "base64" sub-test, which saw a 7x speedup.

3. Dromaeo is a completely different story. RC1's Dromaeo score outperforms all the currently released browser versions except Chrome. Actually, the only browsers RC1 doesn't beat on Dromaeo are Chrome and the Webkit nightly. Clearly IE8 likes Dromaeo.

4. Unfortunately, there's still some weird interaction between IE8 RC1 and Dromaeo that prevents me from "saving" my results. So I will reproduce them manually here:

Arrays: 218.83 runs/s
Base64: 16.63 runs/s
Code Evaluation: 52.30 runs/s
Regular Expressions: 3341.25 runs/s
Rotating 3D Cube: 13.91 runs/s
Strings: 1357.29 runs/s

These paint a different picture. While IE8 RC1 achieves a higher total score than FF 3.1 on Dromaeo, it is beaten on every test except Regular Expressions. On that one test it outperforms FF3.1 by such a large margin that all the others are dwarfed by comparison.


IE8 RC1's Javascript performance is significantly better than Beta2, but is still outperformed by its competition. RC1's detailed SunSpider scores indicate that Microsoft has succeded in picking all the "low hanging fruit" with regard to Javascript performance. Base64 was the SunSpider data point where Beta2 performed pathologically poorly, and that is no longer the case. RC1 also seems to have acquired a wicked fast regexp library, which has given it a somewhat inflated score on Dromaeo.

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