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Safari to receive large speed boost in upcoming build

updated 02:30 pm EST, Sat February 9, 2008

Safari speed boost

Apple's Safari web browser is about to get a large speed boost, if the current development version is giving an accurate depiction of what users can expect in the finished browser. Seth Weintraub, a writer for Computerworld's Apple blog, has been testing WebKit - Apple's developer version of the KHTML-based browser - and says that performance typically peaks at 2.5 times that of Safari, even in its currently unoptimized state.

Weintraub ran tests from, a site with many Javascript test pages, as well as doing a side-by-side comparison of overall download speeds. On the Sunspider test, he started Safari on the test, and about 20 seconds later, did the same for WebKit. Despite the early start in favour of Safari, WebKit was able to churn through the task and finish a minute earlier than the established browser.

The performance boost only comes at a cost of increased CPU usage, which Weintraub says is no more than one or two percent.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    are these the nightlies?

    or is there something besides those?

  1. MCroft

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is that methodology good?

    If he's running both apps simultaneously and comparing performance, how sure are we that the OS multitasking is 100% even?

    I'd rather see 3-5 (or 10) runs of each test, followed by an average with error bars.

    That said, the daily builds are faster.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what's faster?

    It sounds like the improvements are in javascript execution (probably due to enhancements made to get it to work at acceptable speeds on the iPhone and iPodTouch).

    Is the rendering faster as well?

  1. syzygi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sounds like there doing more optimizing for the Intel hard-wired technology.

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    all versions of safari?

    or just those who have the latest OS? I'm still on 10.4.11...

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: all versions...?

    Might be for 10.4.11 users as well, but knowing Apple's trend, might just be 10.5. Time will tell!

  1. Mojo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stability Over Speed...

    I would happily trade the speed increase for greater Safari stability... Ever since the release of Safari 3.0 I have been experiencing Safari crashes. I removed the plugins and haxies that played nicely with Safari 2 but not Safari 3 and yet the problem persists, albeit less frequently than before.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The performance boost only comes at a cost of increased CPU usage, which Weintraub says is no more than one or two percent. ----

    Um, if I'm web browsing, why doesn't it just use ALL of my processor speed available? Seems odd to leave power on the table.

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