IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Google says Chrome is now faster than Safari on Apple Silicon

According to Apple's own benchmarks, Chrome 99 scored the highest out of any browser ever tested

Google said on Monday that its Chrome browser now beats the performance of Safari on Apple hardware, according to Apple’s own benchmarking tests.

The current version of Chrome, Chrome 99, is also now reportedly the fastest browser ever recorded on Apple’s Speedometer benchmark too, with a score of 300.

This means Google’s latest browser, long known for being resource-intensive and prone to crashing, is not only faster than Safari but also now the fastest browser on Apple hardware.

Apple’s dedicated Safari webpage claims its browser is “the world’s fastest” but added in the fine print that testing was carried out between August and September last year. Regardless, Google will be pleased with its feat given Safari was considered the much faster choice for Apple users since the launch of the M1 processors. 

Google credited the landmark performance score to a number of improvements, chief among which was the enablement of ThinLTO in Chrome 99 - a build optimisation technique that “inlines speed-critical parts of the code base, even when they span multiple files or libraries,” said Max Christoff, senior director at Chrome Engineering.

Enabling ThinLTO led the engineers to achieve a 7% performance boost over current Safari builds but coupled with graphics optimisations, Chrome’s performance received an additional 15% increase.

Other areas in which Chrome made improvements were the implementation of the V8 Sparkplug compiler and short builtin calls. 

Related Resource

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Cloud operational excellence - webinar from TrendMicroWatch now

“Sparkplug is a new mid-tier JavaScript compiler for V8 that generates efficient code with low compilation overhead,” said Christoff. “Short builtin calls are used by the V8 JavaScript engine to optimize the placement of generated code inside the device’s memory.”

These two contributed to a “substantial difference” specifically to Apple’s M1-based Macs and helped boost performance further by avoiding indirect jumps between function calls.

Overall, the latest Chrome build is running 43% faster than it did 17 months ago when Apple first released its devices with its own M1 chips.

Performance increases can also be found on Android, Google said, with page loading times down 15% thanks to prioritising critical navigation moments on the browser user interface thread.

The improvements build on previous work to reduce startup times using what Google calls “freeze-dried tabs” - using a lightweight version of a tab on load - and improving speed and memory usage using isolated splits which preloads the majority of the browser process codes on a background thread.

Featured Resources

The 3D skills report

Add 3D skills to your creative toolkits and play a sizeable role in the digital future

Free Download

The increasing need for environmental intelligence solutions

How sustainability has become a major business priority and is continuing to grow in importance

Free Download

2022 State of the multi-cloud report

What are the biggest multi-cloud motivations for decision-makers, and what are the leading challenges

Free Download

Solve global challenges with machine learning

Tackling our word's hardest problems with ML

Free Download

Recommended

Spanish spyware outfit uncovered, develops exploits for Windows, Chrome, and Firefox
spyware

Spanish spyware outfit uncovered, develops exploits for Windows, Chrome, and Firefox

1 Dec 2022
Google rolls out patch for high-severity Chrome browser zero day
zero-day exploit

Google rolls out patch for high-severity Chrome browser zero day

25 Nov 2022
Google adds new security vendor plugins for Chrome, improved Chrome OS policy controls for IT admins
operating systems

Google adds new security vendor plugins for Chrome, improved Chrome OS policy controls for IT admins

27 May 2022
Google Chrome branded the least effective browser for stopping phishing attacks
phishing

Google Chrome branded the least effective browser for stopping phishing attacks

26 May 2022

Most Popular

Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria
data breaches

Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria

26 Jan 2023
GTA V vulnerability exposes PC users to partial remote code execution attacks
vulnerability

GTA V vulnerability exposes PC users to partial remote code execution attacks

23 Jan 2023
European partners expect growth this year, here are three ways they will achieve it
Sponsored

European partners expect growth this year, here are three ways they will achieve it

17 Jan 2023