The startup time benchmarks are split between a single tab (Google) and eight tabs (Google, YouTube, Yahoo!, Amazon, Wikipedia, craigslist, eBay, and The Huffington Post). Both are timed hot (closed and opened again) and cold (first opened after a fresh boot).
Single-Tab Startup Times
The single-tab startup places Apple Safari in the lead at under 0.2 seconds hot and just over 0.3 seconds cold. IE8 comes in second when opened hot at just under .25 seconds, but falls to last place in cold starts at nearly a full second. Firefox takes third in hot starts at nearly 0.3 seconds, and second place in cold starts at just over 0.4 seconds. Opera places fourth for both hot and cold starts, at just under one-half and 0.63 seconds, respectively. Chrome finishes last in hot starts with the only time above a half second, but manages to take fourth in cold starts at 0.62 seconds.
Eight-Tab Startup Times
As usual, Opera steals the show when opening multiple tabs, taking first place in both hot and cold startup times. Chrome places second in both times, under 20 seconds. Firefox is close behind in third place at about 20 seconds. IE8 places fourth at almost 35 seconds, while Safari takes nearly 50 seconds to start hot and an astonishing minute and a half to load all eight tabs cold.
Despite Safari's win with a single tab, it shows incredibly poorly opening eight tabs. Opera is the real winner here, while Firefox and Chrome are top choices as well. IE8 lands itself close to the bottom, ahead of Safari.
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