Sunday, August 15, 2010

Camino vs. Firefox Shootout

Time for an old-fashioned shoot 'em up. I downloaded the latest versions of Firefox (3.6.8) and Camino (2.1a1pre) which both run on the Gecko 1.9.2 rendering engine and decided to run a few very sophisticated speed tests (me sitting at the monitor with a stopwatch). I used the latest Camino nightly because their current official release runs on Gecko 1.9.0, although for me the alpha version is very stable. Both versions are out of the box with no add-ons, no ad or flash blocking. So here are the official grain-of-salt* results, all times in seconds:

Cold Start After Boot:
Camino 10.50
Firefox 12.50

Subsequent Startups:
Camino 2.89
Firefox 4.18

The following are website load times in offline mode after they've already been cached. I included 3 separate times to get a sense of an average.

Camino 4.64, 4.67, 4.53
Firefox 5.67, 5.27, 5.54

The Sartorialist
Camino 4.90, 4.79, 4.76
Firefox 6.41, 5.59, 5.43

Camino 15.81, 16.22, 15.45
Firefox 14.34, 14.16, 14.25

Cult of Mac
Camino 14.63, 14.76, 15.88
Firefox 16.62, 18.81, 18.75

Camino 3.40, 3.40, 3.13
Firefox 3.59, 3.64, 3.46

As you can see, Camino beats out Firefox in nearly all the tests, though not by huge margins. The only one Firefox comes out the winner is with Lifehacker. One of the biggest surprises for me was Firefox's startup time. I recalled earlier versions taking much longer, but 4.18 seconds ain't too bad, considering both Camino and Safari start up in about 3 seconds.

Is this enough to make anybody switch? I use Camino as my primary browser over Firefox not really because of these numbers but because Camino is a native cocoa app and therefore much snappier to the touch. It also uses OS X services and the Keychain. And I'll throw in the obligatory "It's more Mac-like" here, too, though this isn't meant to be an anti-Firefox jihad. I just think Camino deserves a look from the many Mac users who aren't using it (see also here).

*My refelexes suck. But they sucked consistently.


  1. Cool man. Camino seems to not work with everything though. I use Camino, Firefox and Safari. I was almost going to ditch Camino as it seems to lack support for new apps. But I have the Camino toolbar filled with 30+ icons...

  2. I've switched to TenFourFox. It's much more up to date, and I believe Camino announced they will be stopping active development.