August 17, 2006

Firefox 1.5 vs IE7 vs Opera 9

Filed under: reviews, software — bardicknowledge @ 1:45 pm

So I was bored again this morning and decided to run a few tests to see what web browser was better.*This is a test to determine which is the better browser! I come into this test with no prejudices and no slanted views.*Sys Mem Size:

Firefox – 64,000k
IE7 – 50,000k
Opera – 46,000k

* Just a note I am typing this in firefox adding a little more to the sys mem but not near enough to make a difference.

Here apparently Opera is the winner running on less system mem, theoritically giving faster reply times.

+1 Opera

FINALL IE SUPPORTS RSS! YAY! It’s a pity it is no where as good as FF’s, which is the best out of the three, with Opera in a close second and IE not far behind. Firefox gets this one simply because of the ease to subscribing and managing a feed. Opera offers a lot more options with their RSS some which are really nice, but it is not as easy or as clean as Firefox’s. If you really want more RSS feed options you can d/l an extension that will give you those options.

+1 FireFox

Layout: (Without skins)
This one is really difficult. IE has a really simple layout, with its Vista style window. BTW, with Vista there are no longer menu’s at the top of a folder, and the same applies to IE. Everything is in a drop down menu which works well, and allows for quick program nav.

Firefox has the traditional menu’s but also has a costumizable U/I (user interface) allowing you to place buttons where you please on the tool bars.

Opera is a mix of Firefox and IE, with the traditional menu’s but it’s default look is similar to IE’s without the drop down menu’s.

Here FF get’s the nod, but only slightly since all u/i’s work well, but in the case of using defaults, FF’s is the cleanest and easiest to work with.

+1 Firefox

This is oh so close but Firefox walks out ahead of the other two here. While Opera and Firefox has a right click with several options, Firefox’s are more useful to the user such as reload all, reload selected, bookmark, etc. Where with Opera you don’t have the refresh, or book mark options but a lock and re-arragne. While niffy, painfully useless. IE also have a few options, all useful, but slightly lacking compared to the other two.

With FF and IE you can ctrl+ a number cycle through your tabs. So if I have 10 tabs and hit ctrl+9 it will open the 9th. This is a default feature for both. As for Opera I can’t find a short to cycle. While I don’t really use this option I do when I am cycling through the news since I dont really need my mouse to interact with the pages.

But IE has a nice little feature that allows you to view all the tabs as thumbnails. This is fairly useful when you have a large nubmer with meaningless titles.

+1 Firefox/IE.


Firefox hands down. Neither of the other closed source programs can even touch this section. Firefox has so many plugins its crazy, while the other two have a pitiful handful and aren’t terribly useful.

+1 Firefox.


IE: Sucks. No real options. No apparent manager. Everything down through a right click menus.
Opera: Basic, simple, but lacking.
Firefox: Basic, simple but with the ability to actually nicely and quickly organize your bookmarks.

+1 Firefox


Firefox 5/6
IE 1/6
Opera 1/6

Others notes:
Opera has a neat little feature built in.. BitTorrent! While it isn;t the greatest client, its neat and would be more than enough for those just starting with BT. But there are rumors of the next FF also having it built in and there are several plugins in dev of BT clients.

IE’s RSS is connected with the desktop sidebar with Vista so you can views your RSS feeds without being in the browser.



  1. Hm, I think you missed a few things regarding Opera. Here are a few thoughts.
    Take a look at the memory usage with 20 tabs open.

    Tabs – Duplicating tabs and linking them is quite nice. You can use the 1 and 2 keys to cycle back and forth through the tabs. I would also note that in Opera, when you open a link you can choose to open it a new tab and choose whether you immediately focus on the page or not. And you didn’t seem to look at the sessions option at all – being able to save your 20 tabs of webpages and go to them a few days later instantly is handy.

    Bookmarks – I am not sure what you meant by lacking for Opera, could you elaborate?

    You also missed a few other Opera features – page zoom (not just the text, but the entire page). Thumbnails that can pop up when you hover over a tab, to let you know what’s there (handy when you have tons of tabs open and just want to see what’s in a different tab without opening it). The Paste and Go feature is handy, since it saves you a little time. Also, the fast forward/fast rewind is nice for reading news articles/forum stuff.

    While Opera may not be the best browser for you, I feel that it is reasonable to take a good look at all the little things it can do that others can not. They may not help you much, but some of them are great. Finally, some people prefer to have a lot of functionality up front without having to go and download all the relevant extensions.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Comment by ilya — August 30, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  2. I honestly don’t remember what software. I tested it and uninstalled it. I will give it a run again when I have time but it was my first time playing with it. Thanks for your input. I will be testing though features next time I try it, but I honestly can’t see me using any of the fore mentioned features.

    ** Ok, I’ve gone and installed Opera again,¬† and while it has many tab features I can not see me ever using them, though the 1 ,2 buttons are nice.

    The page zoom, while I would never use it someone may find use.

    Paste and go is not but also something I would never use.

    I do enjoy the fastward/rewind buttons but they aren’t enough to make me switch browsers.

    As to the bookmarks,they are almost identical. I found that i thought was missing so there’s almost no difference but the management layout.

    Comment by bardicknowledge — August 30, 2006 @ 6:21 pm

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