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Google claims Chrome 99 is the fastest web browser available on Mac

Google released Chrome 99 earlier this month, with the usual combination of performance improvements and new APIs for web developers. However, Google says the latest update improves performance more than usual and apparently takes the crown as the fastest web browser on macOS.

Google wrote in a blog post on Monday, “We’re thrilled to report that in M99, Chrome on Mac earned the highest score to date of any browser – 300 – in Apple’s Speedometer benchmark which rates responsiveness of a browser.Building on many performance changes over the last year, we enabled ThinLTO in M99, a build optimization technique that prioritizes code focused on browser speed The result is an additional general speed bump that makes Chrome 7% faster than Safari.”

Since most of Chrome’s engine code trickles down to Chromium-based browsers, such as Microsoft Edge and Vivaldi, other browsers should receive these same improvements once they update their codebases. Benchmarks aren’t everything, though – Google required the old Octane JavaScript benchmark in 2017, due to web browsers optimizing their code for higher Octane results at the cost of real world performance. Google uses Speedometer 2.0 for these results, which was developed by Apple’s WebKit (Safari) team, and recreates common web application tasks in a variety of popular frameworks.

Google also says that Chrome’s graphics performance is now about 15% faster than Apple’s Safari, thanks to the aforementioned ThinLTO improvements and additional decoders. This is primarily useful for web applications that manipulate images and video, as well as sites with 3D rendered elements, such as Google Earth.

The Chrome browser has seen many other changes over the past few months. Google added a “Journeys” feature to sort browser history in February, which arrived alongside Material You-themed widgets on Chrome for Android. A slightly updated Chrome icon is also in the works, which will look a bit different on each platform to match the OS’s design language.