WebKit's JetStream browser benchmark hits version 2


I prefer applications that you download and run on your local machine, but I guess I'm old-fashioned because it seems like even most of those run in a browser these days. Browser performance on a lot of computers now is virtually synonymous with whole-machine performance. For that reason, we pay pretty close attention to browser benchmarks. Tests like Speedometer and JetStream help us gauge how quickly a machine can complete internet tasks—which is to say, most tasks. Not to belabor the point. In any case, we're pleased to see that the JetStream benchmark has gotten its second release.

If you're somehow not familiar with it already, JetStream is a browser benchmark published by the WebKit guys. You know, the guys behind the package that powers basically every browser now. It came out in 2014 and was the first browser benchmark to weight latency and throughput benchmarks equally. JetStream is an intensive test and isn't representative of simplistic websites. Instead, it's intended to measure the performance of a browser (and the machine it's running on) in "advanced web applications" such as games, and things like Slack.

Even though technology isn't moving as fast as it was around the turn of the millennium, 5 years is still a long time in tech terms, and a lot has changed about JavaScript in that time. JetStream 2, then, primarily serves as an update to the benchmark that reflects the changes to the way advanced web applications actually work now.

The new version uses 64 different-but-equally-weighted JavaScript and WebAssembly benchmarks that should offer a pretty good idea of a browser's (and by extension, a computer's) ability to handle stuff running in a browser that probably shouldn't be. You can read the WebKit blog post for all the juicy details if you're curious, or run the new benchmark over here. Don't forget to share your browser and OS versions along with your hardware specs if you discuss it in the comments below.

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