Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Opera 15 browser for Mac sells its soul for speed and slickness

Nathan Alderman | Aug. 12, 2013
Opera 15 may not be a step backward from its earlier versions, but it doesn’t feel like a step forward, either.

Still in need of a tune-up?
When run on a 2GHz aluminum MacBook with 2GB of RAM, and tested against Opera 12 and the latest versions of Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, Opera 15 bested only Firefox in HTML5 vector graphics tests. It scored far closer to its rivals in HTML5 bitmap graphics tests, but still came in third. And it placed second to last in HTML5 text rendering. In all three categories, Opera 15 lagged Opera 12, in one case by more than 25 percent, and in another by nearly 50 percent.

Opera 15 acquitted itself much better in JavaScript tests. It beat all comers in the latest SunSpider benchmark, and placed a close second behind Chrome in Google's own Octane benchmark. In HTML5 standards-compliance tests, Opera 15 again scored second behind Chrome, and improved by more than 20 points out of 500 from Opera 12.

In regular use, Opera handled just fine. It loaded pages quickly, scrolled crisply, and didn't crash or otherwise give me any hassles.

Benchmarks: Opera 15

Browser

HTML5 Vector

HTML5 Bitmap

HTML5 Text

Octane

SunSpider

Acid3

HTML5 Compliance

Opera 15

13.87

53.44

14.82

8689

335.4

100

423/9 bonus

Opera 12

25.22

55.98

20.17

2677

393.3

100

400/9 bonus

Safari 6.0.5

32.63

45.95

13.61

2677

427.8

100

419/9 bonus

Firefox 22

3.31

14.6

20.08

6028

355.9

100

410/4 bonus

Chrome 28

15.12

55.51

17.87

8757

617.1

100

463/13 bonus

               

Best results in bold. Reference browsers are in italics. HTML5 Vector, Bitmap, and Text test results are in frames per second; higher is better. The Octane JavaScript test results are scores; higher is better. The SunSpider JavaScript results are in milliseconds; shorter times are better. The Acid3 result is a score out of 100. HTML5 Compliance result is a score out of 500.

Bottom line
I'm hardly clamoring for a return to Opera's everything-and-the-kitchen-sink days. But I miss having Opera as a quirky, delightful beacon of individuality amid an increasingly similar selection of browsers. In that regard, Opera 15 feels a bit disappointing. However, its performance has improved and it's still a very capable browser.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.