Opera is Faster Than a Potato

Contributing Editor

Last week we reported how Google had released Chrome 5.0 with a video comparing the browser’s speed to a potato gun, the speed of sound and lightning.Opera has responded with a low-budget but far more amusing video. It features two stereotypical herring-obsessed Scandinavians examining Opera’s speed. Potatoes still feature but, this time, they’re being boiled. Unsurprisingly, it concludes that the browser’s rendering time is almost 20 minutes quicker:

Who needs Google’s money and resources when you can produce excellent videos like this!

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  • locopat

    “Who needs Google’s money and resources when you can produce excellent videos like this!”
    The funny part is having the video published on YouTube!

    • JHig310336

      LOL ….

      Companies are funny. They continue to degrade Google yet uses Google products and services.

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        I don’t think they’re really degrading Google — Chrome’s not mentioned and nor is their video. They’re having a poke, sure, but no one’s been harmed (except for the potatoes).

  • http://www.lowter.com lotrgamemast

    Brilliant xD

  • JHig310336

    Yeah, I have Opera installed. It’s not faster than Chrome. Give it up Opera.
    I’ll keep using Chrome exclusively.

    • venkat

      And I use Opera exclusively!

  • Tatsh

    I’ve been using Chrome beta 5 for like ages both on Linux and Windows. 4 is a joke in comparison and I found that out pretty quickly by checking a few tests. However, my main browser is still Firefox. Why? Add-ons that work. I looked at the documentation for extensions to Chrome. You just don’t have the flexibility there for security reasons mostly, unless you use NPAPI which is pretty dumb because it gives you full access to the system when you might only need one or 2 things.

    Opera on the other hand. I used it for testing things at one point but it has become so incredibly irrelevant now. It supports almost all of what Chrome,Firefox supports. It can be faster but not always. Sometimes it has quirks that don’t appear in any browser and I am NOT going to deal with fixing for a browser that very few people use. When it gets to more than 5% of the market share, it might be worth up to FIVE MINUTES to fix a few things on a site, unless a client specifically asks for it.

  • locopat

    I think they all have their advantages. I am on mac, so, natively, safari connects well with some services, and I use it for my bookmarks. I use Firefox for dev for all the extensions on hand, and chrome for data mining as it is very fast…
    Opera looks good too, but despite their huge upgrade with regards to html5, never got around using it.

  • http://www.mortier.ca/ Ryan Mortier

    Too many people are taking this seriously.

    Craig is right, no one is degrading Chrome, they are simply having fun with Google’s commercial.

    I love it when I see companies having fun like this.

  • helton23

    Firefox is still number 1. Don’t waste your precious time :)

  • http://www.digitalgreenlight.com busy

    I always feel bad for Opera. It has always been a really great browser, but nobody (including myself) ever uses it.

    I used to use it exclusively for a while about 5 years ago, but then got swept up in all the excitement over Firefox. Now it’s strictly Chrome. If Chrome went away, maybe I would go back to Opera… Firefox just feels too sluggish for me now.

    • Eduardo

      Yes, they have a good product but they need to think of more effective marketing strategies.
      Tips for Opera Team to expand their user base:
      1. ADD ALL THE GOOD FEATURES that others browsers do have that Opera dont. If i use Opera and it lacks the functionality of my prefered browser (wether it is Firefox or Chrome) i will NOT use it, even if it is faster, i just dont care. Once you’re acostumed to a good set of functionalities its hard to leave them away. You guys have to study thoroughly the others browsers and realize what are the good features they have that people like and enjoy, most of them will not be easily spotted though.
      Optional: I think Opera would be much more atractive for typical users if you include some of the popular addons of firefox and chrome as native features and give the user the choice to enable/disable them if they want speed gains.
      2. At the beginning you should COPY the basic User Interface Layout from other popular browsers and then make little improvements until you get a more intuitve, easy to use and atractive UI. A radically different UI means new users have to spend too much time learning new UI procedures, and believe me, most people will NOT be willing to do that.
      If you guys follow these basic principles i think you will be at a better position to fight the browser battle and steal some users from Firefox and Chrome.
      Good look!

      • Stevie D

        Eduardo:

        1. Opera has millions more features than Firefox, and squillions more than Chrome. Opera is the most feature-packed browser available, and has been for years. Most of the popular add-ons for Firefox are integral in Opera. Any time I fire up Chrome, I spend ages looking around for features that I consider absolutely essential (and have been enjoying in Opera for several years) and then give up in disgust because it does virtually nothing. Seriously, how can you say that Chrome has good features and functionality? Compared with Opera, it does nothing!

        2. The interface in Opera is not that dissimilar to other established browsers. It was Chrome that threw the rulebook out the window, ignored every convention going not only for browsers but for Windows applications in general, and came up with that ridiculous design where you can’t find anything.

        Opera has been going for longer than Firefox and Chrome put together. The reason it has a small user base has nothing to do with the fact that it hasn’t copied the interface of browsers that came after it.

  • http://www.deathshadow.com deathshadow60

    You know, I really have to laugh at this “fastest browser” nonsense… It’s like when people say tables “render slow” – they rendered in an acceptable amount of time in mosaic on a 386/25 running windows 3.0 – I really don’t want to hear it in the age of multi-core multi-ghz systems and very much doubt it’s relevance to the average user when the REAL bottleneck remains total bandwidth of the site and the number of handshakes needed to download it.

    The sad part is all the optimizations these browsers claim do not make properly written websites actually load any faster than any other browser. The time it takes for a modern processor to decode HTML and apply CSS is so fast it doesn’t really matter.

    It’s only the poorly written bloated ajax and dhtml train wrecks and legacy outdated/half-assed transitional pages with hundreds of errors that see a real benefit. Goes hand in hand with google’s increasingly embracing the use of javascript for nothing – should they optimize their code so that it doesn’t rely on fat bloated libraries and broken coding techniques that require endless hacks to work across all browsers (if at all) – or should they just release a browser with a focus on it’s uber-optimized and speedy javascript engine?

    A decade and a half ago I worked closely with the marketing department at a company – the marketing director explained a lot of marketing concepts to me, and one thing that always stuck with me was when I said “who is dumb enough to fall for an advertisement like that?”

    The answer was pretty simple – advertisements are NOT for smart people. People who are educated and informed about a product are not the target of ANY advertisement. Because I had knowledge of the subject, I knew the questions to ask to make the adverts claims fall apart like a house of cards.

    … and even before I knew their names I recognized the cornerstones of advertising. Card Stacking, Glittering Generalities, Transfer, Plain Folks, Bandwagon, Testimonial and Name Calling.

    Which all boils down to advertisements existing to target idiots… The type of idiots who go “hey cool, a potato cannon”

    All that said, it’s a shame Opera has ZERO money budgeted for actual advertising; more than anything else that’s what continues to relegate them to the ‘also ran’ category.

  • stve

    Opera released 10.6 alpha 31st May with a whole bunch of fixes & a big performance increase it seems pretty stable for an alpha , haven’t had any problems so far & it definately feels snappier.
    http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2010/05/31/opera-10-60-alpha-1?startidx=500#comments

  • http://weblog.200ok.com.au/ 200ok

    Ahh beautiful. Spuds, the new standard unit of measurement for browser speed!

    If anything I took the video to be a gentle nudge at Chrome’s effort being a fun video but not an especially useful point. It was hardly a scientific speed test; and I can’t say I’ve ever thought “sure this browser works, but can it beat a high velocity tuber?” ;)

    The serious speed tests I’ve seen generally conclude that Opera and Chrome are each the fastest at some kind of test/scenario. To put it another way, they’re both quick enough that performance certainly isn’t an issue.

  • stve

    just tested Opera 10.6a on the peacekeeper benchmark very quick
    http://clients.futuremark.com/peacekeeper/results.action?key=3dFh

  • http://www.aplossystems.co.uk AplosSystems

    Never been a Chrome or Opera guy myself, I’ve always used Firefox since version 1.

    I only use the other browsers for cross-browser compatibility testing only, and usually have the worst result on Opera rather than IE.