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Summary:

Opera Software today released the Mac version of Opera 10.5. It’s a release I’ve been waiting for ever since the launch of Opera 10.5 for Windows — itself an extremely impressive browser.

Opera Software today released the Mac version of Opera 10.5. It’s a release I’ve been waiting for ever since the launch of Opera 10.5 for Windows — itself an extremely impressive browser. I downloaded it this morning (confusingly, the version number is 10.52) and put it through its paces, benchmarking it against the latest versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome, the browsers I use most frequently on my MacBook — it’s blisteringly fast.

As usual, I used WebKit’s SunSpider benchmark test, which runs the browser through a series of JavaScript-intensive tasks and measuring how long it takes to complete them.

The chart shows SunSpider scores in milliseconds; the lower the score, the better. As with the Windows tests, Opera was the fastest, narrowly beating Chrome. The margin between Opera and Chrome was even more slender on the Mac test, though — Opera scored 395.6ms, while Chrome scored 400.8ms. Still, Opera was slightly faster — perhaps just enough to continue to justify Opera’s claim of being the “fastest browser on Earth,” although I doubt you’d notice any difference between them in real-world usage. Safari was also pretty darn quick at around 500 ms, while Firefox lagged behind the pack at 1000ms. (Note that you can’t directly compare the scores from my Windows and Mac browser benchmarks, as they were carried out on different machines).

JavaScript performance is important because we’re all increasingly reliant on JavaScript-intensive web apps — the better our browser is at handling them, the more productive we’ll be. Raw speed isn’t everything, of course, but Opera’s lightning-fast speed, coupled with an attractive UI, support for the latest web standards like CSS3 and HTML5 video, and a slew of useful features like multitouch trackpad gestures, “speed dial” and “turbo mode,” make it a very compelling option — it may even become my primary work browser. You can download Opera 10.5 Mac for free at opera.com.

Let us know what you think of Opera 10.5 Mac in the comments.

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): What Does the Future Hold For Browsers?

  1. With all these new features for the Mac, you still only focus on benchmark results? Why don’t you try using it for a week and discover some of it’s unique features. ;)

    I for one would be interested in a follow-up article with focus on what makes Opera 10.52 different or better or whatever. Pretty please?

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    1. Oh, I plan to — but as it was only released today, to give it a fair review I’ll need to spend more time with it.

      For features like speed dial and turbo mode, you can check out my overviews of previous versions of the browser: http://webworkerdaily.com/tag/opera/

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  2. Hi Simon

    Opera 10.5O was released on Windows a month ago. The Mac version wasn’t ready (there was more rewriting to do) so Mac users stayed on version 10.10.

    Today’s Mac release is named Opera 10.52 as it’s the same as Opera 10.52 on Windows which was also released today. We’ve now re-aligned the Win and Mac versions.

    Opera 10.5x for Linux will be released in beta this week, and final by the end of next month (it was a massive rewrite).

    Disclosure: I work for Opera (as you can probably tell!)

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    1. Bruce,
      Opera indeed is a fine browser but I have to use “slow” Firefox as it gives me all add-ins that I can only think off.
      P.S. Tried to upgrade second time but I am getting error
      “You tried to access the address http://www.opera.com/download/get.pl?id=32827&location=51&nothanks=yes&sub=marine, which is currently unavailable. Please make sure that the Web address (URL) is correctly spelled and punctuated, then try reloading the page.
      Make sure your Internet connection is active and check whether other applications that rely on the same connection are working.”

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  3. Opera is a great browser. They often come up with many features that are later adopted (copied) by others. For anyone looking for a browser + e-mail client I recommend checking it out. It may take a little figuring out but there are tons of features hidden under the hood. Just spend a little to get to know it before running to IE ;)

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  4. Peter Kasting Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    If you’re going to benchmark, why not use more benchmarks? There are lots out there besides Sunspider – the V8 benchmark suite, Dromaeo, Microsoft’s recent IE 9-related benchmarks, etc.

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  5. You’re dumb.

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    1. Some days I wake up and say to myself, “HEY I SURE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ROUGHLY HALF THE SITES I VISIT NOT LOAD PROPERLY.”

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      1. Some days I wake up a say to myself: today I’m going to troll in blog post comments around the Web with vague accusations and FUD that cannot be backed up.

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    2. And that’s a really smart comment.

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  6. [...] Opera 10.5 Mac Released — Still the Fastest Browser on Earth? [...]

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