Google Chrome for Mac: It’s Already Here, and It’s Smoking Fast

Chrome on the Mac with VMware Fusion


There was a lot of chatter yesterday about Google’s new web browser, called “Chrome” and its potential impact on the workings of the Web.  Almost equally loud was some of the chatter amongst Mac users osut there about how Chrome is only shipping for installation on Windows right now.

Google Chrome for Mac, Right Now

As we’ve noted in the past, like with Photosynth for the Mac and Worldwide Telescope for the Mac, these apps already run on the Mac, with the help of VMware Fusion.

But people still have this misconception that running in a virtual machine will mean that an application won’t run quickly.  This is why we’ve spent so much time making sure that VMware Fusion runs fast and light on your Mac.

Hot, Smokin’ Chrome

How does this relate to Chrome?  Well, I got to play around with it yesterday on my demo MacBook Air, installing it in a Windows XP virtual machine with 512 MB of RAM assigned, running on VMware Fusion 2 Release Candidate 1

And based on some of the blog posts that were flying around today about JavaScript rendering speeds—which is supposed to be one of the big innovations of Chrome—I thought I’d compare the results of Google Chrome for Windows, Safari 3.1.2 for Mac , and Firefox 3.0.1 for Mac on the widely used “SunSpider” Javascript rendering benchmark.

Now, keep in mind that this is only one type of benchmark, and browser performance depends a lot on what sites you visit, and what you’re doing.  However, it was still pretty neat to see how smoking fast Chrome was, running on that XP VM in VMware Fusion 2.

The results, from slowest to fastest to run through all the tests: Safari for Mac, then Firefox for Mac, then Chrome for Windows, running in the VMware Fusion 2 RC1 VM.s

Safari 3.1.2:

Safari SunSpider Results

Firefox for Mac 3.0.1:

Picture 3

Google Chrome Beta on VMware Fusion:

Picture 2

What’s even cooler, is that if you wanted to, using VMware Fusion 2’s Application Sharing features (you can watch a demo video here) means that you could make Google Chrome your default browser for *all* web links you click on in your Mac.  That is, if you wanted to do some immersion testing yourself.

Chrome as Default Browser

Pretty neat stuff!


5 comments have been added so far

  1. I’ve been running this combination for a day now, and it’s been fantastic! Chrome under VMware was fast and stable enough for me to go ahead and uninstall my native copies of Safari and Firefox. Kudos to the Fusion team!

  2. I totally agree. Google Chrome on Mac via VMWare Fusion rocks. In the 24-hour countdown to the launch, I had a bunch of friends tell me not to get excited as it was Windows-only for now. I had great joy telling them I’d be running it off my WinXP virutal machine.
    I was a bit obsessive about hitting the reload button on the Chrome download page yesterday and had it downloaded and installed by the time Google even started their press conference. I must have had one of the first reviews too and I got a lot of traffic to my blog. Thanks VMWare for letting me be the complete techie!

  3. MBP C2D 2.33 GHz, 3G Mem, Fusion 2 RC1, XP SP3, Chrome
    RESULTS (means and 95% confidence intervals)
    Total: 2722.2ms +/- 4.0%
    3d: 151.0ms +/- 9.9%
    cube: 38.2ms +/- 31.6%
    morph: 66.0ms +/- 7.7%
    raytrace: 46.8ms +/- 16.1%
    access: 108.6ms +/- 6.7%
    binary-trees: 8.4ms +/- 43.9%
    fannkuch: 33.4ms +/- 10.1%
    nbody: 37.8ms +/- 6.3%
    nsieve: 29.0ms +/- 24.1%
    bitops: 74.4ms +/- 9.5%
    3bit-bits-in-byte: 5.4ms +/- 12.6%
    bits-in-byte: 14.2ms +/- 19.0%
    bitwise-and: 21.2ms +/- 15.7%
    nsieve-bits: 33.6ms +/- 14.0%
    controlflow: 4.6ms +/- 67.8%
    recursive: 4.6ms +/- 67.8%
    crypto: 71.4ms +/- 9.5%
    aes: 26.6ms +/- 28.0%
    md5: 23.4ms +/- 21.5%
    sha1: 21.4ms +/- 15.7%
    date: 1044.4ms +/- 9.3%
    format-tofte: 448.6ms +/- 7.0%
    format-xparb: 595.8ms +/- 12.0%
    math: 137.0ms +/- 9.0%
    cordic: 73.6ms +/- 11.6%
    partial-sums: 47.6ms +/- 11.8%
    spectral-norm: 15.8ms +/- 17.1%
    regexp: 453.0ms +/- 6.0%
    dna: 453.0ms +/- 6.0%
    string: 677.8ms +/- 4.1%
    base64: 85.0ms +/- 13.3%
    fasta: 71.6ms +/- 12.3%
    tagcloud: 185.8ms +/- 7.5%
    unpack-code: 238.6ms +/- 6.9%
    validate-input: 96.8ms +/- 9.6%

  4. I’m trying to install Chrome on my XP emulator in the latest version of VMware, and it will not work. At all. I have downloaded at least 50 copies of the installer, the standard one and the offline one, and they will not work. I click, and it gives me an hourglass for about 3 seconds and then just stops. it goes back to the pointer, as if I never clicked on the installer at all. It’s like VMware or XP have forgotten how to execute an application. Can anyone help me please? I’m desperate to try Chrome out.

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