What’s the Fastest Web Browser in the “Real World?” Chrome.

Compuware’s benchmarks division, Gomez, has just released new data from a website measurement project whose goal was to determine what the fastest web browser is in the “real world” of desktop users. The project only measured load times of users on broadband connections.

The data, collected over a one-month time frame, captured the results of 1.86 billion individual measurements on over 200 websites. The results of the test? No surprise here – the winner is Google Chrome.

In the chart below, you can see the page load time (blue) is lowest (3.433 seconds) for Chrome 12, the latest release of Google’s Web browser. Update: Chrome 13 is the latest release, as of last week

On the high end is Apple’s Safari 4 (6.149 seconds) and IE 7 (6.006 seconds), neither of which are the curent versions.

The second metric, perceived render time (green), refers to the amount of time it takes for the visible portion of the page to load in the browser. Again, Chrome did well here (2.374 seconds), but in this case, Firefox 5 did better (2.18 seconds).

To be clear, Gomez doesn’t test browser speed capabilities in a lab environment, it measures real-world performance – that is, a measurement of how the population actually experiences web browser performance. Traditionally, this data has been used by businesses that want to test their web applications after deployment.

As a Google Chrome user myself, these findings back up what I already believed regarding Chrome’s performance – that thing is fast! However, it also makes me think that Firefox 5 may be worth a second look.

More data from this report will be released at a later date, Compuware says.