Personally, I would vote "No", if somebody was to ask me. How about you?
So, rather than crack out the synthetic benchmarks, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet took the latest versions of Internet Explorer 8, Opera 10, Safari 4, Firefox 3.5 and Chrome 3 for a quick spin around the internet to see if he could feel a difference in performance between them. He states that the results were quite an eye-opener.
Firefox 3.5 had a noticeably slower load time. IE8, Opera 10, Chrome 3 and Safari 4 all felt pretty much the same during the test.
Flash heavy websites feel best in Chrome. Not only that, but the browser also feels the most responsive when under heavy Flash load. IE8 once again seems to be under the greatest strain, and the rest of the pack all feel the same.
When it comes to the actual performance of the browser itself, in terms of flipping through tabs and so on, Chrome 3 is way ahead of the pack, IE8 is trailing way behind, and nothing separates the rest.
Despite having all five browsers installed side-by-side on several test machines, he never took all of them on a test like this before. Given his experience of the browsers under synthetic benchmark tests, he expected Chrome 3 to be the fastest and IE8 to be the slowest, but he didn’t think that those milliseconds difference in synthetic benchmarks results would translate into anything noticeable in the real-world. The fact that there is a noticeable difference means that we have all benefited from this latest round of browser wars because we’re all enjoying faster browsers.
This side-by-side comparison also puts it into perspective how slow some older browsers must have been given that we’ve seen huge performance gains from all fronts over the past year or so. His recommendation: "If you’re still using an old, outdated browser, whichever one it is, update it and enjoy the performance boost."
Bottom line is that a few milliseconds do make a big difference!
What is your personal experience? Share it with us.