Over the past few versions, Google has made a number of tweaks to improve Chrome’s performance across the board. The latest has improved JavaScript page load performance in the browser by 10-20% over the past year.

The change comes after the V8 JavaScript engine team developed a new metric for quantifying real-world usage. Over the past year, Google found that measuring performance against snapshots of real web pages yields more representative results.

One gained insight is that for typical websites the speed it takes to start running script is more important than peak performance, which previous benchmarks like Octane were geared towards.

While peak performance benefits certain types of large web applications, it does not apply to the majority. As a result of optimizing V8 for startup times, mean page load times between Chrome 49 from March 2016 and Chrome 56 earlier this year fell by 10-20% depending on the CPU architecture.

Using the Speedometer benchmark that takes into consideration real web frameworks, Chrome’s score similarly improved by 25-35%. Given how Octane is a poor approximation of most websites, Google is retiring that benchmark as a general-purpose measure of real-world JavaScript performance.

Google plans to further improve JavaScript performance by including modern libraries and frameworks. The team also plans on taking real-world performance more into account during engine architecture design.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com