What are JavaScript and SVG good for? - Built-in Flash engine?

There is a very interesting open source project: a Flash runtime engine written in JavaScript, called Gordon, written by Tobias Schneider. Although the project is still under development, you can get the first impressions how strong the JavaScript and SVG technologies are nowadays.

The main advantage of Gordon is that it uses the JavaScript and SVG engines of the browser. The state-of-the-art browsers (like WebKit-based ones) do not require third party drivers to execute JavaScripts or to draw SVG graphics. In contrast to the Flash runtime engine which is a third party driver (in most cases). Nowadays the JavaScript and SVG combo is getting more and more faster (for example: see our benchmark site for the performance of WebKit's JavaScript engine). So the overhead of running JavaScript-based SVG painting, compared to, Flash is getting less and less.

Lets see an example how it looks in practice!

fps
 

This Flash animation is painted by Gordon. It looks nice, doesn't it? ;) The original Flash animation can be seen here and you can get more examples at Gordon project page (or its mirror).

Lets make a FPS contest!

You can see the average FPS value at bottom of the animation. Please wait for a second (or two) and write the average FPS number in the comments area with some information about your machine and browser. For example, see my result table:

FPS arch browser
22 Core2 @2.13GHz Firefox 3.0
25 Core2 @2.13GHz Chrome 5.0 beta
6 Cortex-A8 Firefox 3.0
10 Cortex-A8 QtLauncher (r58294)

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 13:53

25 FPS, Safari 4 something inside of NetNewsWire on OX.6.3

Torsten Kammer (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 14:19

average FPS: 25

Safari 4.0.5 on Mac OS X 10.6.3, Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz

Henri Sivonen (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 14:21

26 fps in Minefield trunk on Karmic on i7 Core 950 @ 3.07 GHz. It seems that Gordon is smart enough to stay at around 25 fps on computers that could go faster.

Mattias (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 14:37

average FPS: 25
Epiphany 2.30.0 (on Ubuntu 9.10)
AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor (according to /proc/cpuinfo... no idea what that means)

akos.kiss - 04/27/2010 - 14:45

24 FPS in Chromium 5.0.370.0
21 FPS in Chrome 4.1.249.1059 (animation did not start after page reload)
19 FPS in Firefox 3.6.3 (average stabilized quite slowly)
0 FPS in Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18904 ;)

on Windows Vista, on Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.4GHz

Matthew (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 14:50

Average 11 fps - Atom N270 @ 1.6Ghz, Firefox 3.6.3.

That may look a low average framerate, but it's from a fairly slow netbook - and unlike Flash, it doesn't hang the browser UI. Or swallow all keypresses and scroll events, for that matter.

dennis (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 15:15

25 FPS, Chrome 5.0.342.9 beta, MacOS X 10.6.3, Early 2007 MacBook C2D @ 2.0GHz, 4GB RAM.

So far, nobody has gone over 25FPS -- is that a hard coded limit in either the SWF file or in Gordon?

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 16:33

Average 11 fps on iPhone OS 4.0 beta 2 on an iPhone 3GS.

The first bit with the DM being made by stars is really-really slow 1-2 FPS. But the rest is up there on 20+ FPS.

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 17:30

Average 24 FPS (Google Chrome / Snow Leopard / MacBook 5,1 2.4 GHz / 2GB RAM)

Dragan (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 18:31

26FPS average in Chrome 5.0.375.17 dev on my HP 2.5GHz Quad Core.

Henriok (not verified) - 04/27/2010 - 21:26

After running for a couple of minutes, to even out the averages:
11 fps in NetNewWire on an iPhone 3GS running OS 3.1.3.
12 fps in Safari on an iPhone 3GS running 3.1.3 (3-25 fps)
13 fps in Safari on an iPad running OS 3.2 (3-24 fps)

On a 2.8 GHz MacPro3,1 (2x Harpertown Xeon 5400) running OSX 10.6.3:
25 fps in Safari 4.0.4 (20-27 fps) (8-23% CPU)
26 fps in WebKit.app (r58231) (22-27 fps) (6-21% CPU)
26 fps in Chrome 5.0.342.9 (24-27 fps) (6-19% CPU)
24 fps in Firefox 3.6.3 (16-27 fps) (17-41% CPU)
25 fps in Camino 2.0.2 (20-27 fps) (19-53% CPU)
26 fps in NetNewsWire 3.2b25 (20-27 fps) (10-26% CPU)
26 fps in iCab 4.7.0 64-bit (23-27 fps) (9-23% CPU)
0 fps in Opera 10.10 (0.8% CPU idling)

balazs.kelemen - 04/27/2010 - 23:06

17 (6-25) fps, 10-40% CPU
Chrome-5.0-beta, Intel Caleron 3.0 GHZ, suse linux 11.2

Richard Connamacher (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 01:41

2 year old MacBook pro, 2.2 Ghz Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X 10.6 + Safari 4:

24fps

gabor.loki - 04/28/2010 - 08:04

Thanks guys! You are very kind. I hope you love Gordon. ;)

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 08:49

Firefox 3.6, Windows XP
Pentium M 1.4Ghz
21 FPS

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 08:52

Chrome 5 dev, Windows XP
Pentium M 1.4Ghz
22 FPS

Henriok (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 08:52

Complementary benchmarks:
25 fps in Safari 4.0.5 on a 2.1 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro
26 fps in Safari 4.0.5 on a 2.66 GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro

Seems like some kind of cap around 25/26 fps. Why is that?

gabor.loki - 04/28/2010 - 08:57

The maximum fps is limited in the flash file. We would like to post another one which has no fps limit, but this will consume more cpu.

Geoff Pack (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 10:49

21 fps in Firefox 3.6 on OS X 10.6.2 on 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
24 fps in Safari 4.0.4 on OS X 10.6.2 on 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
6 fps in Safari on iPhone 3GS

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 11:52

23 fps on Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; de; rv:1.9.2.3) Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.3

akos.kiss - 04/28/2010 - 14:40

21 FPS in QtLauncher r58405
on Windows Vista, on Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.4GHz

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/28/2010 - 20:19

25 fps Opera 10.51, Win7 Athlon II X2 3Ghz

Anonymous (not verified) - 04/29/2010 - 10:19

25 fps, Safari 4.04, OS X 10.6.3, Core Duo 2.2 Ghz

Cyxodus (not verified) - 05/01/2010 - 05:40

11 fps in Safari on an iPhone 3GS running 3.1.3 (2-26 fps)

19 fps in Safari 4.0.5 on XP Pro Service Pack 3 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+ 2.11 GHz. 2.00 GB of Ram Physical Address Extension (14-22 fps)

I did notice some lag when inputting text and moving a Safari window. I was using Photoshop CS 4 earlier and have 14 tabs open between 2 browser windows, so that might be causing it.

Cyxodus (not verified) - 05/01/2010 - 05:47

==Correction==

12 fps in Safari on an iPhone 3GS running 3.1.3 via wifi (2-26 fps)
12 fps in Safari on an iPhone 3GS running 3.1.3 via 3GS (2-26 fps)

Cyxodus (not verified) - 05/01/2010 - 05:56

==Update==

20 fps in Safari 4.0.5 on XP Pro Service Pack 3 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+ 2.11 GHz. 2.00 GB of Ram Physical Address Extension (13-23 fps)

Anonymous (not verified) - 05/01/2010 - 13:03

FPS arch browser
17 Pentium III @733MHz surf (http://surf.suckless.org)

Starts get nearly freezed, then draw slow (8fps) and the rest gets draw fine.

The system has 256mb ram and Intel i810 IGP graphics hardware. The model is a DELL OptiPlex GX110 taken from trash :D

Cyxodus (not verified) - 05/01/2010 - 13:19

==Update==
24 fps in Safari 4.0.5 on XP Pro Service Pack 3 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+ 2.11 GHz. 2.00 GB of Ram Physical Address Extension (15-26 fps)

Performed the test from a cold start. Still noticed a lag when entering text but about 50% quicker than the first test. Almost normal speed, maybe 75%- 85%.

==Update====Update==
Went back to the top of the page for the CAPTCHA and noticed that the speed had dropped down to 17 FPS (15-26 fps). This happened after being on the page for over 5 minutes.

Flavio Donadio (not verified) - 05/02/2010 - 00:07

Average: 5 fps
Min/Max: 1/21 fps
Hardware: iPhone (1st gen)
OS/Version: iPhone OS 3.1.3
Connection: EDGE (2.5G)

Pretty impressive for a 3 year old phone with very limited memory. The wipe effects were very smooth. The spinning star and "D" were good enough. The rest was yielding 1 or 2 fps...

Anonymous (not verified) - 05/04/2010 - 04:13

Safari 4.0.5 OS X v10.5.8 on a mid-2005 PPC G4 1.3Ghz with 768Mb RAM (typically poor to mediocre at Adobe Flash) started at 18fps then slowly dropped to 13fps after extended execution (~5min or so). Activity Monitor showed %User CPU variation between 9% and 83% (where highest usage appears correlated with the many stars coalescing into the letters). That's pretty decent performance on an old machine like that.

Erik Andreas Cayré (not verified) - 05/06/2010 - 14:52

24 fps

Safari 4.0.5, Mac OS X 10.6.3, MBP C2D 2,53GHzDP

Peter KORTGE (not verified) - 05/06/2010 - 21:20

average FPS: 26 (frames in the last second: 27) - Safari Webkit Version 4.0.5 (6531.22.7, r58803) on a 24" iMac Intel Core 2 Duo/2.4GHz 4GB/1TB

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