Browser bruiser: Opera 9.5 versus Firefox 3

Two of the four major browsers have undergone some big changes in the past two weeks. Firefox 3 is, of course, the big news of the week, pulling down eight million or so downloads in its first 24 hours in the wild. However, the Opera browser updated to its much-awaited version 9.5 last week. Since both of them have got game but for different reasons, let's take a look at how they match up.

Empirically, the two most-cited complaints about browsers are speed and memory. Now, I'm a big fan of Firefox because it's so easy to customize, so despite concerns I had about placing both browsers on "equal footing," it would be misleading to test Firefox devoid of extensions, so I left in my cadre of add-ons, and ran both with fifteen tabs open--a more or less standard browsing session for me.