The Modern IE team at Microsoft has published a page of browser demos and benchmarks. I am always interested in performance benchmarks for Parallels Desktop, so I decided to run their Chalkboard benchmark on both Safari and IE (running in Parallels Desktop 9).While I will be the first to admit that this was not a comprehensive or rigorously run benchmark, the results were still interesting. (For a great example of a comprehensive and rigorously run benchmark, see MacTech Magazine's work on virtualization benchmarks.)
While the Chalkboard benchmark does what I consider to be some impressive graphical scaling, panning, and zooming operations, both Safari and IE completed the benchmark without any problems at all.
What I did was run the Chalkboard benchmark on my main work machine (Retina MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.8.5) in Safari (version 6.1.1) and in IE (version 9.0.8112.16421) running in Windows 7 Enterprise (with Service Pack 1) running in Parallels Desktop 9 (build 9.0.24172). Here are the results (smaller is better):
And of course, I used the "Open in IE" button which the Parallels Desktop 9 installer adds to the Safari toolbar to make this test really easy to run!
Wanting to see if this was also true for other Mac models, I ran the tests on my iMac at home (Late 2011 iMac, also running Mountain Lion). Here are all my results in tabular format:
Does this match your performance experience with Safari and IE? Please tell us what you see in the comments below for performance and make sure you note your Mac configuration too!