Internet Explorer Browsing Performance

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

The Internet Explorer® Browsing Performance assessment measures the quality of the browsing experience in Internet Explorer. It also evaluates the capabilities of the CPU and graphics hardware. The assessment provides three separate browsing workloads to exercise the computer in various ways. When the assessment discovers performance issues, links to Windows® Performance Analyzer (WPA) help you investigate and analyze the root cause of the issues. For more information about results and issues, see Results for the Internet Explorer Browsing Performance Assessment.

noteNote
Because network latency can affect the browsing experience, the assessment does not use a live website. The assessment uses content that's installed with the Assessment Toolkit and optimized to evaluate the browsing experience.

The following graphic illustrates the assessment process.

Workflow graphic for Internet Explorer Browsing

WarningWarning
The first-run help tips in Windows 8.1 can negatively affect assessment results. To disable these, run the following command from an elevated command prompt, and reboot the computer:
reg.exe add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI" /v DisableHelpSticker /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f

WarningWarning
Run this assessment only while the desktop is full screen. Do not run this assessment if you have another Windows Store app opened side-by-side with the desktop.

For best results, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure that Internet Explorer is installed, Internet Explorer is your default browser, and .html file types use Internet Explorer as the program that opens these files by default.

  • Don't use an administrator account to log on to the computer. When you use an administrator account, Internet Explorer only starts on the desktop.

  • Set the screen resolution to 1024 × 768 or higher. When the screen resolution is lower than that, Internet Explorer can't start because the screen resolution is lower than the minimum requirement for Windows Store apps.

  • Disable the screen saver.

  • Run the assessment on computers that have only one monitor. Multiple-monitor configurations affect the results.

  • Make sure that the computer is plugged in. Don't run the assessment when the computer is running on battery power.

You can run this assessment only on the Windows 8 operating system.

Supported architectures include x86-based, x64-based, and ARM-based systems.

You can run this assessment on Windows RT systems in either of the following ways:

A workload is a set of automated tasks that exercise the computer in a predefined, repeatable manner. Workloads run independently from each other.

The following table describes the workloads that are available for this assessment. You can select any combination of these workloads to run during the assessment.

 

Workload Description

Fishbowl

During this workload, a number of fish appear as an animation in Internet Explorer. You can adjust the number of fish in the fishbowl, or you can let the number of fish continue to increase until the workload maximizes the computer's capabilities. The computer's capabilities are generally maximized when the frame rate reaches 60 frames per second (fps). This usually takes about 30 to 60 seconds.

This workload is primarily used to stress:

  • Video decoding

  • GPU readbacks

  • Texture sizes

  • Closure codegen

  • L1 cache

  • CSS3

Blizzard

During this workload, a blizzard appears as an animation in Internet Explorer. The number of snowflakes increases and the wind gets faster until the workload maximizes the computer's capabilities. The computer's capabilities are generally maximized when the frame rate reaches 60 fps. This usually takes about 30 to 60 seconds.

This workload is primarily used to stress:

  • Composition

  • Callback frequency

  • Graphics culling

  • Module patterns

Speed Reading

During this workload, billboards appear. The assessment tracks how long the workload takes to draw all billboards and the average draw time for all billboards.

This workload is primarily used to stress:

  • Graphics driver throughput

  • Texture swapping

  • Overdrawing

  • Background compilation

By default, this assessment uses the recommended settings. Microsoft defines these settings so that you can compare the results across multiple computer configurations or over time on the same computer. When you review the results, the run information includes metadata that indicates whether the assessment used the recommended settings.

You can also customize the settings if you want to gather data that's different from what the assessment captures by default. For example, you might identify specific data that can help you perform a detailed analysis of a particular aspect of the computer.

The following table describes the assessment settings, recommended values, and alternative values for each setting.

 

Setting Description

Use recommended settings

Specifies whether the assessment uses the recommended settings. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings for this assessment, you must first clear this check box.

Iterations

Specifies how many times you want the selected workloads to run. By default, each workload runs three times.

Each workload runs before the next iteration starts.

noteNote
You can't vary the number of iterations for each workload or the order of the workloads. If you want to run the assessment with varying iterations and workload order, add multiple instances of the assessment to the job, and then define a different number of iterations and different workloads.

Page Location

Specifies the location of the pages that the assessment uses for the workloads. By default, the location is Browser Assessment\Pages. This is a relative path to where the Assessment Toolkit content is installed. If you move the pages to a different folder, like a network location, specify the new location. If you clear the default path without entering a different path, the assessment still uses the default location.

You can specify only one page location. If you want to run the assessment by using multiple locations, add multiple instances of the assessment to the job, and then define a different location for each.

Fishbowl

Specifies whether the assessment runs the Fishbowl workload. By default, this check box is selected.

Blizzard

Specifies whether the assessment runs the Blizzard workload. By default, this check box is selected.

Speed reading

Specifies whether the assessment runs the Speed Reading workload. By default, this check box is selected.

Window size

Specifies the Internet Explorer window size that the computer uses when the workloads run. By default, the screen is maximized. Options include:

  • Maximized

  • Restore down (not minimized but not maximized)

  • User-defined screen size

Because these workloads are graphics intensive, the size of the window can affect the results.

Fish Count

Specifies the number of fish to use during the Fishbowl workload. By default, this value is Auto. This means that the number of fish continues to increase until the workload maximizes the computer's capabilities (generally when the frame rate reaches 60 fps). This usually takes about 30 to 60 seconds.

Internet Explorer version

Specifies which version of Internet Explorer the assessment uses. You can select either Internet Explorer or Internet Explorer on the desktop for this assessment.

See Also

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