Selenium browser speed comparison

I use Selenium (via the Python bindings) for automated browser testing. My current project needs to run as fast as possible, so I compared the executions speed of a small test script in various browsers, both directly via WebDriver and through local Selenium Server. Elements are selected by name, CSS path, and XPath. The is also some direct JavaScript execution to get around quirks in the application under test.

Test execution time (average of five runs):
Test execution time graph

Browser Interface Time (sec)
Firefox WebDriver 9.22
Firefox Server 5.58
Chrome WebDriver 5.35
Chrome Server 6.55
HTMLUnit1 Server 3.07

[1] JavaScript enabled (emulates Firefox 3.6)

Test environment

Intel Core2Quad Q8400
Ubuntu 11.04 amd64, Linux 2.6.38
Sun JRE 1.6.0_26-b03
Selenium Server 2.16.1
Selenium Python bindings 2.15

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