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Well, for anyone considering a Chromebook or thinking of "upgrading" their current model, the new  Octane 2.0 Performance comparisons are in.  

For those who participated and have volunteered those scores, I want to give a great big "Thanks" and hope that these results will contribute to other's buying decisions.  

Please note that as with all performance tests, results will vary a little with every user and test.  This is just a "rough" guide to use along with reviews, specs, and your individual tastes and budget.

The two main things things that stood out the most with these tests was that:
1.  All the tested models performed relatively in the same order to each other has in the previous version of the Octane tests, so no individual model seemed to be favored over another with the newer test.
2.  All the variations of the Haswell Celeron models performed excellent and almost identical  to each other, regardless of manufacturer or whether or not the model had 2 or 4 GB of RAM.  I was a "little" surprised with this but not "shocked" at all, as the Haswell processor and the addition of zRAM to Chrome OS seem to be perfectly capable of taking care of almost anything thrown at it.
3.  Exception to #2  Most users when asked to "test" the amount of tabs you could open did notice a little slowdown when reaching the 20-30 tab mark on the 2GB versions of the Haswell models.  If this scenario applies regularly in your browsing habits then I would recommend the 4GB RAM alternative. 

Results comparison:

Original CR-48         2705
HP  11                    4703
Samsung ARM        4750
Samsung 550          7068
Acer 710                   6111
Samsung 2 - 11      6131
Samsung 2 - 13       6700
Acer 720 4GB          8910
HP  14  4GB            9127
HP  14 2GB             9164
Acer 720 2GB          9417
Chromebox 1.9         9913
Pixel                       15683
Chromebox  i5          15748

Note:  On the Haswell machines, all scores received came in between 8900-9300 approx.  There were no exceptions.  If you own one of these models, or any other model for any reason, and your personal score comes out way out of the this margin:  Please close the browser and open again in incognito  mode then run test again with just that tab open.  Your results should come in similarly now.  

You can see examples of the above test scores here:
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B3N09xGCaMeBNURHV2xJWHhOMzA&usp=sharing

You can run the test yourself, here:  http://octane-benchmark.googlecode.com/svn/latest/index.html#

You can see the results of the previous older Octane tests here:
https://plus.google.com/113728600425077466059/posts/3s1fhZmG18B
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20 comments
 
What version of ChromeOS was used for the test?
 
Most of the reported tests would have probably been run on 30 or 31, given when the tests were submitted and recorded.  
 
Brent, I really appreciate you sharing this informative post, it couldn't have come at a better time -- my wife and I have been comparison-shopping Chromebooks during the past two months for our 16-year old, who doesn't really need a laptop, but merely wants one for utilizing Google Docs, Netflix and Twitter.

Since Acer's 4GB C720 has been selling out within hours of coming back into stock at Amazon and Best Buy over the past 2-3 weeks, we were contemplating pulling the trigger last evening on the 2GB C720 instead, while we still had a chance! A Google search led me to your post, and I'm confident that the 2GB model will perfectly suit my son's minimal Chromebook needs.

Based on the way these things are flying off online and brick-and-mortar shelves alike, it's beginning to look a lot like a Chromebook Christmas for a lot of folks this year. Thanks again!
 
This is interesting, though are we sure the Octane benchmark is one that is taxing enough reveal 2GB of RAM as a limiting factor? As an extremely informal test, I ran Octane on my PC while observing memory usage on the tab with Octane.  It starts off using only 40,000 kilobytes and then as the test progresses, grows to around 300,000 to 400,000 kilobytes.  So basically, it looks like the Octane test at most taxes only half a Gig of memory... by far not enough to reveal practical performance differences between the 2GB and 4GB versions of the c720.  Does this sound right?
 
The octane doesnt bench the amount of ram.

It just lets you open more tabs.

And the i5 is still one awesome machine. :)
 
This is wonderful.  Thanks so much for all your hard work.  I've been using the Samsung ARM model since it came out and love the keyboard and trackpad, but the performance is abysmal.  I've been waiting for the 720 with 4GB of RAM to become available but just saw that it was already discontinued.  I have really been considering the 720 with 2gb of RAM or the HP Chromebook 14.  I think the price to performance on the 720 for $199 is pretty great.  I usually don't have more than 10 tabs open at a time.
 
I echo +Shawn Joseph's thank you, and wanted to check in again to say that the 2GB C720 was/is a big hit w/ my HS junior. I, of course, grab and use it when HE'S not, and wanted to report back that I've not yet experienced ANY slowdowns when having even up to 15-20 tabs open (including Netflix and several graphic-heavy sites) on the C720. I seriously wonder if they discontinued the 4GB model because the 2GB model is a "powerful enough" Chromebook (and then some!) to use on a daily basis. This is the best $200 I've spent on a piece of tech in decades. I'm pretty sure I'm going to ask for my own C720 (or perhaps the C720P) for my birthday in late March...  :)
 
brent...why would the 4gb model of the HP14 get less of a benchmark then the 2gb?
 
+Derek Vigs The scores are all so close that if you ran the test enough times, they would occasionally come in slightly different order.  In fact, even if you ran any of the performance tests on your current machine, you would be hard pressed to get the exact number.  You are always going to have a little fluctuation up or down.  Short answer:  Consider all the Haswell machines equal in performance scores.
 
16,675 on my i5 Chromebox.  Now if I could just get this darn thing to keep the monitor resolution set right and not think there is some imaginary monitor to extend to I'd be ecstatic!
 
+Brent Sullivan I was on developer, where it also occurred, but recently switched back to stable to see if that would fix it.  I was trying to restore it earlier this week while holding the reset button and and pressing power, but the darn recovery screen never came up like it did before :(
 
+Brent Sullivan Yes that score was using stable. I didn't try running the test before switching back from developer. Sorry for any confusion. 
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