The new user experience is one of the important problems in recommender systems. Past work on recommending for new users has focused on the process of gathering information from the user. Our work focuses on how different algorithms behave for new users. We describe a methodology that we use to compare representatives of three common families of algorithms along eleven different metrics. We find that for the first few ratings a baseline algorithm performs better than three common collaborative filtering algorithms. Once we have a few ratings, we find that Funk's SVD algorithm has the best overall performance. We also find that ItemItem, a very commonly deployed algorithm, performs very poorly for new users. Our results can inform the design of interfaces and algorithms for new users.