Google's Chrome 6 is 17% faster than the version it replaced, putting it in a virtual dead heat with the speed leaders, Opera and Safari, according to benchmark scores.
When Google celebrated the second anniversary of Chrome's launch last week, Brian Rakowski, the browser's director of product management, said: "A lot of things have changed in the last two years [in browsers], but the one thing we've learned is that speed matters."
But although Chrome 6 is nearly 17% faster than May's Chrome 5, it's still slightly slower than both Opera 10.61 and Safari 5, the No. 1 and No. 2 browsers, respectively.
The speed race is tighter than ever, however; the SunSpider times of Opera, Safari and Chrome are within 12 milliseconds each other.
Mozilla will have better luck later this year when it ships Firefox 4. The newest preview, Firefox 4 Beta 4, was much more competitive than its production-level cousin: Chrome 6 was only 29% faster than Firefox Beta 4.
To peg browser speed, Computerworld ran SunSpider in Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (SP3) three times for each browser, then averaged the scores.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.