Safari dethrowned the speed kings from Google and Opera Software to take the top spot in the time trials.
Safari 5 proved more than three times faster than Firefox 3.6.4, the almost-ready Mozilla browser that's been stalled since June 1; Mozilla is trying to quash a final bug or two before shipping that edition.
Microsoft's historically sluggish Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) took 12 times longer to run the SunSpider benchmarks than Safari 5.
Apple's claim that Safari is "the world's fastest web browser" may be true today, but previous claims haven't stood up to testing. Opera, for example, grabbed the top spot in February, surging past Chrome and Safari, the former No. 1 and No. 2 browsers on Windows, and didn't relinquish it until this month.
Although Safari may own the speed prize -- by Computerworld's testing -- it not the world's most popular browser. According to the newest data from Web metrics company Net Applications, Safari accounted for just 4.8% of all the browsers used in May, a far cry from IE's 59.7%, Firefox's 24.4% or even Chrome's 7.1%. Of the five major browsers on Windows, only Opera, with just 2.4% of the usage market, trails Safari.
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.