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."
[ Find out how Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari rank in "Battle of the Web browsers: HTML5 and memory tests." | Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter and Killer Apps blog. ]
But although Chrome 6 is nearly 17 percent 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 percent 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.
Chrome 6 is in a dead heat with speed leaders Opera and Safari on Windows. Smaller results are better. IE8 is not shown.
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 email address is email@example.com .
Read more about browsers in Computerworld's Browsers Topic Center.