Google has quietly updated the Chrome JavaScript engine in the latest nightly builds (NBs) of its Chromium browser. The Chromium 10.0.605.0 build is the first version to carry the third generation of the engine, which improved the browser’s JavaScript performance by up to 109%.

About three weeks ago, Microsoft released Platform Preview 7 of its IE9 browser and was able to beat Google for the very first time in the JavaScript-focused Sunspider 0.9.1 benchmark with an advantage of 257 vs. 258 ms required to complete the test run.

It was a result that was reproducible, but it was well within the margin of error: Virtually meaningless for the user, but a prestigious win for Microsoft. Opera 11 Beta followed less than a week later and also posted better Sunspider scores than the Chrome 9.0 NB.

It did not take long for Google to strike back. The new browser engine is substantially faster than the preceding version and posted a Sunspider time of 250 ms – the best we have ever recorded on our Dell XPS 7100 test system.

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