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Google's Chrome for Windows goes 64-bit

Google's Chrome for Windows goes 64-bit

Google's Chrome browser for Windows is now available in a 64-bit flavour, offering improved performance, stability and security.

Google's popular Chrome browser is now available in a 64-bit flavour for Windows users, bringing improved security, higher performance and better stability to those willing to install developer-centric software.

Although 32-bit and 64-bit binaries have been available for other operating systems for some time, Windows users have until now been stuck with a 32-bit build of Chrome. Soon, however, an improved 64-bit version of the browser will be released - and it's available now for those willing to try out a developer-centric early release of the package.

Compatible with Windows 7 and higher - and, obviously, only 64-bit versions of said operating systems - the new Chrome build offers a number of improvements over the 32-bit version. According to Google software engineer Will Harris, the 64-bit Chrome build offers a significant performance boost over the 32-bit version - up to 25 per cent in multimedia and graphics rendering. The stability is also improved, with Harris claiming a crash rate in the renderer process around half that of its predecessor. Finally, the new 64-bit build can use the High Entropy Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR) feature of 64-bit Windows 8 and 8.1 installations to make the browser less vulnerable to attack.

'The majority of our users on Windows 7 or higher now have systems capable of running 64-bit applications, and this version of Chrome can take full advantage of these newer capabilities. This includes several improvements that align perfectly with Chrome’s core principles of speed, security and stability,' explained Harris of the release. 'We encourage all our users, especially developers, to give the new 64-bit Chrome a spin, and we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback so we can make 64-bit Chrome work great and bring its benefits to our Beta and Stable channel users.'

Currently, the 64-bit Windows build of Chrome is available exclusively on the Canary bleeding-edge and Developer trees. Following further testing, it will be rolled out to the Beta channel, before finally being released into the wild as the default option for users on 64-bit Windows installations.

12 Comments

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Dave Lister 4th June 2014, 14:17 Quote
I've been using a 64bit browser (pale moon) now for about 6 months and haven't seen any difference in speed from chrome 32bit, so i'll be looking forward to trying this new chrome out.
Corky42 4th June 2014, 15:45 Quote
When i tried 64bit browser, same one as you mention Dave (pale moon) i had problems running 64bit plugins, like flash player. IIRC flash player either didn't do a 64bit version, or it kept crashing when viewing Youtube clips, is 64bit plugin support working better than it did a few years ago ?
Dreamslacker 4th June 2014, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
When i tried 64bit browser, same one as you mention Dave (pale moon) i had problems running 64bit plugins, like flash player. IIRC flash player either didn't do a 64bit version, or it kept crashing when viewing Youtube clips, is 64bit plugin support working better than it did a few years ago ?

I've been running Waterfox and more recently (past few months), pcxFirefox. Both are rather stable and I've not encountered any issues except with plug-ins that simply do not work with 64-bit browsers - e.g. Unity player used for some Facebook games.

One thing to note though, pcxFirefox is a standalone package so you will need to create your own shortcuts and there is no installer to run.

You obviously need to install 64 bit Java, which should not be an issue. Aside from that, the rest of the extensions from Firefox x86 work just fine for me - Adblock Plus, Tab Mix Plus, Flashgot etc.

There isn't any real perceptible performance difference between them and regular Firefox except that the browser can use far more memory for caching (both content and closed tabs). I've gone up to ~6GB of memory used so far when loading lots of image heavy tabs.

Since I'm on 100M/ 50M (and now 150M/ 75M) Fibre since I started using the 64 bit browsers, I can't say for sure that users on slower links wouldn't see a difference.
ssj12 4th June 2014, 19:47 Quote
I have been running FireFox Nightly x64 for ages now. I hope that this move by Google will force Mozilla to move x64 into general production instead of a testbed app.
impar 5th June 2014, 10:46 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamslacker
I've gone up to ~6GB of memory used so far when loading lots of image heavy tabs.
Thats my main problem with Firefox 32bits, it usually crashes when using 3,2-3,3GB of RAM. A regular 64bits version would be the ideal solution, meanwhile I started using this addon, UnloadTab:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/unloadtab/
It works!
Vigilante 5th June 2014, 15:54 Quote
There's very little reason to worry about 64-bit for Chrome since every tab/extension is hosted in it's own process, meaning the primary limitation for 32-bit (memory) is basically non-existent. However, HEMR will help secure the browser more and requires the extended memory range provided by 64-bit, though the sandbox in chrome mainly mitigates this anyhows.

As for 64-bit flash, bear in mind that Chrome comes with it's own version of pepperflash that's built and maintained by Google, I doubt 64-bit chrome will be released to stable without it being at least as effective and perform as well as the 32-bit version included with chrome currently. For other plugins, basically only Silverlight (for netflix) and Java, there have been 64-bit versions that are as stable as the 32-bit versions for a long time now. Extensions in Chrome are not binary so they should work properly in 64-bit chrome with no issues.

Basically, I see this as an evolutionary step instead of revolutionary - the main improvement will be stability and security, potentially performance increases in future depending on how long the 32-bit version of chrome remains maintained for, but nothing we'll see immediately.
Dave Lister 7th June 2014, 22:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
When i tried 64bit browser, same one as you mention Dave (pale moon) i had problems running 64bit plugins, like flash player. IIRC flash player either didn't do a 64bit version, or it kept crashing when viewing Youtube clips, is 64bit plugin support working better than it did a few years ago ?

I still have problems a bit, my ad blocker works and youtube and other video streaming sites work most of the time, form what i've read there are still a lot of unsupported plugins though.
debs3759 8th June 2014, 00:11 Quote
Does FireFox Nightly x64 work nicely alongside Firefox x86, or will it replace my current browser? If I can have both running, I'll try out the x64 version for work related stuff :)
RedFlames 8th June 2014, 00:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by debs3759
Does FireFox Nightly x64 work nicely alongside Firefox x86, or will it replace my current browser? If I can have both running, I'll try out the x64 version for work related stuff :)

This is decent enough guide to getting multiple different versions of firefox working alongside each other [best practice is to have one profile per version]...
debs3759 8th June 2014, 00:33 Quote
Even using that guide, i can't figure out how to have both running at the same time. Not sure if I'm having a blonde moment or if i need to just stick with what works :)
RedFlames 8th June 2014, 00:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by debs3759
Even using that guide, i can't figure out how to have both running at the same time. Not sure if I'm having a blonde moment or if i need to just stick with what works :)

You have your standard FFinstall as normal, you then launch the second one [the x64 version in your case] from the shortcut [with the -noremote flag and pointeing at a different profile folder]...


It's a bit of a faff but it does work [or it did when I used to run the FF nightlies]....


EDIT: from what i can recall this is how i had the shortcut
Code:
/path/to/x64/firefox -noremote -p /path/to/x64/profile

And that allowed the second FF to be run alongside the regular FF install without buggering anything up... iirc without '-noremote' the shortcut just opens another instance of whichever version of FF is running...
Dreamslacker 8th June 2014, 16:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by debs3759
Even using that guide, i can't figure out how to have both running at the same time. Not sure if I'm having a blonde moment or if i need to just stick with what works :)

You will need multiple profiles for it to work. You can concurrently run different Firefox based browsers but only if each instance loads a different profile (use the -p -noremote option).

What you can do is to clone the profile. To do so, start the profile manager to create a new profile.
Start this profile once, then close all instances of Firefox (or any variants).

Head over to the AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Profiles.
Your first profile containing the customizations (bookmarks and such) should be in the folder ending with ".default". Copy all the contents of that folder to the new profile folder ending with ".<profile name>".
Overwrite files where necessary.

Once you've done that, all your bookmarks and such should be replicated to the new profile.

You can then create separate shortcuts to run whichever browser variant you want as long as you load the different profiles for each instance.
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