Firefox at 64-bit: Do You Care?

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jacobdrj

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The lack of x64 flash was the main reason to stay away for a long time. But now that Adobe has released this, I want x64. Most of my systems are A) Windows 7 x64. and B) Have 8+ GB of RAM, while C) I like to have lots of tabs opened, so I actually need that extra memory real estate.

RAM is cheap these days. 16 GB of DDR3 will set you back maybe 120 dollars. It is time to get our web browsers up to speed...
 

mauller07

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I have been using the nightly x64 builds of firefox for the past year or more now,
and i have been using the 64bit build of flash 10 since it came out over a year now with it and 64bit build of java with no problems.

The main improvements i have noticed is that 64bit flash and java applications are far more responsive, especially flash applications with full screen vector graphics.
 
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will there be any speed improvement of 64 bit over 32 bit?
probably not, for the "average" user who opens 150 media rich tabs at once.
 
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Aren't there more 64 bit registers on x86 hardware than GP 32-bit registers? Is there not some small performance gain there? I know the code gets broken up into microcode anyway, but I thought there was some small performance gain in just going to 64-bits due to the AMD64/EMT64 architecture.
 

ralfthedog

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I think that most people today don't care about the technology used in a product, they care about the benefit of that technology. If one browser is faster than another, they don't care if it is because one browser uses 1024 bit addressing or if it has a built in Continuum Transfunctioner.

It is about what the technology does.
 

Katzie

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[citation][nom]greghome[/nom]well, with Flash sucking so much RAM, especially when streaming videos and also when u have loads of tabs on the browser, 64 bit should help, considering i've personally had my FF use like 1GB of RAM....... dont remember how many tabs was that though[/citation]


Usually I am upwards 1.5 - 2GB RAM with all my tabs in FF open(around 20)... and I got other programs open at the same time. I want the 64bit!! :p I also want more than 4GB Ram!!
 

jacobdrj

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[citation][nom]ralfthedog[/nom]I think that most people today don't care about the technology used in a product, they care about the benefit of that technology. If one browser is faster than another, they don't care if it is because one browser uses 1024 bit addressing or if it has a built in Continuum Transfunctioner. It is about what the technology does.[/citation]
Agreed. If I didn't feel like I was being held back by having my memory addressing limited, I wouldn't care if it was 16bit. But I think there is, at least until phase change IsoLinear hard drives come out, a tangible performance benefit to hard core web surfers in x64.

Ironically, I think low powered devices, ala the iPad, is going to be the catalyst for finally getting the ball rolling on x64. Adobe has realized that if they don't at least dominate the desktop space, Apple will steamroll them in the mobile space. They need to fully support flash so that it does not fall out of favor with desktop users looking to switch to Silverlight and HTML5...

In fact, one of the only things keeping a lot of users from switching to Linux right now is lack of web support, particularly in 64-bit, and certain plugins like Silverlight... I almost got someone to switch from Windows XP to ubuntu, but because they couldn't run Netflix, it was a no-go...
 

natmaster

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I've been waiting for this a long time. Also, Java has had 64 bit version for many, many years. Toms gets it wrong again. What has happened to your fact checking department?
 

Yuka

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It scares me to think that FF actually "needs" to give support for 64 bits... At first glance, it means that it will be able to use more memory than it does now and to use 64bit stuff (plug ins). there's no real benefit, besides memory, in terms of web browsing from 32bits to 64bits, so...

Cheers!
 

kikireeki

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Gimme a noticeable improvements with hassle free add-on compatibility, and I'm a buyer, otherwise do not bother, the 32 build is doing just fine.
P.S. my faith in x64 benefits is fading out.
 

ivaroeines

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I have used Opera for 10 years, if Firefox where to go 64-bit i would change browser, I dont think a 64-bit is a needed change at the moment, but the conversion to 64-bit software is way too slow, i think that 64-bit windows may improve if the 32-bit emulator could be removed from windows.
 

K-zon

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Yea, but doesnt after awhile, increasing memory slows down performance? And for the a double increase their is like a 100 fold factor almost at times it seems for memory, if not at least 10 fold facting, on the idea of double bit. Especially given in terms of windows, that 32 gave more warrant too say to just 2Gbs. Some say 4Gbs though at times, but still.

But of it though to be able to say do more maybe for what more is in terms of bit-rates, then awesome i guess.
 
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Get BlazingFast build of firefox 5.0 (exact same source, just compiled for x64),
load flash 11 beta 64bit, install 64bit java and there you go ;)
I am using it just for fun of it on one machines and it works as it should.

Other users may found interesting other 32 bit firefox builds, that are compiled more efficently.
(i.e. support only newest processors, and work much faster than released version of firefox)
 

upgrade_1977

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YES!! I do care.
I care not because of the performance increase which I believe will be minimal at this point, but because 64bit computing has been around for years now and the only thing holding back development. I run a 64 bit O.S. and I think it's important that software be able to take advantage of the hardware. I think all future operating systems should be 64bit, and software developers should keep up. With the current speed and capacities of current SSD's coming out I can see a day coming soon where ssd's are just as fast as ram and people will have a need for a 128bit O.S., and I think that day will come sooner then people think, and all the developers stuck in 32bit era will be left behind.. Just an opinion though.
 

Netherscourge

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There will never be a need for 64-bit software until developers start making high-demand/high-resource applications that are impossible to make in a 32-bit environment.

There is nothing out now that you can't just code for in a 32-bit environment and get similar, if not better results.

AMD and Intel have gone through several generations of 64-bit CPUs and they still do not get the workload that they are capable of due to businesses settling for the bigger and safer installed base of 32-bit OSs with 64-bit compatibility.

The term "64-bit" sells more Hardware than Software. That's the problem in a nutshell.

Nobody wants to spend the time making 64-bit software exclusively because they can do the same exact stuff in 32-bits. There is no obvious advantage. There are no side-by-side, real world comparisons that makes 32-bit software look inferior or obsolete.

Until developers REALLY show off the advantages of a 64-bit environment, nobody will ever really care.

Consumers will buy the hardware to "make sure" they can handle the 64-bit stuff, but the developers are afraid the make stuff that won't run in a 32-bit environment.

Blame the developers for being short-sighted and uninspired to progress beyond 32-bit aggressively.
 

JOSHSKORN

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Most computer users nowadays aren't even intelligent enough to realized WHY a computer is slowing down while they are browsing. It's because they have multiple applications open (or tabs, windows) and the system is running out of useable memory per the application because it's 32-bit. A 64-bit OS and 64-bit applications/browsers will fix this problem. Software developers need to get with the program and go 64-bit only.
 
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