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Windows 7: Differences between IE 32-bit and 64-bit


18 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate, OS X 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04
 
 
Differences between IE 32-bit and 64-bit

A lot of people seemed to be confused on why IE8 has two versions in the 64-bit version of Windows Vista/7, and which one they should be using. I'm here to make this simple for those users.



How to tell which you are running

To tell which version of IE you are running, you just need to go here and click About Internet Explorer.

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The 32-bit version will say something along the lines of Version: 8.0.7xxx.xxxxx.
The 64-bit version will say something along the lines of Version: 8.0.7xxx.xxxxx 64-bit Edition.



Why two versions? We only need one!

A lot of users are confused as to why Microsoft put both a 32-bit and 64-bit copy of Internet Explorer in 64-bit Windows Vista/7.

The reason is quite simple really. While the move from 32-bit to 64-bit is speeding up, there are still addons/plugins for programs such as Internet Explorer that do not currently work in their 64-bit counterparts. A good example for a plugin that doesn't work in 64-bit Internet Explorer is Microsoft's Silverlight Plugin.



Which should I run?

warning   Warning
This is my person opinion, if you disagree with it, that is fine and dandy. Try not to wage a war about it.


If you need to use Silverlight, or any other plugin that does not have a 64-bit compatible counterpart, I suggest using 32-bit Internet Explorer.

If you do not need Silverlight, or any other plugins that do not support 64-bit Internet Explorer, I suggest using 64-bit Internet Explorer.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

I don't recommend going 64 bit IE at all, even if you don't care about 32 bit plug ins.

There are big reasons to go 64bit for the OS, mainly to open up the address space, but for applications that don't need multiple Gigabytes of RAM, it really isn't going to matter.

In theory You might benefit from a wider registers, but in reality with most computationally intensive apps being coded in using the FPU or some extension (MMX/SSE/3d Now), so computation benefits of 64 bit registers will be mitigated.

Interesting bit:
I ran Peacemaker benchmark and scored ~20% lower with the 64 bit IE than the 32 bit version(~1000 in IE 32 bit, ~800 in IE 64 bit) . This kind of surprised me. I expected them to be essentially identical. Anyone else want to give it a shot?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
Interesting bit:
I ran Peacemaker benchmark and scored ~20% lower with the 64 bit IE than the 32 bit version(~1000 in IE 32 bit, ~800 in IE 64 bit) . This kind of surprised me. I expected them to be essentially identical. Anyone else want to give it a shot?
That IS interesting and surprising.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


20 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate, OS X 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
I don't recommend going 64 bit IE at all, even if you don't care about 32 bit plug ins.

There are big reasons to go 64bit for the OS, mainly to open up the address space, but for applications that don't need multiple Gigabytes of RAM, it really isn't going to matter.

In theory You might benefit from a wider registers, but in reality with most computationally intensive apps being coded in using the FPU or some extension (MMX/SSE/3d Now), so computation benefits of 64 bit registers will be mitigated.

Interesting bit:
I ran Peacemaker benchmark and scored ~20% lower with the 64 bit IE than the 32 bit version(~1000 in IE 32 bit, ~800 in IE 64 bit) . This kind of surprised me. I expected them to be essentially identical. Anyone else want to give it a shot?
Well now, I just ran Peacekeeper myself and while there isn't much improvement with the 64-bit, there is SOME improvement. (I added 64-bit to the one that was 64-bit)


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Is that the system you ran on in your specs?

Doubly strange I would think my Intel 3.2GHz Quad core would turn in a better result than your 2.8GHz X2. Maybe the integrated memory controller helps a lot? Maybe Intel Core2 is faster with 32 bit. Need more data.

I did an "about" with each run to make it clear which was which, my 32 bit is a fair bit faster.


Attached Thumbnails
Differences between IE 32-bit and 64-bit-ie64.png   Differences between IE 32-bit and 64-bit-ie32.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate, OS X 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
Is that the system you ran on in your specs?

Doubly strange I would think my Intel 3.2GHz Quad core would turn in a better result than your 2.8GHz X2. Maybe the integrated memory controller helps a lot? Maybe Intel Core2 is faster with 32 bit. Need more data.

I did an "about" with each run to make it clear which was which, my 32 bit is a fair bit faster.
Does seem odd that I get better results then you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkNovaGamer View Post

Does seem odd that I get better results then you.

It doesn't look like this is multiprocessing benchmark. I never see CPU > 25%.

I notice that if you look at the list of results to compare with, down at the IE8 bench, that AMD architecture might have a small advantage.

That and I scored a fair bit better last week:
Post your Internet Browser Benchmark

It might be because I have Speedstep active and it isn't predictable on a low CPU benchmark like this one. My CPU regularly drops back to 2.4GHz under light load.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate, OS X 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkNovaGamer View Post

Does seem odd that I get better results then you.

It doesn't look like this is multiprocessing benchmark. I never see CPU > 25%.

I notice that if you look at the list of results to compare with, down at the IE8 bench, that AMD architecture might have a small advantage.

That and I scored a fair bit better last week:
Post your Internet Browser Benchmark

It might be because I have Speedstep active and it isn't predictable on a low CPU benchmark like this one. My CPU regularly drops back to 2.4GHz under light load.
AMD Cool n' Quiet (Speedstep equivalent) is disabled for me. I guess results will be different for everyone based on their hardware, configuration and setup. Though, I stand by my choice to suggest 64-bit to those who do not need the addons/plugins.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkNovaGamer View Post
Though, I stand by my choice to suggest 64-bit to those who do not need the addons/plugins.
Why? It isn't really faster (slower for me). People need a reason beyond: "It's 64bit". That isn't a reason, that is just an implementation detail that doesn't actually seem to provide tangible benefit. 64 bit isn't always better and is only necessary in a few cases.

I now note that Peacekeeper benchmark is somewhat broken. I scored over a 1000 last week and I was going through my system trying to figure out where I lost performance.

I gave up and I was running it a couple of times without changes when Boom > 1000 again and 200 point jump(~20%) on both 32bit/64bit without me doing anything. It appears like part of the benchmark is dependent on access speed to the peacekeeper network. It is a very inconsistent benchmark (I noticed some connection issues when I got the lower numbers).

One other thing. I noticed that 64bit version is glitching on the Ball render scene, leaving trails behind.

So 64bit provides no tangible benefit, runs marginally faster/slower on some configurations and has glitches in rendering.

No way would I recommend 64bit IE. I recommend avoiding it.


Attached Thumbnails
Differences between IE 32-bit and 64-bit-glitch64.png  
Attached Images
  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate, OS X 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkNovaGamer View Post
Though, I stand by my choice to suggest 64-bit to those who do not need the addons/plugins.
Why? It isn't really faster (slower for me). People need a reason beyond: "It's 64bit". That isn't a reason, that is just an implementation detail that doesn't actually seem to provide tangible benefit.

I now note that Peacekeeper benchmark is somewhat broken. I scored over a 1000 last week and I was going through my system trying to figure out where I lost performance.

I gave up and I was running it a couple of times without changes when Boom > 1000 again and 200 point jump(~20%) on both 32bit/64bit without me doing anything. It appears like part of the benchmark is dependent on access speed to the peacekeeper network. It is a very inconsistent benchmark (I noticed some connection issues when I got the lower numbers).

One other thing. I noticed that 64bit version is glitching on the Ball render scene, leaving trails behind.

So 64bit provides no tangible benefit, runs marginally faster/slower on some configurations and has glitches in rendering.

No way would I recommend 64bit IE. I recommend avoiding it.
That is your opinion. Which is welcome. I recommend 64-bit only for those who do not need the plugins/addons that are only 32-bit. Whether you agree with that or not isn't my concern.

Regardless of your opinion, 64-bit software will inevitably phase out 32-bit just as 32-bit phased out 16-bit. May as well be use to it as soon as you can. No valid reason NOT to use 64-bit IE. If your running 64-bit on your system, you likely have the resources to spare.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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