A developer-side split in the versions of Google’s Chrome browser have now forked into a native 32-bit and 64-bit version of the “world’s fastest browser.” According to Google on the Chromium Blog, the new 64-bit version takes advantage of more memory, has new security features, uses modern instruction sets for newer processors and is far more stable, achieving 50% less crashes than 32-bit Chrome. The new browser is still in constant development but it’s fairly usable as things stand, although a few minor issues still have to be ironed out.
If you’re on Windows XP or Vista 64-bit, you’re out of luck. Chrome 64-bit requires you to use Windows 7 64-bit or better and the Linux forks of Chromium have their own requirements attached that we won’t go into for this giblet. Even with the new version and the re-written renderer, it’ll still suck up a lot of memory as Chrome 64-bit still renders and allocates memory to each new tab separately. Check out the listed improvements below:
Speed: “64-bit allows us to take advantage of the latest processor and compiler optimizations, a more modern instruction set, and a calling convention that allows more function parameters to be passed quickly by registers. As a result, speed is improved, especially in graphics and multimedia content, where we see an average 25% improvement in performance.”
Security: “With Chrome able to take advantage of the latest OS features such as High Entropy ASLR on Windows 8, security is improved on 64-bit platforms as well. Those extra bits also help us better defend against exploitation techniques such as JIT spraying, and improve the effectiveness of our existing security defense features like heap partitioning.”
Stability: “Finally, we’ve observed a marked increase in stability for 64-bit Chrome over 32-bit Chrome. In particular, crash rates for the the renderer process (i.e. web content process) are almost half that of 32-bit Chrome.”