Firefox 32 bit (x86) vs. Firefox 64 bit (x64)

By | November 30, 2008 | 75 Comments


If you are looking to download Firefox 64 bit, then this is the right place to start. But first, let’s check some benchmarks to see if 64bit Firefox has any performance advantages against Firefox 32bit.

3.0 (x86) vs 3.1 (x64)

Lower is better

Ubuntu 8.04 TLS on AMD Turion 64 1.8GHz

Lower is better

15% faster JPEG decoding on Windows x64 with IJG’s JPEG library

Lower is better

As you can see, 64 bit builds indeed has an advantage against 32 bit builds.

In case you would like to download older Firefox 3.1 or 3.0 64 bit releases, check this page
Otherwise, you might be interested in this: How To Build Windows x64 Build

[digg-reddit-me]


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Alsiladka

    But x64 will only offer a half baked cookie withouth the Flash plugin, right ?

    • tim

      yeah but it’ll bake that cookie halfway REALLY fast

    • http://bootme.hopto.org Mike

      If adobe wants to commit suicide by not offering 64 bit, so be it. I hope that flash soon one day becomes a thing of a past. It seems feasible now with CSS3 development

      • Theta

        No it’s not. Flash still provides a number of dynamic solutions and realtime vector graphics that CSS3 won’t support because, get this, it’s for STYLING.
        I highly doubt Flash will become a thing of the past, it’s the only realtime addon that does what people need it to do. I don’t know why anyone would want it gone unless your a mindless Apple Sheep who obeys Steve Jobs every whim.

        • Scarlet

          Whichever of Flash or Silverlight comes out with a native 64 bit implementation will own this space.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7PTRJDUZFUWVQ6PRRXFQFTDZGQ Shmuel

          hahahaaha mindless “apple sheep” well said.

    • arun

      Now it can bake the whole cookie – download Adobe Flash ‘Square’ which supports 64-bit IE so should work with 64-bit FF too!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7PTRJDUZFUWVQ6PRRXFQFTDZGQ Shmuel

      you can download adobe square to get flash on 64- bit browsers. here is a link:
      http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_square.html

  • Vidar

    The main problem with the ff 3.1 x64 Windows build is, that you can’t use Flash! If this would be possible the x64 build would run on my pc (and if it’s possible like under linux please post how ;-) ).

    • http://none Keith

      I don’t see the lack of flash on a 64 bit platform as a problem ;)

      • Kevin

        Yes, the lack of flash is a BIG problem in the real world. Many websites I visit offer items in a flash format, and if you can’t see it, you can’t get it.

        • Foo

          If I can’t see it I’ll go somewhere else! ;)

          • Jonathan

            If I can’t see it, I don’t really care how fancy the browser is – it don’t work.

          • Jeremy

            Going to and building websites that REQUIRE a 3rd party plugin to actually function, is just plain dumb.

          • John

            Shut the fuck up, it would be wrong to categorize Adobe Flash as “3rd-Part” since it is almost a web standard.

            I read this stupid comment off of Google and had to say something, god damn you are an ill-informed jack ass.

          • Atila

            Poor John… obviously resorting to an agressive reply and using that beautiful language is all his little brain could come up with… next time be a real man and post something helpful.

          • Jonathan

            Yeah, its 3rd party, in the sense that its not made by Microsoft. And according to CNET, “An estimated 96 percent of the Web population has Flash installed.” That, I believe, makes it standard.

          • James

            No, Microsoft has nothing to do with it. Not all Operating Systems are made by Microsoft, and the best web browsers aren’t either. It is categorised as 3rd party because it is a proprietary plugin to a web browser, NOT an open standard. If you’re really interested in standards I suggest you go to http://www.w3.org/standards and begin reading.

            I agree with Jeremy about too many websites requiring flash. Of course, it can be useful for embedding animation, or a video, but not all websites require that. Clean and simple is always the most effective way of displaying information.

            The fact that 64-bit support for flash is lacking is BECAUSE it’s 3rd party software. Firefox is Free and Open Source software, so it can generally be easily ported to other systems. Adobe software is not Free and Open Source, so it can’t easily be ported to other systems because of its proprietary 3rd party nature. So yes John, it is 3rd party, and language like that is not necessary to get your point across. You’re wrong, but I won’t hold it against you.

          • kellogg

            HTML5.

            This topic will soon be pointless.

          • Jonathan

            HTML 5 is for interactive webpages. Flash is for fancy interactive graphics. You can use both tools to get both results, but it’s easier for developers (like myself) to use the right tool for the job. That’s why Flash will NOT be replaced by HTML 5.

            Oh yeah, and you can create Flash content without writing a single line of code now, making it very easy to get a website up and running. Meaning its going to keep getting more and more popular. (Google “Flash Catalyst” for info)

          • http://air-war.org CHOPPERGIRL

            I’m watching Youtube videos with Flash x64 in Minefield x64 just fine. Really, Flash for the most part is the only plugin I need.

            Download the Flash x64 bit player for Windows Firefox Minefield x64 here:

            Download page (Click on “Download plug-in for 64-bit Windows — for all other browsers”):
            http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_square.html

            Info page:
            http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/square/

  • Firefox Lover

    Well you’re both kinda right, but…let me add that Firefox (Minefield 64) is waaaaay ahead in the park sitting on a bench waiting for Adobe to make flash 64!

    • Theta

      I Smell vapourware.

  • http://na G.S. Arnold

    I would also point out that the lack of flash64 is not a FF-only issue – it affects all browsers! You can’t do flash on IE64 either.

  • Craig Baker

    Worlds most misleading comparison comparing firefox 3 with 3.1.

  • BRANDON

    OK IS THERE AN FIREFOX 64 BIT IF THERE IS PLEASE EMAIL ME A LINK TO DOWNLOAD I READ ALOT OF PAGES WHERE PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT IT AND COMPARING IT BUT I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE A SITE WHERE A DOWNLOAD IS AVAILABLE

    • Geek Prime

      Why all the yelling?
      Oh wait – must be on an old mainframe keyboard. Got a bit of bad news for ya – 8 bit processors don’t run 64-bit software.

      • KP

        lol. Caps lock OFF, my friend. A bit of punctuation might be useful also.

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Vygantas Lipskas
  • http://eridata.no/blogg Raggi

    Now that Sun has released a beta version of 64 bit Java, we can only hope that Adobe will follow with a 64 bit Flash. Adobe has an alpha for Linux, so let’s hope they’ll release one for Windows too.

  • Hooty

    Raggi, Adobe has released a 64 bit version of Flash.

  • Harald

    @hooty: Have they release a 64 bit version for Windows?

    • Yamahauler

      Yup, had it out for quite a while.

      • Octavian

        Since when, unleash you’re specifically referring to Linux? There is an alpha version (not even beta let alone release…). The prerelease version for linux can be found here: http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_64bit.html

        On anything else, 64-bit flash is currently a pipedream.

  • Pingback: Internet Explorer 64 bit (x64) vs. 32 bit (x86)

  • http://heliologue.com Ben

    I your first graph, you can’t compare a 32-bit build of 3.0.x and a 64-bit build of 3.1 and claim the advantage comes from the build. 3.1 is faster at js benchmarks because it’s got the new js engine, Tracemonkey.

    The second test is more telling.

  • Rudy

    Yeah.. I really need to do this.. 3.0.7 started to irritate me with occasional freezing.

  • cregg

    @raggi where is adobe for 64bit according to adobe it does not exist

  • Rail

    F@ck adobeeee

    • Ghilli

      I agree…adobe has a nasty habit of making EVERYTHING overly complicated…maybe they confused themselves and cant figure out how to modify flash to work on 64 bit.

  • Hooty

    64 bit Flash is only available for Linux.

    • Theta

      Too bad your average computer user doesn’t care about Linux and that 95% of the world uses Windows, making it a spit in the face to most people.

      • paternoster

        well, maybe 95% of the users in the US, but that’s less than 5% of the world and so it’s really not worth talking about  …

  • http://ourbrasilblogs.blogspot.com Urso Branco

    I am getting ready to build a new PC and I am interested in a 64 Bit processor.

    Where can I find a comprehensive list of apps that work in 64 bit WinXP pro?

    Can my 32 bit legacy apps work with the 64 bit processor?

    • Foo

      There’s a “compatibility layer” in Windows x64 so you should be able to run 32bit apps just fine, though you will have to use some form of third-party emulator or virtual machine if you want to run 16bit programs.
      x64 is backwards compatible so you could install a 32bit version of Windows if you want to… but then you would basically be using a 32bit processor anyway.

      I must say I’m quite surprised I’m still seeing people on 32bit systems (it’s been out for six years already) and on systems that are unable to play back 720p movies without lagging…

  • http://www.keepcash.com John

    I downloaded the 64 bit version of Firefox and I have not had any issues with it.

    • cookies

      and it’s also done nothing for you either….

  • http://www.facts-about-recycling.com Poweruser

    Everybody is hung up on flash, but the real issue holding me back is that Roboform does not support any 64 bit browsers and I’ve been waiting for 4 years!! For me there is no point installing Win7 x64 if I can’t get my FF x64 with Roboform. I can survive without flash, but not without my 200+ passcards.

    • dannyboy

      i totally agree.

      Poweruser says:
      August 19, 2009 at 4:20 am
      Everybody is hung up on flash, but the real issue holding me back is that Roboform does not support any 64 bit browsers and I’ve been waiting for 4 years!! For me there is no point installing Win7 x64 if I can’t get my FF x64 with Roboform. I can survive without flash, but not without my 200+ passcards.

    • Foo

      You could try an alternative:

      KeePass

      Importing data from Roboform
      Lifehacker article on how to “master your passwords”

      LastPass
      Uses a remote server to store the passwords.
      Passwords are encrypted before being sent to the server.

      Weave Sync
      Alternative to LastPass, albeit it’s still in the testing phase.

  • http://facts-about-recycling.com Poweruser

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have installed Win7 64bit and I have to say that I really like it. However, I am still running Firefox 32bit because of Roboform. I like the way Roboform is managed locally and I dependent on it, not realistic for me to change now.

    I don’t think Roboform is to blame as they just don’t want to support an unofficial or “beta” browser. If Mozilla released an official 64 bit Firefox then for sure Roboform would release an update to make it compatible. So, I guess I just have to live with no 64bit FF for now and hope that someday Mozilla decides to release an official 64 bit version.

  • Sandy

    I installed the x64 bit firefox on win7 64rc1 it it installes to the x86 section of the os not 64 i also installed it to XPpro x64 and it does the same thing so why both OS’s say it is 32bit not 64.Ohh XP Prox64 Rules win 7 still sucks like Vista it has been improved but it is still Vista!

    • Foo

      The installer is probably 32bit while the actual installation is 64bit. Windows has always been pretty iffy.

  • Pingback: 64Bit Firefox Builds - Webdomination

  • http://www.spiceworks-news.co.uk/ akp982

    Thats great, just gone to 64bit FireFox and its visably quicker!

  • Rodda

    hi i just installed win7 64bit n want to get firefox 64bit too… is there a separated section on the firefox site where i can download this cos i cant seem to find it…

    any assistance will be much appreciated

  • BUBS

    Hey, I have just bought a windows 7 computer with a 64bit system. So I go on the web and try to watch videos. The site says you dont have flash player installed so i click the shortcut to the adobe flash downloader site. They say they dont have adobe for a 64 bit system. Ok fine so then how do u run a 32bit browser or is there a new flash that does work for Win 7. Please anybody explain in steps how to solve this problem which millions are suffering from but there is no dam answer to.

  • LoL

    Many websites now a days use flash ads I would think its a plus that x64 has no flash support, besides videos there really is no use for flash this day and age. In fact there is a 90% decline in websites making use of flash, its not that big a standard anymore and I don’t think Adobe really care to make it x64 in another way you could also say lack of flash cuts down web viruses.

    • Theta

      There is a need for flash: Realtime Vector Graphics.
      And if you really want to cut down viruses: Get educated on how to better protect yourself online. Doesn’t matter what kind of Operating system you use (Windows, Linux, Mac), your always vulnerable, you just need to learn how to be smarter and protect yourself, easy way to cut down 80% of all viruses.

  • I know better

    oh great another blog full of misleading information. This blog is an example of where user’s comments are more useful than the orginal post.

    First of all “Shiretoko” is the closest 64-bit browser to a 64-bit “firefox”, and Minefield as mentioned before is alright.

    Still no 64-bit flash for windows. There is for Linux. Abobe claims there’s a beta version, but i haven’t been able to find it. Besides, I’m not going to run any beta Adobe product.

  • cookies

    They are measured in milliseconds and the differences are very small. So, No, sorry there is no practical advantages to running a 64 bit browser. Only artificial, imagined ones. Tie anyone to a chair and tell him they will die if they can’t inform you of which browser is which, and get it right 5 times in a row, will die nearly every time. It’s useless. 64 bit is for accessing large amonts of memory. Let’s say you are editing gigantic videos and want to quickly copy and paste sections. THEN, and only then is it useful when used with apps like that. Unless you have a browser application that gobbles up say 8 GB of ram and you only have 3GB, it’s worthless. In the future, it may be needed for the browsers. Figure 10 years, 2021. And then again, maybe not. I certainly don’t care if it’s 1% faster. Not enough to run into the dreaded incompatibility issues…. 32bit browsers for me.

    • Jonathan

      He won’t die if he just knows that 64 bit doesn’t support flash… that’s an easy way to tell.

    • G-Man

      Ive recently installed win7x64 Pro and im simply blown away by the speed of IEx64…sure the flash thing is a pain (and if i *really* want to see that flash advert i can copyu the url into IEx32 or FFx32), but for every-day browsing of the footy scores, forums etc the increase in speed is simply mind blowing….not imagined in any way whatsoever…i would guess in the region of 50% of the time to load a page in IEx64 over IEx32 (using bbc footy page as an example)…i have always been a FF fan and came here trying to find out about FFx64…i will download and play…have a good day :)

    • Theta

      There is an advantage: Not emulating (Read: Compatibility Layer) my programs on a 64 bit OS.

  • KP

    So what’s the verdict, people? Have just installed Win 7 x64 (mainly to get more than 3GB RAM operational)… is FF x64 worth it or not?? I can’t pick it out from all these differing opinions! Someone who knows what they’re talking about – FF for Win x86 or x64? Mainly I’m concerned with speed, tho’ no Flash is not great. But performance? We’re on a fairly slow broadband connection so speed is all-important…

  • Polp

    Flash is going out when HTML5 is finished

    • Theta

      No it’s not. Flash will always be around because there are things you can do in it that HTML cannot do alone. For simple animation and vector graphics it will always be around because the compression is better than raw video. The only person who thinks that flash should die is Steve Jobs, and he’s an idiot as we’ve all seen recently.

  • jammo

    looks to me like ie8 on x64 is pretty much a waste of resource, but thats another story alltogher.

    seems firefox x64 is pretty much up there with the big boys, but for just general browsing i thinks its best just to stay with x86, least for now till everyone else catches up with the new stuff, besides there’s not much to crunch on any given site

  • m_gol

    These tests are simply irrelevant to anything. You should test the same version of Firefox. The way You performed those test it is impossible to differentiate which advantages comes from 3.1/3.5 improvements themselves and which ones from ‘bitness’ of the browser.

  • Whiteknight666

    I’m using Minefield (AKA Firefox X64) version 4.0B5 and comparing it to Firefox x86 4.0B5, I can’t say if it is faster by milliseconds or not, but I can say that I find it does render sites noticeably quicker and appears to be far more responsive.
    As for flash support, I understand that flash can be used for fancy smancy vector graphics and poor quality highly compressed video, but the majority of sites only use flash for annoying advertisements, so I don’t miss it one bit.  Youtube can be viewed directly on my TV through my bluray player, and are working on HTML 5 video players (which they say can only be used on videos without….advertisements).  Adobe is dragging their heels, as they’ve been saying for about five years that an x64 version of the plugin is coming soon.
    I’ve seen websites with better HTML based dynamic pages (without flash) that work, and look far better then sites relying completely on flash.

  • Greg

    There is a Preview Version of Flash 64 out there guys just have to know how to find it.. Flash Square… It is not auto updateable so you must manually update it as they release them… And will need to Uninstall it and install the Ship Version once it is out…. http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/

  • http://cntt247.com sa

    thanks! Firefox 64bit is faster than Firefox 32bit.

  • Relentless Penguin

    And that full cookie tastes guuurddd!

  • alfonsojon

    You can also try this, if all you need flash for is watching youtube videos!
    youtube.com/html5

    - It’s an open beta by youtube replacing the default player with an HTML5 one, which you only need a modern browser for.