57 posts in this topic

Posted

As a longtime user of Firefox, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use a 64-bit version of it. I figured I'd give it a try and it's something I've been thinking of doing since I first used Windows Vista Ultimate x64. I honestly never heard of Waterfox until I read [url="http://www.neowin.net/news/waterfox-90"]this article[/url] on Neowin. I installed it on my main PC (Windows 7 Ultimate x64) and I really like it. It definitely feels speedier than the standard 32-bit version of Firefox and things like Flash also feel faster. Another positive thing is that YouTube videos no longer crash my display driver. I assume that using a 64-bit version of Flash had something to do with it.

Anyway, if you have a 64-bit operating system and are open to the idea of using a 64-bit browser than Waterfox is for you. You can [url="http://waterfoxproj.sourceforge.net/downloads"]download it here[/url] alongside its prerequisites.

FAQ:
[quote]
[b]What is Waterfox?[/b]
Waterfox is a high performance browser based on the Mozilla Firefox source code. Made specifically for 64-Bit systems, Waterfox has one thing in mind: speed.

[b]Why should I use a 64-Bit version of Firefox?[/b]
For some people with older systems, the 64-Bit version loads quicker and is much more responsive than the 32-Bit build. For people with newer systems, it allows them to use the full potential of their systems.

[b]If there are any bugs, where should I report them?[/b]
Unfortunately, since this is a 3rd party build you cannot report any bugs and you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've always wondered just how they produce these 64bit builds, since for a long time the main codebase wasn't 64bit safe. Currently 64bit builds are still slower at JS than 32bit builds, and no amount of compiler optimisations will fix that.

Mozilla still don't consider the 64bit builds ready for anything but developer usage, they still crash randomly and often crash in such a way that the OS never calls their crash handling code (So the bugs go unreported)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='The_Decryptor' timestamp='1326119622' post='594571131']
I've always wondered just how they produce these 64bit builds, since for a long time the main codebase wasn't 64bit safe. Currently 64bit builds are still slower at JS than 32bit builds, and no amount of compiler optimisations will fix that.

Mozilla still don't consider the 64bit builds ready for anything but developer usage, they still crash randomly and often crash in such a way that the OS never calls their crash handling code (So the bugs go unreported)
[/quote]
I guess that was the case in the past. I haven't tried the 64-bit Nightly builds so I don't know how stable they are over the 32-bit Nightly builds. So far though, Waterfox hasn't crashed once. Perhaps Mozilla finally got around to making Firefox 64-bit friendly. Here's an interesting article about Firefox 8 (64-bit): http://www.extremetech.com/computing/90546-firefox-8-x64-has-64-bit-browsing-finally-come-of-age

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's disappointing to me that the Firefox devs are still waffling over how to do it properly.

Like, we know what we need to do this, and we are making plans to do it, but we don't actually want to do it.

Heh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='The_Decryptor' timestamp='1326119622' post='594571131']
I've always wondered just how they produce these 64bit builds, since for a long time the main codebase wasn't 64bit safe. Currently 64bit builds are still slower at JS than 32bit builds, and no amount of compiler optimisations will fix that.

Mozilla still don't consider the 64bit builds ready for anything but developer usage, they still crash randomly and often crash in such a way that the OS never calls their crash handling code (So the bugs go unreported)
[/quote]

I still think Mozilla needs to kill the current code and start from scratch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I tried it and I have not noticed any difference in performance than the standard version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's hard to notice the difference in casual usage. Encryption, cache handling, data heavy pages, if you've got lots of tabs open, you might well notice then.

Honestly, base speed isn't the reason to go 64 bit. Having a more secure and capable browser is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Dot Matrix' timestamp='1326134287' post='594571743']
I still think Mozilla needs to kill the current code and start from scratch.
[/quote]

Agreed, especially with Google having such a nice clean product as Chrome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1326135819' post='594571831']
Agreed, especially with Google having such a nice clean product as Chrome.
[/quote]
Considering it's withstood the competition quite well, I'm guessing a lot of people would disagree with you.

I'd prefer it if Firefox was optimized for SSE2 like Chrome is, but it's not really a concern if the performance is there. (The 64 bit version will be, of course, since all x64 procs have SSE2.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Quite a lot of snakeoil and even a surprisingly outright lie, in fact. It is designed in hardware so that x86 code takes zero performance hit when run on an x64 machine. None, period.
As for optimization, setting compiler flags can do little magic if the code is not applicable for it. I would guess that forcing the matter can even make it slower as the dedicated instructions become efficient only when used properly.
As for compatibility improvements that are at least evident, I've, for one, settled for Nightly (and temporarily the latest Tracemonkey if it decides to crash).
I've had Waterfox, Palemoon and Aya... whatwasit for some time, run lenghty benches, too. Results were inconclusive but not something to make an impression that either was better than the other. It is no question that both Chrome and Oprah is faster in most cases. Even IE9 holds up in certain test cases.
All in all, if it works for you, good. If it doesn't, however, better be sure that those loud promises of these custom compiles being the fastest and whatnot are full of very big holes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='randomevent' timestamp='1326134111' post='594571735']
It's disappointing to me that the Firefox devs are still waffling over how to do it properly.

Like, we know what we need to do this, and we are making plans to do it, but we don't actually want to do it.

Heh.
[/quote]
They're working on it ([url="https://wiki.mozilla.org/Features/Desktop/64bit_Firefox_Windows_7"]see here[/url]). Unfortunately, it isn't a high-priority feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Anaron' timestamp='1326152772' post='594572305']
They're working on it ([url="https://wiki.mozilla.org/Features/Desktop/64bit_Firefox_Windows_7"]see here[/url]). Unfortunately, it isn't a high-priority feature.
[/quote]
I know. I'm sure it'll happen soon enough, at which point I won't actually ever care about Waterfox or Pale Moon again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Anaron' timestamp='1326133500' post='594571711']

I guess that was the case in the past. I haven't tried the 64-bit Nightly builds so I don't know how stable they are over the 32-bit Nightly builds. So far though, Waterfox hasn't crashed once. Perhaps Mozilla finally got around to making Firefox 64-bit friendly. Here's an interesting article about Firefox 8 (64-bit): http://www.extremetech.com/computing/90546-firefox-8-x64-has-64-bit-browsing-finally-come-of-age
[/quote]

Even up to the mid point of 2011 they still had random chunks of code that assumed 32bit OSs (Converting pointers to 32bit integer, etc.). As for the article, that's entirely made up, what I think happened is that somebody noticed Mozilla was running 64bit regression tests, and assumed that meant an official release was coming (Which it isn't for a while until they sort all the problems out)

[quote name='Dot Matrix' timestamp='1326134287' post='594571743']
I still think Mozilla needs to kill the current code and start from scratch.
[/quote]

There's no reason to do that, the incremental upgrades they're doing now are much better (Stopping the project for a year to rewrite vs. rewriting a component incrementally over a couple of releases)

[quote name='randomevent' timestamp='1326137696' post='594571897']
...
I'd prefer it if Firefox was optimized for SSE2 like Chrome is, but it's not really a concern if the performance is there. (The 64 bit version will be, of course, since all x64 procs have SSE2.)
[/quote]

It already is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Have been using waterfox for the last few weeks so far and absolutely no problems whatsoever (same with firefox), constantly kept open for about 10 hours a day and memory usage always around 450MB (high res image threads, about 1GB then).

It is a wee bit more snappier and smooth than firefox 10 I find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Anaron' timestamp='1326133500' post='594571711']
I guess that was the case in the past. I haven't tried the 64-bit Nightly builds so I don't know how stable they are over the 32-bit Nightly builds. So far though, Waterfox hasn't crashed once. Perhaps Mozilla finally got around to making Firefox 64-bit friendly. Here's an interesting article about Firefox 8 (64-bit): [url="http://www.extremetech.com/computing/90546-firefox-8-x64-has-64-bit-browsing-finally-come-of-age"]http://www.extremete...lly-come-of-age[/url]
[/quote]
Been using x64 nightly for months now and has been as stable as the x32 builds sharing almost all the same bugs. No reason not to use it especially now that flash has an x64 plugin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

on waterfox for a wihle now, it does seem slightly faster than the 32bit variety, but maybe it's just placebo or something. Either way, besides my 2.5+GB usual memory usage, it works great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='The_Decryptor' timestamp='1326175626' post='594572925']
It already is.
[/quote]
Well, you say that, but it doesn't explain the devs discussing it as if it isn't used much over here [url="http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/32b6daea1be5e7ec/ede71f16ed07edad?q=64-bit&lnk=ol&"]http://groups.google...=64-bit&lnk=ol[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='randomevent' timestamp='1326349087' post='594577501']

Well, you say that, but it doesn't explain the devs discussing it as if it isn't used much over here [url="http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/32b6daea1be5e7ec/ede71f16ed07edad?q=64-bit&lnk=ol&"]http://groups.google...=64-bit&lnk=ol[/url]
[/quote]

The only discussion I can see is about having less code paths (Firefox includes SSE optimised code paths and normal paths, a native 64bit build doesn't need the normal code paths since it can guarantee the CPU can do SSE). And as a side effect it also means the compiler can include SSE functions anywhere, not just in optimised areas (As is done currently due to how compilers work)

Edit: So the question is "Can we use SSE everywhere?" not "Can we use SSE?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hmm will give this a try!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Been using Waterfox for a while now. Even if it's built by Mozilla, it's NOT Firefox, so it has to be better!! Have NEVER liked Firefox.

Can't say as I've never noticed it being any faster than any other browser. All browsers runs blazingly fast on my sytems and the day that some one says about how slow a browser is on their systems, is the day I should go over and fix their computer!

Palemoon, http://www.palemoon.org/ also has a 64bit version, but I use the 32bit version of that on my 32bit machines.

As far as Chrome, if I were to ever use that again, which isn't happening, it would be SRWare Iron, NOT Google Chrome crap!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

What about the Windows Media Player plug-in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Neobond' timestamp='1326368765' post='594577817']
What about the Windows Media Player plug-in?
[/quote]
Unfortunately, 32-bit plugins won't work with Waterfox. It's up to Microsoft to release a 64-bit version of the WMP plugin. So far though, the major plugins work: Flash, Java, and Silverlight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='Anaron' timestamp='1326370413' post='594577849']
Unfortunately, 32-bit plugins won't work with Waterfox. It's up to Microsoft to release a 64-bit version of the WMP plugin. So far though, the major plugins work: Flash, Java, and Silverlight.
[/quote]

And even the 32-bit plugin hasn't been updated for years, what's up with that!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='The_Decryptor' timestamp='1326367854' post='594577793']
The only discussion I can see is about having less code paths (Firefox includes SSE optimised code paths and normal paths, a native 64bit build doesn't need the normal code paths since it can guarantee the CPU can do SSE). And as a side effect it also means the compiler can include SSE functions anywhere, not just in optimised areas (As is done currently due to how compilers work)

Edit: So the question is "Can we use SSE everywhere?" not "Can we use SSE?"
[/quote]
[quote]In 32bit code, since we have to explicitly think and do work about every place where we want to do SSE2, and since it's a performance/size compromise, we end up not doing it in many places.[/quote]
So yes, I know they use it to some degree, but from what I can tell not much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[quote name='cork1958' timestamp='1326368307' post='594577807']
Been using Waterfox for a while now. Even if it's built by Mozilla, it's NOT Firefox, so it has to be better!! Have NEVER liked Firefox.

Can't say as I've never noticed it being any faster than any other browser. All browsers runs blazingly fast on my sytems and the day that some one says about how slow a browser is on their systems, is the day I should go over and fix their computer!

Palemoon, [url="http://www.palemoon.org/"]http://www.palemoon.org/[/url] also has a 64bit version, but I use the 32bit version of that on my 32bit machines.

As far as Chrome, if I were to ever use that again, which isn't happening, it would be SRWare Iron, NOT Google Chrome crap!!
[/quote]
It's based on the Firefox source code so aside from being 64-bit, it's virtually identical to the official 32-bit version.

[quote name='Neobond' timestamp='1326370562' post='594577859']
And even the 32-bit plugin hasn't been updated for years, what's up with that!?
[/quote]
That's one of the issues of using a 64-bit browser. If you use Firefox with a lot of plugins, then Waterfox may not be good. Fortunately, I only use a handful of plugins and most of them have 64-bit versions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.