Google announced that they had just released a 64-bit version of Google Chrome in Beta. Beta means that the browser is out in the wild for the public to test out and provide feedback for Google. The beta will allow Google to put the finishing touches on their browser before release. It is expected that the release will likely come within a few weeks to a month.
Download Google Chrome 64-bit beta
For those of you currently interested in trying out the beta, you can download it here. While testing the 64-bit version of Google Chrome, keep in mind that the product isn’t 100 percent completed and may come with its share of bugs.
Short History of Chrome
Google Chrome was first launched in September of 2008. Since then, Chrome has received 36 stable releases. Not too long before their 36th major update to Chrome, in June of 2014 Chrome overtook Internet Explorer to become the most popular browser according to Adobe as Chrome experiences 6 percent growth year-on-year capturing over 30 percent of users with Safari in third with not far off percentage of 25 percent.
Google is Late to the 64-bit party
Surprisingly enough, Safari and Internet Explorer, 2 out of the top 3 browsers, have already ventured into the realm of browsers that support the 64-bit architecture. One would think that not already supporting 64-bit would have hurt Chrome’s position compared to other browsers that support it. However, only a small percentage of people take advantage of of 64-bit systems which would explain why Google didn’t see 64-bit as a pressing matter.
The Difference Between 32-bit and 64-bit
The main difference between 32-bit and 64-bit deals with the amount of memory that a program can take advantage of on a computer. For example, the current version of Google Chrome can only take advantage of 3 GB (3 × 10243 bytes) of main memory. Most lower end computers running processor with 4 GBs of memory only have true access to around 3.5 GBs of RAM since system processes take up around .5 GBs to run.
So, on the lower end machine, Google Chrome wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the resources on your computer. For those of you with higher end computers, the limitations are far more noticeable. If you have 8 GBs of RAM, 32-bit Chrome will only “see” 3 GBs of RAM. With a 64-bit version of Chrome, Chrome will be able to “see” the entire 8GBs of ram.
Why Does Chrome Need So Much Power RAM?
Over the years, Chrome has expanded to be a great resource hog. This has largely to do with personal management of stored data, plugins, extensions as well as open tabs and the amount of resources that those pages need. For example, some websites will require chrome to use up more processing power.
So as users become more data driven, the need to do these data-driven task alongside another task will cause us to need more RAM to accomplish our goals. Personally, I have problems where my Chrome is crashing more than I would like it to due to my ability to always find cool stories and websites plus sources I may be using to complete an article. So I’m very welcoming of the fact that Google is finally preparing their 64-bit Chrome release for the upcoming weeks.