A lot of people think that if they run a 64-bit operating system, it is automatically always the "best choice" to run as many 64-bit applications as possible, but that is not necessarily true for Pale Moon. For many people on a 64-bit version of windows, the 32-bit (x86) version of Pale Moon may be the better choice. When is the 32-bit version recommended, and when is the 64-bit version recommended?
Some pointers here, although in the end it is of course your choice:
- If you use a lot of custom plug-ins (e.g. bank authentication, 3D gaming, video/TV, etc.): Your best choice will be 32-bit, because a lot of these plugins are very likely not available in a 64-bit version, and will therefore not install or be able to be used. (note: plug-ins are not the same as add-ons (extensions) which will run equally well on either version.) Of course asking the plug-in vendors to supply a 64-bit version of their plug-in is always a good idea if they don't have one yet
- If you use the browser for a lot of complex, memory-heavy pages, and limit your plug-in use to the most common plug-ins that have 64-bit versions (mainly Flash, Java): Your best choice is the 64-bit version, because the browser will be much better at handling these types of pages and will in general be faster to render them, as well as being able to use more memory than the 32-bit version.
- If you are on older, legacy graphics hardware or integrated, low-power laptop graphics hardware: You can try the 64-bit version of the browser, but it is likely that you run into issues with graphics drivers. Pale Moon x64 is one of the very few, if not the only, native 64-bit graphics hardware accelerated applications on your system. For many driver vendors of graphics chips this is still somewhat unexplored territory and you may run into some severe problems (rendering issues, browser hangs, computer lockups or even Blue Screens in some rare cases). If disabling hardware acceleration in the Pale Moon options fixes your problems, then you may be better off using the 32-bit version of the browser to work around 64-bit driver issues.
As a general rule of thumb: if you use the browser for regular browsing on a properly modern desktop system, then 64-bit is most likely the best choice for you. If you are on limited or older graphics hardware, or need to use non-mainstream plug-ins, then your best bet will most likely be the 32-bit version.
If the 64-bit version gives you issues, keep in mind you can always simply switch to a 32-bit version by uninstalling x64 and installing x86 - keeping your profile data and customizations.