Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:59 AM
Itís perfectly normal to see two or more iexplore.exe processes in the Task Manager when an Internet Explorer 8 window is open. This is due to a change implemented in Internet Explorer 8 where the frame and tabs are split, each having their own processes. Each tab has its own process so that the rest of the tabs and the browser frame/window are not affected when a single tab process crashes.
The more capable your system is, the more processes it creates, up to a point. Itís based on a curve. If you use 60 tabs at a time, it doesn't want to create 60 tab processes, as the pref impact would be too severe. Itís a balancing act between performance and reliability. For example, if you had 60 tabs open and it created 20 processes, it would co-locate 3 tabs in each process (60 tabs / 20 processes). If a single tab process failed, it would only have to recover 2 other tabs. The benefit of "perfect" isolation would not be worth the cost of 40 extra processes in most cases. Itís a case of diminishing returns.