First of all: I'm really confused about this problem so excuse me if the description below is vague.
My site is written in .NET4, ASP.NET WebForms and runs in different environments, some are IIS6, some IIS7 (or 7.5). Some use SSL, some doesn't.
Whenever I host in IIS7 it works fine, no matter browser or HTTP/HTTPS. When I host it in IIS6 I have a huge performance hit for Internet Explorer 7/8 (i.e. the site is really really slow). But only for sites not using SSL (i.e. HTTP). When SSL is enabled the site is much faster. The IIS6 sites are hosted on Windows Server 2003 x64 with Service Pack 2.
These problems started when I installed .NET4 and upgraded the site to use .NET4. The 32 bit version of .NET4 is used even though the server is x64.
When using fiddler/dynaTrace and similar tools we realize that the TRANSFER of the .aspx-file is much slower on IE7 and IE8 (IIS6 not using SSL). The normal transfer time is about 500ms but when using IE7 on a non-SSL IIS6 site we have times around 10-20 seconds (20-40 times as high). When we have high load times you can actually see image by image pop up on the screen. First a dropdownlist is drawn, then the text within it, finally the css that aligns the text within the dropdownlist. The page is rendered "progressively" very slowly so you can easily follow the rendering order.
We have some indications that compression could be the cause since IIS7 by default enables some compression that IIS6 doesn't.
Unfortunately I cannot provide any links or demos of this behaviour since it is a closed system.
1) In what way can enabling SSL improve the transfer time for the .aspx? Is it sent in bigger chunks or maybe even one big chunk?
2) What could be the reason that IIS7 is much much faster than IIS6 and could we tweak our IIS6 setup for it?
3) Any ideas on what could be wrong with our IIS6 setup or how I could improve performance?
Once again - sorry for the vague question but all ideas/tips/suggestions are appreciated.