32bit vs 64bit

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Zendrik, Jun 4, 2007.

Jun 4, 2007

32bit vs 64bit by Zendrik at 9:48 PM (1,457 Views / 0 Likes) 17 replies

  1. Zendrik
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    Member Zendrik GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm looking to upgrade to Vista Home Premium and I am torn between 32 and 64 bit versions. IIRC, 64 bit runs faster because the data stream is doubled allowing for data to move faster. However, I have been hearing of 64 bit systems running more sluggish than 32 bit systems. Are these people crazy or is there a problem with the OS(XP or Vista) that makes running a 64 bit system seem slower?
     
  2. Flozem

    Member Flozem GBAtemp Regular

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    Could have sworn Vista supports both 32 and 64 bits in Home Edition and up... XP is the one that had two versions...
     
  3. darksavior

    Member darksavior GBAtemp Regular

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    Theres ALOT of versions of Vista. Personally, neither is worth using yet. Wait for the first service pack. There isn't a reason to move to Vista unless you have a DX10 videocard and want to run DX10 games which aren't out yet.
     
  4. Xeijin

    Member Xeijin GBAtemp Fan

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    I don't think you'll notice too much difference in day-to-day OS use, its more likely to be in specific applications which require alot of processing power, e.g. 64-bit games and 3D rendering programs.

    FarCry had a 64-bit compatible patch which would unlock a few extra 64-bit only levels with higher detail and allowed you to see further (i.e. increased drawing distance) the problem that's always complained about with 64-bit is the drivers. 32-bit drivers are not usually compatible with 64-bit so alot of devices (especially those from relatively small/unknown companies) don't have drivers, so don't work.

    I would say go with the 32-bit version.
     
  5. pikachucrackpipe

    Member pikachucrackpipe President

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    what are your specs anyway?
    if you dont have enough ram, proper cooling for the processor and fast enough hdd - 64 bit will run like crap
     
  6. Zendrik
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    Member Zendrik GBAtemp Fan

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    Well, may specs are:

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4gHz
    GPU: Geforce 7950GT 512mb
    RAM: 2Gb PC5300 DDR2
    HD: 500gb SATA2 3.0 gB/s

    Basically I was wondering if I should upgrade to the 32 or 64 bit version of Vista. Both Xeijin and my father suggest 32 because of the driver support. I think that is gonna be the direction I proceed in.

    On a side note, darksavior brought up the note of DX10 cards. I was about to buy another 7950GT for SLI so I could play Shadowrun, but the 7 series cards are DX9. Now I don't know if I want to buy a low-end 8 series card or hold out on the few DX10 games.
     
  7. pikachucrackpipe

    Member pikachucrackpipe President

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    well you have a 32 bit processor so you cant use a 64 bit os
     
  8. Lukeage

    Member Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    Given the specs of your system, I'd say that you are mostly going to have newer hardware, and therefore shouldn't have much of an issue with the 64-bit version (although you will want to check driver availability beforehand).

    pikachucrackpipes comments are incorrect. You do have a 64 bit processor, the cooling and the HDD speed is irrelevant to running 64 or 32 bit systems. While 64-bit will have a slightly higher overhead in RAM, this is primarily due to pointers needing to address a 64-bit address space, so they will be 8 bytes instead of 4. This is only minor compared to what gets loading into memory most of the time anyhow (if you want further details, just ask).

    Overall though, unless you are running 64-bit applications, you will have no immediate benefit running 64-bit Windows. However, as these come out you will start to see performance gains. I run a 64-bit Lightwave and the speed increase is a huge jump over its 32-bit counterpart.

    I could go on, but I'll leave it at this. You will have more incompatibilities from the fact you are running Vista, rather than the fact you are running 64-bit.
     
  9. hanman

    Member hanman I'm a pretty lucky guy

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    64 is > 32...that's a mathematical fact. the problem is, there are few apps that are 64 bit. of course, that will change in the future, as more 64 bit hardware becomes available to the general public. the next step will be for microsoft (or whoever) to make the next version of their OS 64 bit ONLY (backwards compatible, of course). then, after a few more years, most apps will be 64 bit. i think it'll be 5-10 years before we see 64 bit apps in the majority. if you want to switch to linux, there are many apps with 64 bit support, and the number grows daily. imo, however, it's still more trouble than it's worth.
     
  10. Zendrik
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    Member Zendrik GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks for all the information Lukeage. Firsthand info about the speed increase makes me feel better about getting 64-bit Windows. I'm still a little torn but I will just do a little more research. After some thought, I don't need to get Vista now anyways. Just gives me more time to think about it.
     
  11. Jiggah

    Member Jiggah GBAtemp Maniac

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    The only reason to go 64-bit is if you have 4 gigs of ram and use available 64-bit programs. If you don't, I wouldn't bother with it. 32-bit and 64-bit are including together in the Ultimate edition, but has to be requested for any other version.

    There are a number of reasons why 64-bit is not as great as 32-bit. A lot of the current application don't really make use of the 64-bit processing. This true to the point that Vista/XP have to emulate 32-bit environments (WOW) for 64-bit, which in turn actually slows down some application or makes for incompatibilities.

    Of course, there is also the driver issues. 64-bit drivers are problematic to find. They are usually released later. Some hardware still don't have 64-bit drivers or need modified drivers to work correctly.
     
  12. Lukeage

    Member Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    Actually, WoW64 on x86 architecture doesn't do any emulation at all (Itanium arch is a completely different story). While there is a small overhead when switching the processor to compatibility mode or back to 64-bit mode, this would be a few CPU cycles at most. Incompatibilities are a larger possibility, but I haven't personally run into anything which runs on 32-bit Vista but not 64-bit.

    Just a side note, WoW64 does not have a 16-bit application layer, so you can not run any old 16-bit (including DOS) apps under Vista 64-bit.

    Here is a main list of pros and cons:

    32 Bit Pros:
    Driver support is better
    Possibly better compatibility
    Supports 16 bit apps

    Cons:
    Not (as) future proof
    Programs with a 64 bit counterpart will run slower than the 64 bit version

    64 Bit Pros:
    Future Proof
    64 Bit apps will outperform 32bit ones

    Cons:
    Less driver support (although most popular new devices made in the last year have support)
    Possilby less compatibility (some games suffer under Vista, although some also run better)
    No 16-bit app support.

    Edit: On a side note, I assume you run XP at the moment anyhow. Given that, you could always dual boot, which would give you a 32-bit Windows if needed, and you can have 64-bit Vista and 32-bit XP until you decide that you no longer need the extra support. This is the setup I run at the moment actually (and I have 32-bit Vista on my laptop anyway if I need the midway point [​IMG])
     
  13. EddyB

    Member EddyB GBAtemp Regular

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    First SP? I'd say 2nd.

    I have been messing with vista on a virtual pc and I think it sucks big time, as long as XP is supported by mainstream devs I wont use vista.
     
  14. Lukeage

    Member Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    A lot of the improvements in Vista aren't obvious because they are under the hood (and the visible ones won't appear in a Virtual PC anyhow unless you are enabling 3D support, but unless some major jumps have occurred which I haven't seen yet this isn't on by default.)

    I will agree though that at the moment there is no real point in upgrading if XP does everything you need it to. However, all the complaints you hear about Vista are exactly the same when XP came out (compatibility, nothing new to upgrade to, etc...).

    On another note, after commenting about 16-bit support, DOSBox has a version for 64-bit Windows which will still run 16-bit apps, so not all is lost there.
     
  15. pikachucrackpipe

    Member pikachucrackpipe President

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    well he said:
    but anyway unless he's managing and calculating bill gates or larry eillson's bank account, constructing auto cad drawings for the reconstruction of the twin towers or running some kind of high end server, he's not going to need a 64 bit os.
     
  16. Lukeage

    Member Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    pikachucrackpipe, do you read any more than the first lines of anything?

    Check the wikipage and you'd see the Core 2 has 64 bit extentions.

    Instruction Set: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, x86-64
     
  17. skullstatue

    Banned skullstatue Banned

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    But if you want to take advantage of the 64-bits, the program has to be specifically designed to be compatible with the new architecture. Maybe later, but since I don't really game and I'm dirt broke, I don't see any point in changing until everything has been ported, even if I have mild compatibility and back-support right now, I want full compatibility. Oh yes, AGP and P4 2.8 for the win.
     
  18. Lukeage

    Member Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    If you are moving to Vista, you lose Full Compatibility anyhow (just like any new major iteration of an OS). The main reason there is a 32 bit version of Vista is the fact that Intel was so slow to get their 64-bit processors out, that there are still a large number of 32-bit only machines on the market capable of running Vista.

    My main point is that if you have a machine capable of running the 64-bit version of Vista AND you are thinking of upgrading (most people have no need for Vista right now, and those who needed 64-bit Windows before are already running 64-bit XP), then unless you have a specific need of the 32-bit version, then there is no real point in not going 64-bit.

    The whole 64-bit thing is like the chicken and the egg. People won't bother with the 64-bit version because they don't see a point in it because there isn't much 64-bit software, and since there aren't as many 64-bit users, devs will focus on 32-bit versions (which run on the 64-bit version anyhow). Sometime I just wish MS would cut the cord like Apple did with OSX, drop all backwards compatibility and start off fresh (and while we are at it, we can drop x86 too and build a better architecture [​IMG])
     

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