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Should I go 64bit?

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  • User profile image

    I'm buying a new computer these days, an Intel Core2Duo machine with all the latest nifty features and all. Since that machine supports EMT64, I was wondering whether I should install a 64bit OS on it (Either Vista or 2003). Use of this computer:

    1) Storage and media playback.
    2) Occasional gaming (nothing too excessive or FPS-hungry).
    3) Some C# development.
    4) Running Virtual Server with a couple of old OSs.

    I won't be doing any CPU-intensive graphics or anything like that.

    Do I stand to gain anything from using a 64bit OS? Will I simply run into problems with drivers and compatibilty? Should I bother?

  • User profile image

    + 64-Bit is the future. Its more secure because all Kernel level drivers have to be signed.

    - Some incompatibility with some software, some might not provide 64-bit versions of their software.

    Go a head, make the jump to 64 bit.

  • User profile image

    are there *significant* performance gains to be had?? and can you still run drivers in 32-bit mode if there arent 64-bit versions available?

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Unless you have more than 4GB RAM there's not really any significant performance gains. Native 64 bit apps can run a little faster (because the x64 instruction set has more registers than x86). Most 32 bit apps will run the same or slightly slower on an x64 OS.

    It is impossible to install 32 bit drivers. If there are no 64 bit drivers, you cannot use the device in a 64 bit OS. Furthermore, a 64 bit process cannot load 32 bit DLLs; this means that since explorer.exe is 64 bit, all your shell extensions must also be 64 bit, otherwise they won't work (this is also the primary reason why Windows x64 also includes a 32 bit version of Internet Explorer, which is in fact the default; the 64 bit IE cannot load 32 bit ActiveX controls).

  • User profile image

    I'll stick to 32bits for now. I won't go over 4GB RAM and really have no need for anything it gives me. Thanks.

  • User profile image

    That's a wise choice. I took the plunge to XP 64 and it hasn't been very pleasant. Some apps just won't work anymore. Most software companies, even Microsoft, treat x64 as a red-headed step child and release apps that only run on 32-bit Windows. Unless you really need  more than 4GB per CPU, it's just not worth it.

  • User profile image
    Klaus Enevoldsen

    My media center in my living room is used only for MCE (currently 32 bit Vista RC2) it has an Intel 64 bit processor and 2 Gb RAM. Should I go for 64 bit when possible? Would there be any performance gains there?

    It appears that all my hardware has 64 bit drivers available.

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