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Vista x64 Vs. X86


yronnen
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So besides the ability to utilize more RAM, are there other benefits to Vista x64 today?

Assuming that it's a 64bit Vista, most of the applications (office etc.) are still 32bit, so will I actually see any difference between 32 and 64 on the same machine?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm getting a new laptop (Dell) which I could only get with 32bit Vista and I'm thinking of upgrading it.

Thanks.

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What I can think of off the top of my head is with 64-bit you'll be ready for when everything is converted to 64 bit and you'll already be ready to enjoy everything 64 bit has to offer rather than scramble to get a fix like everyone else.

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What I can think of off the top of my head is with 64-bit you'll be ready for when everything is converted to 64 bit and you'll already be ready to enjoy everything 64 bit has to offer rather than scramble to get a fix like everyone else.

But this is at least a year ahead, and I'm not sure that 64bit will become mainstream before the next version of windows. According to what you say, there is no real reason to upgrade to 64bit except for the fun of it.

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Speed. You'll get more speed, even with 32 bit apps, but there're problems, like drivers, some incompatibility with apps and utilities. MS said that Vista is the last 32 bit OS. Actually, 64 bit OS is a big waste of power, without 64 bit apps. Duo Processors are fast not only be Duo, but because they are a 64 bit platform.

Of course, English isn't my native idiom.

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You'll get more speed, even with 32 bit apps

No. 32 bit apps don't benefit from the extra CPU registers or anything, so no speed gains. In fact, there's extra overhead associated with running under WOW64 (marshalling/thunking the 32 bit data back and forth).

The only real benefits you get, are when you're running native x64 apps (some extra speed mainly due to the extra CPU registers, at the expense of ~15% higher memory usage).

there're problems, like drivers, some incompatibility with apps and utilities

Yes. There's many things keeping a lot of folks on the plain old x86 version but it's getting better. Unless one has particular apps not working on the x64 version or missing drivers, there's no real reason not to move to x64. And x64 is your only option if you want to use more than 4GB of RAM.

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"You'll get more speed, even with 32 bit apps"

I mean because you're running on a 64 bit platform, faster than a 32 bit platform.

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So besides the ability to utilize more RAM, are there other benefits to Vista x64 today?

Assuming that it's a 64bit Vista, most of the applications (office etc.) are still 32bit, so will I actually see any difference between 32 and 64 on the same machine?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm getting a new laptop (Dell) which I could only get with 32bit Vista and I'm thinking of upgrading it.

Thanks.

What do you mean, other than being able to use more RAM?

That is the biggest issue. A very big one. The biggest one people are running into every single day. And the problem will only become more of an issue as time goes on.

Video cards have hundreds of megs of RAM. Some are coming out with a Gig of RAM, and you can use multiple ones of those.

Many systems in use have 4 or 8 Gigs of RAM. Some are even using more.

Games have already came out that recommend having at least 2 Gigs RAM.

Using anything 32-bit will limit you severely. You could have 8 Gigs installed in your system and be able to use less than half of it if you stick with 32-bit.

Other features of 64-bit Windows (from Microsoft) are mainly security-related

* 32-bit uses some software DEP, 64-bit uses full hardware DEP (Data Execution Prevention). This prevents some buffer overflow exploits.

* 64-bit features "Kernel Patch Protection", which prevents bad programs from patching any part of the kernel to take over functions. 32-bit has nothing like this.

* 64-bit requires Signed drivers unless you boot in a special F8 developer mode on every boot. For many users this may prevent crap drivers or rootkits from being installed.

And of course, many native 64-bit applications may run faster. Memory intensive programs will be able to work with bigger chunks of RAM and do what they do quicker. Something like Zipping/Unzipping, installing programs, decompressing game data (and level loads) will all be faster with 64-bit applications.

So, there you go. That's the difference.

More RAM, more speed, more security. That's Vista 64-bit.

And the trade off?

A few applications may not work. So far, only Cisco VPN has been something that bothered me, and I doubt most people would need that. There is a work around. I run XP in a VM, and use CiscoVPN in that, and then route local traffic through the VM.

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No. 32 bit apps don't benefit from the extra CPU registers or anything, so no speed gains. In fact, there's extra overhead associated with running under WOW64 (marshalling/thunking the 32 bit data back and forth).

The WOW64 mechnism is very light and doesn't impact performance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP_editions

Since the X86-64 architecture includes hardware-level support for 32-bit instructions, WOW64 switches the process between 32- and 64-bit modes. As a result, X86-64 architecture microprocessors incur no performance loss when executing 32-bit Windows applications.

The current slide in RAM prices has caused 8GB of RAM today to cost what 2GB cost a year ago.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820146731

I went with two packs of these in my new gaming rig. Vista x64 sees it, and Superfetch has often found enough stuff to cache to fill it. FILL 8GB.

The other thing here is future-proofing. Not only because x64 is cool now, but because a year from now when a user wants to put in more RAM, they won't be looking at an OS reinstall and re-doing the machine.

Besides, it won't be long before they'll be selling desktop boards that can support 16GB.

http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/moth...SG-overview.htm

Support for up to 16 GB of system memory

...see? TECHNOLOGY IS FAST.

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The WOW64 mechnism is very light and doesn't impact performance.

Not true. It doesn't affect it as much as emulating or such would, but there definitely is a performance hit (I never said it was big, but 32 bit apps certainly don't run "faster" like someone else put it). Every single API call and such goes thru an extra layer (wow64.dll) where thunking happens, plus more fun stuff to adjust for pointer sizes and such (using wow64win.dll). All this stuff adds overhead.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for x64. I'll be making the switch in a few months (with the next RAM upgrade to 6 or 8GB, and I'll be getting rid of my hardware that lacks 64 bit drivers at the same time).

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The WOW64 mechnism is very light and doesn't impact performance.

Not true. It doesn't affect it as much as emulating or such would, but there definitely is a performance hit

As I already showed you, Wikipedia says differently. Microsoft also says differently.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384219(VS.85).aspx

Processor hardware (instruction emulation is performed on the chip). On the x64 processor, instructions are executed natively by the micro-architecture. Therefore, execution speed under WOW64 on x64 is similar to its speed under 32-bit Windows.

WOW64 on the x64 architecture is not some hack made to get it to work via some emulated environment. When a 32-bit app is ran, Windows simply tell the CPU "This needs to run 32-bit, take care of that" and the CPU handles it. Being little more than an x86 processor with a 64-bit system grafted onto it, the CPU can do this natively without any fancy tricks.

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As I already showed you, Wikipedia says differently.

Wikipedia says so, so it must be true!

Or again, perhaps they just meat it has no performance loss by doing this, versus an typical emulated environment...

Did you actually read it? Because it acknowledges some of my points i.e. "API thunk overhead". They say the performance hit is small, but it is definitely there.

On the x64 processor, instructions are executed natively by the micro-architecture.

Yes, the instructions are ran natively, no one ever said otherwise (it's not emulated). No performance loss there. But the thunking/marshalling overhead remains (some apps are affected more than others). I never said the overhead is super heavy, but it's there nonetheless, and 32 bit apps surely won't run faster like someone said before, that's all.

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OK, I said 32 run faster because I have 2 computers running same app, VirtualDub, and the same movie, avi. One of them a P4 x86 2.8Ghz and the other an AMD x64 2800+ (1600Ghz) on the same case, I just replaced the MB. Memory, HDs, etc., are the same. P4 spent 45min.;

AMD 30min. BTW, both running XP x86.

It's a empiric test, but...

I told about PLATFORM, not OS. Later, I run again the same app, on AMD x64. First with XP x86 and then with XP x64, no change noted, the same time

CRAHAK you're right about OS, there's no gain, but with platforms there's a real gain.

Edited by deda
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What do you mean, other than being able to use more RAM?

That is the biggest issue. A very big one.

But not everyone has 4GB or more. If you have less than 4GB, then the biggest benefit of 64-bit goes straight out the window.

* 32-bit uses some software DEP, 64-bit uses full hardware DEP (Data Execution Prevention). This prevents some buffer overflow exploits.

No not really: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912923

Both 32-bit versions and 64-bit versions of Windows support hardware-enforced DEP
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What do you mean, other than being able to use more RAM?

That is the biggest issue. A very big one.

But not everyone has 4GB or more. If you have less than 4GB, then the biggest benefit of 64-bit goes straight out the window.

* 32-bit uses some software DEP, 64-bit uses full hardware DEP (Data Execution Prevention). This prevents some buffer overflow exploits.

No not really: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912923

Both 32-bit versions and 64-bit versions of Windows support hardware-enforced DEP

Not really?

My Microsoft link, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946765

says this: (direct copy and paste)

"32-bit versions of Windows Vista use a software-based version of DEP."

"64-bit versions of Windows Vista support hardware-backed DEP. "

I think my Microsoft link and your Microsoft link should get in a fight to see who wins.

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