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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Making the switch to a 64-bit OS

Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:07
I initially threw this into the shoutbox, but then figured that it probably would be better suited for a topic of its own.

I'm doing a reformat of Windows, after a rather unfortunate series of BSODs and crashes. Yeay. So this time I've bought the final version of Windows 7, and I'm currently deliberating over what kind to get. To copy n' paste from the shoutbox; is the time ripe to install a 64-bit OS? Any significant drawbacks/advantages compared to a regular 32-bit system? Are there any compatibility problems with programs? What do I gain?
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:25
I'm running 64-bit windows 7 on both my laptop and desktop. Haven't gotten any compatibility issues yet, all's working fine! About advantages, I wouldn't know, but as far as I understand programs should run a little faster if they are made for 64-bit.

I'd say it won't harm to go for it
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:40
I think this is pretty much the same argument as OMG!QUADCORE!!!
My system may be QuadCore, but there's pretty much only ever 1 thing I do with it that would even vaguely benefit from the extra power. And that's Fruityloops.
With all those little synths running all over the processor, it's doing it's job.

Other than that, meh.

64-bit would appear to be similar, in a "ooh, it's nice" and "Blimey, could render me a teapot, superfast!" kinda way, but 99% of the time you'd be wondering what the point is.

Having said that, if you do HAVE a 64-bit capable system, then by all means shove a 64-bit OS on it. It's only a waste otherwise.

''Load, Next List!''
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:42
What are the major differences between 64 and 32 bit anyway? I've never really understood that...

A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:47
It really depends how much of your software is 64-bit enabled. If you run a lot of 64-bit capable software, you'll see some nice performance improvements. 64-bit can be a pain though because some older/crappy software will break on it. I was running 64-bit Ubuntu for a month before I just switched back to 32-bit. There were too many glitches.

I would suggest trying it because it is the future, but if you have too many problems then switch back.

Quit posting and try Google.
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:51
As far as I understand on 64-bit your processor processes blocks of 64bit instead of 32. Correct me if I'm wrong!
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 13:55
Burning the 64-bit one right now, so we'll see if it blows up. I'm not really expecting any performance boosts. I'm merely downloading it because it's "the future". Convincing argument, eh?
Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 14:14
At the moment I wouldn't go out of your way to get it unless you have 4GB of RAM or more (or plan to at any point in the future).

Unless you're running a web server, the performance gains aren't noticeable (IIRC - citation needed!).

But still, why not?

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Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 15:11
Im using 64bit Win7 and it seems to be doing fine - nothing exploded too catastrophically when i made the switch, but some programs will bitch at you for it.

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Sun, 01 Nov 2009, 06:49
I've been running 64 bit versions of windows close to 4 years, and generally I haven't had much trouble. The main thing is you won't be able to run 16 bit applications at all, but for most people that is a moot point. 32 bit applications are supposed to work fine, but some stupid people run checks in their programs to see if the os is a 32-bit one before letting the program run, so if you have a 64-bit os those particular programs won't run even though they technically are capable of it. Some people will complain that driver support is lacking for 64-bit os's, but that generally isn't true for any moderately common component (i.e. graphics card, network card), but may be true for some uncommon component that most people haven't heard about. The biggest advantage of a 64-bit os is that you are practically unlimited in the amount of ram the os can use (motherboard and ram are now the limiting factor). So if you want 4GB or more to work on your computer, you'll want a 64-bit os. As some people have already mentioned, 64-bit apps do run faster. The reason for this is that when 32-bit apps pass parameters to functions those parameters are put on the stack in main memory instead of being stored in registers on the processor because there are only a limited number of them available in Protected Mode (32-bit). But in long mode and compatability mode (64-bit), the number of registers is effectively doubled for 64-bit apps, so instead of having to pass parameters to memory, they can just stay in the processor, which is much faster.
Mon, 02 Nov 2009, 06:42
IMHO don't upgrade unless you have a particular 64-bit app that has noticable performance improvements when run on a 64-bit OS (most don't actually run any faster), or if you require more then 4gb of RAM.

64-bit Windows is pretty good now, but your adding the risk of loosing backwards compatibility with certain games/apps with no personal gain.