Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

32-bit or 64-bit Windows Vista for gaming?

Last response: in Video Games
Share
October 30, 2008 4:09:15 PM

Would it be better to get 32-bit or 64-bit Windows Vista for gaming? Which of these two versions causes (or is likely to cause) less crashes and other problems when starting or running games? I'm mainly interested in the performance of Crysis, Dead Space, Neverwinter Nights 2, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Assassin's Creed, and Bioshock.


October 30, 2008 4:17:08 PM

Easy answer: 64-bit.

- Windows will be able to read more RAM on your system (The limit is much greater than 32-bit)

- If 64-bit version of...say Crysis fails, you can play 32-bit version not problem. Though, your OS would still read as much RAM.

- You`ll also be futureproof for more demanding videogames.
----------------

I have Vista 64-bit and It runs very well...no problems.

***The only problem I ever had was with Hellgate:London (64-bit version), but who didn't???***
October 30, 2008 5:03:56 PM

Thanks for the quick answer. I was worried that games have more problems with 64-bit Vista than with 32-bit. Did you get 32-bit version of Hellgate:London to work on 64-bit Vista?
Related resources
October 30, 2008 5:26:57 PM

I've had no problems with Vista 64-bit in games stretching back as far as the early 90s (had to get a DOS emulator for some of my even older ones but they worked once I got that). 64-bit is the way to go, you can slap in more RAM, and more is always better. Also, as time goes on companies are going to focus more and more on providing native 64-bit support for games, applications, etc.

There's a tiny drop in performance when running 32-bit games but it's not noticible (~1% drop in FPS) because it's running on 32-bit emulation in a 64-bit environment, this will be less and less of a problem as time goes on.

Still, that 1% in 32-bit apps is more than made up in overall system performance by putting in 8 GB of RAM, letting you fully disable the windows page file.

Haven't any experience with Hellgate: London as I didn't like it when I got the demo back when I had XP 32-bit, so can't comment on that. Google can though.
October 30, 2008 8:12:48 PM

I run 64-bit Vista and have had absolutely no problems with any software or games, including the following: Crysis, Crysis Warhead, CoD 4, Halo 2, Bioshock, STALKER:SoC, NFS Carbon, any of the Orange Box games, and several more that I can't think of off the top of my head. If you have more than 3 GB of RAM, go 64-bit. It's future-proof, and you can address all of your memory.
October 30, 2008 8:48:23 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I forgot to ask whether there is a big difference between Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium from the viewpoint of stability in games. Is Vista Home Premium worth extra money compared with Vista Home Basic?
October 30, 2008 11:15:30 PM

I got Premium but that's because I wanted the nice interface...I think Ultimate is not worth it unless you're big on security. Basic would be like Premium without the nice switch key features and so on... I think its worth going to Premium for a 20-30 dollar difference.
October 30, 2008 11:37:02 PM

I'm running 64 bit Ultimate and haven't had many issues. The only one I've run into so far is with MYST V End of Ages, and many others got that game to run just fine too. Go for 64bit. Driver support is finnally getting there to where its not much of an issue anymore, and with the upgradability in RAM, you'll be ready for when more games have native 64bit support.
October 31, 2008 6:05:18 AM

I have had a few problems with some of the really old games with Vista 64.
Freespace 2, Fallout 1, Max Payne, Red Alert, C & C, and Resident Evil just to name a couple. I did try using the compatability and though I could kind of get them to run they just didn't run right or they had massive problems.

Which is OK because that forces me to run them on my son's XP machine which runs them really well. There are a few other older games I haven't yet tried like Warcraft, Homeworld, etc. but I can keep this post updated if you want or if you got a peculiar game you are wondering about I can probably give it a go (yeah my library is that extensive and then some) and tell you the results.
October 31, 2008 1:30:57 PM

I am mainly interested in the performance of modern games on Vista. However, since you mentioned older games, there is one I am curious about. Does Neverwinter Nights 1 run on 64-bit Vista without any problems?
October 31, 2008 1:34:13 PM

I haven't tried that one, but I enjoyed the game, so I'll try it (depends on time) and try to get back to you in a day or two.
November 1, 2008 1:35:49 AM

I'll give it a shot along with Lan and see. Give me about a week as it's in a box in the garage which is with many other boxes that all look alike.
November 1, 2008 5:38:37 AM

Installed just fine for me. I had to manually tell it to go to the 32 bit Program Files folder (Program Files (x86)), but that was it. The first time I tried to patch it didn't work right, but I tried again and the rest of the update worked extremely smooth. I didn't load the expansion packs, but if the regular game went that well, I wouldn't expect much of an issue with the xpacs. It was kinda cool seeing 1100 FPS on the menu screen though. lol. :p 
November 1, 2008 10:50:16 AM

I've heard that NWN 1 has some issues with double core CPUs and maybe even some modern graphics cards, so it might be hard to tell whether a problem is caused by hardware or Vista. It's nice to know that the game launched and updated normally on Vista. I'm interested in the game because NWN 2 still has different bugs and inconvenient solutions for multiplayer game, while NWN 1 has been polished really well during the last six years, especially after the big final patch 1.69 released several months ago. They've finally added "Ride" skill, "Mounted Combat" and "Mounted Archery" feats as well as many nice looking horsies, fixed many of the remaining bugs. It's possible to play NWN 1 as a free mini MMORPG, except that it probably has greater depth than any existing MMORPG in terms of gameplay and features. All in all, it seems worth keeping even after switching to Vista. :) 
November 1, 2008 2:33:58 PM

Well I'm running a dual core AMD, and SLI 8800's. So rest easy. :) 
November 3, 2008 6:29:22 PM

Thanks for posting about this everyone!

I'm wondering the same thing. I have answers now, thank you!

I have questions about specific games that I still play...
will these run on 64-bit Vista?

Heroes of Might & Magic III [Complete] (most important!)
Starcraft
Warcraft III
Diablo II (though I'll be getting D3)
Industry Giant II (ha!)


thanks!
November 3, 2008 6:37:59 PM

remember, 32 bit apps run slower in a 64bit os as the 32bit environment needs to be emulated and this causes a performance overhead


64 bit os also have poor driver support mainly due to many companies either dying out before the new os came out, or just not putting any manpower towards it as most of their customers are 32 bit users
November 4, 2008 4:42:21 PM

razor512 said:
64 bit os also have poor driver support mainly due to many companies either dying out before the new os came out, or just not putting any manpower towards it as most of their customers are 32 bit users




As I said above, this is largely no longer an issue. It would really only be an issue with hardware and/or drivers that aren't that well known anyway.
November 4, 2008 4:45:29 PM

aydllan said:
Thanks for posting about this everyone!

I'm wondering the same thing. I have answers now, thank you!

I have questions about specific games that I still play...
will these run on 64-bit Vista?

Heroes of Might & Magic III [Complete] (most important!)
Starcraft
Warcraft III
Diablo II (though I'll be getting D3)
Industry Giant II (ha!)


thanks!



Truthfully, I haven't tried loading any of those. I do own Starcraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II. I seem to remember installing Diablo II, and then remembering I lost my expansion for it, so uninstalled it, but if I recall I think it ran fine. Based on my experiance I, wouldn't expect an issue with the Blizzard games. I couldn't say anything about the other 2 though.
November 10, 2008 7:33:06 AM

Vista ultimate 64bit.
Diablo 2 works, warcraft 3 works, heroes 2 works (I guess 3 would as well).

The only game I can't play is Thief 3. (I think I would have to disable DEP).
Also couldn't install red alert 1 (16 bit installer).
November 10, 2008 1:37:34 PM

thank you SO MUCH for the reply!

You are all making this hard decision easier for me!!
November 12, 2008 12:41:54 AM

my experience has been pretty good so far in the 7 months I've been running 64bit Vista.

<long winded rant Off Topic>
With 1 exception and its totally my fault for being cheap, My Wireless NIC is a cheap model by cheap I mean really cheap(paid 16.99 for it)

It ran flawlessly on XP, but I had to hunt down a 64bit driver for the chip it uses since Aopen hasn't released a driver for this specific model in quite some time. I obviously found one but it has some serious issues that while they can be avoided makes its use tedious.

Example 1: If i try to send an attachment via Windows Live Mail my computer freezes.(tried it with multiple types of attachments) However doing the same using Outlook 2007 works fine.

Example 2: Using uTorrent/Azureus(Vuze) results in a Freeze as well, the time it takes to freeze varies but in the end it always freezes. However using Bit Tornado and limiting my max connections to 30 works fine(tried it in utorrent with no success).


At first I blamed uTorrent since it was the first to present the freeze, but after moving to Azureus/Vuze after it working for a while problem free started doing the same. I started to question the source of the problem.

Then a while later I tried to send a pic in an email to a friend(3DMark score) using WLM it locked up...thought it was a fluke tried again same result. So I tried a simple empty zip file again same result.

So prepared for another freeze I used Outlook and WTF? no freeze?

So in conclusion to my rant, I can only send attachments via Outlook, and I am forced to use an old BT client to prevent the crappy (and only available driver for my card) driver from locking up my PC.
</long winded rant Off Topic>


On the game front however the only issues ive ran into are MOH:Airborne Demo refused to install. And I had to force Star Trek Armada 1 to use both cores or else I had horrendous mouse lag.

And in my experience with games that have both 64bit and 32bit Versions using the 32bit exe(in Vista64) results in slightly higher performance so go figure how 32bit performs worse according to other posters.
November 12, 2008 4:50:13 PM

Did you have any problems when downloading stuff or running games in multiplayer mode on 64-bit Vista while using WLAN?
November 19, 2008 12:44:41 AM

Transsive said:
Vista ultimate 64bit.
Diablo 2 works, warcraft 3 works, heroes 2 works (I guess 3 would as well).

The only game I can't play is Thief 3. (I think I would have to disable DEP).
Also couldn't install red alert 1 (16 bit installer).


All Blizzard games I checked worked perfectly. I don't think they even needed a patch.

This is a decent Wiki on compatible titles.
http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_Sof...

You can always google it and chances are someone found a solution. Sometimes you have to download a dll or something or have to turn off anti-aliasing or something like that.

But I don't think you can get 16-bit to work no matter what. But it should be old enough that you can install some sort emulator software of Windows XP or other legacy OS in it and maybe try to run it.
November 19, 2008 10:35:11 PM

Cliffro, it is your WIFI NIC giving you problemas for sure.

I'm using vista 64bits ultimate for 9 months now, my PC has an above the standart use .I'm playing cod, and ma Mrs is watching a movie at the same time, with Vuze, doing some print serving (ma Mrs is a devil multitasker, thus she got the right man, a geek) and some other process i have "hanged" here.

Pretty stable. I just restart it when a new version of Catalyst comes out. Driver issues are almost non existent now. Some old hardware might now work, but hey, that always happen on a new OS.
November 19, 2008 11:32:03 PM

Another Problem With 64bit You Cant Play BattleField 2, But Should FutureProof Your System :) 
November 21, 2008 4:30:28 PM

Morton said:
Did you have any problems when downloading stuff or running games in multiplayer mode on 64-bit Vista while using WLAN?

Not in general no, Just very specific situations. But again it is caused by my AOpen AOI-831 drivers, it uses this Chip "RaLink RT2501"

radnor said:
Cliffro, it is your WIFI NIC giving you problemas for sure.

I'm using vista 64bits ultimate for 9 months now, my PC has an above the standart use .I'm playing cod, and ma Mrs is watching a movie at the same time, with Vuze, doing some print serving (ma Mrs is a devil multitasker, thus she got the right man, a geek) and some other process i have "hanged" here.

Pretty stable. I just restart it when a new version of Catalyst comes out. Driver issues are almost non existent now. Some old hardware might now work, but hey, that always happen on a new OS.


Oh I agree that its my Wireless NIC, well the drivers anyway. The only time my system freezes is when I'm doing something internet related i.e. Email attachments, using certain P2P apps....etc Ive had a couple random freezes when initializing Windows Update its only done it once and like i said was random, and probably because I had 4-5 things already running and using my connection.

I redownloaded the driver for it and when I get around to it, I'm going to uninstall them and then reinstall with the freshly downloaded version hoping it may have been corrupted either during download or installation. Because honestly I miss uTorrent...... and abhor the super slow Outlook.

pariAh said:
Another Problem With 64bit You Cant Play BattleField 2, But Should FutureProof Your System :) 


I can't speak for BF2....I lost my entire case with the game in it...and so havent tried it on Vista, but managed to get BF2142 working after it stopped on XP(uninstalled/reinstalled it 5-6 times and still BF2CDKeycheck.exe errored out everytime).

The only other game to give me issues is Madden 07, it installs fine but EA Download Manager keeps telling me it cannot verify ownership, So i got a crack and it plays fine now.( I own it for sure http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/8669/snag0053copyae9... )
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
November 22, 2008 6:32:52 PM

64 bit has more issues with games but for demanding games it works better such as crysis and is better for quad core support.
November 23, 2008 11:33:50 PM

I've got 64bit Vista Ultimate running for about a month or so only and no problems so far.

The only "issues" you're going to get are with hardware that's 5 yrs + old like my Epson 1250 scanner and my Pen Power writing pad.

The way that Microsoft works to help promote 64bit is since the release of Vista, they demand that all manufactures must make a 32bit and 64bit version driver for their products to be "MS certified". Meaning if it was not 64bit compliant their product simply wouldn't work on vista (32 or 64bit). That's not a good sign when people do want to switch over to either Vista or possibly Windows 7.

From this point on, we will see more 64bit support. I've told my dad to buy the latest Pen Power writing pad and on their offical website it says "vista 64 compatible". I've also found a work around on the web for my Epson 1250 scanner.

As you can see the trend is both 32 and 64bit support and there's no going back. Rest assured that there will be no compatibility issues with major components : mobo, ram, cpu, video card, hard drive, sound card as those manufactures pretty much have worked themselves out with Vista 64bit.

The days of driver incompatibility are over and now we're just waiting for the 64bit softwares and games to come out.
December 18, 2008 5:33:22 AM

I've been doing some testing on my rig (dual booting XP & Vista Ultimate) and have found an interesting issue when using the Crysis benchmarking tools.

In a nutshell, Vista Home Basic does not include "Aero" appearance option in the control panel, so the default installation is the "Vista Basic" appearance. This leads to a surprisingly high drop in FPS if you play in the non-fullscreen mode (Windows taskbar showing).

The testing I've read seems to indicate that 64bit software is not here yet, but I suggest skipping Vista Home Basic if you can afford it.
January 4, 2009 4:31:26 PM

Ok ive been researching, and from what ive found is that a lot of games run in 64bit using the 32bit emulator.

The BIG PROBLEM is that when it is being 32bit emulated the OS will only utilize 2MB of Memory.

Vista 32bit will use 3.1MB (on average ).

So even if you can use 8MB with vista 64, It will actually be using less that 32bit vista when it comes to games.

Almost all games are 32 bit native as stated in this form earlier.

Im actually getting vista 32 because of this.

After I get vista 32 I will get a cheep upgrade license to get vista 64. Then I will put both OS on my PC.

If I have some need for 64 or 32 I can decide which OS I want to use when I Start my PC. This way I will always get the Max out of 32 bit games and anything else 64 bit.

Regardless to whats been posted here, the 32 bit emulation on Vista 64 is not just fine, it hardly works and has a lower performance.

Vista 64 is the better OS but games are still not being made for it and no one is planning on it. 64 is not backwards compatible.

Yes I know that new drivers and support and what ever are coming out but it all suffers in performance loss.
May 11, 2009 2:22:20 AM

Latest stats on gaming choices. Looks like 64-bit is approaching half of the DX10 population.

An April 2009 survey by Valve Corporation indicated that 37.61% of gamers are running Windows Vista or Windows 7 beta (26.32% 32-bit, 11.29% 64-bit).[98]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista
May 13, 2009 8:34:29 AM

I've got a question, I just bought a new Lenovo laptop running Vista Basic 64. I am trying to install a training game for my work as an EMT the game is Zero Hour Americas Medic. I have been told by the company that makes the game that there is no support for 64 bit only 32 bit and there are no plans for 64 bit compatability in the future.

Can anybody point me in the right direction so that I can play this on my computer?

Thanks,
Irritated-EMT
May 13, 2009 2:04:44 PM

Irritated-EMT said:
I've got a question, I just bought a new Lenovo laptop running Vista Basic 64. I am trying to install a training game for my work as an EMT the game is Zero Hour Americas Medic. I have been told by the company that makes the game that there is no support for 64 bit only 32 bit and there are no plans for 64 bit compatability in the future.

Can anybody point me in the right direction so that I can play this on my computer?

Thanks,
Irritated-EMT


Vista 64x can emulate 32bits applications, I don't know anything about that software you're trying to install, but the only problem would be with the installation, if it uses an old software for that then you might have a problem.

Most of the applications nowdays are 32bits and run perfect in vista 64x, I think that company was thinking about making the whole program 64bit, and that's only necessary when you need huge amounts of memory, and I don't think that program will need it, unless it's 3d realistic, uses physics, etc.
May 13, 2009 5:01:00 PM

Yeah, that's what i've been reading that they should work, but when I run the isntaller it say "extracting files" and then after that it pops up telling me that it cannot install on windows XP 64/vista 64. I had e-mailed them and they say it won't work. So either it is 16 bit or....? Any new ideas?

Thanks a lot for the help,

Irritated-EMT
May 15, 2009 2:48:26 AM

If you check the developer website it says:

"The recommended hardware for Zero Hour is a desktop running Windows XP, SP 2. Vista is not officially supported and MACs are not."

"The game is able to play on Vista 32 bit operating systems only. 64 bit operating systems are not supported."

https://inside.gwumc.edu/nemspi/tech_requirements.htm

The game looks actually really good, I was expecting some kind of retro graphics and lots of text lol,

Well if your laptop only has 1 HDD partition, sometimes you can install your OS on a Flashdrive or an external HDD,
so you can keep vista and dual boot it with XP, and just use XP for that game.
June 8, 2009 3:30:56 PM

Running 64bit Windows 7 RC with no problems, the only problem is that PB doesnt like windows 7 lol
July 29, 2009 8:18:49 PM

I just purchased an ASUS Essentio Desktop and am having an incredibly hard time:

Specs: Intel® Core™2 Quad processor Q8300
8GB DDR2 memory
2.5GHz Processing Speed
750GB hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit with SP1
NVIDIA GeForce GT220 Graphics Card

I can't get any of my "old" games to run on this system. Medieval Total War, Civilization, Fable, Arcanum, etc.. In fact, most tell me that i have either don't have enough processing speed (what?!) or just crashes all together. Can someone give me some advice? I'm tearing my hair out over here. Thanks!
July 29, 2009 8:32:58 PM

goose57 said:
I just purchased an ASUS Essentio Desktop and am having an incredibly hard time:

Specs: Intel® Core™2 Quad processor Q8300
8GB DDR2 memory
2.5GHz Processing Speed
750GB hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit with SP1
NVIDIA GeForce GT220 Graphics Card

I can't get any of my "old" games to run on this system. Medieval Total War, Civilization, Fable, Arcanum, etc.. In fact, most tell me that i have either don't have enough processing speed (what?!) or just crashes all together. Can someone give me some advice? I'm tearing my hair out over here. Thanks!

I haven't tried those games in my pc, but I would try to run the games in "xp compatibility mode", does this happens with ALL games?
July 29, 2009 8:58:48 PM

I tried that, but it doesn't change anything. I also tried playing the games as "Administrator" - with no luck. Someone else wrote that for MTW, you have to turn off [disable] the "AZW shadow-mapping...", but DirectX 10 doesn't allow you to do this. AGHH! I never had these problems on my Dell Windows XP 32 bit.
July 31, 2009 2:46:48 AM

The only problem ive had so for with my vista premium 64bit is that cs4 doesnt support it =(
August 2, 2009 3:01:00 PM

Surprisingly most of my games(freelancer,freespace2,starlancer,etc)run in 64 bit windows vista, so im gonna convert over to 64bit permanently soon, just hope max payne still will run
August 4, 2009 5:38:14 AM

Well the 32bit has a limit of 3.5gb ram and the 64bit has much more. So if you're planning to play the 2010/2011 games with high settings, definitely the 64bit since newer games demand more ram.
August 17, 2009 3:18:59 PM

I recently purchased the parts for a new computer i'm putting together. Since I bought a laptop a year ago, and still have my Vista 32-bit installation cd's so I figured I would save the extra cash and get my computer up and running with this. Since I built this computer predominately for gaming, if and when I do decide to upgrade to a 64-bit OS, will I be able to do so at a cheaper price seeing that already own the 32-bit version? From reading the past discussion I see that gaming is similar on a 64-bit OS, but when should I make the switch to 64-bit? Seeing as my mobo is 64-bit compatible, should I upgrade sooner than later for the reason that gaming will run NOTICEABLY smoother.

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.
October 14, 2009 2:35:59 PM

Hi all,

I've just built a new pc and installed Windows 7 Ultimate, I have 6Gb on board so I'm thinking about going to the 64 bit version but an earlier post in this thread has got me worried; someone said the only problem they encountered with 64 bit Vista was not being able to play Battlefield 2 anymore. This would be disastrous as it's the game I play the most - can anyone confirm or deny that BF2 works/doesn't on 64 bit OS?

Thanks!
!