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64-bit or 32-bit: When will it matter?

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2005 5:22:21 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Building a computer from scratch. It'll be built for someone who'll use
it for alot of things, but tilted in the 'gaming' direction. Should
whether the processor is 64-bit or 32-bit matter? If not, when? If so,
how so? In other words, should I go AMD or Intel? I understand AMD is
slightly faster for games, but what I'm more interested in is the
longterm utility of the 64-bit processor. By the time 64-bit
programming is mainstream, will whatever processor I purchase be
obsolete? I'd like for the computer to be functional for at least two
years, if not alittle longer. If I went 32-bit (Intel), would it
assuredly be obsolete, whereas with AMD not so much?

More about : bit bit matter

Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2005 5:47:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

go for an AMD 64 solution. it's not much more expensive than the end
of line AMD 32 bit range and significantly better than the P4 in terms
of bang for the buck. you have a choice of socket 754 or 939 - get a
matching motherboard. 939 is more future proof, but a little more
expensive - and to be honest doesn't really matter. i wouldn't bother
spending extra for PCI-X either - try an nforce3 board and an athlon
3000 to give you the best value for money. any savings you make give
you more to spend on your graphics card, which is the limiting factor
for gaming.
don't worry about obsolescence too much: it's not normally worth
upgrading a CPU without doing the board if you make a sensible choice
in the first place...
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2005 10:03:52 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On 1 Mar 2005 02:22:21 -0800, "aether" <vercingetorix@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Building a computer from scratch. It'll be built for someone who'll use
>it for alot of things, but tilted in the 'gaming' direction. Should
>whether the processor is 64-bit or 32-bit matter? If not, when? If so,
>how so? In other words, should I go AMD or Intel? I understand AMD is
>slightly faster for games, but what I'm more interested in is the
>longterm utility of the 64-bit processor. By the time 64-bit
>programming is mainstream, will whatever processor I purchase be
>obsolete? I'd like for the computer to be functional for at least two
>years, if not alittle longer. If I went 32-bit (Intel), would it
>assuredly be obsolete, whereas with AMD not so much?

Intel does now have EM64T CPUS with the recent 600 series. Personally I
vowed to buy no more 32-bit-only systems about 9 months ago, when Athlon64s
became easily available.

I'm sure that, for 32-bit only CPUs, technically obsolete will be a good
while coming, maybe several years but the benefits of 64-bit are more than
just memory addressing issues. The increase in the register count just
makes a better computer and as soon as compilers are widely available, I
expect an avalanche of 64-bit apps. Software developers want to have new
widgets to sell too.:-)

Bottom line, IMO: you'll be able to get and run 32-bit software, including
games, for years *BUT* the developers will turn their best efforts to the
64-bit code.

--
Rgds, George Macdonald
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2005 12:00:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

>>>>> "a" == aether <vercingetorix@hotmail.com> writes:

a> Building a computer from scratch. It'll be built for someone
a> who'll use it for alot of things, but tilted in the 'gaming'
a> direction. Should whether the processor is 64-bit or 32-bit
a> matter? If not, when? If so, how so? In other words, should I go
a> AMD or Intel? I understand AMD is slightly faster for games, but
a> what I'm more interested in is the longterm utility of the 64-bit
a> processor. By the time 64-bit programming is mainstream, will
a> whatever processor I purchase be obsolete? I'd like for the
a> computer to be functional for at least two years, if not alittle
a> longer. If I went 32-bit (Intel), would it assuredly be obsolete,
a> whereas with AMD not so much?

Hi,

I asked the similiar question last year. Decided to go with AMD64 on
one system and Intel P4 on another. I found the real advantage of
AMD64 is the cpu is much cooler than the intel under load. I had to
spend a nice sum of money on additional fans and a new high quality
heatsink/fan combo to keep the intel within operating temperatures
while under load. I used the stock AMD64 fan with cool and quiet, and
the AMD64 system runs cool and quiet even under load. Nice! The cases
were the same for both computer. I think this heat issue is never
really discussed expect in the intel groups. From a speed standpoint
there is no real difference that a user will see, and benchmarks are
close.

One last point if you run a lot of cpu bound programs get the bigger
cache with amd64.

Unless you use linux don't worry about 64 bit apps. It will take
windows years to have any 64 bit apps that take full advantage of 64
bits, and I'm sure these applications will cost you some big money ;-)).
Heck, where are the 64bit windows? Why would anyone brother to write a
64bit windows app when there is not an offical 64bit windows operating
system?

Heck, it took windows many years before it could even use 32bits fully
and multi-task. Same for Mac. The MMU was never used on many 32 bit
chips on PC's and Mac's for years unless you purchased a commercial
UNIX.

Later,

Alan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2005 4:05:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

> Tony Hill wrote:
>
> IMO you should DEFINITELY opt for a 64-bit CPU if buying new these
> days. There is essentially no price benefit to sticking with 32-bit
> chips and even if you don't make use of their 64-bit capabilities,
the
> Athlon64 and P4 600 series are the best chips out there anyway.>

> I can see virtually no reason to purchase a 32-bit Intel processor
now
> that their 64-bit chips are out, unless maybe you're having a tough
> time finding a 600-series P4 (they seem fairly plentiful, but they
did
> just get released and might still be filtering through the channels).
> If you really want to design a system on the cheap, AMD's 32-bit
> Sempron processor is the way to go. If you want a higher-end system,
> either an Intel 600-series P4 or an AMD Athlon64 is the best bet,
> depending on your uses. For gaming, it's an easy choice: AMD
> Athlon64.
>
> -------------
> Tony Hill
> hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca


This would be the 64-bit Intel CPU you're referring to, correct?
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

Well, I'm certainly glad I posted my inquiry to the newsgroup. I've
received alot of pertinent information.

I appreciate it, Tony!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2005 5:49:17 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On 1 Mar 2005 02:22:21 -0800, "aether" <vercingetorix@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Building a computer from scratch. It'll be built for someone who'll use
>it for alot of things, but tilted in the 'gaming' direction. Should
>whether the processor is 64-bit or 32-bit matter?

For games for right now? No.

> If not, when?

By the end of this year we should definitely see at least a handful of
games coming with 64-bit optimizations.

2 years from now it's likely that 64-bit will start becoming HIGHLY
recommended/needed for new games as they are likely to start blowing
the memory limitations of 32-bit processors.

> If so, how so?

The main advantage of 64-bit x86 actually has nothing to do with the
64-bit part, but rather because when AMD designed the extension to the
x86 instruction set they also doubled the number of registers. Given
that x86 was rather register starved in many situations, this helps
performance.

The other issue is the memory limitations of 32-bit processors. A
32-bit chip can only properly address up to 2GB or 3GB of memory,
depending on your settings. Many modern games are already using over
1GB of memory (this is virtual memory, not necessarily physical
memory), and this will continue to increase. I would guess that it'll
be only about 2 years tops before we REALLY start bumping into
problems with 32-bit CPUs in games. You'll probably still be able to
play them, but only at rather reduced settings.

> In other words, should I go AMD or Intel?

For the 64-bit issue it doesn't matter, both companies now sell 64-bit
processors. All of AMD's Athlon64 and Opteron chips are 64-bit, while
Intel's latest Xeon and their brand-spanking-new 600 series P4 chips
are also 64-bit.

IMO you should DEFINITELY opt for a 64-bit CPU if buying new these
days. There is essentially no price benefit to sticking with 32-bit
chips and even if you don't make use of their 64-bit capabilities, the
Athlon64 and P4 600 series are the best chips out there anyway.

> I understand AMD is slightly faster for games,

Faster, cheaper and consumes less power...

For a gaming machine it's pretty much a no-brainer these days.

> but what I'm more interested in is the
>longterm utility of the 64-bit processor. By the time 64-bit
>programming is mainstream, will whatever processor I purchase be
>obsolete?

By the time you open the box the processor will be obsolete! :>

> I'd like for the computer to be functional for at least two
>years, if not alittle longer. If I went 32-bit (Intel), would it
>assuredly be obsolete, whereas with AMD not so much?

I can see virtually no reason to purchase a 32-bit Intel processor now
that their 64-bit chips are out, unless maybe you're having a tough
time finding a 600-series P4 (they seem fairly plentiful, but they did
just get released and might still be filtering through the channels).
If you really want to design a system on the cheap, AMD's 32-bit
Sempron processor is the way to go. If you want a higher-end system,
either an Intel 600-series P4 or an AMD Athlon64 is the best bet,
depending on your uses. For gaming, it's an easy choice: AMD
Athlon64.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2005 5:40:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On 2 Mar 2005 01:05:31 -0800, "aether" <vercingetorix@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>> Tony Hill wrote:
>>
>> IMO you should DEFINITELY opt for a 64-bit CPU if buying new these
>> days. There is essentially no price benefit to sticking with 32-bit
>> chips and even if you don't make use of their 64-bit capabilities,
>the
>> Athlon64 and P4 600 series are the best chips out there anyway.>
>
>> I can see virtually no reason to purchase a 32-bit Intel processor
>now
>> that their 64-bit chips are out, unless maybe you're having a tough
>> time finding a 600-series P4 (they seem fairly plentiful, but they
>did
>> just get released and might still be filtering through the channels).
>> If you really want to design a system on the cheap, AMD's 32-bit
>> Sempron processor is the way to go. If you want a higher-end system,
>> either an Intel 600-series P4 or an AMD Athlon64 is the best bet,
>> depending on your uses. For gaming, it's an easy choice: AMD
>> Athlon64.
>>
>
>This would be the 64-bit Intel CPU you're referring to, correct?
>http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...

That's the one. Keep in mind that in addition to the 64-bit support
it also comes with 2MB of cache vs. the 1MB of cache on the 500-series
P4 chips. As such, the above-linked P4 640 (3.2GHz) will perform
about the same as a P4 550 (3.4GHz) in 32-bit code. When you compare
the price of these two chips ($289 for the 640 vs. $280 for the 550),
it's a pretty easy choice in my mind. The P4 640 gives you about the
same performance, SpeedStep technology (kind of the same idea as AMD's
"Cool 'n Quiet" feature for reducing power consumption of desktop
processors) and 64-bit support for only $9 more.

Of course, for $281 you could instead get an Athlon64 3500+, get
64-bit support, lower power consumption (including the above-mentioned
"Cool 'n Quiet" technology) and a fair bit better performance for the
majority of applications, especially games. This makes it an even
easier choice :>

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
!