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64 bit gaming

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December 11, 2003 5:55:17 AM

Hi,

I'm building a Gaming Machine. I'm doing this slowly so my budget is fairly openended. I'm trying to find out if there is going to be a move to 64bits in the gaming industry in the near future (within 2 years). Meaning the need to get Win XP-64 etc.

Thanks,

Mike

More about : bit gaming

December 11, 2003 2:41:46 PM

Cross posting is kind of annoying.

There's *no way* to predict what will happen in computing over the course of the next 2 years. There is a quite a bit of new technology coming down the pipeline that's going to change the face of computing starting as soon as early next year. PCI Express will be here soon, and Intel is predicting processors over the 4Ghz mark inside 6 months.

If you're building a machine, build it with the stuff that's available right now. There's no sense in waiting for the next great thing. It's a terrible cycle, and you should let the bleeding edge folks work out the bugs for you before making a big investment.
December 11, 2003 10:40:32 PM

When you consider that the bulk of the required processing power for most games is picked up by the GPU, I seriously doubt that any 64-b required games will be released within the next 5 years.

All speculation, though.

<b>1.4 Ghz AMD T-Bird underclocked to 1 Ghz...just to be safe!</b>
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December 12, 2003 6:29:54 PM

Rumor has it that UT 2004 may have a 64bit option. Dont hold me to that though. I agree with Kinetic. Wait to get the cutting edge suff. There is nothing out there that wont play perfectly on a 2.8 Intel or a 2700+ or faster unit with a good Nivida or ATI card.

They are our, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors. They are OUR TROOPS! Please support them.
December 12, 2003 8:22:40 PM

This is a pretty obvious question.

Of course you want to build one with 64bit.. you want the newest stuff you can afford. That includes a 64bit processor (it is the future, that I promise), a DX9 or DX10 capable video card (whenever DX10 cards come out), SATA drives, DVD burner, why short yourself?

If nothing else, all that brand new stuff... say it doesnt catch on, big deal, a dvd burner still reads cds and dvds, a 64bit processor (at least the only consumer one A64) runs 32bit faster than anything out there that you can buy today.

So theres your answer, if you are going to go cheap then go cheap.
But if you are going cheap then why ask questions like that? :smile:

As far as your 2 year question, Yes.
64bit XP will be available soon and 64linux has been available for some time.

Good luck on your computer.

----
I just tell it like it is and some can't handle it. If your experience is different, well congratu-fukulation.
<b>I’M NOT A ATI FANBOY, I’M NOT A NV FANBOY, I’M A STABILITY FANBOY</b>
December 13, 2003 2:59:31 AM

Quote:
Of course you want to build one with 64bit.. you want the newest stuff you can afford.That includes a 64bit processor (it is the future, that I promise), a DX9 or DX10 capable video card (whenever DX10 cards come out), SATA drives, DVD burner, why short yourself?

Nonsense. First-gen 64-bit (as well as DX10 cards) will be a waste of money - you pay dearly to be on the bleeding edge, and it's pretty unlikely that there will even be a lot of software to take advantage of your sexy rig. By the time the software does show up, second and third gen equipment will be around that will likely be cheaper and better.

Quote:
a 64bit processor (at least the only consumer one A64) runs 32bit faster than anything out there that you can buy today.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=112" target="_new">No, no, no.</A> A 64-bit processor will not magically make all your 32-bit software run faster. You'll get performance on 32-bit apps pretty much at parity with high end 32-bit processors but at a much higher price.

<b>1.4 Ghz AMD T-Bird underclocked to 1 Ghz...just to be safe!</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by BunnyStroker on 12/12/03 11:00 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 13, 2003 3:54:09 AM

Well it might be nonsense to you but everyone has their own buying habits.
My theory is buy the best you can afford.

As far as 64bit, you can get one of the fastest 32bit processors and 64bit basically for free.
As well as SSE2 and everything else the P4 has, including that nice core with heatspreader over it.

At a price cheaper than the old P4s.

P4 3.2ghz 800mhz fsb $373
Athlon 64 3200+ 1600mhz FSB $389
both the lowest prices with shipping at pricewatch.
When the 3.2P4 loses in 32bit and doesnt have 64bit I think the answer is clear.

Quote:
You'll get performance on 32-bit apps pretty much at parity with high end 32-bit processors but at a much higher price.


I think whatever pricing your referring to is outdated.


Quote:
Nonsense. First-gen 64-bit (as well as DX10 cards) will be a waste of money - you pay dearly to be on the bleeding edge, and it's pretty unlikely that there will even be a lot of software to take advantage of your sexy rig. By the time the software does show up, second and third gen equipment will be around that will likely be cheaper and better.

I already said that 64bit linux works with A64 and has been around for a long time... so the software is here.

64bit windows is not far off if not in beta already.

Either way is fine.. problem is its hard to tell when the 'time to buy is', theres really no good standard.

Of course waiting forever is a sure-proof way.
But I say, either spill some cash or stay a gen behind... but you might regret either way.

The only time i take the 'wait a gen' approach is with video cards.
I like 2nd gen architechures (ie GF2/GF4/Radeon 9800 over GF1/GF3/9700s).

But CPUs generally get upgraded less, so I say get the best you can afford, and you'll save more in the long run.
My 2cents.

----
I just tell it like it is and some can't handle it. If your experience is different, well congratu-fukulation.
<b>I’M NOT A ATI FANBOY, I’M NOT A NV FANBOY, I’M A STABILITY FANBOY</b>
December 13, 2003 4:34:48 AM

You've got to balance cost vs. performance gain though. You listed SATA in your earlier post, but with current bus architecture, there is absolutely ZERO performance increase with Serial ATA over normal PATA. Sure, it'll be great in the future, but is it a worthwhile investment for someone who's buying right now? No, it isnt. Same thing with 64bit processors, although the line isnt as clear. Here, you end up paying a premium for a new product, when there's only minimal software available with which you can truely take advantage of the extra power.

Personally, I never buy bleeding edge. But I'm a patient guy. I would much rather spend my money on established technology with documented performance numbers, than on marketing hype and "future performance benefits."
December 13, 2003 10:48:04 PM

Quote:
P4 3.2ghz 800mhz fsb $373
Athlon 64 3200+ 1600mhz FSB $389
both the lowest prices with shipping at pricewatch.
When the 3.2P4 loses in 32bit and doesnt have 64bit I think the answer is clear.

The answer is hardly clear. $136 dollars will get you an Athlon XP 2800+ that will give you 32-bit performance pretty much at parity with the Athlon 64. Alternately, with some modest overclocking the Athlon XP 2500+ will give you the same for only $87 (!).

Again, there's nothing wrong the Athlon 64. It's a good chip. But from a gaming standpoint nothing will take advantage of it. You say Windows and Linux both come in 64 bit flavors now - so what? You might as well get a sticker to slap on the side of your rig - "I AM RUNNING 64-BIT!" because that's pretty much all it will get you. Remember that the focus of this build (as I interpret it) is gaming, not running a massive server bank that needs 64-bit to address >4gb of memory.

Don't think that a current gen 64bit processor will make you future proof, either. If no 64bit games show up for three years - well, by the time they do your chip is three years old and you can probably get something faster for cheaper. Personally, I would not expect 64-bit games for at least 5 years - developers are not going to develop the software until a large consumer base has 64-bit processors.

<b>1.4 Ghz AMD T-Bird underclocked to 1 Ghz...just to be safe!</b>
December 14, 2003 1:30:08 AM

I completely understand your viewpoints, totally reasonable and logical. But I want to offer something on this:

"Personally, I would not expect 64-bit games for at least 5 years - developers are not going to develop the software until a large consumer base has 64-bit processors."

I would agree with this if we were talking about the Itanium, which so far seems to require huge amounts of code rewrites to port software and write "native" apps. But the AMD-64 has proven to be very easy to port software for. In many cases, simply using a compiler that supports the 64bit instructions provides optimizations, with very few code changes. Given that ease, I'm of the opinion we will see some titles start to appear in 2004, and if the AMD64 gains a wide acceptance, many more in the following.

But I offer this respectfully, not saying you're wrong. You could well be right, but it's worth noting that due to the way the AMD64 has been implemented, it is not quite so difficult to provide 64bit enhanced versions of software as people might suspect.

Also, this is new, I picked up on it in other threads:
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

It's an Athlon 64 3000+ for 215.00, which while it still isn't as cheap as the other processors you mentioned, isn't a horrible price at all.

<i>The wrath of penguins shall be felt. No windows shall be left unbroken.</i>
December 14, 2003 2:53:50 AM

Good info there, raretech. I have read that AMD's 64-bit implementation is a lot more conducive to development than Intel's; if you are right then maybe 64-bit will come a bit sooner. My own perception though is that AMD hasn't really made much headway in the "basic consumer" market though. Lots of THG forum chimps (like myself) love AMD but I'm not sure how much of the market they actually capture.

$215 for that beast is a pretty good deal, though :smile: . I will say that that would be a good way to get a great processor for a reasonable price, although I still really doubt you'll get much out of its 64-bit capabilities.

<b>1.4 Ghz AMD T-Bird underclocked to 1 Ghz...just to be safe!</b>
December 14, 2003 4:10:32 AM

" My own perception though is that AMD hasn't really made much headway in the "basic consumer" market though."

yeah, it seems mostly bleeding edgers are picking it up. That new $215 chip could change that, but speculation, blah blah blah... :smile:

<i>The wrath of penguins shall be felt. No windows shall be left unbroken.</i>
December 14, 2003 4:12:21 AM

Yeah your right.
My thing on SATA and all new tech is this- say you dont buy SATA drives and compatible mobos.. well then say you upgrade down the road or even do a little step upgrade (nforce1 to nforce2 for example) and the nforce2 has SATA support and no PATA support.

But the Nforce1 only has PATA support.

Just theoretical- but then your stuck buying all new drives.

I understand the performance boon isnt there yet, thats my logic above on it and most technology.

And sometimes the new tech doesnt cost more or at least much more.
If it does for a given feature or whatever, u might want to reconsider I suppose.

But IMHO, 64bit is virtually free and you get one of the fastest 32bit processors with it to boot.

SATA is nice for other reasons too, not just performance.. but generally I go with the latest (barring it doesnt cost and arm and a leg like P4EE or A64FX) for the reason I outlined for SATA above.

----
I just tell it like it is and some can't handle it. If your experience is different, well congratu-fukulation.
<b>I’M NOT A ATI FANBOY, I’M NOT A NV FANBOY, I’M A STABILITY FANBOY</b>
December 14, 2003 4:20:40 AM

Well thats fine man. If you dont want 64bit on your PC then thats dandy..
but we dont know if a A64 will be able to run longhorn.. ya know, maybe the 32bit only will not run it, or at a large disadvantage. Thats just a theoretical example though.
But I can promise you that when 64bit is mainstream... if you are using your old P4 for a second machine it will be outperformed by an old A64.
Frankly because its at LEAST parallel in 32bit processing (and faster), and has 64.

The A64 is a superior chip overall to the P4, whether your speaking 32bit or 64bit.
So to argue against 64bit is only a small piece of the A64 pie.


As far as your use of the word "future proof", thats impossible anyway, but you can at least hedge your bets a little better than getting a 32bit only processor... especially when its not priced right compared to its 32bit/64bit competitor..

I dont know why everyone rags on 64bit.. who cares??? If nothing else its a free feature to give you a warm feeling in your tummy at night. :smile:

I guess if you want to argue over someone points that dont matter like "you dont need over 4gb of ram" then you need to find someone else to argue with.
My point of view is above, its the only reasonable, unbiased outlook.

Now if you already have a 32bit processor thats fast, I'd agree with you.. for now.
But at upgrade time, I dont see the harm going 64bit. Because AMDs way doesnt cost you performance in the 32bit applications that exist today.

----
I just tell it like it is and some can't handle it. If your experience is different, well congratu-fukulation.
<b>I’M NOT A ATI FANBOY, I’M NOT A NV FANBOY, I’M A STABILITY FANBOY</b>
!