Benefits of 64 bit

Planning my first build and would like to know what the benefits are, if any, of going with a 64 bit processor. Here is what I gather so far:
1) There are only two operating systems readily available which operate in 64 bit, Win XP 64 being one and a Linux OS
2) If you are not running a 64 bit OS you are losing half the capability of your hardware
3) There are few programs currently available which utilize 64 bit
4) There is a lack of 64 bit drivers for much existing hardware

Whether the above four items are correct or not, is there any advantage inherent in a 64 bit processor over a 32 bit processor if you are running a 32 bit OS and 32 bit programs? Is there acually a disadvantage with a 64 bit processor compared with a 32 bit processor with the same clock speed (and same RAM size) when running a 32 bit OS or 32 bit program? How does the FSB speed factor into the overall system speed when comparing 32 bit and 64 bit?

Sorry if these sound like stupid questions. I kind of want to justify to my poweruser friend my desire to build a 64 bit system even though I probably won't be using it initially, or even for the first year, with 64 bit programs.
15 answers Last reply
More about benefits
  1. What are you going to do with your computer?

    If you mean you want to build an AMD Athalon 64 computer...there are some serious advantages to doing so. Most of them have nothing to do with the 64 bit....just with how it works in general.

    What are you looking to do with it? What kind of budget do you have?
    I can give you a couple ideas of what you want.
  2. yea deff need to give some more information so we can give you a nice list of advantages
  3. I was looking for some general information on benefits of 64 bit vs. 32 bit but since my plan includes an AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3200+ and an ECS KN1 Extreme motherboard I'll let you take me down the path of specific harware advantages.
    I currently use and plan to use my next computer for home accounting needs, document processing, vinyl cutting/design, dabble in photo and video editing, and internet use. It will also be used by my young son for gaming.
  4. IMHO, you are wrong on items #2, 3 & 4

    The a64 performs better in 32bit that any 32bit cpu I know of. The a64, unlike the 32bit cpu's, has the memory controler built into it. This allow for some good performance increases over the older cpu's.

    Can also perform really well with cheaper value ram. I.e., no hit to performance when not using expensive ram.
  5. Alright let me first adress the 64bitvs32bit....

    For what you are doing you wont be using anything 64bit....the advantages are real....but your operating system needs to support 64bit, whish XP doesn't, and the programs you want to use have to support it, which modt are only 32bit.

    Here is why you should get a AMD 3200+ Venice core....

    Bascially in 32bit applications AMD usually beats the offering from Intel.
    Venice core runs very cool so you dont have to have crazy cooling.
    For basic applications like you are going to use the 3200+ is perfect for you.

    Dont get hung up on the 64bit, a 3200+ venice is a great arn't missing out on anything.
  6. Thanks for the replies...I'll start with Coyote. I've known a few humble people and usually find they are a good natured lot. You seem good natured so far. If I push you a bit on one of your responses it's only because I'm curious and figure you can probably help me out with some examples. Can you help me understand why feeding something only 32 bits when it can eat 64 bits isn't really wasting half its capacity (ref to item #2)? Perhaps because the 64 bits are more like flavor bits than calorie bits? I'm serious here, I don't know enough to express myself technically in this area but I have pretty good reasoning skills so let it fly. Whatever you throw at me I'll try to figure out.

    pickxx I know it seems like I'm hung up on the 64 bit issue, but just want to try to understand a little about the change in technology, what other changes are taking place to take advantage of the technology, and whether I'll see any benefit from it. At this point it looks to be about 100-200 bucks premium to go with 64 bit processor/motherboard. I think that's a great bargain if I can keep it in the game for an extra year before it becomes a frustrated dinosaur. By the way, I always thought pickaxe would be a good heavy metal band name and pickxx reminds me of that. Thanks for the positive replies.

    Rob423...I still haven't figured out what you meant by "yea deff". At least I could look up IMHO. I suppose I haven't provided enough info yet for you to pipe up again. I'm still warming up so stay tuned.
  7. think about it like this....

    32bit is like a 32 lane highway
    64bit is like a 64 lane highway
    the speed of the cpu is the speed of the cars.

    just because a highway isn't at max load doesn't mean you are wasting your highway. if you are going 60mph and its bumper to bump or you are going 60mph and its half full you are doing the same thing.

    64bits will allow more bandwidth, meaning more traffic at any givin time.

    Programs have to be specially made for 64bit processing, and right now there really arn't many things that allow this.

    you said its a 100bucks to get 64bit....
    Are you talking about an Intel cpu? because a AMD 2800+ 64 bit cpu is like $115 and in games is as powerful as a 3.0-3.2 Ghz some situations it actually performs even with the best Intel has to offer....
  8. If you're to the point that you know a premium, then you have some system builds in mind. What are your 64bit and 32bit builds? $100-200 is a big premium when you think mobo/CPU - we need to know what you're comparing. Are they apples/apples?

    Pickxx is right about lack of software supporting 64bit, but the software to take advantage of it will come. Depending on how often you upgrade your system, you have the possibility of doing a software upgrade from 32 to 64 to squeak more performance from your sytem down the road.
  9. Good call.... i thinik i forgot to say that....

    64bit programs are comming, windows has an OS system comming that is going to be 64 companies will have to make 64bit things.
  10. One of the main reasons im going with a 64bit CPU is just for that fact, the chip I want outperforms most if I dare say every 32bit CPU out there today (at its cost). In the future when I get Windows Vista I wont have to make hardware upgrades to run it, as my CPU is already capable.

    I look at it like this....

    I got a HP Pavilion 533w 3 years ago this christmas. It was built to be a budget computer for familys who wanted a capable machine but didnt need it for powerhouse gameing (it had intergrated graphics before I upgraded to a 9200se). It cost us around 600-700$ which isnt bad because it had a monitor, keyboad and mouse, speakers, printer and alot of software including norton antivirus 2002.

    It had a P4 based northwood celeron (100mhzFSB) @2.0GHZ (128k l2 cache)
    A maxtor 60 gig hdd (57 really as it had a 3gb recovery partition)
    Intergrated graphics and sound
    Phillips CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive
    256MB PC2100 184-PIN DDR RAM

    Basically it was on its way out when it was purchased and we got 3 decent years out of it. Mind you it was never gaming suited but the 9200se did allow us to play games like Warcraft 3 ROC and TFT, Call of Duty, AOE2, AOM, AOE3, Rollercoaster tycoon you get the idea.

    So I figure the current system Im bulding should easily last 3 years, having it only start to struggle at the end of that 3rd year and I will be able to play power hungry games this time. To me, how future proof a system is would be a major selling point.

    64bit is the future, why not be prepared???
  11. You may already need a 64 bit system.
    dabble in photo and video editing,

    If photoshop has ever given you an "out of memory" message, you would benefit from 64 bit tech.
    One of the big advantages of AMD64/EM64T is memory addressing. Image files have become very large. What with the parts of memory used by the os, bios, background progs, graphics cards etc, the available addresses have shrunk. With the 64 bit capable chips, they can now use a lot more addresses, so you will never run out again (well maybe not never, since there isn't quite enough tags for say the library of congress)
  12. Hey, you dont have to sell me....i have been 64bit for a year and half now.

    i think its a great idea...

    Give me the specs....what cpu/mobo/ram/gpu/and other partsare you looking at? Also include a budget just in case i need to advise some changes.
  13. You are right, I was going from memory when I stated the $100-200 premium. Upon comparing apples to apples it looks more like $65 premium for mobo/CPU combos. Here is what I would be comparing:

    32 bit
    mobo - Biostar K8NHA, 800MHz FSB, $66
    CPU - AMD Sempron 3300+, 800MHZ FSB, Socket 754 2.0 GHz $122

    64 bit
    mobo - ECS KN1 Extreme, 1000MHz FSB, $101
    CPU - AMD Athlon64, Venice 3200+, 1000MHz FSB, Socket 939, 2.0 GHz, $152

    The Athlons go up pretty quick in price but then they are over 2.0 GHz.

    So, after looking up some info on Wickipedia
    and getting the good advice I was hoping for here, I think I can confidently tell my friend why going with a 64 bit (hardware) system is just a good idea: Inherent architectural advantages like built in memory controller, cool running, additional registers, larger address space, and the NX bit. Add in being able to run value RAM without taking a hit in performance and having a 64 bit OS to be able to try free I'll probably learn more about computers than I ever even wanted to know.

    With that said, if any of you are still interested in giving some advice on what I've got planned (probably end of Feb 2006 because I have to make sure not to spend the kids Christmas money) I am very interested to hear some opinions.

    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3200+, 2.0 GHz, $152
    ECS KN1 Extreme, $100.50
    MSI 6600GT-TD128E Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Expressx16, $150
    Corsair Value Select 1 GB 184 pin DDR SDRAM DDR400 (PC3200) Unbuffered, 2 x $89.90
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA 150 HD, 2 x $57.50
    Lite-On DVD burner SOHW 1693S, $43
    Sony floppy drive, $10
    Mid Tower Case - was looking at Thermaltake Xaser III w/front usb, firewire port and 420W power supply, but it went away on NewEgg, was $119.

    Rolling Eyes
  14. Quote:

    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3200+, 2.0 GHz, $152
    ECS KN1 Extreme, $100.50
    MSI 6600GT-TD128E Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Expressx16, $150
    Corsair Value Select 1 GB 184 pin DDR SDRAM DDR400 (PC3200) Unbuffered, 2 x $89.90
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA 150 HD, 2 x $57.50
    Lite-On DVD burner SOHW 1693S, $43
    Sony floppy drive, $10
    Mid Tower Case - was looking at Thermaltake Xaser III w/front usb, firewire port and 420W power supply, but it went away on NewEgg, was $119.

    Rolling Eyes likey no likey likey(by feb you have some new options because prices will drop) likey no like at all...for that price you could get a 250GB SATA drive easily. If you are getting it for RAID...i guess its ok...but it pains me to see you spend 120bucks and get only 160GB. likey
    Floppy....who give a shitt
    Case....get any generic case you want. I like the Antec Solution series because they dont have all that crap on them and they have a glossy finish....some come with Power supplys. Spend no more then 45 for the case and no more then 50 for power suppy....if you buy them seperate (which is what i would reccomend)
  15. I'd go with the Epox 9NPA+ Ultra in that price range or drop down to the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra - especially VNF4 if not doing a lot of OCing.

    Agree with XX on getting a good single HDD. Look at some of the 16MB cache versions - they have great price/performance and you'll get a lot more storage with one of those drives.

    With the money you save on those two items you should really put into a good value PSU/case. The Sonata II is a deent deal at around $110, but for a few dollars more you get a Enermax 535W Whisper II model EG565P and Super-Flower SF-201T. That is a very well spent $40-50.

    By the time you buy this system, you will be able to get a better video card with the same money. Right now you can get a 6600GT for $130 by shopping around. Take a look at sites like and for good deals. Both of those sites just display good deals - they are not vendors.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Processors Systems