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64 bit confusion

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January 25, 2007 4:38:55 PM

I just picked up a new AMD 64 Athlon X2 3800+. I know it handles the 64 bit architecture but I'm confused about it. FYI I'm installing it on my new ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe board this weekend.

Now do I HAVE to install XP Pro 64 bit? And if I do, does all my software have to be 64 bit (games, apps, etc...)? Or can I do the 32 bit version of XP? Is there a performance difference? Which would you guys recommend?

Sorry for the noobish questions, this is just my first dive into the 64 bit world :lol: 

Thanks!!

More about : bit confusion

January 25, 2007 4:43:25 PM

Quote:
I just picked up a new AMD 64 Athlon X2 3800+. I know it handles the 64 bit architecture but I'm confused about it. FYI I'm installing it on my new ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe board this weekend.

Now do I HAVE to install XP Pro 64 bit? And if I do, does all my software have to be 64 bit (games, apps, etc...)? Or can I do the 32 bit version of XP? Is there a performance difference? Which would you guys recommend?

Sorry for the noobish questions, this is just my first dive into the 64 bit world :lol: 

Thanks!!


All of the current x86 chips that claim 64-bit processing are fully backward compatible with the 32-bit stuff. In fact, the 64-bit architecture is just an extension of the 32-bit architecture. So you can install a 32-bit OS and applications just fine on any AMD or Intel chip (except Itanium, of course).

Now, just in case it wasn't obvious, you can't install a 64-bit application on a 32-bit operating system even if you have a 64-bit CPU (except possibly through an emulator of some sort).
January 25, 2007 4:48:19 PM

32 bit will work fine, fully backwards compatible with 64 bit chips. The only real reason to use a 64 bit OS right now is if theres a program that is only avalible in 64 bit form, the computer is devoted to complex calculations, or you have more then 4gb of memory.
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January 25, 2007 4:50:20 PM

Quote:
32 bit will work fine, fully backwards compatible with 64 bit chips. The only real reason to use a 64 bit OS right now is if theres a program that is only avalible in 64 bit form, the computer is devoted to complex calculations, or you have more then 4gb of memory.


I do have 4 gigs of DDR2 ram...
but there will no performance difference between the two?
January 25, 2007 5:05:24 PM

Not unless your commander data.
a b à CPUs
January 25, 2007 5:07:13 PM

Yes, 64-bit would be faster and could utilize all of the memory.
The problem is finding 64-bit drivers for hardware items.
You have less choices in programs also. 64-bit software is not all that popular at the moment.
January 25, 2007 5:08:11 PM

Quote:
32 bit will work fine, fully backwards compatible with 64 bit chips. The only real reason to use a 64 bit OS right now is if theres a program that is only avalible in 64 bit form, the computer is devoted to complex calculations, or you have more then 4gb of memory.


I do have 4 gigs of DDR2 ram...
but there will no performance difference between the two?

From my experience no... In fact the 64 bit ver is more of a PITA then it is worth. Stick with 32 unless you have software that requires 64.

Good Luck
January 25, 2007 5:09:08 PM

Quote:
I do have 4 gigs of DDR2 ram...
but there will no performance difference between the two?


There may be a very few things that might see a difference in performance (some better, some worse). But, for the most part, you won't see any difference using a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit chip compared to the same 32-bit OS on a 32-bit chip.
a b à CPUs
January 25, 2007 5:09:32 PM

I've been using WinXP Pro 64bit for the better part of a year. The biggest issue with using WinXp 64 used to be driver support, but that has come along way since 8it's release. Most hardware manufactururs offer at least a beta drive for a 64bit OS. Running 32bit applications is just like running on a 32bit OS. I would even go as far to say that the OS is snappier drive and file access. It's seems as though the more RAM the better with the 64bit OS. I've only got 2GB and it seems to be enough physical memory to even allow having minimal to no paging file. With 4GB of memory, you might even be able to disable the paging file altogether, depending on the type of file work you do, whether they're large file or not like video/audio editing. There is no difference in gaming between the 32 or 64bit OS, if you've got either an nVidia or ATI card, then video driver support is not an issue.

Good luck!
January 25, 2007 5:11:36 PM

Excellent! I'm sticking with 32 bit.

Thanks alot guys!!!
January 25, 2007 5:31:12 PM

Quote:
Yes, 64-bit would be faster and could utilize all of the memory.
The problem is finding 64-bit drivers for hardware items.
You have less choices in programs also. 64-bit software is not all that popular at the moment.


>> You have less choices in programs also. 64-bit software is not all that popular at the moment.

BBzzzt. wrong.
Nearly all 32 bit apps work just fine under 64 bit XP. I know as I'm running it.
January 25, 2007 5:32:02 PM

Quote:
Excellent! I'm sticking with 32 bit.

Thanks alot guys!!!


Why? don't you want to use all your memory or is it that you perfer a slower system?
a c 87 à CPUs
January 25, 2007 5:41:13 PM

I was going to say the same thing. If you went out and bought 4GBs of memory, and you want to use all of them, then you should run the 64bit OS's. A 32bit OS won't let you use all four gigs. After a lot of monkeying, you might get a little over 3GBs to be seen and used. If you run a 64bit OS, then you won't have this issue.

I don't see performance increases however if you move to 64bit computing. At least for stuff I use... I would sell/return 2GBs of that ram and run a 32bit flavor of windows.
a b à CPUs
January 25, 2007 6:04:20 PM

Quote:
Excellent! I'm sticking with 32 bit.

Thanks alot guys!!!


Just keep in mind that a 32bit OS will only let you see/address 3.5GB+/- of the 4GB RAM. If you want to be able to use and see all 4GB of RAM then you will need to use 64bit WinXp.
January 25, 2007 6:13:16 PM

Quote:
32 bit will work fine, fully backwards compatible with 64 bit chips. The only real reason to use a 64 bit OS right now is if theres a program that is only avalible in 64 bit form, the computer is devoted to complex calculations, or you have more then 4gb of memory.


I do have 4 gigs of DDR2 ram...
but there will no performance difference between the two?

As one of the only people who have used X64 I can say that yes it is faster (in terms of responsiveness). 64bit sound is light years ahead. I had a SB Live! and it sounded 10X better on X64. It seemed to boot faster, IO is faster.

It's definitely where you should go. I am.
January 25, 2007 6:18:31 PM

Isn't Vista suppose to be 64bit?
January 25, 2007 6:26:33 PM

Just go to microsoft.com, trials and downloads, and download the XP x64 trial to try it out.
January 25, 2007 6:29:43 PM

Today's "64bit" processors are really 32 bit with a 32 bit extension. So our so called 64 bit processors can run both 32 and 64 bit OS and apps. You can install XP 64, but you do not have to. Their is not much in the way of 64 bit apps out their as of now, but that will change. If you want to be set for 64 bit apps, then I would suggest you to get the Vista 64 bits flavor. From what I have read, it handles 64 bit instructions much better than XP 64.
January 25, 2007 6:30:52 PM

Quote:
Why? don't you want to use all your memory or is it that you perfer a slower system?


Why does everyone automatically think that 64-bit is always faster than a 32-bit system? It could definitely be slower than a 32-bit system depending on the app.

Baron, as for the sound being better, I'm not sure I understand how that could be. Any hard proof that I/O is faster and sound is better? The thought that something "seems" faster doesn't always mean it is.
January 25, 2007 6:56:52 PM

XP64 is not faster in general and will not make your sound card perform better. Take off your shades. All 32bit apps will take a hit 2-5% at least. 64bit apps may perform about the same or significantly better.

Vista comes in both x86 (32bit) and 64bit versions. For the first year I wouldn't recommend the 64bit version unless you need it. I personally don't think that it will be mainstream any time soon.
a c 87 à CPUs
January 25, 2007 7:26:00 PM

I'm going to love watching this thread.

Quote:
All 32bit apps will take a hit 2-5% at least. 64bit apps may perform about the same or significantly better.


Quote:
Isn't Vista suppose to be 64bit?


Quote:
I had a SB Live! and it sounded 10X better on X64.


Classics, all of them. Laugh everytime I read them...
January 25, 2007 7:44:05 PM

Quote:
I'm going to love watching this thread.


I agree. I'm still waiting for hard proof of 64-bit or 32-bit always being faster/slower than the other.
January 25, 2007 7:46:31 PM

well i appreciate all the help you guys have given. I think I'm going to jump back to 2 or 3 gigs and stick with XP Media Center x86.

:)  Thanks again!
January 25, 2007 7:46:37 PM

Quote:
I'm going to love watching this thread.


I agree. I'm still waiting for hard proof of 64-bit or 32-bit always being faster/slower than the other.

Because of the way 64-bit support is done on x86, I highly doubt that any performance gain or loss would be because of the CPU. Windows on the other hand... who knows?
January 25, 2007 8:24:25 PM

Quote:
well i appreciate all the help you guys have given. I think I'm going to jump back to 2 or 3 gigs and stick with XP Media Center x86.

:)  Thanks again!


32bit XP can run fine with 4GB, a single app can never use more than 3GB (and even that requires a switch in boot.ini), but the whole 4GB will be used by the OS and apps that are running.
January 25, 2007 8:29:24 PM

Quote:
Because of the way 64-bit support is done on x86, I highly doubt that any performance gain or loss would be because of the CPU. Windows on the other hand... who knows?


You may be misreading my statement as my belief of the possibility that one architecture is always better than the other may actually exist. In fact, it is not true.

Unless one can truly prove it time and time again, you will find advantages and disadvantages to both architectures. I'm just waiting for someone to attempt to find a hard and fast rule that overrides this.
January 25, 2007 8:48:10 PM

Quote:
Isn't Vista suppose to be 64bit?


Yes, there is a 64bit version. I will more than likely get it. I already have 4GB RAM and want to move to 8GB and that's more important than crappy little apps working. I use a total of about 6 apps and they all are said to work. I only buy name brand HW and they tend to keep up with drivers as workstations need the extra RAM without the extra over head and expense of a server OS.
January 25, 2007 8:52:34 PM

Quote:
Why? don't you want to use all your memory or is it that you perfer a slower system?


Why does everyone automatically think that 64-bit is always faster than a 32-bit system? It could definitely be slower than a 32-bit system depending on the app.

Baron, as for the sound being better, I'm not sure I understand how that could be. Any hard proof that I/O is faster and sound is better? The thought that something "seems" faster doesn't always mean it is.


I can only say what I noticed. Like I said I will be getting X64 because I need the extra RAM and I will dual boot for awhile just to do stopwatch timing....NOT!
January 25, 2007 8:58:03 PM

Quote:
well i appreciate all the help you guys have given. I think I'm going to jump back to 2 or 3 gigs and stick with XP Media Center x86.

:)  Thanks again!


32bit XP can run fine with 4GB, a single app can never use more than 3GB (and even that requires a switch in boot.ini), but the whole 4GB will be used by the OS and apps that are running.

We should all just go back to Win ME.... It is sooo much faster... And the sound is far superior....LMAO
January 25, 2007 9:49:46 PM

I'm throwing another question into the pot. What if I wanted to install Media Center Edition (to easily share videos and stuff to my 360) instead of XP Pro? Is MCE essentiall XP Pro with the media layer on top of it ?

Thanks!
January 25, 2007 9:56:05 PM

Quote:
I'm throwing another question into the pot. What if I wanted to install Media Center Edition (to easily share videos and stuff to my 360) instead of XP Pro? Is MCE essentiall XP Pro with the media layer on top of it ?

Thanks!



Basically. Media Center is actually just an app that runs at startup.

Edit:

Though it is setup more like XP Home. (no domains, etc.)
January 25, 2007 11:23:10 PM

Quote:
I can only say what I noticed. Like I said I will be getting X64 because I need the extra RAM and I will dual boot for awhile just to do stopwatch timing....NOT!


If you're not willing to prove anything about what you say, then it is just opinion, not fact. Blindly stating 64-bit is faster than 32-bit on the same hardware, with no hard evidence, is not telling the truth.

I'm still curious how you notice I/O is faster on the same hard disk and controller and sound is 10x better on the same sound card?
January 25, 2007 11:24:31 PM

Quote:
We should all just go back to Win ME.... It is sooo much faster... And the sound is far superior....LMAO


I believe I'm missing the point of that post. It could be my sleepiness. :) 
January 25, 2007 11:54:49 PM

Quote:
I just picked up a new AMD 64 Athlon X2 3800+. I know it handles the 64 bit architecture but I'm confused about it. FYI I'm installing it on my new ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe board this weekend.



And
Quote:
I do have 4 gigs of DDR2 ram...


It is just too bad your motherboard, that support ddr1 , won't take the ddr2..

so.. you have socket 939 motherboard, probably a socket AM2 cpu and ddr2 RAM.. nothing will fit together..

no one has noticed this and are advising??? I wouldnt trust them....
January 25, 2007 11:59:43 PM

pat is right. what exact mobo do you have?

hell what exactly do you have?
list all components.

especially mobo socket type, cpu type, and memory type.
January 26, 2007 12:32:40 AM

It COULD be an X2 3800 (NOT AM2) , in witch case it will fit the board ... but the ram wont !
January 26, 2007 12:35:50 AM

Quote:
It COULD be an X2 3800 (NOT AM2) , in witch case it will fit the board ... but the ram wont !


yes i know.
January 26, 2007 12:36:25 AM

Maybe he's an audiophile *shrugs*
January 26, 2007 1:15:07 AM

Quote:
pat is right. what exact mobo do you have?

hell what exactly do you have?
list all components.

especially mobo socket type, cpu type, and memory type.


sorry for the confusion guys... here's exactly what I have...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Socket 939
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
DDR1 RAM 184pin (not DDR2, sorry I misquoted earlier). It works with the board, I've already determined it.
Also got two 250gig SATA Samsung drives.
At the moment I'm using a PCI ATI card I have until I get a PCI-e card with SLI (probably the GeForce 7950)

I'm stoked, can't wait to put it all together :) 
January 26, 2007 1:42:31 AM

Quote:
pat is right. what exact mobo do you have?

hell what exactly do you have?
list all components.

especially mobo socket type, cpu type, and memory type.


sorry for the confusion guys... here's exactly what I have...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Socket 939
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
DDR1 RAM 184pin (not DDR2, sorry I misquoted earlier). It works with the board, I've already determined it.
Also got two 250gig SATA Samsung drives.
At the moment I'm using a PCI ATI card I have until I get a PCI-e card with SLI (probably the GeForce 7950)

I'm stoked, can't wait to put it all together :) 

it will work with 32bit/64bit.
xp/xp pro or vista 32bit/64bit.
a c 140 à CPUs
January 26, 2007 1:52:36 AM

Ok.......64 bit will be "faster" if coded right....

but sound will not change since the sound cards hardware takes care of the sound....not the cpu.......hell my sound card will sound as good in a mac osx / windows/ linux / solaris...

There was more bass on XP then 98(SB live....).....that i never did get.....but thats adjustable in the card......
January 26, 2007 1:56:53 AM

LOL...oh boy Baron, you have a talent to get picked on! =)...

Quote:

Maybe he's an audiophile *shrugs*


Quote:


Baron, I am confused... could you explain how using X64 can make a sound card sound better :?:


Sup, you guys...long time no blog with non of you guys!
np
January 26, 2007 2:05:37 AM

if ur goin with 4Gb of mem + a video card then u will have to go with 64bit xp as xp32 does not address more then 4Gb, so xp 32 will only see abot 3&1/2Gb of ram memory + video card memory!
January 26, 2007 2:16:26 AM

Nuke you are missing the point...

It sounds 10X better because the 1s and 0s are streaming 10X faster....

Yeah thats it!!

That is why...

;) 

You see since the 1s and 0s arrive quicker to the card when they are put together on the DSP they sound better... Since everyone knows that

01000010011000010111001001110010011011110110111000100000011010000110000101110011
00100000011000010010000001101100011011110111010000100000011011110110011000100000
01110011011100000110110001100001011010010110111001101001011011100110011100100000
01110100011011110010000001100100011011110010000100100001

sounds much better if delivered in a single cycle vs two cycles...

Decode HERE!! :) 

Sheesh, do I have to spell it out for everyone :) 

Maybe the harmonics of the processor working in full 64 bit mode enhance the analog side of things too... You ever think of that? ;) 

Edited to wrap the binary :) 
January 26, 2007 2:24:55 AM

I just installed x64 maybe 4 days ago, everything seems faster and my prime95 stability test ran for an extra FOUR HOURS before being halted... which is a pretty good stability boost.

Il stay on x64 till vista comes out... then il buy that and rock the x64 vista style.

:p 
January 26, 2007 2:43:10 AM

Trinitron,

Is your sound 10X better?

:) 
January 26, 2007 2:50:04 AM

I've tested XP 64bit, and well, um, kinda don't like it..My pc is old, and when i ran game in XP x64, performance hit is quite significant i would say (just my experience,not saying that it's not good)
January 26, 2007 2:50:45 AM

Quote:
Trinitron,

Is your sound 10X better?

:) 


8O :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
January 26, 2007 3:00:12 AM

Did I mention that when I installed the AEM Brute Force Cold Air Induction kit on my Chevy 6.0L V8 that it sounded faster?
a c 87 à CPUs
January 26, 2007 3:00:42 AM

Quote:

There was more bass on XP then 98(SB live....).....that i never did get.....but thats adjustable in the card......


If the card is the same, then the only thing that changed is the OS. This means that the driver supported more features in 2000/xp then it did in 98. I've seen this before. Remember that although there is little difference in the drivers for 2000/xp, there are big differences in the drivers between NT5+ and win9x. These are large enough to make things sound different between OS's, or for extra FPS to "magically" appear. Its all in the driver.
!