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Looking for some 64bit clarification.


Mr.McNally
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Hi everyone. This may not be the right location for this question, but I would like some explanation about the whole 64bit OS option. Now as best I can tell, I would have to buy a AMD64 setup to run the 64bit M$ OS. This is where i get a little foggy on the issue.

Can I use a 64bit AMD64 setup to run a 32bit M$ OS? It seems that the 64bit software market is rather small, and I don't notice the incredible change in the computer industry that everyone was carrying on about when AMD introduced the 64bit chip.

I think that I get lost when I look at the current AMD and Intel cpu offerings.First AMD has 64bit, then Intel brought 2core cpu. Then AMD looks to have a dual core AMD64 line, and now Intel offers quad core.

What is different about the 64bit OS and its 64bit cpu use, compared to Intel and other 32 bit setups?

Why hasn't everyone gone to AMD if 64 bit is/was going to change the computing world?

Don't get me wrong, I have always been a AMD man, and I am in no way being sarcastic when I ask, "whats so geat about AMD". I have been thinking about what I would upgrade to if chose to do so, and having looked around at some of the current offerings, I simply don't know what would be the best choice.

I realize that I could spend some time researching these questions and find out the answers on my own, but I would like to hear some real opinions about these different setups.

If anyone were to feel inclined to ask, I would be using the computer for almost everything a typical user might, i.e. video (HD perhaps), networking, file compression, maybe a game here or there, and most certainly multi-tasking.

Thanks for you time and opinions. :welcome:

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Hi everyone. This may not be the right location for this question, but I would like some explanation about the whole 64bit OS option. Now as best I can tell, I would have to buy a AMD64 setup to run the 64bit M$ OS. This is where i get a little foggy on the issue.

Can I use a 64bit AMD64 setup to run a 32bit M$ OS? It seems that the 64bit software market is rather small, and I don't notice the incredible change in the computer industry that everyone was carrying on about when AMD introduced the 64bit chip.

I think that I get lost when I look at the current AMD and Intel cpu offerings.First AMD has 64bit, then Intel brought 2core cpu. Then AMD looks to have a dual core AMD64 line, and now Intel offers quad core.

What is different about the 64bit OS and its 64bit cpu use, compared to Intel and other 32 bit setups?

Why hasn't everyone gone to AMD if 64 bit is/was going to change the computing world?

Don't get me wrong, I have always been a AMD man, and I am in no way being sarcastic when I ask, "whats so geat about AMD". I have been thinking about what I would upgrade to if chose to do so, and having looked around at some of the current offerings, I simply don't know what would be the best choice.

I realize that I could spend some time researching these questions and find out the answers on my own, but I would like to hear some real opinions about these different setups.

If anyone were to feel inclined to ask, I would be using the computer for almost everything a typical user might, i.e. video (HD perhaps), networking, file compression, maybe a game here or there, and most certainly multi-tasking.

Thanks for you time and opinions. :welcome:

To Answer the first portion of you post, Yes you can run a 32bit OS on a 64bit chip, they are backwards compatible. And your right, the 64bit market is small. they primarily made them for large businesses that needed more computing power, although, they are available to end users. I have an AMD 64 3800+ I have ran both 32 and 64 bit OS'es including windows and Linux.

At this moment in time, 64 bit isnt changing the computing revolution mainly because there are so many people that still have a 32bit processor, and when the 64bit cpu's came out they were rather expensive. if you decide to go with a 64 bit OS you can still run 32bit apps with it.

as for the differences of 32 bit and 64 bit, I cant really tell you, other than it can handle more instructions at one time. therefore making it more reliable and easier to work with, maybe someone else in here with more knowledge about this can answer that question.

Right now I'm running Windows XP Pro 32bit on my 64 bit CPU. I would recommend staying away from XP Pro x64 because its kinda bloated and it will actually run slower on your maching rather than faster, I thought this when I installed it and it in fact ran slower, thats when one of my good computer techie buddies told me that the x64 version of windows is bloated, so I went back to 32 bit. I hope I have answered all your ?'s and if you have any more just ask me, I'll try to answer them accordingly.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I am glad to know that the 32bit os is much faster than the 64bit version.

I think having both 32bit and 64bit versions available has been part of my confusion. I couldn't really see the need for a 64bit version of xp if the 32 bit version would run. Somehow the fact that there is 64bit version gave the impression that the 32bit would not work with the 64 bit chip

Something else I am curious about is the speed ratings on these 64 bit chips. I have a 32bit AMD XP 3200+ which runs @ approx. 2200mhz. I have seen many of the 64 bit chips that have clock speeds of 2000mhz or less. I am unclear as to how a 64bit 2000mhz chip would be faster than a 32bit 2200mhz chip.

One other question I would like to ask, a 64bit chip is not the same as a 32bit dual core chip right? Are they the same basic design but called different names(64bit or dual core) by their manufacturers?

Thanks again. :welcome:

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I am unclear as to how a 64bit 2000mhz chip would be faster than a 32bit 2200mhz chip.

The architecture of the chips, and the length of the pipeline (and the amount of cache) means that the newer chips can do more operations per clock cycle than their previous brethren - meaning a 2.2GHz 64bit chip from AMD or Intel will be "faster" than, say, a 3.2GHz P4 or a similarly clocked AMD K7 chip.

One other question I would like to ask, a 64bit chip is not the same as a 32bit dual core chip right? Are they the same basic design but called different names(64bit or dual core) by their manufacturers?

That is correct, a dual-core chip has 2 actual CPU dies on one PCB, and both cores share the same L2 cache.

Note that two of the major differences between 64bit CPUs and 32bit CPUs is the fact that 64bit CPUs have double the registers as a 32bit chip (they can only be used by 64bit software, however), making them much faster and capable of doing more when running a 64bit OS and software. Also, a 64bit OS running on a 64bit CPU can access far more memory than a 32bit OS running on a 32bit or 64bit CPU - 32bit CPUs can access at most 32GB of RAM (64GB with some expensive hardware trickery) and are limited to 2 or 3GB of virtual address space for applications (unless they support trickery, like AWE/PAE) and 2GB or 1GB for kernel address space, as well as having additional kernel pool memory constraints in Windows (256MB of kernel nonpaged pool, ~530MB kernel paged pool for 32bit, 48MB maximum session view size). 64bit CPUs can access up to 16 EXAbytes of RAM (theoretically - Windows limits you to a max of 8TB right now), as well as having 128GB of nonpaged and paged pool available, and 8TB of virtual address space for both usermode and kernel applications, natively.

There's more to it than that, but those are the major points most people would be concerned about.

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Wow Thanks for the info! I read the article that you linked and found it to be very informative. I must admit that it is technically over my head in places, but that is the way I like it. Thanks for your response. My questions and curiosities are satisfied for the moment. :welcome:

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  • 4 months later...
Something else I am curious about is the speed ratings on these 64 bit chips. I have a 32bit AMD XP 3200+ which runs @ approx. 2200mhz. I have seen many of the 64 bit chips that have clock speeds of 2000mhz or less. I am unclear as to how a 64bit 2000mhz chip would be faster than a 32bit 2200mhz chip.

cluberti is absolutely correct, this has been AMD's marketing plan for MANY years, they "name" their chips not by its acutaly clock speed, but by its comparison to Intel's CPU clock speed.

While the AMD 3200's run at 2200 MHz, they are equivilant to Intel's CPU running at 3200 MHz.

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  • 3 months later...

I started using 64bit Vista about a month ago as I only just realized that my P4 was 64bit compatible. It does seem marginally quicker during normal everyday tasks (running 32bit applications) but as soon as you run a 64bit application you can defiantley notice the speed.

I haven't had any compatibility problems yet, 64bit is backwards compatible with 32bit applications. You just have to make sure you have 64bit drivers for your devices which most manufacturers are releasing these days.

Soon enough all computers will be 64bit and there will be universal compatibilty for everything. Large manufaturers are reporting to be selling more and more 64bit machines. Microsoft are also hoping that people will start upgrading to 64bit. That's why you can order a free 64bit version of Vista if you've already bought a copy of 32bit.

See here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/2057...ia/default.mspx

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  • 1 month later...

I can't agree with anything in the second half of Drake's reply.

  • An x64 processor cannot "handle more instructions at one time" solely by nature of being 64-bit. Perhaps he was referring to the fact that most x64 processors are dual core, but he did not say as much. Even if that much of what he said were true, it does not mean x64 processors are "more reliable and easier to work with." These things are in no way logically connected. At all.
  • And then there's this gem:
    I would recommend staying away from XP Pro x64 because its kinda bloated and it will actually run slower on your maching rather than faster [...] one of my good computer techie buddies told me that the x64 version of windows is bloated...
    Any speed difference running 32-bit applications is negligible from my experience, and I've been running XP x64 for over a year now. I ran XP x86 for two years before that... on the same machine. If anything, once you find appropriate x64 versions of your applications XP x64 running those applications can be noticeably faster. Anybody who crunches numbers with BOINC and x64-optimized client software can tell you that. I've personally noticed a 30% boost running BOINC on the same hardware simply by installing the 64-bit client.
    Here's a quote from Ars Technica:
    [ABC@Home] is highly optimized for 64-bit clients. As noted by team member Owdi in the team discussion thread, a 32-bit OS running at a 70 percent faster clock speed is outperformed by the much slower 64-bit machine.

I'm not saying XP x64 is for everybody, but I would not discount it for the reasons given by others above.

Edited by 5eraph
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