Processors

Are you making the 64-bit transition?

64-bit technology has been available for a while. How many TR members are taking advantage of the additional speed?

The technology for 64-bit has been available for a while. How many TR members are taking advantage of the additional speed?

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With my most recent computer upgrades, I installed the 64-bit version of Windows Vista. Although the hardware to support 64-bit has been around for a while, not all software manufacturers have made the leap. Moreover, device drivers continue to be an issue, and many devices simply aren't 64-bit compatible.

It seems that in my environment, it's full steam ahead for 64-bit. I also now have 64-bit drivers for all my printers, plotters, scanners, and so on. Although I still have some 32-bit configurations scattered about, all my new machines will reflect the newer technology.

How about you? Take the poll. Have you made the 64-bit leap? If not, join the discussion and tell us what the biggest obstacle is. Perhaps some TR peers could share some ideas on how it might be overcome.

62 comments
sonicsteve
sonicsteve

-Driver support still isn't where it needs to be, -Corrupt profiles in windows, when users log in to 32bit and 64bit machines. -other issues also It all equals hassel with no reward. All my systems run 1gb or less of ram. The market switch to 64bit doesn't seem like it's going to pickup much speed. When it becomes apparent that the market is offering less support for 32 bit I'll make the move.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Currently at home my only 64 bit is my system. My wife is still on 32, but that will change in about a week. Shes getting a new system that will be 64 bit and it will be running Vista64 bit even though I'm on XP Pro 64 bit. I have not had any problems with my XP 64 bit and drivers. In fact I have been really impressed how much is supported and available out their now. Oh and if anyone wants to know, World of Warcraft works great on my XP Pro64 bit. If she really freaks out at Vista I'll knock her down to XP Pro 64bit.

wolters
wolters

I did but had to go back because my favorite Video Editing program would not work with it. Otherwise, it worked fine and I hope to go back!

tomofumi
tomofumi

I've read performance reports that vista64 is actually slower due to most of the time it is running wow layer to run 32-bit apps. So running those PC benchmark will show vista64 is slower. Maybe this will change when all our apps are using 64-bit....

Sohail Shaikh
Sohail Shaikh

NO matter what ppl say about Vista or those stupid Apple PC vs MAC adds .. i love my Vista Ultimate 64bit it works perfect and utilizes 8GB of Ram in my system. Thanks 64bits !!

mark.silvia
mark.silvia

I am holding out until my applications catch up with the times. Since none of my applications have developed a 64-bit version, I am sticking with 32-bit for now to avoid incompatibilities. As far as Vista in concerned, I will skip it due to all the issues. Hopefully, Windows 7 has corrected the many issues of Vista.

Doug Vitale
Doug Vitale

Are 64-bit operating systems fully backwards compatible with 32-bit applications? Or do the 32-bit apps run slower and generate errors more frequently on 64-bit?

Brooks Fancher
Brooks Fancher

No. I have too many legacy applications and equipment that 64bit does not work with. Until these companies upgrade their drivers and applications, I am not even going to consider it. Or until someone will give me an extra 60k to replace all of this stuff.

theswagtech-tabbycatt
theswagtech-tabbycatt

I have three laptops, and three towers all 64 bit. I run 32 bit on the laptops. I have two dual boot hard drives with Vista 64 & 32 with dual to XP 64 & 32. I have a quad & eight GB of RAM on the tower and enjoy all of it when used. There are a lot of programs not ready for 64 bit but also even more people who are not ready. I have spent two years beta testing Vista and have been running it since the release, not one problem sense SP1. I also have ran Linux 64 bit. If you are ready to leap, just do it. If not, do not complain, just stay quietly in the shadows.

csmith.kaze
csmith.kaze

At my work we only have a few 64 bit servers, and no 64 bit clients. Knowing our vendor's applications, i seriously doubt they will run under 64 bit windows, regardless of any compatibility modes. (GE EMR is a finicky mistress at best) At home, though, all my computers are 64-bit (Debian Lenny and Win Vista)

sidekick
sidekick

I've been looking into this whole 64 bit craze. Seems that drivers and app compatability are not too big of an issue anymore, but still need to be double checked. I'm planning on getting a bare bones or just enough parts to fill an existing case, so I'll need to check for drivers on everything first. Probably will run Vista or Server 2008, or maybe Ubuntu, then virtual machines for everything else. I was hoping this article would be a summary of where things stood with 64 bit. Anything else I should look out for?

ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898
ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898

I rescued a 64-bit XP machine recently but I gave it to a friend. I have two 32-bit laptops and a 32-bit XP tower so I didn't need another tower. And I'm not using my tower right now because I'm using the one Vista laptop most. For what I need, the laptop is fine. It's fast enough, runs local servers I need for testing, does photo editing, plays videos, music, whatever I need. So I really see no need to upgrade. But then again, I'm not a gamer at all, so I don't really need the extra power. I have done some successful video editing on my laptop though without problems. I think of the old saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

But until Adobe gets in line and releases a 64 bit version of their products on the Mac, we will see no gains from a transition. For that matter, i'm not even sure if OSX is a 64 bit OS or not... Personally, I think MS should have made all Vista Versions 64 bit and forced the transition. It needs to happen at some point, why not while your breaking everything anyway? But the hold up is all the applications, most but not all would run in 32 bit compatibility mode until native 64 bit binarys could be released.

ghostshadow
ghostshadow

I bought a Toshiba laptop that is presumably 64-bit capable, but M/S offers no honest upgrade path. From what I've been able to learn, I cannot get 64-bit Vista unless I consent to being ripped off by M/S (ie, paying for a new copy of Vista). Since I never got my money's worth from my original version of Vista Ultimate, I have no desire to be exploited a second time.

JCitizen
JCitizen

even if it included DRM infested hardware/software, you name it. I will just have to hope video authoring catches up now, as I'm sure at least Adobe will. With HD content there is just no way around the RAM issue, although Linux gurus can get around DRM, I haven't seen any hacks on cable system Mcards lately. I'm certainly not interested in cracking hollywood content anyway.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

I bought a new laptop back in May, it came with Vista32bit Home Premium. I checked into running XP and various parts of hardware didn't have proper XP support. I installed Linux instead.

Joe_R
Joe_R

.....at least that my guess.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I'd say just about the same thing.

Joe_R
Joe_R

MARILYN VOS SAVANT, the professional genius, proved that the egg came first. Heritable mutations happen only in sperm and ova, she reasoned, so something that was almost a chicken laid a true chicken egg. Makes sense to me. Although I remember reading her column in which this was provided, I cut-and-pasted my answer from the following source: http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/02/08/19/020819opsurvival.html

qhcomputingny
qhcomputingny

Why is everyone still complaining about Vista issues?? Vista hasn't had significant issues (none at all for me or my clients) since the release of SP1. So many Microsoft haters out there, it's unbelievable.

Sagax-
Sagax-

Of those I tried, all have worked well. The native 64 bit apps run so much faster it just seems that the 32 bit apps are slower.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I can only speak from my own experience, but here's what I've discovered. The 32-bit applications installed on my 64-bit systems seem to run without issue. I only have a couple of them, however, one of which is Office 2007. The others are some specialized engineering software packages, and I haven?t had issues with those either. As far as being fully backwards compatible, I have had some issues with applications for certain peripherals. We have a wide format scanner, for example, that has a scanned document management application (TWAIN), and although Xerox released a 64 bit driver for the printer/scanner, it did not release a functioning 64-bit application. (Maybe it?s released by now. I haven?t looked in a while.)

bkrateku
bkrateku

I've found that most of the stuff I do either has a 64 bit compatible version or works in 32 bit mode, but there are some things that won't run on it. I'm using XP 64 bit, which by the way, shuts down in just a few seconds, but takes forever to start...not sure why. Anyway, on some games I get a message saying it hasn't been tested on 64 bit, but they work anyway. As for the apps that don't run...I can't remember any off the top of my head, but only 2 or 3 that I know of that did that. Most will run it seems. I would imagine, though, that specialty programs probably would be more picky about it (CAD, financial programs, etc.).

JCitizen
JCitizen

I don't like Symantec, but it has many features that my old favorites can't supply to Vista or the NT 6 kernel. Adaware 2008 is working very well on my Vista x64 platform. Surprisingly the only 32 bit processes I've seen, belong to the 32 bit version of IE 7 that they supply for web functionality.

terry.floyd
terry.floyd

I tried to run 64-bin Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, and wanted to use multiple NICs to ease network issues with VMs sharing resources. While the embedded NIC in my motherboard was 64-bit, the PCI Giabit Ethernet expansion card I bought was not the 64-bit version and wasn't recognized. I can run 32-bit VMS that see it, but no 64-bit VM can recognize it.

adelacuesta
adelacuesta

..has one, with the vista name on it. A few of our favorite applications cannot be installed. It is not 64-bit compatible. Autodesk and Adobe likes it but runs well in 32-bit platforms. Not needed it right now, its just a matter of need vs. wants. With in favor of the prior due to budget, etc.

redewenur
redewenur

Come the day when a 64 bit OS can do anything radically better than a 32 bit OS, then I'll upgrade - but for the time being the available CPUs provide superb 32 bit performance minus compatibility hassles.

Sagax-
Sagax-

64 bit FlashPlayer from Adobe is now in Beta for Linux only. My personal PC is running Mepis 64bit Linux and all is well except Flash. With the new player that issue should be resolved. Oh BTW, have you tried to buy a 32 bit CPU lately??

Aakash Shah
Aakash Shah

Adobe CS4 was also supposed to be released for the Mac. But, Apple dropped support for Carbon 64bit and so this caused a problem for Adobe because they now have to rewrite their code for Cocoa (Cocoa is Carbon's successor): http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/04/03/adobe_64_bit_mac_creative_suite_apps_wont_happen_till_v5_0.html It appears that Mac 10.5 includes 64bit Unix and Cocoa. But, 10.6 will enhance that and also include a 64bit kernel and apps: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/09/05/road_to_mac_os_x_snow_leopard_the_future_of_64_bit_apps.html

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

I am currently running 3 versions of Linux 64 bit. One is working very well across the board including multimedia and the other 2 are almost as good. They need a little work yet but for the most part everything there works pretty well. I have drivers for just about everything now except for 1 that I had to download for the ethernet adapter. The other 2 64-bit distros already had the adapter covered.

MikeAinOz
MikeAinOz

I have the same issue, laptop is 64 bit running 32 bit Vista, but I haven't paid extra for Ultimate or an upgrade to 64 bit. Home machine AMD 64 bit running 32 bit XP. Work machine Intel Core 2 Quad running 32 Bit XP. So, in theory, I have a lot of 64 bit capacity. In practice it's not directly utilised by the OS's or apps

bens
bens

In our case, none of the apps support it.

stipe.hodak
stipe.hodak

Well, I installed 64bit Vista on all my three computers mainly to test it and to keep up with the novelties. For my home machine, I had a difficult time just installing Vista x64 Ultimate (probably due to exotic HW since I bought and put everything together myself) but once that was past and I installed SP1, I really have to knock on wood: everything I use it for works fine, except for one thing: I couldn't use Cisco VPN client since it didn't support 64bit (I use Cisco AnyConnect VPN now which works on x64 as well, but that involved upgrading Cisco routers). On my work workstation I had to install Virtual PC and run an image of my old XP to run some specific business software since it doesn't support 64bit. For that reason alone I don't plan to upgrade from XP 32bit on the workstations for quite some time. On the server front, newer windows servers all run x64 and there's also a few AIX x64 boxes in production as well, so it's a pretty hybrid environment right now and will probably stay that way for quite some time.

ffulton
ffulton

I have been running Vista 64 w/8 gigs of ram for over a year. I have drivers for all my devices (though Creative needs to improve theirs) and I am very happy. I use VMWare and can run an ungodly number of Large vms simultaneously. I only need VMware to make a native 64bit Workstation.

AT Computers
AT Computers

Tried a 64bit system with 64bit vista, nothing seems too work, such as my sprint and ATT aircards. I have transitioned to the 64 bit system for system speed, but currently running 32bit Vista, reason, My Aircards work well with 32bit vista/64bit system, but won't work with 64bit vista/64bit system. So the problem lies with Microsofts 64bit OS.

putergurl
putergurl

I jumped into 64 bit with XP64, and then again with a second Vista machine. XP64 still has many software incompatibilities, just try to find a retail AV program that will run on it! Even if it works in Vista 64bit, it likely will not run on XP64. I use these systems for clean up operations on customer hard drives, so not having a robust compatible AV program on that workstation renders it substandard for this work. After nearly 2 years of running 64-bit systems, the only compelling reason for doing so I have seen is the larger memory capacity a 64bit environment allows; and the only application I've seen that truly benefits from it has been gaming! I still build all new systems with 64bit environments, since that is the way things are going, but I'm still frustrated that I can't offer my customers any more compelling a reason.

DarolLucas
DarolLucas

The problem i am having is that my company is primarily AutoDesk and Adobe products, but these products haven't made a stable & steady productive leap toward 64-Bit. All machines are 64-Bit compatible (EM64T Intels), but if we can't run our Core programs on machines with a 64-Bit OS, there is no point.... I have 64-Bit XP at home, and I use it primarily for testing out which apps are 64-bit compatible and which are not... It's a conundrum

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is not enough people have moved to it, to justify spending the resources in following them. Looked at it three times over the last three years, it's on the back burner again... This is of course on the client side. For us server side is merely installing the correct database server.

ME
ME

If it ain't broken, Don't fix it. At home, I have several versions of Linux 64bit but at work, only Oracle and several Workstations that specifically require it have 64 bit OS?s. Microsuck XP 32 bit does the job and we are pretty comfortable with it; why risk it with their new experiment. We know Linux works, so does Oracle but Microsuck has a little longer to prove us it is ready for prime time...

JCitizen
JCitizen

with my HP laptop using XP x64. Wouldn't mind playing with Linux however.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Nah way man, did you really post that? I mean even Steve Balmer said we could skip Vista... If your gonna post something like that, you gotta come back and defend it.. On the subject of M$ haters, I beleave their is not one IT person in the world. That can say they never hated their computer at some point in their life. Most professionals don't hate any one thing. I think I can safely say, we all hate crappy code. From the poorly created dlls and slapped together XP drivers in the first year of XP. To the incredibly annoying "free" Linux drivers, that were coded by a 17 year old in college, to get a better grade. I could go on for hours with all the systems I have used and supported, including mainframe, that I hated at some point... Stop the hate, its just a friggin' computer..

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

There are not so many M$ Haters out there, it's unbelievable. You obviously are working with all new hardware and software. Vista can not support many items of hardware like the Office Photocopier that is in excess of 50K to replace. Then when you look at the bulk of Mission Critical Applications many have not been rewritten to run on Vista so why would Business who are the ones who drive OS Development want to move to Vista? Going Broke hasn't ever been the preferred Option for most Business and with times so tough at the moment it's much harder to stay solvent. Walk into any business and insist that they have to scrap everything spend Tens of thousands of $ to run the new OS and then not be able to run their Required Applications and see just how long you are welcome. It's not a matter of if you like M$ or not it's a matter of what works in the cheapest manner for the client. The funny thing is also all these M$ Haters as you like to call them are the ones crying out for continued Sales & Support of XP so they are not the M$ Haters that you seem to think them to be. :^0 Col

normhaga
normhaga

Without going any further than Techrepublic, browse the questions forum. How many posts do you see in which people are loosing various pieces of hardware in Vista SP1 between reboots. I worked with Vista 64 for most of a year. While I had no problems, except loosing the DVD drive, the NIC, and the video, once in a while the printer, that reloading the OS would not cure, I would not say that Vista is a bad OS. At least when compared to Millennium. I of course, conveniently forgot the slow file transfers which SP1 only partially fixed, but I tend to overlook this as Linux can be slower with large files.

lastchip
lastchip

At least, that's my experience. I've been running Debian Etch 64 for about a year now with no issues. I did evaluate the Vista 64 pre-release version and it was crap, confirming to me, Microsoft at that time was still incapable of producing a viable 64 bit system. As I've not been near Vista since, I can't say if things have improved or not. But Windows is pretty much history for me now anyway.

eward
eward

Most all of my computers have 64-bit chips in them. I'm running 64-bit XP in one case, and 32 bit on the other machines, mostly because I don't have more 64-bit licenses, and in one case, the graphics card is too old for me to find good 64-bit drivers. Other than that, I haven't had much of a problem finding 64-bit drivers. It's matured enought that there are proper drivers for most modern (practically usable) components. I almost exclusivly install linux in the 64-bit variety. Using Wine (for gaming) can be a problem. With the new Ubuntu's 32-bit Wine will install natively though. If I'm using a different Distro, I'll instll the 32-bit OS if I'm going to use it for gaming. rhomp, what distros are you using?

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

64 bit for years now. It's once again the power of open source and community development.

JCitizen
JCitizen

that their are no problems getting drivers and applications so far. This is big switch from 9 months ago, but I had full functionality from my laptop even then. With a kernel the same as Server 2003, I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised.

JCitizen
JCitizen

fairly well except for Media Center hiccups; but it took me a more than a month to set it up. The factory sent NO manuals on how to do anything right. So far it is running, we'll see about blue sceens and such, ect. It is the fastest computer I have ever owned. (edited) It is a Vista Home x64 system. I wanted Ultimate, but for DRM reasons HP uses a "special edition" of Vista Home for cable ready HVRs.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I haven't had those kinds of problems. Then again, I don't use Sprint or ATT aircards. Thanks.....

ejkolkman
ejkolkman

Why migrate to 64bit OS when it is not supported? On the other hand, shouldn't a 64bit OS support 32bit software without the software having to be designed to work in the 64bit environment?

Joe_R
Joe_R

That's the primary reason I wanted to make a 64-bit platform work for us. We use graphics intensive applications, and being limited to 4GB was begining to be a problem - especially with larger files, some of which push 50MB in size.

Joe_R
Joe_R

We use two - AutoCAD MEP 2009, which does indeed have a 64-bit version, and Revit MEP, which has just been made available in a 64-bit version. I do have some instructions on how to get earlier 32-bit AutoCAD applications to install on a 64-bit system. Send me a peer mail if you want it.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Although it might be a while. Thanks for posting.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I wouldn't fix it either. Usually a good bit of advice. Thanks.

jdclyde
jdclyde

That is way to funny, and highlights the mental deficiencies of anyone stupid enough to make such a statement. Vista is a pass for me. Not because it is MS, but because of the insane hardware requirements to have a word processor. If the next version pulls back on the bloat, then lets rock.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

However I do find it funny the way that these Fan Boys claim that the world is full of M$ Haters because so many do not like Vista and prefer to remain with XP. Doesn't make much sense to me but then again as I must be a M$ Hater because I have not moved to Vista what would I know. :^0 I wonder however what it would make of a Surgeon I know who only uses ME and it is the only OS he has ever used and he swears by it as beautiful. He doesn't see any reason to move to XP let alone Vista. This guy claims he currently owes me 3 Heart Transplants and a few Kidney Transplants as well as any others that I may require some time. Somehow because he hates M$ so much I don't think I had better take him up on the offer if I ever required any of these. :D Col

jdclyde
jdclyde

It is stupid to move to anything new, just because there is something new out. If there is not a sound business reason for doing something, you don't do it. Has nothing to do with being a fanboy, because this is across the board, not just for computers and OS's.

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

Sabayon, Mandriva and BlueWhite64. BlueWhite64 is the best of these IMNSHO. It is an offshoot of Slackware and works very well indeed. The developers are running it in parallel with Slackware itself.

fdtopp
fdtopp

Have 4 computers in my home and two are 64 bit; seem more stable and quicker. No more memory errors. Gigabyte motherboard allows BIOS selection of boot drive, so I have one Windows 7, two XPsp3s, and one Linux OSs to choose from on my main machine. Can run anything and any hardware.

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