Moving to 64-bit Vista w/64-bit Core2Duo for Basic Business Apps ???

By brossyg ·
I am currently running XP Pro 32-bit with a 3 gig Pentium 4 with 1 gig of RAM in a SOHO environment. My most taxing app is MS Access running a 250 meg database with lots of bells & whistles. The database regularly uses 100+% of my CPU. The rest of the apps are pretty standard Office apps. I rip CDs
often with Win Media Player 11, which uses 100+% of my CPU.

I would describe myself as a "practical" early-adopter, but not a techhead.

After Jan 1, 2007 I plan to buy a new computer. I am thinking of a 2nd-from-the fastest Core2Duo with 64-bit Vista, the new Office 2007, 10k or 15k SAS drives and 2 gig of RAM. Alternatively, I might use the 5100 series Xeon chip.

What configuration would be the fastest, but also best value? Will the Office 2007 version of Access be a speed demon on 64-bit Vista with a Core2Duo, or does 64-bit make a difference with these basic Office apps? I
haven't been able to find a concise article that lays this out for the SOHO user.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Vista 64-bit?

by TechExec2 In reply to Moving to 64-bit Vista w/ ...

Noticed you haven't gotten any responses yet and was hoping to hear what others had to say. My view based on limited exposure:

I cannot speak about the speed of Office 2007 on Vista 64-bit. I am currently testing apps (not Office 2007) on Vista 32-bit and haven't gotten to testing with Vista 64-bit.

Just an opinion: I would be reluctant to jump into Vista 64-bit immediately out of concern about application and other compatibility. After testing it I might though.

So far, my testing of Vista 32-bit on an Athlon 64 CPU works fine. The 64-bit CPUs are completely compatible with 32-bit code, so that isn't an issue.

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32-bit OS with 64-bit CPU

by brossyg In reply to Vista 64-bit?

The lack of responses trachs with the lack of practical info on this topic.

If I use 32-bit Vista, will a 64-bit CPU be much faster than a 32-bit CPU?

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It's not a direct comparison

by TechExec2 In reply to 32-bit OS with 64-bit CPU

It's not a direct comparison (32-bit CPU vs. 64-bit CPU). Certainly, the 32-bit OS will not take advantage of any 64-bit features (wider registers, larger address space...can't use larger address space with "only" 2 GB anyway). But, depending on model, you might be able to get something out of a newer 64-bit CPU design that you couldn't get in a 32-bit CPU such as dual core, higher clock speed, larger L2 cache, or more efficient instruction operation (more work per clock cycle). Also, motherboards for the latest 64-bit CPUs might offer PCI-Express whereas the older 32-bit CPUs might "only" have PCI and AGP (still very fast).

Note: With 2 GB of RAM, be sure to get a motherboard that has dual-channel memory bus (e.g. if two DIMMs, the CPU can request from both DIMMs simultaneously).

So, when choosing a CPU+motherboard (or system from an OEM), I would choose based on what software I planned to run (OS, apps), and look at benchmarks that help tell the story. If you're running office apps, you really cannot go wrong. All modern CPUs you buy will be very fast. Just buy the best that fits your budget.

Personally: I would definitely buy a dual-core 64-bit CPU now, primarily to take advantage of those additional CPU and motherboard features, not the 64-bit address space per-se. They are just not that expensive anymore.

If you don't want to be a "trail blazer" on this, I would suggest you wait to buy until after you can read some reviews and benchmark tests of Vista-32 and Vista-64 on various hardware configurations.

Also, for your 250 MB Access application, you've already made the most important decision to go with a fast disk drive (SATA 10K or 15K).

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