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tricky point about modern computer hardware and software

By Deadly Ernest ·
To start, I admit I haven't done the research on the AMD chips yet, but have checked out the Intel chips as they make up a huge part of the NEW computer market share.

All Intel Pentium 4 chips in a LGA 775 socket and the majority of the Socket 478 chips made and sold since 2004 are 64 bit chips on 64 bit motherboards. These systems are fully compatible with 32 bit hardware.

In fact the only 32 bit chips Intel make today are the Celeron-M (for mobile) chips for very cheap laptops. The medium to high end laptops are usually have full dual core or better 64 bit chips.

In summary, the great majority of the new computers sold over the last four years or more have been full 64 bit systems. Yet the mainstay operating system Microsoft is pushing users to get is the 32 bit version of Windows Vista and now 32 bit Windows Win 7, thus restricting the full capabilities of what can be done with the hardware. The 32 bit versions are the ones mostly installed, as default, on vendor systems for retail sale.

MS make going to 64 bit harder by not allowing people to use any drivers that are NOT digitally signed by MS, but they allow many in the 32 bit versions. Thus, it appears, MS prefer you to use software that is not only not as capable as the new hardware, but are working hard to have you throttle the hardware back.

Now isn't that an interesting perspective on the MS approach to users and getting the best out of their computers.


NB: this came up as a person I recently met was going on about how bad his ten month old laptop with Vista is. He assured me it was a 32 bit system as that's what the system details said - he showed me and it said "32 bit Operating System." I checked the makers web site and it said the chip is a LGA775 with EMT64 which is 64 bit. He had trouble installing the 32 bit version of SimplyMepis 8, but installing the 64 bit SimplyMepis went perfectly. All the built in devices just worked perfectly from the basic install. The only issue is a special USB Wireless device provided by his ISP (they only support Windows systems) which we're looking into.

As a result of this I did some research on what chips Intel now make and how long they've been making the 64 bit chips and found out the information above from:

edit = o

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What's wrong, nearly a full day and no Windows fan has

by Deadly Ernest In reply to tricky point about modern ...

tried to explain why MS prefers to sell 32 bit operating systems for work on 64 bit hardware or why MS makes it harder for people to provide 64 bit drivers for their 64 bit OSs.

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Think about this.....

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to tricky point about modern ...

They make cars that can move at 200 miles per hour yet all our major roads (UK) say 70.

What is the point in that when the car can go 200?

Even basic cars can go faster than 70.

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Let's extend your analogy

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Think about this.....

The minimum speed limit in most areas (varies in other areas I know) is about 25 mph for school zones with a general speed limit of about 30 mph, with areas up to 50 mph for major roads etc, and the usual max on highways of about 74 to 90 mph - rough conversions of our metrics to mph.

Most small cars can still do the 90 mph but take a long while to get to it and are struggling when they do.

Most cars now can be made to do up to about 120+ mph and handle the usual speeds above with comfort - most 2 litre 4 cyl cars. It's easy and just as expensive to make cars like this, so why base your main model on one that has a top speed of 90 mph and gives best performance around 20 mph when most drivers will be on roads in the 30 to 50 mph range.

But a better analogy would be having the cars with motors capable of doing the 120+ mph and easily handling the usual range of speeds, then putting a governor on the engine that stops one cylinder from working so it struggles to manage anything but the lowest speeds. That better describes putting a 32 bit OS on a 64 bit system.

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Still does not answer

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Let's extend your analogy

why build cars that can go X when the max road speed is far less than X. Why bother then?

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Because top speed capability is another factor of power and

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Still does not answer

that is often important in other ways. I don't mind answering this despite it being a major thread drift from why MS are deliberately throttling the hardware capabilities of modern systems.

back to cars:

When you select a car you select one to suit your needs, sometimes those needs are modest, sometimes there aren't. A car with the power to do 170 mph also has the power to tow a nice sized caravan or trailer or climb hills smoothly, while a car just barely capable of doing 70 MPH can't do any of those. Year ago I owned an early model Suzuki Carry, this little van style vehicle had three cylinder (yes three cylinder) 360 cc motor and had a top speed with driver only of 85 KPH (kilometre per hour, not miles) as it was intended for economical deliveries around the city. One day my sister borrowed it to drive a couple of hundred kilometres to a basketball carnival, she borrowed my van for the extra carry capacity for their gear. We often borrowed each other's vehicles, and I didn't mind. Going down a steep hill on a straight road, she put it in neutral and got up to 102 kph. When she slipped it back into gear at the bottom of the hill to go up the other side of the valley, there was a load bang as the engine blew up as she exceeded it's capabilities. Sometime later, after I rebuilt the motor, I did that same drive and the best speed I could get going up that hill was 30 kph in 2nd gear - now power for the climb in such a little motor.

My current car has a top speed of about 140 mph (according to the makers) and I often use the power to pull along a 7 foot by 4 foot trailer with a full load, great on a climb with the trailer on.

So the speed alone isn't the reason for powerful cars, sometimes it's the power needed to carry a load.

Switch to the software again -

64 bit hardware and 64 bit operating systems will usually run 32 bit applications without trouble. I say usually has the only time I tried a 64 bit version of Windows it was the 64 bit version of XP and it did have some issues with some 32 bit applications, which is why I ended up dumping it. The only reason i can see for MS not pushing the 64 bit Windows as the main choice is they've likely made mistakes and know it doesn't work as well as it should. I wait to be enlightened on that.

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Hey, here's a better analogy of the situation

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Think about this.....

sell all airlines Airbus passenger jets capable of carrying 400 plus passengers then only allow them to put 150 passengers on the plane. The resource is under utilised and doesn't reach it's best performance while slowing down your need to move ten thousand people between two airports.

That's about what a 32 bit OS does to a 64 bit system.

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by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Hey, here's a better anal ...

what is most of the extra passengers were incompatable with the plane and actually required to be moved on an older plane instead that has special seats. How does that fit.

Kind of like having 32bit apps running on a 64 bit system.

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Over the last four years I've run many 32 bit apps on

by Deadly Ernest In reply to But

64 bit versions of Linux, even run 32 bit Windows apps within a 64 bit Windows emulator on a 64 bit version of Linux on a 64 bit system.

About five six years back I got a copy of Win XP 64 bit version to load on my new 64 but system. All my 32 bit third party apps worked perfectly, but a couple of 32 bit MS apps didn't. I got rid of it in the end because I couldn't even get a proper 64 bit driver for my fancy five button MS Intellimouse and a few other peripherals. I loaded a 64 bit version of Linux and all the 32 bit apps and peripherals worked perfectly.

It seems only MS can't make MS 64 bit work nice.

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32bit over 64 bit?

by SKDTech In reply to tricky point about modern ...

I don't believe MS is pushing its' 32bit OS over its' 64bit OS. When it comes to what is available preinstalled you should instead be looking at the pc manufacturers. I believe the signed driver requirements placed on the 64bit versions is an effort to minimize the problems associated with bad drivers which have been at least partly if not largely the source of many of the problems with MS's OSes over the years. MS does not have the luxury of manufacturing its OS to only work on a very small number of build variations manufactured specifically for them and thus eliminating the majority of incompatibility issues as Apple does.

On the shelves I have no problem finding both 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows Vista and doubt I will have any problem with Windows 7 either. When Vendors build PCs for resale I doubt they are looking at the decision of 32 vs 64 as anything more than limiting the number potential helpdesk calls by installing the flavor least likely to cause problems with the majority of programs the consumers are likely to have installed.

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Over the years I've neither seen or heard of much in the

by Deadly Ernest In reply to 32bit over 64 bit?

way of third party drivers not signed by MS causing trouble EXCEPT where some MS Windows Wizard keeps replacing them with a MS signed driver instead of letting you stay with the one you installed. I know there was an issue with many drivers, signed and unsigned, crashing after MS issued one XP SP, but I never put that SP on as it caused too many problems with applications too.

For years MS have taken the position of no responsibility for drivers that are unsigned, by setting the system to refuse to use any unsigned drivers they are now forcing users to use limited lists of hardware as they force to make the hardware companies pay them to approve the drivers.

The issue with a lot of the Dell vendors having only 32 bit OSs on the systems is probably related to the drivers as Dell have a number of systems with 64 bit boards that are only available with 32 bit Windows.

IF the OS is written properly it should run 32 bit applications without any trouble at all, and also 32 bit peripherals. this doesn't seem to be an issue for most versions of Linux, Unix or Mac, but would appear to be an issue with Windows.

I love your comment about MS not having the luxury to make the OS compatible with a small number of build variations, meaning a limited list of hardware -- I love it because that's exactly what MS do, they do NOT use industry standard commands and thus make it harder for hardware manufacturers to make the hardware to work properly with Windows. If MS sued the industry standards then there would be no driver issues as all.

However, it still comes back to MS making it much easier for people to use the 32 bit version than the 64 bit version. If the claimed reasons for limiting drivers on the 64 bit version were valid, they would also apply to the 32 bit version, but they don't do that as such a restriction would hurt them, so they allow the easier driver access on the OS that throttles the system.

Oh checking the Dell web site shows a number of 64 bit hardware systems which they only sell with 32 bit Windows. They do have a few where you can choose 32 bit or 64 bit Windows, but not many.

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