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Thread: Go 64bit or Not?

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    Go 64bit or Not?

    Ok,

    I thought I'd made my mind up about getting Vista Ultimate in 64bit form rather than 32bit.

    As I understand it....

    64bit version will run 32bit software but not 16bit (not bothered about that I dont think)

    64bit version should be of some benefit if 64bit software takes advantage?

    Windows is moving to 64bit platform in the future so hopefully the adoption rate will increase?

    Drivers may be slower to come out for 64bit Windows versions?

    Potential software incompatibility? Will this be an issue?

    Answers on a postcard please...

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    Senior Member Dreaming's Avatar
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    I'm on 32 bit, wish I'd gone 64 bit now though . The performance improvements are actually marginal, better if you do cpu intensive work for example decoding / encoding DVDs and things like that - so for a server 64 bit definately.

    But I've found that for some peripherals I have the 32 bit year old drivers don't work, yet they've released 64 bit 'vista' drivers that are brand new and I suspect they may work.

    I got OEM though, so not sure where I stand. I think the licence is for 'home premium'; it doesn't specify 32 bit of 64 bit, so if I get someone elses copy I should be able to upgrade. I think.

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    i tried XP64 on my HTPC, it lasted all of a couple of hours before i realised none of my TV cards had 64bit drivers at the time. Wiped and put standard XP on it

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    Well, I think I need to go and check for driver availability against my shopping list before deciding.

    I will run XP (32 bit) on a seperate boot drive to start with probably.

    So really, just with Vista in mind, Im trying to decide if there's any reason I shouldn't go to 64bit.

    Also, did I read somewhere that 32bit can only address 2GB or RAM (or was it 4?)

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    32 bit can address 4GB of RAM (2^32) but for some reason, Microsoft make it difficult (and a complete fiddle) to talk to more then 3GB of it when running 32bit.

    As for 64 bit Vista, I am running it very reliably, although there is one BIG caveat that you may or may not find a pain......

    The 64bit version will not let you completely disable the digital driver signing. The command to do it completes successfully but you WILL get a BSOD if you run non-signed drivers on bootup and you have to do the "Hit F8 - then choose to disable it" on every bootup. I believe the 32bit version will get you around this.

    The one good thing to note though, is that to get the "Designed for Windows Vista" logo on hardware, the hardware must support BOTH 32 and 64 bit Vista.....so all new hardware should have 64 bit support by standard.

    I am currently lacking signed drivers for my Areca raid controller, nVidia gfx card and ZBoard keyboard - although all are running 64bit Vista drivers......its a pain having to press F8 on every boot but hopefully it won'#t be for too much longer.
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    Excellent, thanks for that, any issues running any software so far?

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    I went and got Vista Ultimate 64bit and have it running fine at the moment.

    I had to do some serious meddling to get my USB wifi adaptor to work and my fingerprint reader is a definate no go at the moment, as there are no drivers for any 64bit OS - how ironic considering its made by MS!!

    The only thing that bothers me is running games on a 64bit platform, some work and some dont. Ive only had vista a short while so ive not installed any games yet.

    64bit is worth buying, but you need to be prepared to be more patient with support than you would need to be for 32bit.

    My suggestion would be to think of everything you might install in windows, then hunt down all the 64bit drivers and make a decision based on driver/program support

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    Nothing a problem so far but I wasn't expecting any other then the same things that fail on XP x64.....basically 16bit installers, which are very rare and normally only found with old games.
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    I'm running Vista Ultimate x64 version at the moment and I've had no problems. Vista had drivers for most of my hardware by default. I needed drivers for my ATi Graphics Card, Dell Laser Printer, Windows Mobile Phone and my Xbox 360 Wireless Hardware Adaptor. Windows got most of the drivers automatically when I connected the hardware to my PC, but the Printer and and Graphics Drivers I just went on their respective sites (Ati.com and Dell.co.uk) and got the 64-bit Drivers no problem.

    The best thing I suggest is get a Vista DVD off someone and install it without a cd key, you then get a 30 day trial. Do this with the 64-bit edition and see if you can get all your drivers to work, if you can then go for 64-bit. If you can't, consider waiting then getting 64-bit edition, or go for 32-bit Retail and you get a 64-bit Upgrade path.

    All this driver unsigning only tends to be a problem with Beta drivers, which themselves are usually buggy anyways. Providing you stick to known brands, ATi, Dell, Microsoft and so fourth your find drivers to be no problem.

    By next year I think 64-bit drivers will be around for practically every peice of hardware, but companies like Nvidia which seem to struggle just getting 32-bit drivers working on Vista will focus on 32-bit before they then make 64-bit.

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    Understood,

    I'll check my shopping list against vendor drivers before ordering.

    Like I say, I'll be running an XP Pro (32 bit) on a seperate hdd, so if I really need to run a piece of software or use a certain piece of kit then I should be able to get away with that. That said, I have a couple of other computers / laptop lying around, so I'm sure I won't have any problems. Just wanted a general gist of stability.

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    Oh I forgot to mention, you can run 16-bit code in Vista x64 by use of Virtual PC's.

    Microsoft just released Virtual PC 2007 which works with Vista x64 and is Free

    I have a few virtual PC's, 98, XP and a Linux one. I have managed to run old games which have 16-bit installers with no problem. You just can't natively run 16-bit code within Windows Vista itself. Though to be fair, unless you play really old games and I mean old games or applications you wont have a problem with that. But if you ever need to, VirtualPC will allow you to

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    There is something weird in Vista with regards to 16 bit code though, last night while fiddling with drivers and setting, I managed to get Windows Explorer (in Vista Ultimate x64) to throw up the error:

    "Too many files are currently in use by 16-bit programs. Quit one or more 16-bit programs or increase the value of the FILES command in your Config.sys file"

    Still don't know what to make of it and hope it doesn't happen again
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    Quick question. Since the licence is for the product, not the bit-number, if we got a 64 bit cd off a friend at a later date, it should work with the same cd key shouldn't it?

    (so 32 bit home cd key will work with 64 bit home cd key)

    Cos on the sticker (mine was ripped ) it says

    Windows Vista[tm] Home Premium
    OEM Software


    So I'm reckoning it should work. But can't confirm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming View Post
    Quick question. Since the licence is for the product, not the bit-number, if we got a 64 bit cd off a friend at a later date, it should work with the same cd key shouldn't it?

    (so 32 bit home cd key will work with 64 bit home cd key)

    Cos on the sticker (mine was ripped ) it says

    Windows Vista[tm] Home Premium
    OEM Software


    So I'm reckoning it should work. But can't confirm.
    It may well do yes. I'll try it later.

    I running the MSDN Vista at the moment (32 Bit) but am upgrading as we speak and going to be using the 64 Bit on that. The serial key from MS is identical for both platforms.

    Im obviously only using the MSDN versions for testing purposes though.

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    I've been running 64bit vista ultimate for a while, and i'm getting along great with it!

    It was slightly annoying at first, because I use media centre and could find drivers for my TV cards. Manufacturers were quick off the mark with their 32bit drivers, but have slowly pplayed catch-up with 64bit.

    Anyway, everything is sorted, 64bit drivers are now popping up everywhere and i'm loving vista at the moment.

    I'd go for the 64bit as the price margin is negligible, there are less memory limits, and the manufacturers are gradually catching up!

    The only problem seems to be the Biometics such as the MS fingerprint reader. This is because these accessed the kernel in Xp, and Vista works differenty. It may find a way, but for the moment, it happening. Thats only a minor problem! This also affects some printers, but newer tech should get round that!

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