I'm in the process of building a new rig, and am considering if the time is right to go 64 Bit.
My current PC has and OEM version of XP pro, so I'm gonna have to buy a new OS anyway, and despite the bad press, I kinda like Vista.
But, do I stick with a 32 Bit version, or has the situation improved any for 64 Bit?
I have done some research, and all of the parts I've bought for my new rig have 64 Bit drivers available.
I'm gonna use a Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 with a Phenom 9950. Gigabyte's website has a full 64Bit driver pack for this board, including sound, LAN, and SATA.
Graphics cards seem to be well covered too, ATI has a 64Bit version of the Catalyst control centre.
The thing I'm stuck on is software, like games and such. Now from what I've found on Google, most games do work OK on Vista 64, and those that don't, won't work on Vista 32 either, so it seems to be a general Vista issue rather than a 64 Bit thing.
What about Video tools?
I use programs like DVD decrypter, DVD Flick, DVD Shrink and various other tools for PSP video conversion and so on. Can anyone confirm if they work OK?
Or if anyone is using Vista64 some general advice would be appreciated.
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99.99% of the time, any software that runs on 32-bit Vista will run on 64-bit Vista - all 32-bit apps run natively - there's no emulation etc that would cause problems.
The only real reasons to not use 64-bit Vista are:
1. Lack of hardware drivers (not really an issue for a new machine)
2. The need to run 16-bit code
Also (and true for 32-bit), the need to run any software that accesses hardware directly. If it doesn't work on Win2K or XP, it won't work on Vista (any flavor). This is mainly old Win3.x/9x software that accesses COM/LPT ports directly.
I use 64-bit Vista Ultimate as my primary OS and much prefer it over 32-bit Vista (more responsive). I haven't run into any problems using my 32-bit applications with it and all my hardware is supported.
Thanks for that, all the searching I've done seems to say the same thing.
How far back are we talking for 16Bit code? The oldest programs I use are probably games. Like Age of Empires, C&C Red Alert, Caesar 3 and that type of thing. I don't suppose they would use 16Bit code would they?
Also, I read somewhere that Vista Ultimate, if you buy the retail box, has both 32 and 64 versions?
Can anyone confirm this? The MS site isn't very clear on this.
Thanks again.We'll be right back after these messages from Binford!
16 bit code is very old. If you have something that says it only runs on Win98 or below it MIGHT be 16 bit code, but I don't know a good way to tell. Win98 could support 32 bit code too, so it's really hard to say. If the game is old enough to be 16 bit code, it's pretty primitive in terms of graphics. It will definitely be "cartoony" for lack of a better word. 16 bit code would be 10+ years old, maybe older.
I run XP 64 bit at work (we REFUSE to upgrade to Vista by choice) and stuff works fine on it, even 32 bit programs. I did have to find and install a 64 bit version of Thunderbird which I use for mail because the 32 bit one (the one that Mozilla distributes for all Windoze boxes) ran too slow on my PC, but otherwise no 32 bit vs. 64 bit issues, so JohnnyMalaria's post would be very good general advice.
One other issue that gets discussed on the computer blogs is Microsoft's security strategy for 64bit. They tighten requirements for signed drivers and other security issues. The idea is if all drivers need to be written fresh anyway, they are going to force a higher level of security and authentication.
Adobe, Avid and others still recommend against 64bit with current product versions. Check your applications.Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
And if you haven't seen it, this site has some Vista compatibility information, including V64: http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_Software_Compatibility_List
I have V32 on three machines and have been thinking of trying V64. I only had one HDTV card that had no Vista drivers available, but would run in XP SP2 compatibility mode, though not that well. I reverted the HTPC to XP for it temporarily, but I finally decided to go with a LAN HDTV tuner instead that is platform independent as I would rather have Vista on the HTPC.
Other than that, with V32, I've had no major software or hardware problems. Vista is a bit more difficult to set up networking with, but once done, works great.
I would recommend 2GB RAM minimum and a fast CPU, though. V64 can use all the RAM you can afford. V32 is limited to about 4GB. With the Phenom CPUs, you want to use DDR2 1066Mhz RAM, matched pairs. That MB also uses PCI-E 2.0 cards for video, a big performance improvement for video. SATA drives, HDD and optical, is also a good idea. Plus a good power supply. If contemplating CrossFire, a ~600W PS may be worth considering.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you use a 64-bit native video player then you need 64-bit native codecs for playback. Vista 64 comes with 64-bit MPEG2 codecs as it uses a 64-bit version of Media Center by default. There is no 64-bit version of DivX yet.
As for some of the old, incompatible software you may come across you can pretty easily run a VM of an older OS, like Win2k, to run those applications. As long as they aren't looking for hardware and don't require much 3D acceleration you'll get pretty good performance from a VM. I run OSX, Win2k, XP Pro, Windows 95, and Ubuntu 64 on my workstation.FB-DIMM are the real cause of global warming
Ahh, codecs. Thats another thing I didn't think of.
Will VLC media player work OK? And will the bundled codecs work?
Redwudz: Yeah, I'm gonna go for 4Gb of RAM, thats kinda why I started thinking about 64 Bit.
This is what I'm thinking of getting:-
Is there any performance benefit from using 2 x 2Gb sticks or 4 x 1Gb sticks?We'll be right back after these messages from Binford!
I have the bundled codecs on my Vista x64 machine and have had no problems running video with WMP, now media center will not accept the codecs since it is 64bit. If I remember correctly, SP1 for vista was supposed to enable 4GB of ram on a x86 structure. I am not 100% sure so I will have to look into it.
I have found an article from softpedia that simple states that the SP1 for Vista only will show that you have 4 gigs installed and will only use a max of 3.5. So, Yes x64 is the way to go for 4 gigs of ram.
"Due to an architectural decision made long ago, if you have 4GB of physical RAM installed, Windows is only able to report a portion of the physical 4GB of RAM (ranges from ~2.75GB to 3.5GB depending on the devices installed, motherboard's chipset & BIOS). This behavior is due to 'memory mapped IO reservations'. Those reservations overlay the physical address space and mask out those physical addresses so that they cannot be used for working memory. Significant chunks of address space below 4GB (the highest address accessible via 32-bit) get reserved for use by system hardware: BIOS – including ACPI and legacy video support; PCI bus including bridges etc. PCI Express support will reserve at least 256MB, up to 768MB depending on graphics card installed memory", explained Hilton Locke, Microsoft Software Test Engineer.
Most all 32 bit OS's can only use a bit less than 4GB as that's all the RAM addresses that are available for system RAM. 64 bit OS's have many more addresses available.
JMO, which I can't back up at the moment, I would go with the bigger RAM modules, 2GB. If nothing else, it gives you spare slots to add more if needed or wanted in the future.
Tool Man, that RAM should work fine. DDR2 1066 will show timings like 5-5-5-15 most times. It may seem a bit slow compared to DDR2 800, but the MB has a few 'tricks' to operate the RAM at speeds that are a fair amount faster than DDR2 800. When you get your MB up and running, you may want to check the BIOS to make sure the RAM is running in 1066 mode. It isn't always automatic. The latest versions of CPU-Z should also tell you the speed and settings. With my Gigabyte MB, I only got to 1066Mhz when I dropped my overclock of the CPU. But I have an older 9500 Phenom. The newer ones likely work better.
I had a stable OC of the 9500 Phenom from 2.1Ghz up to 2.6Ghz with no problems, just a bit more CPU heat. Since I am using the CPU in a HTPC at present, I set the CPU clock back to 2.1Ghz as the HTPC case doesn't have great cooling. Running at about 35 - 45C at present. Still very good performance, though.