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Should I choose Windows XP 64bit or 32bit?





_VMX_
Well, I'm about to get a new PC with an AMD64 dual core, and I was wondering whether to install the 64bit version of XP or not.

I know that advantages will probably only arise if I run software designed specifically to use 64bit algorithms, and I know 32bit applications (that is, most of the total current applications) will run just as well as before.

The question is, I read that I may have a hard time (or just fail) to find the appropiate drivers for all my hardware, as there's still some time left until all the developers finish the move to 64bit software architecture. Of course, if this is the case I won't be really interested in XP 64bit.

I'd really like honest answers (I don't want you to tell me that 64bit is the future, etc etc, I already know that, but I want to know if RIGHT NOW it would be a good choice or a stupid one, given the small amount of 64bit applications in the market and the lack of support). I'd rather like you to focus on the issues I may have if I choose 64bit, I know the advantages.

Consider it wouldn't suppose any extra cost or complication to get the 64bit version, as I'm formatting and installing everything from scratch (I don't mind getting one disk or the other).

Thanks in advance
{name here}
There may be some problems with 32-bit hardware like printers as some people report. There should be nothing of big consequence.
_VMX_
Are you sure? I've been told that some applications just refuse to run when you're on 64bit. I've checked and I have 64bit HP drivers for my printer, gfx card, etc., but I would hate to see surprises like some games not running on my PC just after installing them, and so on.

It's not like I would like having to reinstall XP x32 version just the next week...
ocalhoun
^Supposedly, the 64 bit version can emulate 32 bit operation if it needs to, just as the 32 bit can emulate 16 bit (DOS programs).
_VMX_
Yes, that should be the theory, but as I'm being told it seems like many apps refuse to run on XP x64, plus the hardware drivers do need to be 64bit-specific to work properly.

It's a matter of lack of testing probably. The 64bit version hasn't had many users yet and thus it's bound to having bugs more than other XP versions.

I think I'm going for the WinXP Pro SP2 version after all...
ssthanapati
If u ask me its basically useless if u go for a 64-bit OS at the current moment. Driver support is a major issue moreover u wont be getting any advantages as such by installing it
_VMX_
Ok, thanks ssthanapati. That's the kind of advice I needed.

I knew the slight advantages I could get, and obviously the fact that little by little more apps will move to 64bit architecture. But as you said, right now I believe I'll have more problems than advantages if I do, so I'll stick to the 32bit version.

Thx again Wink
orcaz
hey, can someone explain to me wadz the diff between x64 and 32-bit? why is it suddenly microsoft has started to release softwares specially for x64? What is the difference in terms of processing and OS?
_VMX_
Well, some months ago both AMD and Intel released their first 64bit architecture processors. This means those processors can handle 64bit instructions, while 'old' ones could only work with 32bit ones.

The basic difference is that, when you send an "order" to the processor, you can use longer "words" (double the size), so if before you needed to send six 32bit instructions to do a certain task, now you would only need to send three 64bit instructions, and thus the processing time should be reduced, and the speed increased.

Of course this is only theory, practice is much more complex but this is the idea.

But the problem is that the conversion from 32bit to 64bit isn't automatic, if a piece of software (right now, virtually everything) is designed to work with 32bit architecture, it won't be able to send 64bit instructions regardless the processor you have, and thus you won't be using the full potential of your 64bit processor. Everything needs to be rewritten.

So Microsoft released a 64bit version of Windows XP, just like there are versions of Linux, etc. This version will obviously take full profit of 64bit processors (at least in the tasks the OS performs). But then there's a big problem: most of the 32bit drivers for most of your hardware, etc won't work on the x64 version of WinXP.

Also, although 32bit applications are meant to work properly in 64bit OS (it can handle 32bit instructions), many people are reporting that some of them just refuse to run. Given that it's something new, it seems that there are still incompatibilities, etc.

So even though I have a 64bit processor, I'm going for the x32 version of WinXP because I believe I'll have many problems if I don't.

Hope that was helpful Wink
jabol
i`d rather also use 32-bit system. some of my friends and my dad tested x64 with following results:
- my dad had x64 PC at work, installed win 64-bit because of some programs that he wanted to use on x64 and subsequently spent almost a week digging google and searching for drivers for all devices with various effects (some found, some not). after driver searching he had some problems with applications that are not designed for 64-bit system, they use to hang and cause lots of errors
- my friend tried tu use Xp 64-bit on laptop wit AMD Turion64 and had some real problems with drivers. CD he got with laptop hadn`t almost any drivers for x64, so after less than one day, he was frustrated and changed to plain XP
- i was wandering about installing 64-bit win on my laptop but after looking for drivers (the one for my WiFi i found only in one place, not official Smile ), after some time looking i resigned and installed plain XP...
alienjones
Another problem is when you do get 32bit-apps to run on 64bit-machines, the necessary 32bit-emulation slows down the system performance. Therefore a 64bit-computer will be objective slower than its 32bit-counterpart when running 32bit-programs. So if you require to run a 64bit-machine for whatever 64bit-application, it should be a dedicated computer.
flameboy1974
Quote:
Another problem is when you do get 32bit-apps to run on 64bit-machines, the necessary 32bit-emulation slows down the system performance

Exactly right! I have an AMD 64 in my tower. I tried XP 64 bit for almost a whole week. Then I just formated and went back to 32.
First of all driver support is almost nil unless you have big name hardware items. I did get my 32 bit sounds card driver to finally run but there was times without sound. Most of my applications worked using the 32 bit emulation. The only problem is that windows comes up speedy fast but as soon as you run a 32 bit application its like driving a car with flat tires.
So whats the point of 64 bit if no one supports it? I went back to 32 bit. Readilly available drivers, programs work, and no slug sessions when loading programs.
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