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Old 10-17-2008, 02:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

This is not the usuall ram limit question !

I was trowling some forums, and i came across a guy that said something similar to this:

"On a 32bit OS there are 32bits of data in each process, and on a 64bit OS theres 64bits of data in each process - because of this having 2GB of ram on a 32bit OS and having 4GB of ram on a 64bit OS result in the same performance"

Is this true ? I just bought another 2gb of ram for my pc (running Vista Ultimate 64Bit) so i can have the peice of mind of 4GB of ram whilst running FarCry2, but if that is true i may aswell cancel my order and just use 2gb of ram and play it on Windows XP (I've got dual boot setup)

Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

no... thats absurd... the difference between an x86 and x64 OS is the memory addressing... a 32bit OS can address 2^32 bytes of memory, that is 4GB as a maximum... a 64bit OS can address 2^64 bytes, which is a theoretical 16 exabytes (17.2billion GB).

The difference between x86 and native x64 CPU is the amount of data processed per clock cycle (4 and 8 bytes, respectively)... this means that, in theory, a native 64bit processor can process data twice as fast as a 32bit one... but this is only true for complex mathematical calculations such as large factorials or extremely accurate values of pi. atm the only mainstream operation that benefits noticably from a 64bit processor is data encryption, which may be up to 4 times faster depending on the encryption algorithm.

64bit OSes do slightly increase the memory usage of any given process, but this difference is effectively negligible. So there is no real difference between a PC running an x86 or x64 OS unless you have more RAM than there are available x86 addresses
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

OK to clarify this even more, no it is ridiculous to say you will need double the ram to cover an increase in data bus.
There is *some* validity to the statement though: computer's consist of millions and billions of bits, and whenever they process a command they have to process the entire data bus.
If you are familiar with programming you may know the following data types:
char -- a 1 byte (8 bit) value
short -- a 2 byte (16 bit) value
long -- a 4 byte (32 bit) value
*note: considering none of these data types are signed

but where is the oh-so-famous int (abbreviation for integer)?
Many, many, far too many programmers do not know the answer to this, and with proper reason. What size is int? Many programming books when you read them just say, int can be of different sizes, and are never really clear why, and where it gets its size from.
The answer is your question: int is the size of the data bus. So a 32-bit processor int would be the same size as long, but a 64 bit processor would be the same size as a double long.
So when you run some programs on your computer, many programmers use the data type int to avoid running into problems with processors and because, well it's easier BUT, because of this reason, your computer will be using a bit more ram, but far from double.
Hope that cleared things up!
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

Thanks. I was skeptical about the comment, but i just needed the clarification.

Make sure you 2 don't leave the forum, you both seem very knowledgable
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

Also the obvious benefit of 4 gig of ram is the heavy load you may get on newer games that are starting to use 1gig+.

Paging file sucks.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

Lol, with a load of texture mods and visual enhancements i booted up TES 4 Oblivion, and then checked processes and it said i was using 3.2GB of ram
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreo View Post
Lol, with a load of texture mods and visual enhancements i booted up TES 4 Oblivion, and then checked processes and it said i was using 3.2GB of ram
You mind PM'ing me which ones you used?
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

Done.
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

4gb however does give a marked performance boost in vista when gaming so is preferable 8gb is fairly pointless still for the average user.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32Bit/64Bit RAM Question

It's more than a small improvement, having 4GB meant i could actually play most of my games. Games like Oblivion, Crysis, Company of Heroes were all very unhappy with 2GB of ram.
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