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Old 11-29-2006, 10:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Am I even using my 64-bit capability?

I know alot of people with 64-bit CPU's and Windows XP. If I originially heard this right, you don't even use the extra 32-bit unless you have an OS that takes advantage of it. So is it true people are paying the extra cash for the 64-bit Athlons and not even using it's full potential?
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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64 bit is generally not very well understood. for a start both the current Intel and AMD processors have 64 bit instruction sets. you are not paying extra for the 64 bit capabilities. the true fundamental difference between the Athlon 64 and it's predecessors is that the memory controller is integrated into the processor itself rather than the Northbridge chip on the motherboard. so if you are paying any extra at all for an Athlon 64 it's more so for the advantages of it's memory controller.
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply. Are there any charts out there that do a comparison between the 64-bit and 32 that show the speed difference? I'm kind of curious how much faster the 64-bit really is.
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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it doesn't really make that much of a difference, however it does enable a much larger amount of data to be adressed by the processor. for the most part 64 bit processors only have uses in the world of servers and enterprise. mainstream 64 bit software is too buggy to make it worth it. x64 windows can operate quite well but it has many drawbacks in software.
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So it's more efficient when working with multiple programs?
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mr_wizard
So it's more efficient when working with multiple programs?
Yes, it is immeasurably more efficient when working with multiple programs, but the multiple programs part isn't exclusive, as 64-bit processors are immeasurably more efficient at everything.

The only difference you might see is if you're some scientist doing high-end floating point calculations for some sort of extremely complicated gene sequencing or some crap like that. Daily user - there is no difference. I use 32-bit Linux because I use 32-bit software and it's a pain in the arse to run a 32-bit chroot or use the compatibility libraries, and since the advantage of 64-bit over 32-bit is so immeasurable, I just run native 32-bit Linux.
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