It’s quite apparent that Microsoft has put massive efforts into its 64-bit computing platform. The newly renamed Windows XP Professional x64 Edition has made significant strides in terms of usability, features and all around security and stability with the release of RC2 earlier in February.
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Preview
2005-03-17 Windows 26 Comments
This review is out of the gate early but pretty shy on details.
its amd64 not x64.
I know, I know, “What’s in a name?” – but the attempt by latecomers Microsoft and Intel to rebrand the x86-64 architecture “x64” bugs me. Now that it’s on the box of Microsoft’s next product, millions who don’t know where the term “x86” originates and why “x64” makes no sense will be further miseducated.
“The newly renamed Windows XP Professional x64 Edition has made significant strides in terms of usability, features and all around security and stability with the release of RC2 earlier in February.”
I wonder how they can know this?
– Features, that I can understand.
– Stability and security: can only be *proven- in real-life scenarios
– Usability: beats me… how can you tell something is more usable before customers have a chance to give feedback?
What is the advantage of hardware and software going 64bit?
Do they start offering some kind of applications or functions not possible in 32-bit environment?
The big one is breaking out of the 4 gig limit.
What I don’t get is there is barely many pieces of hardware that actually support 4 gigs of memory without crashing all the darn time. I dont see the point of switching to 64 bit frankly. I mean the Athlon 64s are nice and all and there is novelty, but I would like to have at least 16-32 Gigs of RAM on my machine so I can do some phat graphics work on my machine. That would be the main reason for me to upgrade. Mac hardware on the other hand have had a huge amount of RAM support capability since I care to remember. Anything more than 2 gigs in the meantime on these x86 platforms is very rare.
Interestingly enough the code base for x64 Windows is built on Windows Server 2003 code base, which alleviates many of limitations built into XP32, while loosing some backward compatibility with legacy and troublesome hardware devices. There will not be a home edition of XP x64 only professional.
According to Ms:
Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows XP Professional x64 Edition:
The 4 gig limit on memory is the main thing. There is also a performance increase, ranging from nothing, to a small increase on most apps, to large increases on a few applications. Everything running in 64-bit mode gets a small speed boost from having twice as many general purpose registers available. That’s one of the main problems with the x86 architecture. Certain computationally intensive apps can get a big speed boost by using the fact that the registers are twice as big.
But for the most part, it’s not a huge deal right now.
At least until its EM64Ts match Athlon 64s in performance. Actually, there are a number of very real speed improvements that can come from running a processor that handles 64bit math natively. Computationally demanding software, such as a game or other rendering software, often use double or greater precision floating-point operations, which can be handled more efficiently with a 64 bit processor. 64bit math is actually used in numerous places in modern software, and would be useful in many more, if developers didn’t have to avoid it due to the inefficiency. Bottom line: the technology’s an overall improvement and been around for a LONG time, it’s about time everybody used it.
If you’re referring specifically to AMD64 processors, they also benefit from having a design that’s worlds better than the aging Pentium4/Xeon. One of their nicest features is the on-die memory controller, which avoids the need to get the motherboard involved for every single RAM access. Huge performance booster.
Appears to be the new moniker with the backing of Sun and Microsoft.
Don’t like it? Blame AMD for rebranding the name themselves halfway through.
Personally I like having something to generically refer to 64-bit x86 with without the cumbersome “x86-64” or the even more cumbersome “AMD64/EM64T”. x64 is just an abbreviation of x86-64, so get over it… it’s here to stay
I like XP but I don’t see anything in that list that affects me now or in the next 6 months. I’d say most general users would be in the same boat. They need a killer reason, not that general stuff. I suppose when I upgrade my machine I’ll go 64bit but for now there isn’t any reason for me to walk out and buy the upgrade now.
…to 64-bit XP – The lack of drivers. I’ve got an old video card – a Radeon 7200 64 MB DDR – and it ain’t broke. In fact it works great – I’ve yet to see agame that has complained about it.
Unfortunately, there is no driver for it, and since the model is at least 4 years old, there isn’t one coming either. But it won’t matter until there are 64 bit apps for Windows XP x64 anyway.
Using a Radeon 7200 on athlon64 is like… using bicycle wheels on a race car but hey…
Hmm, it looks like ATI’s support only goes back to the 9500. Which could be a problem for some people, although that’s about the minimum you can game with anyway.
Surely MS has a default driver which is fine for 2D???
I think the upper limit on memory is at 2 to 3 gigs not 4 for winxp. I think winxp is good enough for most of us for couple more years. The 64bit cpus are bought for their speed and not as much for their features. I use vc6 and can’t compile to 64bits so that featureset is unused in my case. I wished MS would put 64bit compiler into their 2005 standard version of c++ but they haven’t. The std.vers. is most sold/avail. compiler so I don’t know what their thinking was here.
640 meg should be enough for any body!
Is it true that if you have a legal copy of 32bit windows you can get the upgrade to 64bit free? I find this hard to belive, but someone told me this.
“Using a Radeon 7200 on athlon64 is like… using bicycle wheels on a race car but hey…”
Yes, because anything that does heavy computational work (compiling, prime-number-research, scientific calculations) MUST have 3D, DX9 T&L graphics!
64 MB DDR is nothing to sneeze at. Most games can get by with less. Plus it works, so there is nor reason to replace it.
“There is also a performance increase, ranging from nothing, to a small increase on most apps, to large increases on a few applications. Everything running in 64-bit mode gets a small speed boost from having twice as many general purpose registers available.”
More registers has nothing to do with being 64-bit; it’s not an advantage of 64-bit, it’s just an advantage of having more registers.
I’m gonna upgrade this autumn to 64bit. It’s nice to see that they’re adopting fixes etc so you can make a truly clean install when you go 64bit and don’t have to start off XP from 3 years ago and do all extra installs and stuff.
At current date, I rarely meet people with more than 1gb of ram in their desktop anyway, so the memory space hardly seems to be a big issue right now. I wonder though, how long it’ll take before the prices start to drop there and units grow bigger. Hopefully Motherboard producers will start doing cards with 8 memory slots rather than 3-4.
8×256 would be nice =)
im getting a new computer next january(2006) and its just going to be the standard winxp pro 32bit. my computer will be four years old. i dont run any software that needs more than 4 gigs of memory. until all drivers and software is multithreaded and optimized for a 64 bit os and muticore chips, 32bit is good enough for me. when longhorn Professional x64 Edition with sp2 or 3 (or a secong edition) comes out by january 2010 then ill get a 64 bit os. im on a four year replacement program.
Oh great, I got winxp home, now I got to go out and buy pro xp to benefit? I’m buying Linux
I’ll be jumping right in, at least in dual boot since theres no drivers for my TV card, but that’s me.
I bought a AMD64 and I wan’t to use it to i’ts fullest with the x64 versions of Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2004, 7-Zip and whatever comes up. If you got it, why not use it :p
i think i just heard the memory manufacturers licking their chops… all that extra address spaces and a new windows virtual memory manager handling the new battleship sized page files… i’m pretty sure them boys see the word overhead spelled: profit.