Are Users Ready For 64-bit in Prime Time?

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DDTechGuy

Crap!

With all this good press, I guess I'd better upgrade my P4 2.4GHZ slow poke to the latest quadcore, and plan on dual booting between Vista Ultimate 32 bit and 64 bit.

Wait...I have to choose when I'm buying the cheaper OEM version of Vista Ultimate; don't get both 32 & 64 bit in one package unless you pay a couple hundred more bucks, right?

I didn't need to eat this month anyway...

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pennybags

I recently loaded up Vista 64 after hearing more positive things
about it. It is definitely an improvement over what x64 oses used to
be. It allows for more memory to be used and more power-user programs
work natively in a 64-bit environment.

I am quite disappointed at how finicky it still is with drivers.
Understandably, drivers are still not optimized for it but I see many
BSODs caused by quite a few drivers that claim to work with Vista 64.
I dislike that it uses a programs folder and programs(x86). I like to
be organized and this really makes a mess of things. Some programs
only install to one directory and some may install to both. You MUST
know what is being installed because whatever logic the installer
uses is not always correct at picking the right folder. I run a lot
of programs in XP x86 environment that seem to have issues when
running in Vista x64. Something else that I have seen is this, many
programs will claim that they have 64-bit support but all that means
is that it will install into the x86 folder and it supposedly works
on Vista x64. A lot of people think that because a program says it
supports x64 that it runs as a 64-bit program.

The one thing that really bothered me was trying to get an Audigy
2 ZS platinum sound card to work! I tried EVERYTHING and I could not
get the soundcard to work correctly! There are a few people that say
they had no issues so I followed everything they did to a 'T' and
still could not get that card to work. But Creative and it's support
for Vista is another story. A story I wish MaximumPC would cover better. There
are many other sound cards out there and MPC doesn't seem to cover
that area too well.

All-in-all it has greatly improved in usability and stability but
with so few applications taking advantage of 64-bit computing the
only useful thing to get out of it is more memory usage. As others
have stated, if you're a hardcore PC addict, you'll want to be ahead
of the curve and enjoy working out the bugs with 64-bit computing.
But for anyone else, it is a couple years away from being
advantageous in anyway.

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damicatz

WoW64 is *NOT* an emulator. It's a wrapper.  There is no hardware being emulated.  A 32-bit program runs natively in a 64-bit operating system just as it would in a 32-bit operating system.

WoW64 does the following :

1.Maps a 32-bit program's 32-bit memory addresses to a 64-bit address space (every process gets a 64-bit address space, even 32-bit programs; this allows large-address aware 32-bit programs to use 4 gigabytes of address space rather than the normal two since on 64-bit systems, you get tens of terabytes of space per process for usermode stuff).

2.Redirects and maps certain directories in order to separate out 32-bit and 64-bit executables.  In particular, System32 is transparently redirected to SysWoW64 and Program Files is transparently redirected to Program Files (x86). 

3.Redirects registry access for all 32-bit programs (the registry has changed enough in 64-bit Windows that it's not compatible with 32-bit programs without having a special area set aside for them).

 4.Translates kernel calls and the like.

 In essence, WoW64 is mostly around for hosuecleaning to keep a level of separation between 32-bit and 64-bit processes because 64-bit processes can't normally load/link to 32-bit executable code and vice versa and also because Microsoft took the oppurtunity with x64 to change some core Windows aspects such as the registry since everything 64-bit wise is staring from anew.

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SpazzAttack

I have been using 64-bit XP for about three years now.  Made the switch to 64-Bit Vista six weeks ago.  I have had no issues with it.  It works great for me and it runs all my old applications.

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rb3m

I've been using 64 bit Windows since XP Pro x64, about three years now, and although there were certainly some compatibility issues with drivers I found that most of the hardware and software I used worked just fine, including games (although Star Wars Galaxies would hang from time to time). But I don't have a ton of either.

I then got Vista 64 and pretty much the same. Apart from the instability of Vista in general at the beginning it now is very good with only the occasional hang at boot up (at least it's right at the start) and can use basically everything. Sometimes you have to go hunting for drivers but they are there. I've even been able to use my Nostromo n52 controller and the Asus MyCinema TV tuner, both of which I had trouble with in XP x64.

Overall my experience with 64 bit computing in general and Vista 64 in particular has been rather good.

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natehamill

I have been running Vista Ultimate SP1 x64 on my desktop and Vista Business SP1 x64 on my media server  since April and haven't had problems with either.  No crashes.  No burns.  No app instability (though in fairness, I haven't tried running anything more than 7 years old).

 

"I make no promises, only sarcastic remarks."

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vistageek

I am running Vista ultimate 64 and am having no problems. The only program that won't run is vista boot logo generator.

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praetor_alpha

When I put Vista on my laptop to see it crash and burn, I put Business x64 on it. Still waiting for a BSOD. I also put the same on the desktop I built 3 months ago, asides from the fact it has 8 gigs of ram, although it does BSOD on me; not sure if it's the nvidia drivers or not.

The only apps I have had cough on it have been stuff from 1995 or so, but there's little that compatibility mode and virtualization cannot fix.

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Da Man

I've built multiple systems over the past 6 months, including my own
gaming machine. I've consistently used Vista x64 and have had no major
problems. Only a few minors with patches and updates that eventually
fixed the issue. I truly think x64 is the way for the advanced user to
go now a days, and perhaps in 1-2 years the average user can make the
jump. With pretty much every new chip being 64 bit, you're really
skimping yourself if you use a 32bit OS, especially for the techie
"advance" users.

Actually all around no issue with Vista that
were not application related. Everyone is quick to blame Vista but ALL
of the issues I have run into in my experiences have been app related,
or bad driver support from a vendor. Unfortunately poor Microsoft
(extreme sarcasm including) takes the rap for all those crashes in the
public eye

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Asevening

I am running 64-bit home premium on a q6600, 2gb RAM, 680i board, a single 8800GTS(640mb) and other top-of-the-line-one-year-ago parts with no overclocking and I never have an issue.  I'm even running dual monitors and typically watch tv, download things, and run background applications on one while I game online with the other, both are 24" 1920x1200 monitors and my now mid-range box handles it fine.  The only time I have any problems is when something that doesn't pertain to windows arises.  Typically a third party issue or hardware.  I rarely have any problems with Vista itself.

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Geeky73

Ok, so it might be worth something, but do we have a list of what programs use 64-bit and that show better results over the 32 bit counterparts?  

 

1.21 GIGAWATTS???  1.21 gigawatts!!!! Great Scott!!!

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Haipyng

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Synux

I am running Vista 64-bit Ultimate on a Q9450 with 4GB of RAM.  Running on an nVidia 780i chipset with an nVidia GPU.  Even with all the drivers up to date (WHQL), bios is current and no weird third-party apps it still crashes at least a couple times a day while doing mundane things like launching Itunes or closing IE.  Nothing breaks it every time but it sure doesn't stand up or recover like you would expect.  The performance is almost good enough to compensate for the general bloat of Vista - almost.  My VPN software (SonicWALL) still doesn't have Vista 64-bit support (I know, not MS fault) and nearly everything installed is running in 32-bit mode.  The only thing you get with 64-bit that I have found is the ability to run >4GB of RAM.  This is good since Vista is a pig and wants all that memory.  I will suffer through for the greater good and wait (im)patiently as the rest of the software world gets around to doing what we all know has to be done.

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Haipyng

Vista likes it's resources, the more the better. Windows SuperFetch is a likely culprit where RAM is concerned. The more you give it, the better it likes it. 

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