Ask the Doctor: 64-Bit Choice


I’m currently debating whether to install XP x64 or Vista x64 on my main rig. I will be playing a lot of games, including Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, and Far Cry 2, and doing some video editing with Sony Vegas and Adobe After Effects. I’ve tried Vista x64, but issues with Creative soundcards have haunted me for the past week and a half. I still haven’t tried XP x64, but I’ve heard that there’s less support for it compared to Vista x64. I’ve already confirmed that some of my crucial programs do run on XP x64, but what about devices like the printer and camera? I have an E8400 overclocked to 4GHz, 8GB of G.Skill RAM, and an ATI Radeon HD 4850.

Miguel Bagara

Despite our misgivings with Vista in the past, many of us, including the Doctor, have been impressed by the improvements to the OS in the past year. 64-bit XP never really got the support it deserved from software developers and hardware makers.

64-bit Vista, on the other hand, has much better device support, is more stable, and came out at a time when 64-bit processing had become much more mainstream. And although Creative hasn’t been great about Vista 64 drivers, the company released a beta driver with Vista 64 support in late November. You should check the manufacturer websites for your printer and camera to make sure they have 64-bit Vista drivers. Given your 8GB of RAM and DirectX 10-capable videocard, as well as the games you like to play, the Doctor thinks you’ll really benefit from Vista 64.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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