I don't run 64-bit, because a) compiler doesn't support it and b) i was asked to by the maintainers of the 64 processor system I mentioned earlier. They run a optimized Windows 2008 server 64-bit version with my 32-bit application.
So if I am wrong there, so be it, my bad. from the links that 4wd informed me of, it states that 64-bit applications are compiled with the /LargeAddressAware setting by default enabled.
I would not be contesting your opinions as I do, if I hadn't seen it fail with my own eyes. Let me explain a bit.
The software I work on needs to calculate a lot and has to it really fast, serious money is involved (buying, selling auctioning, predicting and billing of energy usage on time) and is vital for the continuity of the Dutch, German, Belgium and (small part of) Great Britain energy grid.
It runs as expected/desired in 32-bit environments using plain/basic Microsoft and Oracle API's. With this software it is possible to create services that each can contain several scripted processes (yes, this software has its own scripting language) for automatic generation and processing of EDINE, EDIGAS, EDIEL type of messages through Exchange, POP3 or SOAP (XML), generating and processing of reports created in HTML, Excel, CSV, TXT, XML etc.
Because of the huge datasets that this 64 processor system has to pull/store into database schemas this limit of 2GByte per process is very, very real. And with my own eyes I saw that system f.ck up majorly because of that limit. And with Large AddressAware setting it still f.cked up, but now at 3GByte. Hence my assumption that the same misery of 32-bit limitations also was implemented in 64-bit. I didn't bother to do the research, sue me.
However, according to the online documentation you and 4wd pointed me to, I was wrong, so thanks for filling in that gap.
However, since most of the companies that make use of this software are (forced to) upgrading to newer server OS's and more misery is my part. there was even an error message from the 2008 R2 OS that it lost connection to the hard disk (assuming it developed an error) because of me accessing a database on that hard disk in after 2 hours in on an onslaught of SOAP calls.
Needless to say, that 500GByte database was lost, Oracle was not able to repair itself anymore and one weekend more was spent reuploading that sucker. Anyway, I needed to continue my test, so I pulled my old W2003 Oracle server that contained an older version of that database and guess what, it handled the onslaught with ease for 5 days straight.
To me, 64-bit OS's may be nice in theory, in practice it is job security for IT and not so much for serious work. Believe whatever kool-aid you like/read, I will do the same and we will be happier for it.