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64-Bit Software

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Beth UK:
Hi f0dder

If you have 32-bit apps that work fine, don't look for 64-bit replacements "just coz"
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Oh I absolutely agree - though I di have this really bad addiction to having to experiment with everything! 8) So, in a sense, that's what I am doing with the 64-bit apps I am trying - experimenting! I did try WS-FTP (32-bit) alongside SmartFTP (64-bit) and have to say that SmartFTP was so much faster - in real and tangible ways. When it came to AB Commander I was not expecting to see huge speed or performance boosts as file managing is not exactly RAM or CPU intensive. That said I was impressed to find what appears to be a compact, fast and highly usable application.

Mouser said:

a few programs (like photoshop, or other heavily memory intensive programs) could show a serious increase in speed if the extra memory can be put to use.
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Absolutely - this was actually my primary goal and I have to say that the performance increase has been nothing short of spectacular! My workflow has been significantly speeded up - very obviously so with images around 400mb to 1gb range.

I haven't yet noticed a drop in performance anywhere with regard to 32-bit apps which has been surprising (I was expecting more 'glitches' and 'issues').

For anyone contemplating a move to 64-bit I would only advise it if you have a clear goal in mind - which I did. One reason is that while heavy duty graphics work will benefit you'll be disappointed in the number of apps that are genuine 64-bit coded. There is not yet enough benefit to be gained for an everyday computing experience. Maybe one day... but not now!

Well, an extra thing 64bit gives you is a larger number of general-purpose registers (and 64bit in size instead of 32bits), this can help tremendously with computation-intensive applications.
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thanks for making that clear -- that's important and makes sense.  so even if an application doesn't make use of the larger memory address space, you could see a big speedup in computationally intensive (especiallying double floating point, etc.) calculations.

it would be nice to see some benchmarks comparing 32bit vs. 64 bit compiled apps that are computationally (but not memory) intensive, like encoding and math benchmarks, etc.  if anyone has any references to such bechmarks it would be fun to see.

Well here are some older benchmarks.

If you check out that page the basic conclusion seems to be that unless it's a 64 bit native application, the differences in execution speed are non-existent.

Games tend to be more GPU than CPU bound, so testing those probably don't make too much sense (although some work is done in the graphics drivers, so at least that code can take advantage of more registers etc).

Btw back in the really old days, when NT was available for the 64bit Alpha processor, some 32bit x86 software ran faster emulated on the alpha than on native x86 hardware... but that was because the programs were mostly calling APIs, which of course had native code on the Alpha, with some thunking layer. Pretty impressive JITing they did for the rest of the app code, especially considering how long ago this was.

Anyway, back on subject - I agree with mouser that benchmarking should really be done on 32bit vs 64bit version of the same software, since 32bit code running under 64bit runs directly as 32bit code, and doesn't really have any advantages by running on a 64bit OS.


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