64-bit or not?

archae86
archae86
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RE: Long story short - I'd

Message 87921 in response to message 87920

Quote:
Long story short - I'd recommend Vista x64. I found it to be far better than XP x64, and you'll have no trouble running both 32-bit and 64-bit apps (including Power Apps). The list of software that doesn't work on Vista is very small - see here. That being said, make sure you can get the drivers for it BEFORE you format. Vista is a significant improvement over XP IMO.

That's interesting, and it is good to hear from a user with good experience.

But you have not mentioned any of the advantages or improvements you notice in Vista over XP--which makes it hard for others to take your position into account.

ML1
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RE: If your system is

Message 87922 in response to message 87920

Quote:
If your system is capable of Vista and is 64-bit compatible, why not run Vista x64? Most OEM installs of Vista are 32-bit, but this isn't any fault of Microsoft.


Perhaps a price premium for the 64-bit compile?...

With all the 64-bit capable hardware that has been around for years now, it is almost criminal to be still stuck in 32-bits!

The majority of Windows being still stuck in 32-bits is also in effect keeping the Einstein@home applications stuck in 32-bits...

Quote:
[...]
Long story short - I'd recommend Vista x64...


I'll recommend to also take a look at one or two of the main Linux distros. They have been all-64-bit (and 32-bit compatible for old stuff) for a long time now.

Good luck,
Martin

See new freedom: Mageia Linux
Take a look for yourself: Linux Format
The Future is what We all make IT (GPLv3)

Novasen169
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RE: If your system is

Message 87923 in response to message 87920

Quote:

If your system is capable of Vista and is 64-bit compatible, why not run Vista x64? Most OEM installs of Vista are 32-bit, but this isn't any fault of Microsoft.

It's important to understand where the real problem with Vista lies - drivers. Microsoft has done all it can to promote stable, reliable drivers but there's only so much they can do. Since the release of Vista, over 80% of Vista crashes (i.e. BSOD) have been the result of nVidia drivers. I'm currently running Vista x64 on two systems and I've had no troubles with stability, programs, or crashes. Mind you, these have been home-built computers with quality hardware in mind.

I've also had the unfortunate incident of trying to install Vista x64 on a Toshiba laptop that didn't have the proper drivers. Toshiba's only reply is that they don't support 64-bit on that particular model (even though there's no good reason why it wouldn't work).

Long story short - I'd recommend Vista x64. I found it to be far better than XP x64, and you'll have no trouble running both 32-bit and 64-bit apps (including Power Apps). The list of software that doesn't work on Vista is very small - see here. That being said, make sure you can get the drivers for it BEFORE you format. Vista is a significant improvement over XP IMO.

Thanks, a really helpful post. I'd like to ask though, why do you think Vista x64 is better than XP? I've liked XP more so far, at least the 32-bit version.. Mostly because it's not as heavyweight as Vista. Imo it's ridiculous to have an OS that requires 1024 MB Ram >_>

Also, would I be able to change to 64-bit without losing data? I thought it wasn't possible (without backing up) but I heard a while ago it should be now.

DanNeely
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RE: Also, would I be able

Message 87924 in response to message 87923

Quote:

Also, would I be able to change to 64-bit without losing data? I thought it wasn't possible (without backing up) but I heard a while ago it should be now.

Going from win32 to win64 requires a clean install. You can do a side by side install like you could with any prior upgade and copy data across, but you cannot do an upgrade overtop of a 32 bit version.

I've found vista to be more stable and responsive than XP on faster systems with plenty of ram available (for superfetch to preload apps for you). It's a lot of small improvements, eg explorer is multithreaded which means that the crap scanner driver that installed itself in my computer won't free it for 5-10s while throwing a hissyfit over your having the printer off to save power. There really isn't any single big must have feature, and baring direct nueral interfacing there probably never will be again because the OS has gotten too stable and feature complete.

DanNeely
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RE: It's important to

Message 87925 in response to message 87920

Quote:
It's important to understand where the real problem with Vista lies - drivers. Microsoft has done all it can to promote stable, reliable drivers but there's only so much they can do. Since the release of Vista, over 80% of Vista crashes (i.e. BSOD) have been the result of nVidia drivers. I'm currently running Vista x64 on two systems and I've had no troubles with stability, programs, or crashes. Mind you, these have been home-built computers with quality hardware in mind.

Do you have a cite for the nVidia driver crashes? I know their current mobos are much less stable than intels chipsets but I didn't realize it was anywhere near that bad.

Zxian
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@archae86 - There are

@archae86 - There are numerous improvements in Vista over XP. The explorer layout is changed slightly, but once you get used to the new features, you'll wonder how you ever did without them. Breadcumbs in the address bar is one feature I use constantly. Instant search is another feature I have difficulties doing without on my EEE PC (simply doesn't have the graphics oomph for Vista). There are several other performance improvements over XP. The main reason why Vista got so much slog was because of poor drivers, and the fact that people were installing it on systems that simply couldn't handle it. Yes, Vista works best with at minimum 2GB of RAM (I'd actually recommend 4GB to anyone building a new system), but in my recent experience with Linux distros, the desktop environments that come with most of the popular distros are no lightweights either (KDE and Gnome are getting heavier and with each release).

@Benjamin Rietveld - XP x64 was an afterthought and is actually a branch off the Server 2003 x64 builds. Don't be fooled by the "increased stability" of the server build leading to a better OS. There were several times when installers couldn't recognize that I was running XP Professional x64 and would refuse to install because they weren't licensed for "servers". Vista was designed with multithreading and 64-bit in mind. If you purchase a license for Vista, that license will work for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the edition that you purchased. If the package you're buying says "OEM 32-bit" all it means is that they'll ship you a 32-bit installation disc. If you have access to a 64-bit installation disc, it will accept your key. It's true that Vista does work better with more RAM, but that's generally true of most modern distros (our CentOS servers with 16GB of RAM fill any unused memory with buffers and cache). If you want to understand Windows memory management, go read "Windows Internals, 4th Edition". Chapters 2, 4, 7, and 11 have 262 pages of information on nothing but memory management and structures. There's also this post which goes into detail about how to get an approximation to the memory footprint that your system is using.

In order to up grade from 32-bit to 64-bit, you will have to format and reinstall. There is no upgrade path available.

@DanNeely - I don't have an online source available, but I have a friends within Microsoft. They of course can't give me the exact details (violation of NDAs and such), but I've known them long enough that I'll take their word for the truth.

Long story short, my top performing host is my workstation at home. Even by today's standards it's a very high performance machine (See here for system details). It's running Vista Ultimate x64 and the only problems I've had to date were with instabilities during overclocking. 32-bit apps work just fine (it's running the E@H power app 6.05) and I can assure you, it flies compared to any other system I've worked on (XP or Vista). If your system can actually run Vista x64 (i.e. gets at least 4.5 on all Vista benchmark scores) then use Vista. Drivers are stable, the major kinks have been worked out with SP1, and you'll probably find that it's a much easier OS to use than XP.

th3
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Its not the nvidia chipsets

Message 87927 in response to message 87926

Its not the nvidia chipsets but graphics drivers. Vista has a very different graphics driver model than XP, and crashing graphics drivers was daily routine.

Those crash numbers are not under NDA or anything, they been published by MS. It was about how many crashes was caused by nvidia, ATI and Intel graphics drivers under Vista. MS doesnt make graphics chips so obviously there was no crashes for MS :) The whole thing was pretty lame, nvidia was at the time the far most popular graphics for PCs powerful enough to run vista, its just natural they had the most crashes. They did crash more than their fair share though, but does that give Bill Gates a halo and angel wings? Nvidia drivers didnt crash on XP, it was Vista specific and if nvidia really was so terrible maybe MS didnt provide them with enough support and good framework for developing drivers? How does MS explain why nvidia has the most solid graphics drivers for W2k/XP/Linux/BSD?

Zxian
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You might want to look again

You might want to look again at the "stability" of nVidia's drivers. There have been numerous bugs introduced in new revisions because something else was fixed. For example, Forceware 176 and 177 both had problems with systems using RDP connections, while 175 did not. This was fixed in 178.

My experience with Linux and graphics drivers has been nothing but bad. The support is usually up to the distro devs and not the manufacturer, which leads to further fragmentation of what works and what doesn't. Microsoft has VERY clear guidelines on driver frameworks for XP and Vista. One of the major differences was that in Vista the driver graphics were moved to user-mode drivers instead of kernel mode drivers (this leads to greater overall system stability in the even of a driver crash).

ATI hasn't had nearly the same level of problems with their Vista drivers. Initial performance wasn't on par with XP systems (mainly because of the complete rework of the driver model in Vista), but the stability has always been there. If Intel and ATI are able to get stable drivers for Vista but nVidia isn't, is that Microsoft's fault?

nVidia was on top of the performance pack when Vista was released, but by no means did you need a top of the line graphics card to run Aero. My Dell Inspiron 6000 had a 128MB ATI x300 and it ran Vista very nicely. Jump forward a couple of years and ATI is back on top. Performance and stability are exclusive concepts. I would never dream of sacrificing stability for added performance, and neither would anyone else who deals with servers, workstations, and/or gaming systems (blue screens in the middle of gaming... not so much fun).

th3
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RE: The support is usually

Message 87929 in response to message 87928

Quote:
The support is usually up to the distro devs and not the manufacturer


That is so completely not true. The nvidia drivers are binary, theres no open source for the distros to manipulate. My experience is the oposite from yours, i never found a version that doesnt work.

As much as i dislike nvidia for all the stupid/greedy things they done lately, like the maniac product naming and holding back like in total panic on midrange performance to make a few cents more and end up losing a lot more instead, i dont consider ATI an alternative because of their drivers. I would rather buy from AMD but how can one live with CCC + last i checked their Linux video acceleration is limited to X11 (the most useless and crappy of them all)

Zxian
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My main problem that I've had

My main problem that I've had with Linux video drivers is that every package I've found seems to be kernel-dependent. When a new kernel is released, it takes a few days for an updated video driver package to be released.

I can't say much for ATI and Linux, since I've never had a linux system built with such a card, but my nVidia drivers are a headache every other time I run 'yum update'.

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