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XP vs XP Pro x64 Edition

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14 replies to this topic

#1
wk357mag

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I have been a lover of XP since it came out. I did try and loved W2K3EEx86 as well, but its got some unfriendly things about it when used as a workstation. Which brings me back to XP. Been thinking of the x64 bit version. I am told that its the best of W2K3 but designed for desktop use.

 

I need to hear from people who use it as their main rig, daily use. Can me and all my free tools that work on XP, move over to XPx64? What will I FEEL when seated at this rig, when compared to regular XP.

 

Intel P45 mobo, C2D-Q9300 (Quad-core@2500mhz) 6GB ram, 60gb SSD, nVidia GTS250, Intel GB Nic, realcrap sound.

 

Tell me the Pro's and Con's.

 




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#2
submix8c

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You will "feel" nothing. You'll have access to all RAM. However, Applications will also have to be able to utilize it (64-bit) otherwise you gain nothing AFAIK.


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#3
allen2

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The cons:

Some x86 might not work as x86 on x64 isn't fully compatible but those are rare exceptions (most of the problematic apps comes from those with drivers that doesn't exist for x64).

Some drivers doesn't exist at all and you'll need a VM or equivalent.

Some dos apps/games won't work unless run in dosbox.

Etc...

The pros:

Your apps will be able to use natively all ram.

You'll get a little longer support (1 year) as Windows 2003 x64 is using the same binaries the hotfixes and security fixes will work on XP x64.

You'll begin the transition to x64 that will happen sooner or later.



#4
5eraph

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Good points by both. Allow me to elaborate a bit.

You will "feel" nothing. You'll have access to all RAM. However, Applications will also have to be able to utilize it (64-bit) otherwise you gain nothing AFAIK.


64-bit processes have full access to all CPU registers and functions, as opposed to the subset available to 32-bit processes. For this reason 64-bit programs written to perform calculations with very large numbers will be noticeably faster than the same programs compiled for 32-bit. Some BOINC projects I used to run benefited greatly from this.

The 4GB limit in XP x86 applies to all addressable physical memory--including video card memory. The more memory you have on the video card, the less you'll have for the operating system and applications. This is the reason for the fluctuations in reported memory many see for XP x86 with 4GB of installed memory. If your video card has 512MB GDDR, you'll see 3.5GB of system RAM available in Windows. 1GB GDDR on the card... 3GB available RAM for Windows. Et cetera. XP x64 moves video RAM addresses beyond the 4GB border.

I'm less clear on how exactly XP x64 juggles RAM between 32-bit applications that allows those applications to work concurrently without bumping into each other's memory spaces. All I know is that it has to do with the WindowsOnWindows64 (WOW64) application compatibility layer; the addresses may be virtualized.

The cons:
Some x86 might not work as x86 on x64 isn't fully compatible but those are rare exceptions (most of the problematic apps comes from those with drivers that doesn't exist for x64).


Hardware monitoring tools, like Speccy, must be specifically written for 64-bit operating systems to function. 16-bit applications will not function at all due to the fact that all 16-bit components have been removed from Microsoft's 64-bit opearting systems. This also means that rare 32-bit applications with 16-bit installers will fail to install.

Some drivers doesn't exist at all and you'll need a VM or equivalent.


I'd say most major hardware manufacturers have released 64-bit drivers since the release of Windows Vista, and began writing drivers to cover XP x64 around the same time. Smaller manufacturers for older hardware just couldn't justify the expense of rewriting drivers, I'm guessing. I've never had a problem finding drivers since SP2 was released in 2007. It pays to do your research before purchasing hardware.

Some dos apps/games won't work unless run in dosbox.


This is most likely related to the missing 16-bit Windows components. This is common for programs written prior to the release of Windows XP in 2001.

The pros:
Your apps will be able to use natively all ram.


Only those 64-bit applications that are specifically written to take advantage of the extra memory will be allowed to use it. 32-bit applications will only see what they're used to seeing in a 32-bit operating system because of WOW64.

You'll get a little longer support (1 year) as Windows 2003 x64 is using the same binaries the hotfixes and security fixes will work on XP x64.


This is true, but it won't be officially supported. It remains to be seen whether update packages will continue to install as expected. The good news is that if Microsoft makes the expected changes to break functionality, a workaround has already proven to be effective.

You'll begin the transition to x64 that will happen sooner or later.


The real transition began with the release of Windows Vista in 2006, when Microsoft began pushing hardware vendors to preinstall 64-bit OSes on new machines to be sold at retail. We're seven years in, and we're only now beginning to see the death of 32-bit operating systems. The mainstream transition from 16-bit to 32-bit beginning with Windows 95 took far less time.

#5
xpclient

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64-bit XP is awesome if you have 64-bit drivers for all your hardware and your software which uses software drivers or shell extensions is also 64-bit. It is only based on Server 2003 but it's heavily XPized, has System Restore, Fast User Switching, Games, IIS 6.0, and all which is omitted from Server 2003. :D It has a number of advantages of 32-bit XP: https://en.wikipedia..._x64#Advantages One caveat of XP x64 is if have over 4 GB of addressable memory (for example, if you have 4 GB of RAM and a graphics chip with its own memory, which is inevitably the case these days) then hibernation will not be available under XP x64 unless you edit Boot.ini to add the MAXMEM switch: http://support.micro....com/?id=888575. Vista and Windows 7 64-bit don't have this limitation.


Edited by xpclient, 01 September 2013 - 11:32 PM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#6
wk357mag

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You will "feel" nothing. You'll have access to all RAM. However, Applications will also have to be able to utilize it (64-bit) otherwise you gain nothing AFAIK.

Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. Since I have no real x64 apps, it wont offer any real benefit. Since I dont come close to using 2gb ram, having access to 6gb wont do a think either. (reason it has 6gb, this computer came with Vista, which is satan

 

The pros:

You'll begin the transition to x64 that will happen sooner or later.

Great point. As I was thinking of making this move, I started to look at some of the apps I currently use, finding some have x64 options availble ... so the slow converting over and learning proccess that goes along with it all.

 

Oddly, I currently have no needs outside 32bit ... maybe should sit with WinXP Pro (x86) !?!?

 

@5eraph - Looks like you are doing an awesome job with the update packs and such. So thank you for all your hard work, even though Im not using it yet!!



#7
wk357mag

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64-bit XP is awesome if you have 64-bit drivers for all your hardware and your software which uses software drivers or shell extensions is also 64-bit. It is only based on Server 2003 but it's heavily XPized, has System Restore, Fast User Switching, Games, IIS 6.0, and all which is omitted from Server 2003. :D It has a number of advantages of 32-bit XP: https://en.wikipedia..._x64#Advantages One caveat of XP x64 is if have over 4 GB of addressable memory (for example, if you have 4 GB of RAM and a graphics chip with its own memory, which is inevitably the case these days) then hibernation will not be available under XP x64 unless you edit Boot.ini to add the MAXMEM switch: http://support.micro....com/?id=888575. Vista and Windows 7 64-bit don't have this limitation.

I usually use nLite to remove all those options there. I like my OS to be nice and lean, with little to no "XPerience", matter fact, mine desktop looks like W2K with classic menus and such.



#8
allen2

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The real transition began with the release of Windows Vista in 2006, when Microsoft began pushing hardware vendors to preinstall 64-bit OSes on new machines to be sold at retail. We're seven years in, and we're only now beginning to see the death of 32-bit operating systems. The mainstream transition from 16-bit to 32-bit beginning with Windows 95 took far less time.

This fact is most likely due to at least 4 things:

- most developers didn't need the x64 big registers in the first place (they were already using alternate ways) and most companies didn't want to spend money on this transition.

- Microsoft and Intel didn't "push" it to the end users as it was done in the past. In the past every new computer was sold with windows 95 without the buyer agreement (that was illegal and there were many law suits).

- Compatibility with older apps wasn't fully there and there was a lot of apps (much more than when windows 95 appeared).

- There were also a lot less computers. Now computers are everywhere and replacing all of them or only their OS might be very expensive.


Edited by allen2, 02 September 2013 - 02:07 AM.


#9
georgik57

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I've used XP x64 for around a year and had absolutely no problem with it.

Edited by georgik57, 04 November 2013 - 10:56 PM.


#10
JodyT

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It's still my daily driver.  If you have drivers for all of your hardware, you'll be quite happy with it.  It's definitely more stable than XP x86.



#11
jaclaz

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 It's definitely more stable than XP x86.

This is interesting. :yes:

Define "more stable".

Like "in the same period I also used a comparable XP 32 bit machine, doing on it the same things and running the same programs and it once BSOD'ed, whilst the 64 bit version never did that, hence XP64 is definitely more stable".

At least the statement will change status from apodictical to anecdotal.

 

jaclaz



#12
JodyT

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OK so my comments are based on anecdotal experiences.  It simply runs smoother on my machine than a comparable x86 install does.  Applications don't stall oddly or seem to become overwhelmed every so often.  I admit that this problem doesn't happen often on x86 builds but it never does at all on x64 in my experience.  The boot time, desktop load and window drawing seems more brisk and instantaneous.


Edited by JodyThornton, 18 November 2013 - 08:42 PM.


#13
Kelsenellenelvian

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Except for the facts that you loose 16bit app support and now have 2 of every file that you need to deal with. (Programfiles & Programfiles (x86))



#14
JodyT

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I run some on DOS games and Jezzball (my only 16-bit Windows app) in DOSBox.  It works quite well.  I was already using DOSBox in XP's x86 build so it's no worse running DOS games on x64.

 

I'm cannot agree that you have double the files in \Program Files and \Program Files (x86).  The inital folder holds 64 bit app folders whereas 32-bit app folders are kept in the latter one.  There is indeed a duplication of the %BootDir%\system32 folder and the \HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\Software Key (I think it's Wow6432Node or something like that; I can't remember).  But that is necessary for 32-bit apps to run in a WOW64 session.  Besides, that structure remains in Vista and 7 x64 builds too.



#15
jaclaz

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But that is necessary for 32-bit apps to run in a WOW64 session.

Sure :), point being how many of the programs you run are fully 64 bit, and how many are 32 bit?
Or if you prefer, are you not running  (say) between 80% and 95% of the time non-native 64 bit programs on that machine? :unsure:

 

Besides, that structure remains in Vista and 7 x64 builds too.

Yep, but this only proves that the good MS guys like to re-use previous code/settings/approaches, not necessarily that it is "smart".

As always I might be largely wrong :w00t:, but IMHO this whole 64 bit stuff has simply been "pushed" onto users a tadbit earlier than actually needed, and does not always make sense in practice.

You have a 64 bit OS because with it you can access more memory that allows for larger programs that need more RAM, which since it is available allows for having larger programs that need more RAM that need 64 bit OS which needs more RAM, which .....

A non-entirely-new concept ;):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

 
jaclaz






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