Windows Legacy OS forum


Which is better x86 or x64?

by Ray_XP / February 4, 2012 10:36 AM PST

So here is my question, is there any notable advantages of using a 64-bit OS over a 32-bit OS. I wish to know because I love Windows XP however the only 64-bit version I have ever found of it is based on the Windows 2003 Server Kernel therefore not really being XP right? Anyway I have a 2.20GHz x64 processor does it make any major difference to use a 64-bit OS? Thank you in advance for your answers!

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All Answers

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There are some real advantages ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 4, 2012 11:28 AM PST

to a 64 bit Operating System such as memory use, support of hardware DEP rather than thorough software, kernel patch protection, mandatory driver signing, enhanced security features, can access greater amounts of RAM (64 bit Home basic 8GB, 64 bit Home Premium 16 GB, 64 bit Business, Enterprise and Ultimate 128GB while ALL 32 bit versions max out at under 4 GB).

Disadvantages are that 32 bit apps are not any faster even with the added memory, some 32 bit apps are not fully compatible and must be run in XP Mode, doesn't handle 16 bit apps at all (DOS subsystem is no longer present at all), no support for 32 bit drivers, mandatory driver signing, manufacturer's often opt to not update drivers so you have to get compatible peripherals.

XP 64 bit is not "based on the Windows server 2003 kernel" any more than XP 32 bit is "based on" the 32 bit Windows server 2003. 64 bit versions of XP and Windows server were simply first generation and didn't sell to very many individuals or businesses for several reasons chief of which is that hardly any manufacturer's wrote any 64 bit drivers for their peripherals except for the really high end peripherals and software publishers weren't offering much in the way of apps optimized for a 64 bit OS so a fair amount of the actual 64 bit software that is out there doesn't run very well if at all on the older 64 bit XP.

To summarize all that, if you are staying with Windows XP stay with the 32 bit version to avoid MANY, MANY problems. If you opt to upgrade to Windows 7 go with the 64 bit and more RAM UNLESS YOU HAVE LEGACY 16 BIT APPLICATIONS that you need to run.

PS - you might note that mandatory driver signing is noted as both a pro and a con because sometimes it is a pain in the gluteous maximus.

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While I've moved off XP x32 and x64.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 4, 2012 11:43 AM PST

There are folk that have no reason to change. Here I have app development to do and can use the new systems. Also, no client is on XP anymore.

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A layman's answer
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 4, 2012 7:12 PM PST

I'm the layman!

I moved from a 32 bit computer with XP to a new 64 bit computer with Vista first then Windows 7 and to be honest I haven't seen any difference in how applications work. My new system is faster anyway so it is difficult to quantify how much better, or worse, a 64 bit OS is. My Windows 7 is much more stable than XP was, but even XP was very stable for me.

When I moved to this new system I didn't worry about programs and applications, I started afresh, and so I haven't had any compatibility problems.

I would say this. If your computer's processor is 'single core', then it might be time to move to a newer one which has multiple cores anyway. Having two or more cores seems to spread the load for Windows' background tasks and while many single core older XP systems will run newer Windows' OSes, (some won't), I'm guessing that the single core will be taxed more, whether it is 64 bit or 32 bit. But as a layman I cannot justify my claim technically.

I hope that helps.


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Thank you everyone!
by Ray_XP / February 5, 2012 9:25 AM PST
In reply to: A layman's answer

I would like to thank everyone for there input, it has been invaluable and I have considered it all. In the end I have decided to go ahead and stick with XP x86 because of it's smaller size on the HDD & because it seems to run better than 7 x64 on my single core processor. Thank you all and I look forward to hearing from all of you again in the community.

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