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Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit! (Read 14430 times)
Pleonasm
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #15 - Jun 14th, 2010 at 9:02am
 
Concerning the speed difference between 64-bit and 32-bit editions of Windows, this is the article that I had filed away in mind (and found on my PC using dtSearch):  Windows Vista Benchmark: 64-Bit Faster Than 32-Bit.  The benchmark consists of “measuring integer performance, floating point performance, ...  memory and stream performance,” and shows a 10% advantage for 64-bit Windows Vista.

While I don’t claim to have expertise in microprocessor architecture, this may be part of the explanation for the performance difference:  “Running a 64-bit processor with a 32-bit operating system is going to end up wasting a large amount of the computing potential of processor. The 32-bit operating system is only going to use half the registers of the processor thus limiting its computing ability” (see here).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Concerning the 4GB memory issue, the point isn’t just how much memory you need to run your favorite applications.  In Windows, there is no such thing as “free” or “unused” memory -- all memory is utilized for either running application or to cache frequently used applications. Thus, adding more RAM may result in improved performance because applications will load and launch more quickly.
 

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Dan Goodell
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #16 - Jun 15th, 2010 at 1:20pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Jun 14th, 2010 at 9:02am:
The benchmark consists of “measuring integer performance, floating point performance, ...memory and stream performance,” and shows a 10% advantage for 64-bit Windows Vista.

Okay, good--both of those links refer to comparing 32-bit vs 64-bit operating systems.  It's intuitive that utilizing all registers of a 64-bit processor will be faster and more efficient, and I think the point of both articles was to measure just how much faster.

But what Christer and I are discussing is whether a given application is faster on a 64-bit vs 32-bit OS.  A 32-bit app is not going to utilize all registers of a 64-bit processor just because the OS can.

It makes perfect sense that a 64-bit OS has the potential to be faster than a 32-bit OS, and a 64-bit application can be faster than a 32-bit version of the same app on the same OS, but is a 32-bit application on Win7/64 faster than the same 32-bit application on Win7/32?  I'm not ready to believe that.


Pleonasm wrote on Jun 14th, 2010 at 9:02am:
Concerning the 4GB memory issue, the point isn’t just how much memory you need to run your favorite applications.In Windows, there is no such thing as “free” or “unused” memory -- all memory is utilized for either running application or to cache frequently used applications. Thus, adding more RAM may result in improved performance because applications will load and launch more quickly.

I don't buy that, either.  Suppose I'm running, say, Excel to edit a tiny 10x10 spreadsheet, plus Notepad to edit a 1KB text file.  By that logic, those programs would run more quickly if my computer has 3GB instead of 2GB of RAM?  No, it only makes a difference if the apps need more RAM than the computer can give them.



 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #17 - Jun 15th, 2010 at 2:23pm
 
Quote:
It makes perfect sense that a 64-bit OS has the potential to be faster than a 32-bit OS, and a 64-bit application can be faster than a 32-bit version of the same app on the same OS, but is a 32-bit application on Win7/64 faster than the same 32-bit application on Win7/32?  I'm not ready to believe that.

Dan, I agree with your summary.  My recollection of the article failed me when I previously suggested that a 32-bit application running on a 64-bit operating system would be faster than when run on a 32-bit operating system.  However, from a practical perspective, applications are increasingly being released in 64-bit versions (e.g., Microsoft Office 2010), and so “the same application” in a 64-bit version on 64-bit Windows should yield  improved performance.

Quote:
I don't buy that, either.  Suppose I'm running, say, Excel to edit a tiny 10x10 spreadsheet, plus Notepad to edit a 1KB text file.  By that logic, those programs would run more quickly if my computer has 3GB instead of 2GB of RAM?  No, it only makes a difference if the apps need more RAM than the computer can give them.

Dan, it was not my intention to suggest that the applications would run faster:  only that they would load/launch more quickly if they are cached in memory, a condition which is more likely to occur as the amount of memory on the PC increases. Consider the “SuperFetch” capability:

Quote:
Windows Vista runs a SuperFetch service that analyzes your application behavior and usage patterns, meaning that it tracks which applications you request the most. A good example would be your activity as you start the PC in the morning: You launch Outlook to fetch email, a messenger, a web browser and probably additional applications such as a development environment. If you do this repeatedly and ideally in the same order, SuperFetch will recognize this and then proactively populate these applications into all available main memory the next time you start the PC. You should only wait for a few minutes before you commence work to give the SuperFetch service the time to "superfetch" your applications.

Source: SuperFetch, The Über-Cache
 

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MrMagoo
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #18 - Jun 18th, 2010 at 12:52pm
 
You guys can theorise all you want, but I maintain that my personal *experience* has been that a 64-bit OS has always felt noticeably snappier, even when running 32-bit applications.  The difference isn't necessarily huge, but it is noticeable.  I've had similar experiences going from 32 -> 64 bit versions of Linux, even if its the same Distro and the same release. 

The difference won't blow you away, and may not be enough to encourage you to make the transition if you have good reason to stay with a 32 bit OS, but I have always seen a difference.
 
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proximityinfo3
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #19 - Jul 14th, 2010 at 11:57pm
 
You need 64-bit applications to harvest all the benefits. My friend choose 64-bit OS to be able to run 64-bit Photoshop. All 32-bit applications suffer the same limitations as on a 32-bit OS. One example is that a maximum of 2 GB RAM can be allocated to each 32-bit application. Multi tasking several 32-bit applications on a 32-bit OS will exhaust the 4 GB RAM sooner than the 8 GB RAM on a 64-bit OS. With 4 GB RAM on a 64-bit OS, there really is no benefit ...
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #20 - Jul 15th, 2010 at 12:34am
 
@
proximityinfo3

Did your friend have any trouble installing Photoshop on Win7 64-bit? I've seen lots of threads where people couldn't get the app installed and I haven't seen a solution.
 
 
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #21 - Jul 15th, 2010 at 3:30am
 
Quote:
You need 64-bit applications to harvest all the benefits. 


MrMagoo wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 8:52pm:
True, but you don't need 64bit applications to harvest SOME of the benefits, and most 32bit applications run just fine without any modification.

When the OS itself can use a 64bit wide pathway to the processor, the OS itself can perform better, regardless of what applications you are running or how much memory they are taking up. 
 
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proximityinfo3
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Re: Win7 OS--64 Bit vs 32 Bit!
Reply #22 - Jul 17th, 2010 at 5:33am
 
I believe "the masses" don't really *need* 64-bit now.  But from what I've seen, the mid-level offerings from mainstream manufacturers are hordes of Win7 64-bit machines with 4GB of RAM.  Even though the 64-bit OS is being underutilized, it's a marketing advantage without any cost differential to the manufacturer.
 
 
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