64-bit - Is it time software caught up with the hardware?

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64-bit - Is it time software caught up with the hardware?
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Jim Hillier
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July 15, 2011 - 8:31 pm
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Considering 64-bit hardware architecture has been in place for many years now, is it not about time software started to catch up with the trend???

What's the point of dual and quad core processors and all the other advancements in hardware if the software is not keeping pace?

Mozilla has just announced that the impending latest release of their popular Firefox browser is going to include full 64-bit support. The reason Mozilla say they haven't bothered in the past........because there has been no compatible version of Flash Player available.

Apparently Adobe are rectifying that situation and there is a 64-bit supported Flash Player on the way....so Mozilla are following suit.

Is it about time or what!!!!!

Sheesh!!!!!!

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Mindblower
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July 16, 2011 - 5:39 pm
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Fully agree with you mate. That's one reason I've strayed away myself. Several of my (cannot be without) programs only support 32-bit. Some folks mentioned they had problems running on 64-bit machines, even in 32-bit mode. Decided to wait for developers to catch-up, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Jim Hillier
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July 16, 2011 - 6:04 pm
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Hey MB - Yes, it's the very same scenario which deterred me from migrating to 64-bit for ages.

I must say though, since making the move, I haven't actually come across any 32-bit programs which will not run fine for me. Then again, I would have only an infinitesimal portion of all the available 32-bit software installed on my machine.

It irks me though that even when 32-bit software will run okay, it still isn't taking advantage of the 64-bit architecture. Unless one is running 64-bit software, there really is no benefit.

I have no idea how what would be involved nor how costly it would be for developers to re-code their software to include 64-bit support, but they are certainly dragging the chain.

Just another example is the new range of Intel CPU's (the i3, i5, i7 series), which support hyperthreading. Again, that advanced technology can only be taken advantage of if the software actually supports it.

Cheers mate....Jim

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Chad Johnson
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July 16, 2011 - 6:20 pm
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Hyperthreading....64bit...32bit....16bit....multicore....what does it mean? why bother?

You are absolutely correct when you say that without 64 bit software there is no point in going to 64 bit Windows with one exception: RAM.
If your OS is 64 bit you can stick an ungodly amount of RAM into your machine and Windows can access all of it. Each and every bit of it.
In a 32 bit OS your hard limit is 3.25ish GB.

So 64 bit OS and 64 bit architecture is great for utilizing more RAM, which in turn means more programs running simultaneously. Frankly, I don't care if my software is 32 bit, 64 bit, or 128 bit -- the software I'm running runs better with more RAM.

As far as compatibility -- the largest problems occur with drivers. The vast vast majority of software will run just fine in a 64 bit environment without being optimized with it. Windows emulates the 32 bit environment for those programs and they don't know a difference. Drivers, however, have to be compiled for a 64 bit system, which is why many older printers don't work for 64 bit OS's....but anymore, this is a moot point.

As far as Firefox / web browsers go -- a 64 bit browser sounds cool, but what is it really going to do differently than the 32 bit?

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Jim Hillier
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July 16, 2011 - 7:36 pm
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Hey Zig - Yes you make a very good point about 64-bit's ability to utilise more RAM.

I don't perform any operations which are particularly RAM intensive; I don't multi-task for example......mainly because I am only capable of doing one thing at a time.

So the odd 3GB RAM has proven to be more than sufficient for my personal requirements.....regardless.

Of course, not everyone is in the same boat as I.

[quote:fyi5wjn6]As far as Firefox / web browsers go -- a 64 bit browser sounds cool, but what is it really going to do differently than the 32 bit?[/quote:fyi5wjn6]
Geez mate, don't burst my bubble. I have been harboring the vague expectation that a 64-bit Firefox just might make my favourite browser go a tad faster.

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Chad Johnson
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July 17, 2011 - 8:00 am
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Geez mate, don't burst my bubble. I have been harboring the vague expectation that a 64-bit Firefox just might make my favourite browser go a tad faster. [/quote:2w1juz8v]

Oh, um, right. Of course it will.

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JayCub
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August 29, 2011 - 7:55 pm
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Had to have a laugh mate and let me explain i got caught up in a new build and this can do everthing except make coffee and nothing slows it down, in fact it's harder now to give an opinion of software and its impact on windows than when i was using a pentium.. i now have a rampage III extreme, with an i7 960 12 Gb of ram and thinking of an SSD, the Nvidia card is a dream.. i have read on many forums about emerging technologies, and i like what i see, all i need is a software that can at least tax my new rig and the closest i can come is benchmarking software which at least stretches its legs a bit.. that's if your into that kind usage.. the sad truth is duel core is enough for most if not all home users.

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Jim Hillier
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August 29, 2011 - 11:08 pm
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[quote:1t3bdynn]i now have a rampage III extreme, with an i7 960 12 Gb of ram and thinking of an SSD[/quote:1t3bdynn]
Ooooh Jay, please stop it. You are making me green with envy. But my bank balance doesn't quite agree with my aspirations, and 'she who must be obeyed' certainly doesn't.

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Chad Johnson
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August 30, 2011 - 9:05 am
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There was a game (which of course I can't remember the name of) a couple years back that was said to bring to a crawl the most advanced system when run with all settings on maximum.

That might help your hardware stretch its legs for a bit (assuming someone else remembers the name of the game).

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JayCub
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September 9, 2011 - 1:20 pm
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i now have a rampage III extreme, with an i7 960 12 Gb of ram and thinking of an SSD[/quote:29ufl1jc]
Ooooh Jay, please stop it. You are making me green with envy. But my bank balance doesn't quite agree with my aspirations, and 'she who must be obeyed' certainly doesn't. [/quote:29ufl1jc]

These days i have the luxury of not having young kids or a big motgage Jim, and us blokes need a hobby, and she who must be obeyed gets pampered untill i get my own way

I think for years i wanted an opertunity to build my own but there is always the excuse of why i couldn't, so i save the pennys and look for the bargains, and then go OTT

the satisfaction was worth it i would say though i could have saved money and bought a coffee pot..

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Jim Hillier
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September 9, 2011 - 5:23 pm
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[quote:2a3c2xkb]i could have saved money and bought a coffee pot.[/quote:2a3c2xkb]
LOL. Yes, but where's the fun in that!!

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