View Full Version : 64bit system - OS and 32 bit software

10 October 2004, 10:02 AM
64bit cpu's, although not standard are becoming much more popular, and I was curious about windows' 64bit edition. Microsoft says that running 32bit software from the 64bit version can be done, but that it wouldn't run as smoothly as it does on the 32bit comparitive system, because windows essentially has to run another program to allow it to run properly...AMD Athlon64's are able to run both 32 and 64bit programs nativly.

My question is, does AMD remove the need for this emulation thingy, and thus no slow downs for running 32bit software, or is it easier just to keep normal XP installed?

I hope you people understand what I'm trying to say, I've probebly muddled a lot of the infomation i've read so that i understand it all wrong, but if you see what i mean, could you tell me what you know about it?

- ta

10 October 2004, 02:46 PM
Where does MS say this? From everything i've read about the A64/Opteron they should be able to run 32bit code without slowdown in a 64bit environment and with no emulation. The 32bit software just wont have access to any 64bit extentions and it will only be able to see 4 gigs of ram. MS may be referring to 64bit versions of windows designed for the Itanium, which is a completly different 64bit chip. The Itanium has no ability to execute 32bit code natively, and thus requires quite a bit of emulation to run it. This does cause slow downs.

10 October 2004, 03:59 PM
You're right about the emulation, it's called WOW64, and it ensures that all of your 32 bit programs run with only 32 bit .dll's. This is run on the operating system itself, and the processor doesn't have any control over the emulation, so, no, the AMD chips can't remove the emulation. THe emulation is supposed to be fairly fast. Here is a link to a msdn thread on WOW64. LINK ( One of the huge problems I've seen with the XP-64 beta (and do realize that it is still just a beta) is the drivers. Many drivers either aren't going to work or aren't going to work properly. That, and many things aren't supported. One of the links just off of the main site for XP-64 shows what isn't supported, and the list is fairly long. Personally, I would get XP and run an Athlon 64. The 32bit is going to work great for right now, and when a better, closer to final release version of XP 64 comes out ,then you should try it out and see what you think. That, or you could always dual boot... :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 08:50 PM
It was the WOW64 that I was talking about - Thx for the replies guys, guess I'lkl hold off downloading :P would have been nice if it worked efficiently. I did hear it was a beta, but funnily enough I didn't see that at the microsoft site - they even have the release date for the program as all being somewhat old, except for a vague reference to second half 04 - anyone got a more accurate date for a final product??

Anyways, thx - I did know that I could just run the 32bit windows, but ti would have been nice with a wroking 64bit one :)

- Bray

10 October 2004, 09:33 PM
I hear from around, that XP64 can be expected no earlier than next year. Then again that is all hear say, but I wouldnt expect it at any point this year. Also, of the things I've heard from people with the beta, 32bit performance is finally breaking even with current 32bit XP with the latest build of 64bit WindowsXP. This is mainly due in part to better working drivers from a few vendors (sure there are other factors.. bug fixes.. etc), but still the 64bit drivers for most hardware is hard to come by. Hopefully by launch these kinds of things are taken care of. I also would assume the delay in new drivers also effects the launch of the 64bit OS...

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