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Thread: Advantage of 64 bit over 32 bit

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    Advantage of 64 bit over 32 bit

    Hi Everyone.
    I have searched the thread and can't seem to find an answer.
    I will soon be buying a new PC and was wondering which way to go.
    Requirements for 64 bit seem to be a lot more expensive than for 32 bit PC.
    Is the cost worth going to a 64bit PC?
    What are the advantages of 64 bit over 32 bit? Is it only better colour etc?
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    My understanding is that 64bit software runs faster(compared to 32 bit), the main advantage in image editing(or any memory intensive editing like graphics and video) is the larger block of ram available to the software program, as the OS can address 16Tb of ram, 32 bit OS can address only 4Gb of ram, and Windows only allows something like 2Gb(max) to other software.
    As file sizes increase, this will make a difference.

    Saving a few $ now may ultimately cost more in the long run as you may find that your computing future may indeed be in 64bits, anyhow...

    My next PC will be 64bit capable, even though Nikons CaptureNX is only 32bit, and no 64bit version is available yet.
    This just means that it runs in 32bit mode(it still runs at least) and I won't fully realise the extra power of the system for that purpose.. which is why I'm in no rush to update my PC hardware yet.

    The extra power of 64bit could also be used for more automation in many software applications in the future too, with things like voice commands and better user interface systems(that actually work!).
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    The main compelling reason for going 64 bit is to access more RAM. 32bit allows you to see 4Gb of RAM, whereas 64bit allows you to see a LOT more (yeah I could work out how much more, but I'm preparing for a 15yo's party).

    So things like big photostitches that chew large amounts of RAM benefit from 64bit operating systems, whereas your day to day word processing won't.
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    I'm curious as to why you would say a 64bit system costs more than an 32bit.
    As AK and Dave mentioned: 64bit = more RAM capability = Good.

    In short for SOHO consumers:
    - Current MS Operating Systems come in 32bit and 64bit flavours at no cost difference. If someone is charging more for 64bit, then walk away from them, they shouldn't be.
    - Third Party Support for 64bit systems has made significant leaps in the last 2 years. (ie: Software and Drivers)
    - There are performance benefits in running a 64bit system. Lots of technical reasons can be shown.
    - Realistically, How much RAM you can put into the computer will be limited by what the motherboard can handle. (eg: Current high end consumer level X58 chipset motherboards have a capacity of 24GB.)

    ... I'm getting off track

    Example:
    If you buy a standard $800 pc tower, you can run 32 bit windows, or 64 bit windows. The cost is the same, the performance difference is going to be negligible.
    If you buy a higher capacity and higher performance PC tower, you can run 32 bit windows, or 64 bit windows. The cost is higher because you are building higher performance (ie: faster) components, which will be able to utilize the benefits of a 64bit operating system better than the $800 system.
    Bottom line is the cost vs performance of the hardware configuration in the box, rather than whether it is 32/64bit.
    Last edited by Invictus; 08-11-2009 at 12:42am.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have just ordered my new system to replace my main editing PC (which is about 5 years old now). New system is coming with Win 7 64 bit installed, so looking forward to giving it a workout. Not looking forward to the hours it takes getting all my software installed on it though.
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    The cost of a machine for 32 bit or 64 bit is the same. It is the same machine.

    It is just that the 64 bit operating system can use more ram (ie you can USE, say, 12gig ram instead of about 3gig on 32 bit), and thus they usually spec the machine at higher end components to enable people to take advantage of the the higher end softwares.

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    Rick, sorry to point folks to a thread on another forum but this thread is a Photoshop Benchmark which has been running for about 2 years (and keeps being updated) and quite clearly shows that any time a 64 bit sysytem is compared to an almost identical 32 bit system the 64 bit system is about twice as fast!

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=170063

    I have a minor corruption on my XP 32 bit box and will be upgrading to win 7/64 as well, instead of just reinstalling XP.

    JJ
    Last edited by jjphoto; 08-11-2009 at 9:09am.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    Rick, sorry to point folks to a thread on another forum but this thread is a Photoshop Benchmark which has been running for about 2 years
    Not an issue at all. It is thread relevant, so I have no issue with it being posted. We just don't allow blatant promotion of other forums.

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    Bird Nerd Richard Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    Rick, sorry to point folks to a thread on another forum but this thread is a Photoshop Benchmark which has been running for about 2 years (and keeps being updated) and quite clearly shows that any time a 64 bit system is compared to an almost identical 32 bit system the 64 bit system is about twice as fast!
    How'd you figure that? If you look at the results chart here it clearly demonstrates that the performance increase is more in the order of 6.5-7.5% when running 32bit vs 64bit.

    Again if you look at the results submitted by users here, examine where people have submitted two lots of results, both 32bit CS4 and 64bit CS4. Clearly the differences are unspectacular... On that first page of results for example, look at the user Unreel2009, 32bit 168.2s vs 64bit 166.8 or perhaps T2V 32bit 191.8 vs 64bit 191.7, hardly twice as fast!

    I've benched my own system with the action and gotten similar-ish results.

    i7 920 (quad core) @3.2GHZ, 6GB DDR3-1600 RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    CS4 32bit 245.4 seconds
    CS4 64bit 210.3 seconds

    Once again, that's nowhere near twice as fast. That's a performance increase of 14.4%. I still maintain (I made mention of it here) that most performance increases will be as a result of Photoshop having access to more RAM, but this performance will only become readily apparent when working on huge files with many layers where on a 32bit system with less RAM, Photoshop will be using the scratchdisk more frequently, hence a bottleneck.

    Interestingly this benchmark also points out how Photoshop clearly isn't an app which takes advantage of multi-threading. At no time was any core in my quad CPU pushed above 0-5% except core 1 which would only occasionally hit close to 100% with some of the filters used in this test. If you want performance in Photoshop CS4 the best bet would be to get a cheaper dual core CPU and overclock it, it's plainly obvious most benefit in performance CPU wise comes from higher clock speeds not number of cores.

    edit: I should mention though, that I'd still favour running a 64bit OS over a 32bit system. Cost is exactly the same as you're using the same parts as you would in a 32bit system and you will get some performance gains for no extra cost.
    Last edited by Richard Hall; 08-11-2009 at 3:14pm.
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    So, as I understand, if you want to run 64bit you have to install Win 7(is this Vista?) not XP Pro 64bit. Can you please tell me which is best for color calibration and Lightroom/Photoshop as I have been told by a print shop that uses only Ezio Monitors & XP Pro to stay away from Vista.
    I'm getting confused.

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    I too also found a marginal performance difference between 32 and 64 bit on my Macbook Pro 2.4ghz, 4gb ram, Snow Leopard, using Mac OS-X Xbench 1.3 with the following results:

    32bit MacBook Pro 15"... 169.99 score MacBook Pro (Core 2)
    64bit MacBook Pro 15"... 173.92 score MacBook Pro (Core 2)

    http://xbench.com/
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    So it seems for a PC with certain hardware specs, you only really need more ram to see the benefit of 64bit systems, for RAM hungry apps that involve graphics.

    So is there any real performance boost in say going from 8G ram to much more, like 24 or 32G(for anyone that has tried it?).

    No doubt in the near future we'll see more than 24G ram capable motherboards, and ram modules with 16 or more Gig of the stuff.. and they'll eventually become affordable, so for the sake of future proofing a little bit, on a 64bit system, a major performance boost is simply a matter of adding RAM(up to 16Tb of it), and more and more.......

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    After 2 days of reading books and internet I now know the difference.
    Thanks to everyone for helping me to understand.

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    Consider that moving to a 64 bit OS does not mean that it is faster.

    In many cases it is slower, as it has to address more memory, but certainly it can handle more.

    Technically:

    A 32bit OS can address 4Gb Ram
    A 64bit OS can address 18Exabytes, that’s a lot, but you would need a beafy system to manage this.

    Also... a lot of 'issues' for many people trying to run CS4 under x64

    See here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=does+...ient=firefox-a

    Regards

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