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Windows XP x64 in April


March 1, 2005 11:19 PM PST

Microsoft announced the x64 edition of XP will go golden master in April. I've got a few machines just waiting to install this on. I actually tested an early release through the beta program. The main issue was that I couldn't find a videocard with optimized drivers, even though both nVidia and ATI claim to have drivers optimized for the platform. So without a 64 bit Visual Studio, and with slow video performance - it wasn't really that fun to test or post a review here.

I'm interested to see how they roll the product out. Ideally it will be available as a low(er) cost OS upgrade for existing XP users. I also would expect to see an optimized compiler from Microsoft, and a new set of optimized applications. Divx encoding and game performance in particular should be very interesting.

Our SFF AMD64 review covers more of the performance benefits for the 64 bit platform.

Comments (11)

Paul, March 1, 2005 11:32 PM:

I was all stoked to get the 64 bit OSes with my Athlon 64 machine, then I installed Red Hat Fedora Core 3 x86-64. Basically, only bash and firefox worked.

I'm pretty confident that Microsoft will have tested major applications pretty thoroughly, so it shouldn't be a disaster. My enthusiasm for "bleeding" edge is at an all time low, however.

J, March 2, 2005 12:14 AM:

I went with Gentoo x64 and compiled everything and it seemed to work. Of course that was without a GUI - command line apps only.

You'd think they'd have some standard where the app would check the system it's running on and determine whether to use optimized code routines. Not quite fat-binary but something similar. MS must do this if they're going to have any compatibility with existing apps.

John, March 2, 2005 03:33 PM:

Hehe. I can't comment on much on this rumor for obvious reasons. I also have a 64bit machine just waiting for the final release. I will say that I'm not worried about application backward compatibility. Alot of work has been put into that I'm sure. The critical item as many have pointed out are drivers.

J, April 24, 2005 01:40 PM:

Supposedly XP64 will be released Monday. Still no word on when Visual Studio will support 64 bit code generation. Hopefully an update will be available Monday as well - none of the articles I read are able to grasp that the primary benefit is from bigger registers and data operations, NOT larger memory addressing.

John, April 24, 2005 04:58 PM:

Yeah, something is happening Monday. There is a counter in the cafeteria that said '3 days' till 64bit on Friday. 64bit is hard for people to grasp. Marketing fluf is something like '64bit bit, crank up the speed.' Tech pubs are all about larger address space.

Paul, April 24, 2005 05:11 PM:

64 bits == TWO SCOOPS of raisons

J, April 24, 2005 06:47 PM:

64 bits is kind of like this:

| 64 |
\ /
\ /
\ /
\ /
| 32 |


Paul, April 24, 2005 08:15 PM:

Cool ascii-mation! Pixar needs to do their next film like that.

Paul, April 24, 2005 08:20 PM:

Actually, your diagram is sort of wrong. The transform should be mapping the 32 bit value to either HI32(reg64) or LO32(reg64).

J, April 25, 2005 12:11 AM:

Does anyone have a link to that original Altivec funnel marketing diagram?

Paul, April 25, 2005 12:43 AM:

This isn't the diagram you're thinking of (I remember the fun discussion we had about that back in the day):

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