64-bit: More than just the RAM
Author: Brett Thomas
Published: 16th Oct 2007
If you're a member of this or any other technology-based forum, odds are that you've noticed the several versions of Microsoft's latest offering, Windows Vista. If you haven't, well... please come out from under that rock and get with the programming!
One of the biggest changes has been the clear offering and even a gentle push towards the 64-bit version of the OS. Indubitably, this extra option becomes fodder for forum discussion, usually along the line of:
Forumite 1: "Hi, I am building a new system and I wanted to know what your thoughts were on whether I should use 64-bit or 32-bit Vista? I've heard varying things around the net regarding compatibility, and was hoping someone could help."
Forumite 2: "Hi! I just read your post. You should definitely go with the 32-bit version. There's tons of compatibility problems with 64b (Just look at XP-64), and it's going to die a long, drawn-out death. Besides, the only actual difference between them is that 64-bit can make proper use of 4GB of RAM."
Forumite 1: "Oh, ok! Thanks!"
Now, what's wrong with this picture? The answer is a lot. Time and time again, self-proclaimed gurus determine that the only real difference between 32-bit computing and 64-bit computing is the memory limit. Are they right that RAM is a reason? Definitely - but that's missing about 99 percent of the true differences. By that logic, the only major difference between your old 8-bit Nintendo console and your Xbox 360 is processor speed. I think we can all agree, that's just wrong.
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