x64 or x86

My next desktop computer will have an AMD x64 dual core CPU for sure. While Intel has come out with Core 2 Duo there is no motivation to buy such a beast because AMD is still cheaper ($/performance) and reliable, plus it has great support from mobo makers. Anyway, since I'll have a x64 bit CPU I am thinking whether to install x64 or x86 version of Vista. x64 sounds better but what does one really gain with 64 bits CPU? I am not a hardware expert but I see only cons when going 64bit on desktop (out of my head):

  • pointers are double size which means your applications are larger and consume more memory (I am sure there are others memory size increases)
  • even worse, CPU cache will even more suffer (being rather small)
  • drivers are hard to find even for mainstream hardware and just forget about exotic devices (this one will eventually improve of course)

So, what gives? One of advantages is bigger memory address space (do I really need it? no). So, am I missing something?

I guess I'll install x86 Vista version afterall. I only hope that I won't need more than 4Gb one day…

UPDATE: 14.8.2007 – Even though I was thinking about AMD I've ended up with Intel Core 2 Due E6600 – the $/peformance ration is turned upside down now and Intel is clear leader in performance desktop arena.

3 thoughts on “x64 or x86

  1. A good buddy of mine has been struggling with 64-bit XP. He’s had some pretty bizarre problems (most of all driver-related) which discouraged me from even trying to install x64 XP.

    Let’s hope Vista will do better.

  2. Miha,
    Don’t expect miracles from Vista.
    I just installed Vista RC1 x64 and VS2005. It’s quite unstable. Web debugging works only if you start VS as an administrator. I get quite constant crashes and sudden exists from VS and sometimes it blocks while compiling and I have to kill it. For now my experience is quite painfull, so until the final Vista is out I might go back to Xp32.

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