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What's up with 64-bit computers? Not compatible?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by F14Scott, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

    Sep 13, 2001
    Katy, TX
    I bought an HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook just before Christmas. Frankly, I didn't and don't know the difference between 32 and 64 bit architecture in a PC.

    I ASSumed that 64 bit was probably the latest, greatest evolution of the PC (64 is TWICE as good as 32, right?), and that this otherwise great laptop, with its huge screen, big hard drive, 4 Gb of RAM, and dual core processor, complete with a big Windows Vista sticker, would run everything out there just fine.

    I am slowly learning that there are a number of programs (eFax software, for instance) and some common hardware that just flat out does not work with this 64-bit computer.

    The latest, most surprising, one was a 3rd Gen iPod Nano. My son got a new iPod Touch, so he gave his Nano (bought Christmas 2007) to me. It works/synchs fine with our 32-bit desktop. Tried it with my laptop; it doesn't even get recognized. Tried reinstalling iTunes, updating/reinstalling drivers, following the 10 different (many B.S.) troubleshooting steps on, everything to no avail. Took the Nano back to the desktop and it worked fine, again.

    After some online sleuthing, it seems that this Nano doesn't play well with 64-bit machines. Apple won't say it. Microsoft won't say it. It looks as if both companies have done the "Ford Pinto Cost/Benefit Analysis" and have decided that ignoring the Venn diagram subset of 3rd Gen Nano owners and 64-bit Vista users is the most cost effective route.

    Same story with some of the other software I'm having trouble with. Silence from all parties, but online forums condemn the 64-bit OS.

    Anyone else having 64-bit problems?
  2. Just install 32-bit Vista and enjoy. Better yet, 32-bit XP (if XP drivers are still available for your laptop).

  3. sputnik767


    Nov 1, 2007
    No problems here. Been running Vista x64 for almost two years now. I have an ipod touch and an old pod nano (1 GB, probably the first one ever made), and both sync fine with itunes. I've had some very old programs not run in x64, but the bast majority of 32 bit programs run in the 64 bit environment. And it is the only way to use more than 3 GB or ram. BTW, vista has built-in compatibility modes that you can try. Sometimes they work, but I can't think of a time that I needed to use it. Most likely the problem lies with your Vista installation. When I bought my dell laptop almost 4 years ago, out of the box, it ran like crap. Crashes, slow, etc. I immediately went out, bout a fresh copy of XP, wiped the drive, and installed it. No more problems ever. Then, I used Dell's recovery CD for target practice. This is why I never buy computers, only build them. Of course you can't do that with a laptop. Seriously, nobody is trying to screw you. x64 works perfectly fine. It is probably nothing more than your Vista install.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  4. certifiedfunds

    certifiedfunds Tewwowist

    Apr 23, 2008
    Its all ball bearings these days.
  5. lanternlad

    lanternlad Mythmatician

    Mar 28, 2008
    Unnecessary, as Vista is backwards-compatible to 32 bit programs. Mac OS X (the OS Apple uses) has been 64-bit for two years longer than Vista, so there should be no problems using as ipod. Update you Ipod software (Itunes) would be my guess.
  6. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

    Jan 19, 2009
    Arlington, VA
    x64 is the wave of the future. I plan on building a new computer in the next few months and i will definitely be going x64. It's the only way to address more than 3 gigs of ram. Can you try running iTunes in 32 bit compatibility mode? ??

    you could always get vm server and load up a virtual machine and use that for your ipod. ??
  7. cmecha


    Feb 10, 2009
    the thing is 32bit os can only address a max of 4gb of ram. 64bit can address up to the limit of the hardware. theoratically 8 bit^64 i believe. though mathi isn't my strong suit.
  8. cmecha


    Feb 10, 2009
    Actually 32bit os can address up to 4gb but the xp reserves up to a gig for other functions.
  9. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

  10. jasonvp

    jasonvp Kantre Member Lifetime Member

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  11. aircarver

    aircarver Ride Continues Silver Member

    Unless you're doing heavy duty number crunching (read graphics manipulation..) 64 bit is overkill in the n-th degree for most of your internetting and mundane tasks. Yeah the 64 bit will put up your browser page in half an eyeblink, while the 32 bit will require a whole eyeblink... The rest of the time it is just idling....

    (I have one computer running 32 bit Kubuntu, and a dual processor job running the 64 bit version of the same Kubuntu (9.04) Unless I use the 64-bit job to process video, it's just producing waste heat.)

    64 bit doesn't have as much updated to 64 software as is available in 32-bit, but as time goes on, that situation keeps getting better.
  12. jasonvp

    jasonvp Kantre Member Lifetime Member

    Unfortunately, that's a fairly massive misunderstanding of the benefits of 64-bit computing. In reality, 64-bit computing isn't going to help you "crunch numbers" any faster. What it's going to do is allow more access to larger blocks of storage (RAM and disk space). The biggest win, of course, is RAM.

    Having a true 64-bit application be able to load its entire self into RAM is a huge win for speed. If you have big applications (databases, Photoshop, movie software, etc), you'll very quickly see a big improvement in speed. The application will no longer have to load and unload parts of itself from RAM to avoid the 4GB boundary. It can, assuming you have enough RAM in the machine, take, say, 10GB. Or 8GB. Or whatever it needs.

    This is partially true, but not completely. The part that is true: 64-bit is no win over 32-bit for browsing and emailing. In the grand scheme of things, neither activity is particularly memory hungry. What's incorrect about your statement is that the browser loading slightly faster on 64-bit. It won't.

    That's true. Anyone that wants to "head-in-the-sand" and ignore 64-bit computing is truly being ignorant. All new chips from the 2 major manufacturers (Intel and AMD) are 64-bit. They can run 32-bit OSs just fine, but the direction is away from 2^32 and towards 2^64.

  13. void *

    void * Dereference Me!

    It could be termed the 'latest, greatest evolution', that's a wide way of describing things - but going from 32bit to 64bit is a bit different than going from, say, a 32 bit processor from four years ago to a 32 bit processor from two years ago.

    It's closer to the 16->32bit transition, although it's not going to be exactly the same because going from 16->32 bits added memory protection as well as increasing the word width.

    You're actually, in a sense, on a new architecture that has backwards compatibility features, rather than the same architecture, faster. The chip is going to be in a mode where registers are 64 bits wide rather than 32 bits wide, and it's going to run 32 bit programs in a submode of that, rather than the 32 bit mode.

    It's also not necessarily 'twice as good' just because that number doubled. You'll be generally faster if the processor is generally faster (in the sense that 2Ghz runs faster than 1Ghz), but other than that, it really depends on what you're using it for.

    Doing a lot of math with large values or requiring a lot of floating point precision? A 64 bit box will definitely be faster, because a 32 bit program for that is going to need to deal with any value that can't be held in 32 bits differently - if you add two and three on a 32 bit box, the result is less than 32 bits, and can be held in one register or one memory location. Add one to 2,147,483,647 on a 32 bit box (assuming a signed 32 bit value here), you're going to need another 32 bit memory location to hold the overflow, and code to manage making sure it's right, displaying those multiword values, etc. You don't have that problem on a 64 bit box until you overflow 64 bits, so something like a bignum library compiled for 64 bits will probably run faster (assuming the authors of the bignum library did things right)

    As far as why you're having problems with 32 bit programs - there could be a lot of reasons. It may even be different for different programs. (I could easily see the iPod or fax thing as being a problem with a driver or something, whereas program X may have been written using an assumption that's valid for protected mode, but not for the 32-bit compatibility submode)
  14. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits a dollar, all for Linux stand up and holler!

  15. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

    64 bit allows for larger memory addressing. More RAM for your PC. Been using 64bit Linux for almost 4 years now. It's been around a bit longer than Windows 64bit so it's a bit more mature.

    Unless you have a need for dual core or more and large amounts of RAM... oh wait you run Windows, never mind. Okay seriously, unless you are working with large files (images, movies even some databases) there is really no need for anyone to run 64bit. The average user, the person that does a little web surfing, some online shopping and banking and maybe a couple of simple games, well they just don't need a 64bit system. And the definitely don't need a dual core system.

    It really comes down to your needs. But if you want to run the latest from Microsoft then yes you need all the power you can get in order to get decent performance. But again the big bonus with 64bit over 32bit is memory addressing. - here is a good read that will help a bit...
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  16. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    <----can't stand immature operating systems. Their humor is anything but funny.
  17. void *

    void * Dereference Me!

    That entirely depends on the numbers you're crunching. Like I said above, if all the numbers you're crunching, and their results, will fit in a 32 bit register with no overflow, then you won't get faster number crunching.

    If you require values that exceed 32 bits but can be contained in 64, you will, because you won't need the code overhead for dealing with the top bits.
  18. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Patron

    Feb 24, 2000
    Richmond, Virginia
    "The average user, the person that does a little web surfing, some online shopping and banking and maybe a couple of simple games, well they just don't need a 64bit system. And the definitely don't need a dual core system."

    Dang, does this mean I have to return my Q9450 and go back to an 8086 or 286?

    Everybody has an opinion and thinks they're an expert and that their advice is worthwhile. I love it.

  19. aircarver

    aircarver Ride Continues Silver Member

  20. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

    And you seem to be unable to understand simple logic. You missed the entire point of the prose... which is not really a surprise considering... The simple fact is you can run what ever you want. I don't care, I wasn't dictating what to run, I pointed out a simple logical fact. The average user can suffice with a single core system if all they are doing is basic tasks. There is no need for a 64bit system for average users. It's like using a nuke on a gnat... sure it gets the job done but it's a bit overkill.

    Maybe you are not an average user or maybe you like to have the latest and greatest. Good on you! Now use your big rig to learn basic comprehension. :tongueout::upeyes: