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Old 10-27-2004, 08:39 AM   #1
Gabriel Torres
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Default AMD 64-bit architecture (x86-64)

There has been a new article posted.

Title: AMD 64-bit architecture (x86-64)
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/56

Here's a snippet:
We will talk about the 64-bit processors that will drive our next personal computers forward. The projects by Intel and AMD are innovative and, if the promises are kept, in less than a year they should be on store shelves. These new architectures promise to take parallelism even farther, providing mechanisms for the compilers to pass to the CPUs not only efficiently organized instructions, but mainly how and which can be executed in parallel.

Comments on this article are welcome.

Last edited by Gabriel Torres; 10-27-2004 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:26 PM   #2
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I am having trouble discovering what the advantages of 64-bit architecture are and why they are not being taken. A review on another website briefly mentioned 64-bit architecture and then put in parenthesis "which nobody cares about anyway". Why?

From what I can see, 64-bit architecture is more capable of mapping the address space of larger files and has no restriction on process address space (used for the operating system). Also, the ceiling of maximum memory has been increased from 4 gigabytes (4 x 2^30) to 16 exabytes (16 x 2^60, or two tiers above terabytes).


Now for the questions:

Do these changes influence current performance and capability?

Why doesn't Microsoft ship the 64-bit versions of Vista (excluding Ultimate)?

Why don't software companies implement 64-bit features?

Is there a dark secret about 64-bit that keeps everyone on 32-bit?

Even if we don't access all of the improved features now, why not be ready for when they come?
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:41 AM   #3
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Hi,

This other article about this subject is better written and may help you out:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/262

The main difference between 32- and 64-bit technologies is the size of the address bus, as you have written.

There is a lot of confusion because this name is misleading. Here is a brief explanation.

When we say 8-bit CPU, 16-bit CPU or 32-bit CPU we are not only talking about the size of the registers, but also the maximum size of the instruction opcode.

But then when it comes to "64-bit technology", this 64-bit refers only to the size of the registers. The CPUs are still 32-bit CPUs as no change has been made to the instructions.

In practical terms, the main difference between the two is the ability of the system recognizing more than 4 GB RAM.

Windows Vista (but Ultimate) doesn't ship with 64-bit DVD in order to cut costs. You can call Microsoft and they will ship you the 64-bit DVD if you have any other Vista version. Please read our tutorial on Vista for more explanation about this:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/425

Why all software isn't shipped using "64-bit"? Because it wouldn't run on older computers.

Why software companies do not implement "64-bit features"? Because there is none, except recognizing more than 4 GB RAM.

As for performance, in theory there is no difference.

Cheers,
Gabriel.
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:04 AM   #4
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I guess that makes sense. I think it would be safe to say, "Install a 64-bit operating system if you plan on having more than 4 Gbs or if it is fairly easy to do." I do not plan on having more than 4 Gbs at this time, but I am positive that will change some day. Why not install it if Microsoft will mail me the disk?
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:46 AM   #5
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Hi,

It makes sense. Don't forget that you also need to install "64-bit" drivers.

As for performance, I gave a second thought on this issue and by using 64-bit registers the CPU can be faster when dealing with numbers bigger than 32 bits. On 32-bit CPUs this operation would need to be broken down into at least 2 operations. Thus 64-bit CPUs would be faster, as they would use only one instruction, i.e. would complete the task in just one operation.

The issue is, for complex math, programs already use the FPU, where the registers are 80-bit long, making no difference for this kind of task.

Cheers,
Gabriel.

Last edited by Gabriel Torres; 03-29-2007 at 04:49 AM.
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