Has Windows Vista 64bit hit the mainstream?

Our "pub" where you can post about things completely Off Topic or about non-silent PC issues.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

sun.moon
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:57 am
Location: Germany

Has Windows Vista 64bit hit the mainstream?

Post by sun.moon » Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:30 pm

Hi all,

It's been about a year now since I have paid much attention to the developments in the PC market place. I just ordered a new HP PC for my parents from HP's online shop. It seemed odd to me that HP had so many PC configurations with only Vista 64bit, with no option of 32bit. Has 64bit hit the mainstream? Are driver and application compatibility issues resolved?

In the end, I ordered the 32bit version just because I was uncertain. Anybody know if I can upgrade to the 64bit version in the future without having to purchase a new license?

Thanks,
sun.moon

bonestonne
Posts: 1839
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Post by bonestonne » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:14 pm

Well, good news, serials for Vista are not linked to 32 or 64 bit versions. you should be able to run your 32bit key to activate your 64bit copy, but you might want to buy a separate 64 bit copy/license altogether to minimize hassle.

As for 64 bit vista itself, well, there are things to be said. Drivers are a nightmare, for all things vista, but especially 64 bit. Compared to XP x64, the x64 vista is much faster and well written, so when you take the hardware/software out of the mix, vista wins. from my personal experience, i've been able to use vista drivers for my XP Pro x64 machine without problems (although it can't be a single exe file, the .inf files need to be separated).

for 64 bit anything though, check all your hardware first, and look into driver issues. i upgraded to 6gb of RAM just a few days ago, and the driver for my M-Audio card stopped working, which was a nightmare (but now i'm using the vista drivers, and it seems to work fairly well).

if you don't need to run a lot of RAM for an application, or you have no need for 64 bit, i'd say avoid it, simply for your own sake. i know a few people that run x64 systems, and it works best to run linux in 64 bit, but for windows, the drivers aren't really finalized, because i don't think manufacturers saw a public use for x64 operating systems, but now that it's here, they're just trying to shut the public up by supplying drivers that "might" work for the average user.

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:14 pm

64-bit system will hit on mainstream maybe in Windows 7. Vista 64-bit is mere prototype for all 64-bit applications drivers etc. 64-bit system will probably hit mainstream in Win 7 earliest... or next windows after that.

XP is still by far most popular choice in mainstream, much for the agony of M$...

And no, 64-bit problems with drivers etc have not nearly solved. A lot improvement has happened, like few months back there was finally official release from Creative for Soundblaster 64-bit drivers... they're still not perfect but they do work... but not as good as 32-bit...

32-bit is still more stable than 64-bit and much better supported.

TD22057
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 9:00 am
Location: Southern California

Post by TD22057 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:22 pm

I have to disagree... mostly :)

I just built a Vista 64bit system a few weeks ago and the only problems I had were a Cisco VPN client (been a problem for literally 3 years or so) and my SkyCaddie golf GPS. I solved the VPN problem (which I need for telecommuting) by using Virtual PC w/ a copy of Windows 2000.

Other that that, everything (hardware and software) I've tried has worked just fine.

So I'd say it works fine for me. It is possible there are some things you may have problems with, but you can check the internet in advance. It's not perfect yet, but then what ever is...

croddie
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:52 pm

Post by croddie » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:26 pm

I disagree with the above posts. Vista64 is definitely mainstream, with a good supply of drivers. I don't know about its popularity in general, but with tech-savvy users it is the preferred option over 32bit (based on forum discussions and also xbit poll results*. Unless you use legacy hardware there are probably all the drivers you need; of course you should check.
For your parent's system though, it probably doesn't matter either way. Likely they won't care about 64bit native software, or use 4Gb RAM. I'm making assumptions here. But the added security in 64bit vista may be useful.
I certainly wouldn't go to the trouble of upgrading to 64bit for a system with no more than 3Gb RAM, but on a new system I would put on Vista 64.

*xbit poll
Do you plan to upgrade to a new 64-bit operating system?
Yes - 308 (31.3%)
No - 284 (28.8%)
I already use a 64-bit OS - 393 (39.9%)

notquitequiet
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:15 am

Post by notquitequiet » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:56 pm

I bought Vista x64 Ultimate after SP1 came out. I figured most of the bugs had been worked out by then. I tried it on my C2D system I had just built and I had nothing but problems. It didn't like my video card, scanner or 4GB of RAM during the install. I gave up and went to XP Pro. I later figured out that the nVidia drivers were part of the problem. I switched to the "red team" and things have been pretty good since.

Recently I was upgrading my HTPC for Blu-ray and I figured I'd try out Vista x64 again (was XP Home). It went pretty well. The only thing that doesn't work right now is the remote. Only some of the buttons work. I'm sort of passively shopping for another. There's a glitch in the ATI CCC, but I think it will fix itself when I reinstall them or upgrade them.

I do want to see Windows 7, but I am dreading another Vista experience like I had with the C2D. Who knows.

Mats
Posts: 3044
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:54 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Mats » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:03 pm

Yes, you can upgrade to 64-bit with your current serial, but I think you have to use a different serial than the one on the case.
More info here.

sun.moon
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:57 am
Location: Germany

Post by sun.moon » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:38 pm

Hey, thanks for all the responses!

I did forget to mention, that my parents use their PC only for emailing, word processing, internet, skyping, photo management and some basic photo retouching. Their new PC will have 3GB RAM. From what I gather, 32bit Vista will be plenty for their requirements. The last thing I need is for them to having problems with the 64bit version, which would mean that I would be problem-solving for them as the have a low affinity to PC technology.

For my next own PC coming up sometime next year, I may try Vista 64bit just to start getting experience with it.

It still seems odd to me that HP has so many 64bit Vista configs in their online store after reading the above posts.

-sun.moon

Arvo
Posts: 294
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:30 pm
Location: Estonia, EU :)
Contact:

Post by Arvo » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:33 am

I've seen mostly two kind of problems using Vista64:

* missing drivers for legacy/exotic hardware
* impossible to run 16bit software (yes, there's some :))

Otherwise in our tiny company all new machines are deployed with 64bit Vista (although we don't use any software, benefitting from 64bit, we can at least test our production app compatibility with 64bit OS).
I'm using one myself, no problems so far. Well, I've logged into it only for 3 weeks - let's see, what happens after 3 months. (32bit XP lasted 8 months without logging off, then hardware updgrade required powering off ;))

But generally there's absolutely no benefit using 64bit OS for everyday computer use. 3.5GB RAM outta be enough for everyone, after all :)

sjoukew
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:51 am
Location: The Netherlands (NL)
Contact:

Post by sjoukew » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:06 am

Vista 64 bit works perfect, if you have decent hardware ( no budget el-cheapo brands), no problems at all. I benchmarked my pc (c2d E6600, 4gb ram, ati X1950 pro) and in vista 64 bit it was faster than the 32 bit versions, in everything I tried. No driver issues, no problems just perfect :).

bonestonne
Posts: 1839
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Post by bonestonne » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:24 am

couldn't be easier to see that it's user perspective on what's good. i just avoid Vista because of lowsy driver support for the stuff i use (M-Audio soundcard).

once support grows, i may upgrade though. i do resent vista at the moment (but then again, everything i have finally works in XP x64, changing now is like suicide for the work i do.

proprietary hardware or someone that simply uses all onboard stuff shouldn't have any problems, it's when you go beyond, then the issues start piling up.
It is possible there are some things you may have problems with, but you can check the internet in advance. It's not perfect yet, but then what ever is...

Matija
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Croatia

Post by Matija » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:37 am

There are no official Vista drivers for my Terratec sound card (or 64-bit ones, for that matter), and since I don't plan on getting rid of it... I guess I'll be using 32-bit XP for a long time.

nutball
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1304
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:16 am
Location: en.gb.uk

Post by nutball » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:22 pm

My experience has been 80-90% positive. Most stuff just works.

Stuff like RMClock doesn't because of driver signing issues. ffdshow doesn't, but maybe that doesn't matter right now.

Epson haven't deemed in their interest to provide the latest drivers for my printer, and though it still works due to the versions shipped with Vista, some of the more detailed options aren't retained between uses (which means that some of my ranty letters to my gas company get printed out in ultra-high-quality photo mode, which I hope they appreciate).

I ditched my Terratec sound card for onboard ALC889A, which is better anyway.

The only major annoyance has been lack of VNC and/or Remote Desktop. VNC Server doesn't work on Vista64, and RD doesn't ship with VHP. Fucktards.

Anyway I'd hazard a guess that for any user who just wants to use stuff they were sold with the PC, or USB stuff like digital cameras and MP3 players, V64 would be OK. It's way more mainstream than XP64 ever was.

croddie
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:52 pm

Post by croddie » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:15 pm

nutball wrote:My experience has been 80-90% positive. Most stuff just works.

Stuff like RMClock doesn't because of driver signing issues. ffdshow doesn't, but maybe that doesn't matter right now.
I don't have problems with 64bit "ffdshow tryouts" (could be wrong but I think that's the main updated version of ffdshow). Shame about RMclock.

Matija
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Croatia

Post by Matija » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:29 pm

nutball wrote:I ditched my Terratec sound card for onboard ALC889A, which is better anyway.
I have a DMX 6fire. That's not something you ditch, it's more or less an audiophile card... And I like my music :)

Mats
Posts: 3044
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:54 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Mats » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:17 am

Matija wrote:There are no official Vista drivers for my Terratec sound card (or 64-bit ones, for that matter), and since I don't plan on getting rid of it... I guess I'll be using 32-bit XP for a long time.
They don't work or what?
DMX 6fire USB - Driver and Software (PC)
Driver 5.53.03.144 / Control Panel 5.51.03.142
For Windows Vista (32/64 Bit) / Windows XP (32/64 Bit)
Version: 1.4.1.12 | Filesize: 3.68 MB

Matija
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Croatia

Post by Matija » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:28 am

lulz, the terratec.de site doesn't have those.

Still, everything above 5.40 is beta... And I've heard stories about faulty ASIO (which I need).

Mats
Posts: 3044
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:54 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Mats » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:16 am

Matija wrote:Still, everything above 5.40 is beta... And I've heard stories about faulty ASIO (which I need).
Are you saying they're beta when they're the only drivers on the site?
If so then why don't they say so?
Looks like things have changed if you're asking me.

Matija
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Croatia

Post by Matija » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:39 am

Found info about 5.5x being beta somewhere on the net... I've now checked Terratec's FTP site, and they have the 5.53 drivers both in a Beta directory, and in a normal one. Damned if I understand what's going on.

Anyway, let's stop spamming ;)

SebRad
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:18 am
Location: UK

Post by SebRad » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:56 am

If you want to run 16bit software on 64bit Vista I'm pretty sure that DOSBox will work for you. Use a recent version and you can even get the window scaled up (possibly even with AA!) to make bigger on modern high-res screens. I sometimes play a few DOS games under Windows this way.
Regards, Seb

AZBrandon
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 867
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:47 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by AZBrandon » Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:22 pm

So just today I saw an 8GB DDR2 kit for $67 on newegg. I guess I realized prices had come down pretty far with a lot of the 2x2gb kits running $25 after rebate, but most of those have a limit of one rebate per household. Seeing 8GB ram for $67 without any rebate needed just somehow made huge amounts of memory seem much more real to me.

It was at that moment that I had a flashback of the "3.5gb of RAM should be enough for anybody" comment that I'd seen a while ago in this thread, and it made me wonder if Microsoft missed the boat here. My laptop can only access about 3.1gb of it's 4gb of RAM and although there's certainly many people using 64-bit Vista, there's a TON of people in mainstream society that won't touch Vista, period. Now we're looking at 12-18 months before those people will buy Windows 7, or a computer with Windows 7. By then, maybe 16GB kits will be down to $75, or even $50, with the overwhelming majority of PC's still only able to use 3GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, Apple adopted 64-bit OS with no real problems some time ago and is easily able to make use of all that memory. 64-bit linux has been stable for a couple years too, and it too is enjoying the speed and efficiency of 64-bit computing as well as addressing as much RAM as you've got. Does anyone else thing Microsoft missed the boat on 64-bit computing and stands to lose marketshare in the next 18 months to Apple and linux because of it?

Matija
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Croatia

Post by Matija » Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:12 pm

$67 for 8 GB? 4 GB of the same Geil memory costs $96 here, so $192 for 8 GB.

MS didn't miss the boat. 2 GB is basically enough for everyone but a very, very small subset of users, and memory isn't so cheap in the rest of the world ;)

I'm still on 2 GB and have no idea why I'd need more, by the way. Or Beasta, for that matter.

dhanson865
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
Location: TN, USA

Post by dhanson865 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:51 pm

AZBrandon wrote: Meanwhile, Apple adopted 64-bit OS with no real problems some time ago and is easily able to make use of all that memory. 64-bit linux has been stable for a couple years too, and it too is enjoying the speed and efficiency of 64-bit computing as well as addressing as much RAM as you've got. Does anyone else thing Microsoft missed the boat on 64-bit computing and stands to lose marketshare in the next 18 months to Apple and linux because of it?
I think you are right.

OK, I've been interrupted a few times so this might be a little rambling with some discontinuity.

I know when I first saw XP-64 mentioned I wanted to get my hands on the ISO quick and use it but they all but made it impossible to get early on.

Now after reading about all the hassles I have media and licensing to use XP-64 and Vista 64 and don't want to bother with either. I'm sticking with XP-32 for now.

If driver support in XP-64 had been pushed as a priority I would have used XP-64 since they showed their attitude toward it yeah I'm not likely to try 64 bit anything unless I'm booting Ubuntu or working on someone elses mac.

I think there will be more people trying Ubuntu next year and if Cell phones get cheap enough I think some of the low end PC market will go towards that.

MSFT will continue to lose market share to

Cell phones
netbooks with Linux
desktops with Linux
Mac OS machines in general

But even with all of that I'm still primarily a windows user. I haven't been converted yet.

I still remember the time I wasted trying to compile ntop on windows when I took an old PC and got Ubuntu and ntop on it in a matter of minutes worth of effort (plus some let it sit and auto update time). Its just stupidly easy to do some things on linux with no money involved that you can't do on windows without a lot of effort or at least some money.

There seems to be a trend there that if MSFT doesn't respond with serious improvements they are going to lose out on that steady flow of cash they used to get...

Olle P
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:03 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Olle P » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:05 pm

sjoukew wrote:Vista 64 bit works perfect, if you have decent hardware (no budget el-cheapo brands), no problems at all.
I'm under the impression that Vista 64 runs better than Vista 32 on all 64 bit hardware, and that the difference really should be more apparent the more low end hardware used.

Any 64 bit hardware that can run Vista 32 Basic at all should be able to run Vista 64 better. Am I wrong?

(Anyway, for me it's the "no 16 bit software" that's prohibitive.)

Cheers
Olle

AZBrandon
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 867
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:47 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by AZBrandon » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:53 pm

Matija wrote:$67 for 8 GB? 4 GB of the same Geil memory costs $96 here, so $192 for 8 GB.

MS didn't miss the boat. 2 GB is basically enough for everyone but a very, very small subset of users, and memory isn't so cheap in the rest of the world ;)

I'm still on 2 GB and have no idea why I'd need more, by the way. Or Beasta, for that matter.
What people need and what people want are two totally different things. If people only purchased what they needed, then there would be no luxury cars, or vehicles with more than about 150hp except work vehicles. 4gb is cheap enough to now be installed in every new computer sold, and already we're at the point where the manufacturers selling computers have to have an asterisk saying Only 3GB memory available to OS.

This would be like people finding out that General Windows only sells cars capable of managing 100hp. They can buy the 125hp engine, but the transmission forces it to run in 100hp mode. Even if they have a 200hp engine like the Toyacintosh, it still only uses 100hp, unlike the Toyacintosh which can use the whole 200hp, 400hp, or up to a bazillion horsepower!

Most technology is sold based on marketing, and being the guy selling a product that is limited in its abilities - regardless of the fact that 95% of buyers won't ever need more than those abilities - is a tough sell against a competitor product that can do way more. I can see the "I'm a Mac" TV commercials getting ready now, I'm sure...

"I'm a Mac ... and I'm a PC.

So PC, what are you doing there, trying to fit all your videos into that 3x3" section of that 8x8" box?

Well Mac, I'm perfectly capable of being given an 8x8" box, but because I'm old, I can only actually use a 3x3" section of it.

Well that sucks, I'm a Mac and not only can I use the whole 8x8" box, I can handle boxes up to 4096 inches on each side. That's a lot more than 3 inches. Are you ever going to be able to use more than that tiny section?

Sorry Mac, but remember that ad you made about me where I had a pile of money to fix Vista, but used it on marketing instead? Well multiply that times 10 for the money it would take to fix the 64-bit support of Vista.

So PC, it sounds like I'll be pretty busy at the Mac store in the near future, doesn't it?"

Matija
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Croatia

Post by Matija » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:35 pm

Heh... I don't know of anyone with a Mac. Nor do the Mac/PC commercials air outside of the USA ;) They've tried them in the UK, and it was horrible.

Nick Geraedts
SPCR Reviewer
Posts: 561
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 8:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Post by Nick Geraedts » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:05 am

AZBrandon - Your post sounds just like a recap of all the Vista bashing that came out of the latest Apple commercials. I'll admit, the original Mac vs PC ads were well written and entertaining:
PC - I'm here because people need to use spreadsheets.
Mac - Oh... but there's Office for Mac now, so there's no more need for you.
PC - Well, if I want to make the video, I need to open up this program, and then that one, and this one...
Mac - I just use iLife
Simple, to the point. Macs are just as usable as PCs, if not "easier". However, when your advertisement doesn't show how good your product is, but only bashes the other one for being "so buggy" and "terrible"... it reminds me of recent political campaigns (which I'm sure many people have grown tiresome of). It also makes me think that you're running out of ideas as to why your product is better. Did anyone else catch the recommendation by Apple for users to use antivirus programs that was later pulled from their knowledge base? So much for "Macs don't get viruses".


You mentioned the following:
Sorry Mac, but remember that ad you made about me where I had a pile of money to fix Vista, but used it on marketing instead? Well multiply that times 10 for the money it would take to fix the 64-bit support of Vista.
So... what exactly doesn't work on my 64-bit Vista that's Microsoft's fault? You're comparing apples to oranges here (no pun intended). Microsoft is primarily a software company. Apple has always been, and will always be primarily a hardware company. They couldn't even write a decent operating system on their own - they took Unix and built on top of it, leaving OS9 in the dust. That being said, there hasn't been a single first-generation Apple product that I can remember that hasn't had serious quality control issues. MBP lids not closing properly? On a $2500 laptop? Get serious here people...

Microsoft has a far better track record of fixing vulnerabilities quickly than Apple - it took them over a month and a half to get the DNS vulnerability from this summer fixed! I personally find it impressive that the recent IE vulnerability was fully patched (on IE5/IE6/IE7/IE8 Beta, and Win2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008, 32-bit and 64-bit) in a matter of 3 days. To my knowledge, the patch has had no unexpected errors or bugs of its own.

Sorry for the rant. It just bugs me how much fanboi-ism there is in the Apple community.



To get back to the original topic, I think that 64-bit has become more mainstream. I had a friend who bought an Asus laptop a few weeks ago, shipped with 4GB of RAM and a 64-bit version of Vista preinstalled. It's the OEMs who are holding Vista x64 back - not Microsoft. The only reason I run 32-bit on my netbook is because the Atom isn't 64-bit capable. All of my other systems run 64-bit OSes. Except for one (Fedora) they're all Windows, and they all see every byte of RAM installed.

alecmg
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:56 am
Location: Estonia

Post by alecmg » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:26 am

In linux 64-bit now hit the mainstream (as mainstream as linux goes).
Flash and Java plugins are now native.

andyb
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 3307
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Essex, England

Post by andyb » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:31 am

I'm under the impression that Vista 64 runs better than Vista 32 on all 64 bit hardware, and that the difference really should be more apparent the more low end hardware used.
Not really the case. My test-rig at work has 64-bit Vista installation on it, and its benches 26% slower in 3D Mark 2001 than the same PC with XP (32-bit).

All software is identical BTW (unless something doesnt work on Vista), all divers are the latest as of a month or so back when I did the testing.

Athlon 64 AM2 5000+, 2GB RAM, Gigabyte GA-M61PM-S2 (Ge-Force 6100 IGP with 128MB shared RAM), 2 identical 7200.10 250GB single platter drives - XP one one Vista on the other.


Andy
Last edited by andyb on Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nick Geraedts
SPCR Reviewer
Posts: 561
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 8:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Post by Nick Geraedts » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:14 am

andyb - What's the WEI on that machine under Vista? I know that some benchmarking software would run slightly slower under Vista, but not a quarter of XP's ratings.

Have you tested it with a more modern version of 3DMark? 2001 was a really long time ago, and I know the benchmarking methods are quite different.

Post Reply