by Rob Williams on June 8, 2005 in Software
Since Windows XP Pro 64-Bit was released, there has been a lot of speculation of whether it would help current gaming or anything else in general. I put both versions of the OS through a round of benchmarks to see if the 64-Bit does indeed offer any advantage.
Technically speaking though, games shouldn’t really have any reason to work better in a 64-Bit enviroment. The capabilities of the 64-Bit are much greater than 32-Bit, but there are many things that have to come into play before it’s optimized in 64-Bit.
Firstly, the operating system needs to be 64-Bit capable, which XP 64-Bit Professional obviously is. The game in question also needs to be developed to make use of a 64-Bit architecture. None to my knowledge currently have been developed for 64-Bit, but Far Cry recently had a 64-Bit patch released, which I will be using in the benchmarkings.
In addition, your Processor also needs to be fully 64-Bit, such as the AMD64/AMD64 FX series. Lastly, your GPU drivers also need to be developed for the 64-Bit platform. Other things may come into play as well, such as Audio drivers and Memory, but they would likely make very minute differences, if any.
Every test in this article was performed with the system running at stock. I left overclocking entirely out of the equation, and didn’t bother to test it myself. Of course, overclocking would increase scores all around. System is as follows:
64 3200+ S939 “Venice” Core (512k L2 Cache) @ 2.00GHz
LanParty NF4 UT Ultra-D
512 * 2 Crucial
Ballistix DDR400 (2-2-2-8)
AC’97 7.1 Built-In
Windows XP Professional with SP2
Windows XP 64 Professional with SP1
32-Bit Video Drivers are official 71.89
64-Bit Video Drivers are beta 76.80
BIOS is March 10, 2005 Revision
All the benchmarks and tests performed during the article has been done on a machine with all uneccessary applications and services shut down. For all the gaming related tests, including 3D Mark, the tests were each run twice, and for the hardware benchmarks, they were run once each.