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.
To benchmark Far Cry, I ran through two resolutions, and two different levels. For some levels, they have built-in demos, so I just used those, for Regulator and Volcano. For Windows 32-Bit, I used the 1.31 patch, and for x64, I used the 64-Bit patch.
This is the only (I believe) game currently out to have a 64-Bit patch, so I was really expecting to see some differences here. To use the patch, you must be running x64 Windows. I am not going to get into the differences of what benefits there are over the 32-Bit version, however Hard|OCP recently had an article devoted to it, which you can read here, for more information.
Even with the 64-Bit patch, the game benchmarked a few FPS lower than the 32-Bit version. However, the levels I tested directly, don’t really take advantage of the 64-Bit as they could. There are two bonus levels with the 64-Bit patch, however the levels will only work under x64, so I was unable to compare them to the 32-Bit, naturally.
Since this was a patch, and the game wasn’t entirely built upon a 64-Bit architecture from the start, performance wasn’t hurt, but it wasn’t greater either. However, in the patch, and as you can see in the mentioned Hard|OCP article, they added some bonus features that utilize the processor, such as rocks underwater that have better depth and generally look more real. In the future, when games take much better advantage of 64-Bit, we should be seeing many cool features to our games.