Windows XP Pro x64 - Set me straight?

So what’s the deal with XP Pro x64 (or 64 bit edition)? I Want it so that I can have 4Gb+ of memory and um…not have Vista. So a few questions:

  • Can I run it at all? I’m getting a Core 2 Duo setup. An ASUS nForce 750i mobo. If you need to know more, tell me, I have all the specs.
  • About drivers. I need to be able to run Blender, ZBrush, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Soundbooth, iTunes, Office '03, Firefox, AIM, and some games. I also need to be able to connect my iPod and Nikon D40. Will I be able to?
  • Is it worth it? Honestly, I could possibly get by with 2Gb of memory (max supported by XP?) but I really want to be able to upgrade more later on down the road.If you could answer ANY of my problems, I am forever in your debt. Thanks a bundle!:smiley:

Is it worth it? Honestly, I could possibly get by with 2Gb of memory (max supported by XP?) but I really want to be able to upgrade more later on down the road.
You can use UP TO 4 gb in Windows XP Professional (32)

XP 64 iirc was kind of a hack and other than the amount of memory you can use didn’t really provide a substantial performance boost. So unless you really plan on getting more than 4 gb of memory I would say pass on XP64. I won’t say to get Vista 64 because then you will HAVE to get more memory, nor will I say “get linux” because even though you can do all of those things in linux, your proprietary apps won’t run at native speed which defeats the purpose of getting things to make your computer “faster” so to speak.

4Gb really? I have ALWAYS heard that you can have up to 2Gb. If you have 4Gb, I’ve heard that you can only access 2Gb of it and Windows uses the other two. Is that true? I would REALLY like to be able to have 4Gb of ram on my XP computer and that’s about it.

P.S. I do plan to dual-boot with Ubuntu Studio for recording and such, but that’s about it.

Well 32bit windows can use “up to” 4GB memory, but not your applications. Though you will never be able to build a system where windows sees the full 4GB anyway, because your devices want a considerable amount of address space for IO, so you’ll lose at least half a gig to that already. Apparently reclaiming it with memory remapping and PAE doesn’t work either with XP home or professional, only server versions, but i never could get a definite answer to that…most forum threads end after a lot of speculation in intense flaming.

Your 32bit applications will get at most 3GB of virtual address space (with some tweaking), 2GB by default…and that’s again a theoretical maximum of useable memory, but no allocation strategy is perfect.

About drivers…listing the software you want to use doesn’t help, check the vendor websites of your hardware components if 64bit drivers are available, but chances are they only care about Vista, or stopped support alltogether if it’s a bit older.

With any setup(xp x64, vista x64, linux x64) drivers are potentially a problem. It really depends on the combination of parts and what the device manufacturers support. 64 bit linux is the only 64 bit OS I can get my machine to run, but linux is not for everyone. Keep in mind that I am a software engineer / computer geek, so I know how to fix things if they break. If you are ordering it from a company or shop, they should be able to help you.

You could always wait for windows Mojave. I hear it is going to be great. To be serious, I’ve seen 64 bit vista run great on fairly cheap machines, so it isn’t quite as bad as it would seem. In my opinion, it is more bloated than it should be, but xp also falls into this category.

I think one of the best options is for you to buy one of the vista machines that comes with a free downgrade to XP. You might be able to ask for 64bit xp pro. This would allow you to try out vista to see how it runs. If you don’t like it, then you can downgrade. As far as future upgrade possibilities are concerned, you will most likely have to use vista or “windows 7” at some point.

  1. I don’t like Vista. Not for me. I’ve used it. I’m too high-end for it’s resource beastliness.
  2. So you’re saying I will only be able to use 2Gb max memory in Windows XP Pro (32 bit)? Is it really gonna matter that much? I mean, I can always upgrade my OS later right? So if I like Windows 7 I can just upgrade to it and It will just start using my RAM fully right?
  3. I’m building my own system. This is not a prebuilt or a DELL. I’m building it from scratch. Anyway, basically, I can’t get one of those nifty free downgrade things.

On a personal opinion note, what are your specs? What high-end programs do you use on you’re amount of RAM that you’ve got. Can I Blender, ZBrush, and Photoshop (CS3 now, CS4 later) on 2Gb of RAM? That’s my main concern…

I just saw Cire’s post and read his sig.

So Cire, do you have problems with Blender spontainiously crashing? Initially I’m going to have 2Gb of memory. Is that gonna give me issues?

P.S. I know I sound like a tech n00b, but honestly I have a rather high tech level. I just wasn’t aware about the memory limitations in Windows until recently and I’m really worried that I won’t be able to have a stable system withthe setup I have and Windows XP Pro (32 bits).

Actually, there is no 64bit version of Photoshop CS3 from what i know, so it doesn’t really matter if you give it 32 or 64bit windows…though apparently you can pre-order CS4 already. There is also no official 64bit windows version of blender yet (only linux, although i heard that “official” testbuilds were planned…what happened?). So no need to hurry yet.

No idea how hungry ZBrush is, if you’re a user you should know better than me…do you have problems reaching the required complexity with your current system? Same for blender or photoshop…surely something like Big Buck Bunny will frequently make you fight with the limits of 2 or 3GB address space, but seriously, how often are you going to push the limits that hard (for reasons other than “i’m too lazy to model my scenes more memory efficiently”)?

I personally am fine with my 2GB RAM, but then again, i don’t really get to modeling and rendering due to all the coding…and basically, i’m just running 64bit Linux to make yafray is 64bit compatible…

No, no serious or unusual crashing here. Normally I only experience crashing with development builds. Then again, I rarely push the limits of my hardware/software. But I also hope to someday install XP Pro 64, if we get an official 64bit build in the next release or two . . .

I think we had this topic already… somewhat similar… the 8GiB for blender thread. can´t find it now…
but its basically like this:

2 ^ 32 = 4294967296 so you could address 4GiB of Memory.
(1111 1111 1111 1111 1111 1111 1111 1111)

However practically windows32 can only adress ~3,5GiB because ~500MiB are reservered for PCI addressing. This is the infamous memory hole IBM already encountered when designing the 8086 and they thought… 3GiB of ram… no one ever will use more ^^
So basically the plan was… we need to adress graphic cards, harddrives and other stuff too, a computer just with RAM would be useless. So they took the memory adress range of the last (4th GiB) to remap the adresses. (in older days it where those 640k missing of your ram)

windows64 bit could address 2^64 Bit which would equal 16 Exabyte (17 179 869 184 GiB) and if i remember right the current actual limit is 2^40, and the real limit is that there are only a few mainboards for mainstream users with support up to 16GiB Ram, besides the enormous pricing for 1*4GiB module.

However if you got mostly new hardware drivers are not problem. The only thing i haven´t got a driver for is my oooold Canon Scanner. The rest got xp64 drivers
(Wacom, nVidia, Printer, Sound…)
Also xp64 is not really XP. XP64 is a windows server 2003.
x86 compatibility how microsoft calls the 32bit compatibility is no problem.
everything runs in 32 or 64 bit mode… only flash can make some troubles here and there (there is no 64 bit flash (yet))

XP64 is only worth it, if you cant live with loosing 500GiB of your ram, or installing PAE or AWE API (which hacks around the 3.5GiB limit) on a XP32.

It gives you a significant boost on real 64 bit applications but else there is no real benefit.

Excellent. All my stuff (basically) is new.

Not so good. I also venture into Flash on occasions (the program). A problem?

I’ve heard (from a very reliable source) that the little 3GiB hack makes your system crash - a lot.

Um…Several hundred terabytes of RAM dude. That’s kind of a benefit.

Under windows its no problem. runs perfectly in IE64/IE32/FF32/Opera32. On some rare occasions the browser crashes… but very rare.
More probs i got under Debian64. in 64bit linux flash is a bit of a diva. but then again, who loves linux is never done setting up his system :slight_smile:

This might be, i have never tried it, i just know the technical background… and behold! theoretically it should work :wink:

I don’t know what people are saying about XP supporting 4GB. I recently went from 2 to 4, and when I’m in Windows it only recognizes 3GB of it.

bear in mind that vista 64bit is actually less buggy and more dependable than xp 64. you can make it behave exactly like xp (except it will run quicker and make more efficient use of non-vista allocated resources) and still run your favourite programs.

Why not use your existing pc as a PS/Flash dreamweaver machine, and your workstation to do high end stuff on?

How could anything be more buggy than Vista?? And how can you say it runs faster?!?!?

That’s just crazy talk man.

Can I live off of 2Gb of memory? At least until Vista gets to a usable point for me or Windows 7? I mean is it enough for Blender, Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects? Keep in mind this is JUST RAM not video ram, my graphics card can handel that. Will it be enough?:confused:

2GB is enough . . . I believe it may be the recommended minimum for some of those apps. But, ‘the more the better’ for certain tasks (assuming a system can actually utilize the additional RAM).

LOL? you work for microsoft?.
Yeah i am quite sure Vista, which wasn´t able to be installed on a machine with more than 2GiB Ram without causing a Bluescreenm unless you where lucky or had a release candidate of SP1 is more stable than XP32/64, currently with SP3, or XP64, based on Windows Server2003.
I remember when Vista64 was released, XP64 suddenly started to dissapear from the MicroSoftDeveloperNetwork (MSDN) Server… forcing people to betatest vista.
And shortly after that they announced XP will not be produced anymore.
And having the fact in my grey cells that Windows7 will be released next year, Vista is nothing more than a 21st century Windows ME.

As for Blender 2 GiB is surely enough unless you do intensive particle systems or physics simulations with vast arrays of data.

This might be interesting for you to read:

Like Photoshop or After Effects, they can eat a lot of memory. Let´s say you edit a plain DV in after effects and make some things for it in PS and you have both programs open 2GiB is nothing. ~500MiB are gone with the OS and the 1.5GiB left are gone within minutes… and then whenever you change the programm you have to wait until your swapfile has finished screaming of torture ^^
As cire stated 2GiB is the reccomended minimum for some of those apps, but in a workflow you usually have open several programms, unless you always want to start and close your apps.

shadow, simply buy xp64.
You already bought (hopefully, else i would not recommend you to do commercial work) ZBrush, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, After Effects and Soundbooth which are about 4500Euro (6340USD) alltogether.
So xp64 with 100Euro (140USD) is surely peanuts. And thinking of W7 coming out in 1.5 Years XP64 used daily cost you 0.18Eurocent (0.25dollarcent) a day. Then put it on a shelf or resell it after 1.5 Years.

arexema: Thanks man! That’s exactly what I needed to hear! You answered all my questions clearly (finally). There is one more person I need to ask, but right now 2/3 people are telling me to got for XP64. Plus my workflow is usually Blender, ZBrush, Photoshop or Blender, Photoshop, After Effects, either of which requires LOTS of ram. Thank you, your suggestion is taken.