32-bit or 64-bit for gaming

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by barryd, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. barryd macrumors newbie

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #1
    Is there that big of a difference for gaming?

    My plan (as of this second) is to buy the 24" iMac with the 8800 and Boot Camp into Vista Business 32-bit. But should I fork out the money for the 64-bit version even though it seems the only difference will be that it can address all 4 GB of RAM vs. the 3.35 GB (thereabouts) under the 32-bit version?

    Would the only real benefit of the 64-bit version be seen using a mac pro with over 4 GB of RAM?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

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    #2
    Vista Basic 32 bit is the best of the vistas for gaming.
     
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #3
    Most Windows programs are built to only cope with a max of 2GB of RAM, so having 64bit Vista won't gain you a damn thing, unless you plan on running a buncha things simultaneously. Save your cash. I user Vista Business (32bit) for my primary gaming platform and I'm quite happy with it.
     
  4. barryd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Well.... I think that answers that. I did not know about the 2GB limit on most programs. I thought the RAM issue was simply a limitation of the OS not the programs themselves.
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #5
    It's both I think..

    Leftover limitations from XP, and that being what most folks continue to develop for, they build in soft limitations where no matter what, an app will never ask for more than 2GB, no matter how much you have.

    I'll see if I can find the ars technica article on it..
     
  6. ninjapenguinart macrumors regular

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #6
    If you have to go vista go 64 bit. It will be a bit faster in FPS, and you have to remember that 3.35gig of ram under vista is really like 2.35 gigs and that 4 gig of ram is like 3 gig of ram, because of all of the background processes that are going on. So it will make a bit of difference, but make sure you get Vista 64bit with out SP 1 so you can install all of the bootcamp drivers before putting sp 1 on.
    Also as for that 2gb limitation thing. It's a lie. . . a lot of shading functions on gaming will require 3gb of ram. If you don't believe mego here http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/referrer/srtest and check out if your system can run crysis, and it will state that the shader requires a minimum of 3gb of ram.
     
  7. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #7
  8. ninjapenguinart macrumors regular

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    #8
  9. barryd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    So after looking at those articles it appears that it is not so much a performance gain between the two OSs, but simply how much memory is addressed.

    I guess I'm not convinced at this point that it is worth $300 to buy the 64-bit version when I can use a free 32-bit Vista Business version and get basically the same performance.
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #10
    That's the conclusion that I came too when considering buying Vista Ultimate for 64bit to see if it made LOTRO any better. In the end, I felt the same way as you, not worth it for minimal gains.
     
  11. barryd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Funny enough that's one of the exact games I'm looking to load on the new system. I want to be able to have every setting on max (maybe not shadows) and have it run smooth at a nice FPS. While LOTRO can definitely use the memory, it doesn't require the resources that I guess games like Crysis do. At least I hope not.
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #12
    Well, it's been a while since I quit playing, and the DX10 portions of it were still beta at the time. But I think it's not so much a RAM issue for you, as a superphat GPU & CPU. As long as you have both those and at least 3GB of RAM, it'll look good.
     
  13. barryd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #13
    I assume the 24" 3.06 iMac with the 8800GS should handle it quite well then.
    or should I move up to the Mac Pro and the 8800 it has?
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #14
    I'm not sure really, so I can't tell you one way or the other. I have a PC I built and an 8800GTS (640MB) and I can't really turn everything up to max. But part of the issue is my aging AMD processor and comparatively slow MOBO. I considered a second 8800GTS and using SLI. But then I realized.. I live someplace where my only bet for broadband is dial-up (yes, I said it), so spending that cash on another GPU to still be stuck with 40kbps... that and my wife might have hidden my body in the crawl-space.

    I can say that LOTRO will look good on either of those.. of course, the Mac Pro allows for some upgrading that the iMac won't allow for, but I'm not sure it's worth the price jump.
     
  15. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #15
    I skimmed through most of the responses.

    My question to the OP is this. Why exactly would you need to fork out extra money for 64-bit.

    The 32-bit and 64-bit keys for Vista are interchangeable. Buy whatever you want to. If you want to go 64-bit and you have 32-bit, all you need to do is get a 64-bit DVD (doesn't matter if it's home basic, premium, business, ect), reformat, install, and use the same key you used for 32-bit Vista. If you have any problems, call MS up and they'll activate it for you.
     
  16. barryd thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I got a deal on a Vista 32-bit Business upgrade DVD through my college. I was hoping to pay the surcharge and S&H through Microsoft to have them send me the 64-bit version but they said that my educational offer doesn't allow me to do that. Therefore, I only have the 32-bit disc of which I'll be upgrading XP from.

    So, basically, it it just a question of whether it was worth buying a full 64-bit version or a 64-bit upgrade disc from another party.
     
  17. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #17
    Er, you'll most likely only see 3.5 GB of RAM. And yes, there is a slight improvment with 640-bit (but not much). I've been running Vista 64 since SP1 and it's been a smooth ride. Age of Conan has been working great on it.

    On that note, since you already have Vista 32, you might as well go with that. I don't think you can upgrade to 64-bit for free from Microsoft can you?
     
  18. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #18
    The problem is that Vista 64bit SP1 is not supported in the iMac. Due to a firmware update, the DVD will only boot 2008 models of MacPro and MacBook Pro.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1846
     
  19. aki macrumors 6502a

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    Japan
    #19
    ...yes i wanted to install vista64 on 3.06 imac with 8800gs but it was too hard to get to install with drivers etc etc if apple has new bootcamp for imac and v64 i might change but 4 now vista32 is ok....not it just works maybe but it works...just... ;)
     
  20. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #20
    Did you call them or go to this site? http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1033/ordermedia/default.mspx

    A person may say no but a machine may say yes.

    64bit is the best, its pretty much always faster in games, and even more so in games that have 64bit versions (crysis is the only one I know of that has a 64bit version on the dvd, theres probably more though). But its not so much faster that its worth buying a new copy if you already have a 32bit copy.
     
  21. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #21
    What does this mean?

    What you do not understand is that the Vista64 SP1 DVD (which is the only version available today), will not boot on any Mac except for the 2008 versions of MacBook Pro and MacPro.

    If the disk does not boot, it can't be installed.

    I have successfully installed Vista4 SP1 on my 2008 MacBook Pro using BootCamp and had no problem whatsoever.

    The same DVD would not boot or install on my 2007 MacPro.
     
  22. apeguero macrumors newbie

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    Jun 18, 2008
    #22
    Hi all,

    Hope you can help me. I currently have Vista 32 Premium installed on a Boot Camp partition. It's working well and all but I want to take advantage of my 11gigs of RAM on my Mac Pro 2006. I want to upgrade the 32bit Vista to 64bit Vista.

    So I insert the 64bit Vista in the Disc tray of my Mac Pro and then let it autoplay while in Vista. Problem is the installer tells me I need to run the setup by booting from the disc. Okay, simple enough. I reboot my Mac Pro and hold the Alt Option key and select the Vista 64bit setup disc as the boot option.

    Once in the installer, the Upgrade option is grayed out. It only allows me to do a fresh install of Vista 64. It also warns me that if I proceed, I will lose all of my data in the current install of Windows. It's not what I want.

    Is this normal? Is Microsoft that strict that it won't allow one to upgrade Vista 32 Premium to Vista 64bit? I thought that was permitted. Any thoughts? Any way around this without having to do a fresh install of Vista 64bit and then having to re-install everything?

    Thanks in advance.

    ADP
     
  23. aki macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2004
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    Japan
    #23
    my ideas.... vista64 is better into the future but now either is ok....and warning i have 3.06 imac like u will buy (?) and i couldnt get to install vista64 because of driver and bootcamp problems....i dont think apple supports vista64 on this imac yet so it means some work 4u to set it up i think

    but vista32 is running very fine for me for now
     
  24. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #24
    You cant upgrade from 32bit to 64bit because they are too different. Its not them being strict, they arent compatible so the whole OS has to be reinstalled.
     
  25. apeguero macrumors newbie

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    Jun 18, 2008
    #25
    Thanks man. I found that out earlier. It can't be upgraded so I decided to suck it up and do a fresh install and then copy my files over. Don't know if it's because of the fresh install or what but Crysis runs better on Vista 64. My previous copy of Vista 32 wasn't that bad. It was only about 1 month old and the only thing I do in Boot Camp is play games (Crysis, MSFS X, Grid, GTR2, Doom 3). I leave all my other surfing and crap to Leopard since it gives me the secure feeling when surfing as if my Mac is wearing a condom :D I somehow don't get that same feeling when on Bootcamp; however.
     

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