Gaming In 64-Bit: Tom's Tests, Microsoft Weighs In

Left 4 Dead

In a repeat of what we saw in Grand Theft Auto, shifting to a 64-bit platform results in lost performance in Left 4 Dead at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. It’s only when you step up to 64-bit that the speed is recovered—though the 6 GB platform is not any faster than the 3 GB, 32-bit configuration.

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  • waxdart
    The other problem is I dont want to go buy another OS for this (Ms or otherwise). If they would run games on a linux platform I'd be happy to buy a 64bit game.
    But only if that game was DRM free and didn't want me to go on-line to activate it. I've got better things to do these days as most of the games suck.
  • daglesj
    Did you write the article before you did the benches? Otherwise it might have tempered the hyperbole about the switch to 64bit. It comes across as this is really really important and will save gaming as we know it but the benches at the moment say otherwise.

    I dont expect this to change radically for a while yet. Maybe 2010/2011 will be the time of 64bit?

    Dont get me wrong I'm all for the full migration to 64bit but some folks need to catch a little perspective maybe?
  • daglesj
    Did you write the article before you did the benches? Otherwise it might have tempered the hyperbole about the switch to 64bit. It comes across as this is really really important and will save gaming as we know it but the benches at the moment say otherwise. I dont expect this to change radically for a while yet. Maybe 2010/2011 will be the time of 64bit?

    Dont get me wrong I'm all for the full migration to 64bit but some folks need to catch a little perspective maybe?
  • s3k3r
    Wow. Looks like 3gb and 64 bit doesn't go so well...
  • spearhead
    daglesjDid you write the article before you did the benches? Otherwise it might have tempered the hyperbole about the switch to 64bit. It comes across as this is really really important and will save gaming as we know it but the benches at the moment say otherwise. I dont expect this to change radically for a while yet. Maybe 2010/2011 will be the time of 64bit?Dont get me wrong I'm all for the full migration to 64bit but some folks need to catch a little perspective maybe?


    indeed 64-bit needs a bit more time. alot of people still use 32 bit however and dont plan to move to 64bit any time soon this is why programmers choose not to script 32-bit af of now because that group is to large. however in the upcomming two years as when windows 7 will launch people will more steadly migrate to 64bit operating systems and by 2011 2012 64bit should be the standard programmers code for. dont worry to much about it this means AMD was way ahead with its first 64-bit cpu's :D imagine how long the life time cycle for these chips is. especialy those 30 euro costing dual cores they will rock for years :D however im planning to get my self a new system in may and it might be core i7 920 based since prices of DDR3 are getting nice, not only that but also graphics are way more affordable a complete config is cheaper then it was back a few months ago and now worth its price :D
  • firkinfedup
    One thing you should be taking in to account here is game architechture. No doubt most of those games, if not all use DirectX, therefore the main limitation will be due to the common framework.

    So what if some games claim to have some 64bit optimisations, that doesn't mean the company was actually any good at implementing them, nor tested them effectively enough to know if they make that much of a difference.

    64bit gaming is currently pointless, a bit like this test.
  • andrazz90
    in gaming 64 bit might not offer such an increase, but other apps such as winrar 7 zip etc u see a huge performance increase. extracting 7gb on 32 xp takes 40 mins, on visa 64 the same file took me 14 mins!
  • bobwya
    What I find odd about this article is that it starts off great and then goes so wildly of course.

    The author discusses all the benefits of 64-bit computing. We are told these include increased content (visual details for example) and better stability for long sessions/ RAM heavy games.

    Then the article goes completely tits up (THG style) and starts discussing FPS differences between 32-bit and 64-bit. Did I miss something or has lost the plot somewhere along the way...

    The 64-bit extensions AMD introduced are a kludge on-top of a kludge on-top of a... , etc., etc.!! They are purely about addressing more RAM (vs. greater performance from wider data pathways/ bigger register banks in a "from scratch" 64-bit Instruction Set Architecture). It is a known fact that the C2D CPUs can only "glob" x86 instructions and not x64 bit instructions - so they may in fact run 64-bit code slightly slower.

    @andrazz you also can only compare Vista 32-bit vs. Vista 64-bit and Windows XP 32-bit vs. Windows XP 64-bit!! Any other comparisons will apples vs. oranges...

    Bob
  • ravenfeeder
    Seems to me that the benchmarks were all about graphics. Games that do a lot of processing, like many strategy games, were not addressed. It's these games where I would expect the extra memory to provide better performance, with faster 'turns' (for turn based games), or less of a slowdown when RTS games have huge numbers of things to track. You will not see more frames per second, but you will have faster/better gameplay.
  • plasmastorm
    Although the benchmarks show 32 Vs 64bit is more or less the same thing, when i changed to XP 64bit just to get the old far cry 64 patch i had a whopping jump in speed. Not to mention the nice extras in-game.

    Now I'm using Vista 64bit, Q6600/4gig ram/8800gtx, the 64bit games do seem faster than their 32bit counterpart to me at least.
    Perhaps just because the OS has the extra Ram allocation to free up HDD Paging. Either way it does the job.
  • Sash
    Would there be any benchmarks coming between a normal 32bit game vs the /LAA 32bit game?

    You mentioned it in depth and how to do it etc, but didnt show anything that would show the difference in performance between them.

    Would be nice to see if enabling that setting will increase any FPS or if it is just used for stability.
  • jamesgoddard
    The real reason for the lack of 64bit support is the complete lack of a requirement for it on games that have ported from consoles (i.e. most AAA titles).. If you have developed a game to live in the restraints of 512MB in an Xbox 360, 2GB when you port to Windows is a relative luxury that is far beyond the game engine will require. Not until we see either the next generation of consoles – or games being developed for the home PC rather then just a simple port – will we see the need for more memory.
  • jamesgoddard
    The real reason for the lack of 64bit support is the complete lack of a requirement for it on games that have ported from consoles (i.e. most AAA titles).. If you have developed a game to live in the restraints of 512MB in an Xbox 360, 2GB when you port to Windows is a relative luxury that is far beyond the game engine will require. Not until we see either the next generation of consoles – or games being developed for the home PC rather then just a simple port – will we see the need for more memory.
  • daveikin
    yes please keep GTA as a benchmark! It has raised the bar with regards to system requirements etc etc and would be good for future kit to be measured on it...
  • bobwya
    Just a thought but wouldn't it be nice to see a "cache level" option so that all/most of the levels in a game could be pre-loaded into RAM on a large RAM system. For a long gaming session it would be nice to avoid all the level loading stuff (without buying an SSD)!! Thinking of HL2 here...!! How much RAM would be needed for it to be useful?? Too much I guess for newer games?? Globbing a few levels together might help... Just wonder how hard it would in developing the game - probably not to much if they have a 64-bit port...

    Bob
  • Anonymous
    32 bit v.s. 64 bit comparison results cannot be realized via game play comparison.

    The best benchmarks will be scientific A.K.A., math libraries Like BLAS and FFT. Other area will be databases and GIMPs.

    Also seeing that there are newer registers in the 64 bit world, explicitly using those registers will give a benefit w.r.t. speed and I am not sure if newer compilers (64 bit) are using those in an otimum way.

    Colin
  • tychoblu
    *If I'm not mistaken*
    In a 32bit environment, video ram counts against the >4 GB wall. Running two 1GB video cards will drop your available ram to >2GB. I can imagine this bottle-necking gaming rigs running Vista. I cannot imagine trying to save 200$ on a new rig, by skimping on the OS and ram...
  • Anonymous
    Well, I dont know about anyone else, but I do other things on my computer than gaming. I also like to have 47 windows open, on a regular basis, spread out on 3 monitors.

    Quad-core and 64 bit IS a requirement, and with the absurdly low prices of ram and computer gear in general, why do people insist on being cyber-luddites?

    Enjoy,
    S*D
  • Anonymous
    to bobwya : that was here when the first systems with 1 MB+ ram came out.
    it called ramdrive. did sort of hdd apartition in the RAM. it could be interesting to see it these days or maybe something similar is out already :D
    at least it is posible to run without virtual memory if you have 4GB+ ram.
    i found only video editing tools demanding some virtual memo so far.
  • psiboy
    Ahhh the stupidity of Benchmarking at High resolutions using a budget graphics card and risking it becoming the bottleneck! Why not redo the benchmarks with a more powerful graphics card? Then you might see some difference? Tom's making itself more irrelevant day by day to the think class man :P