The following is a very slightly edited account of Kurt's foray into using 64-bit Microsoft Windows with AMD's Athlon processors. Links to the software, hardware and drivers are scattered throughout.
For those Mac users out there, this is a taste of what the PC-based 64-bit world is going to be looking like in the next couple of years. For the PC users, here's a quick look at the future of Windows computing.
"Works, and works well," Kurt's note said about a month ago after downloading the new 64-bit Windows from Microsoft for use on his 64-bit AMD processors. It has taken me some time to get around to editing this story and putting it up, but in the interim, there has been no change in his excitement over this new platform. The rest of this article is in Kurt's words (mostly) and he has given me permission to edit and post it.
I found the Nvidia drivers, and am looking for drivers that I might notalready have on the net and I am surprised how much is out there. Thedrivers seem to be up to speed, but the apps aren't. No 64 bit version even beta of something like EverQuest. But I would imagine that it will happen.
As for bench marks those seem to be about 10-20 percent slower than the standard 32 bit ones from things like 3dMark2001 and 3dMark2003 (from Futuremark). I think the main issue there is that the apps aren't 64 bit themselves and they are doing some soft emulation or something to run them. In anycase they run, just slower. Aquamark crashes. :-) I think they were doing something directly with DX9... There could be an issue with DX9 or someting with the 32 bit version of Aquamark. Either case it's been sent to MS as a bug. I haven't heard back. Don't expect to.
EverQuest works. Haven't tried much else yet.
Dug in and found some 64 bit sites that you either already know about ormight be interested in:
- www.amd.com has a nice forum
- www.futuremark.com has a nice discussion about the new OS and chips as well.
All in all they run fast, but so far nothing is really taking advantage ofthe power that's there. I am sure that will come out over time. Currently an EE version of the P4 will stay about even. But that's a $1K chip currently as opposed to the 270 dollars for a AMD 64 +3200, or the 780 for the AMD 64 FX-51 version. Only real difference is in size of onbaord ram between those, and the HT or HP whatever they call their threading technology. As for speed you don't gain enough with the FX to really justify the cost of the chip and memory. You would actually be just as well off getting a +3200 or 3400 version of the "normal" AMD.
Just get high quality RAM and a fast HD.Most if not ALL of the motherboards for the chips have onboard SATA controllers so you are set there.
Hmm... I am surprised at the benchmarks, and of the lack of a realdifference between the two versions of the chips, I am sure over time the FX will be much faster but this version is a dud as far as that goes. I am sure there are certain tasks that it is faster at, I just don't seem to be doing whatever those are.
But I have to say that for the cost you get super value with the chips, theOS is catching up, and the drivers are there. The big lack is apps thatactually are 64 bit. If you move to Linux you have the OS that's 64 and a ton of apps and drivers. That's probably the most complete solution out there. But hey, no EQ or other games so doesn't help me. But perhaps others out there will find that useful.
If I were to take my knowledge now, I wouldn't buy a FX, I would wait a bit and get the +3400 that's just coming out, and then I would jump in. Regardless they are faster than P4's. And the future is brighter.