64 v 32 bit CPU

Could someone please tell me about 32 versus 64 bit CPUs. As I’m going to build a new pc I’m trying to learn as much as poss.

Current software support for 64bit chips is pretty much unavailable outside of linux.

64bit is technically faster, as you can process more information, or same information but at better detail than a 32bits.

In terms of athlon64 vs athlon, the 64b chips are slightly faster & will have a longer life for when we (finally) get a 64b OS (other than linux). And the 64 bit chips have a better upgrade path than the 32b chips.

Also, if you are comparing semprons (athlon 32’s) & athlon 64’s, the athlon64’s are faster as they have more cache & higher clock speeds.


I build my own computers also.

I usually make a point of putting “state of the art” ( latest technology ) components into the box.

Which is great if you have money to burn.

Try and find the sweet spot, price versus performance.

Check out this thread:


Isn’t that always the prudent way?

As I do a lot with Photoshop CS 8 & am getting tired of waiting & working around on my present pc. XP OS AMD XP 1800+ CPU (overclocked a bit I have a M/B with Red Storm overclocking, it should be underclocking, as it only lets you go over a little bit) & 512 Mb RAM. I’m thinking of an Intel P4 630 3.0 Mhz 800 FSB 2Mb Cache S775 CPU, which is 64 bit on a Gigabyte GA-81PE775-G Pentium 4 775 Motherboard with 800Mb FSB & 1 or 2 Gigs of RAM. I want to know if 64 bit is of benefit to Photoshop CS 8.
Thanks for replies but I realise I should be a bit clearer.

No real benefit unless the application is written for 64 bit.

I’d go for s939 3000+. The stock speed is 1.8ghz but everyone is overclocking them at least to 2.4ghz, probably higher. And they have the built in memory controller, which helps a lot and also dual channel memory.

Does anyone run their CPU at the rated speed?


you look just like Red Green on the canadian show by that name.

Hmm, I wonder? Could be. However, the 3000+ s939 is the best deal out there right now for an Athlon 64 in a price/performance perspective.

Thanks, Planatoid but I wouldn’t use AMD for Graphics they’re good for almost anything else though. I’m wondering if the 64 bit AMDs such as s939 would be different than the 32 bit AMDs for handling graphics?

Not at the moment. Software is still only 32b, hence performance is still only gonna be marginally faster for the 64b chips (as they are generally marginally faster than their 32b couterparts).

I do but thats only because i overclocked my cpu to far and now anything faster actually turns out slower so 1.7ghz stays till i can afford a new processor
did boot it to 2.1ghz at one stage.

I took some kid’s P4 1.8GHz and got it to 2.6GHz stable. It was funny.

go for 64bit, no point in getting a 32bit processor now, you won’t see a big difference in performance for most things but when microsoft release xp 64bit you’ll get a free speed increase and when programs (and games) come in 64bit versions you’ll yet again get a free speed increase. So basically the benefits will not be realised until microsoft release xp 64bit.

Well the benefit of a 64bit CPU because of its ability to do 64bit apps is, when using Windows, zero to none. In about a month, XP64 will be released (at least, that’s what some MS marketing guy said). Applications that are made for 64 bit can benefit from it.
As Linux has been ready for 64 bit for quite a long time now, several tests have been done on the Athlon 64 CPUs. The biggest measured difference in speed was a 54% increase (when using the same system, same installation and the 32 and 64bit version of an MP3 encoder called lame). This doesn’t mean that all applications will run more than 54% faster when using 64 bit optimized software, but the differences can be big. My guess that, generally speaking, the performance increase will be about 10~20% on an average.

There are good reasons to buy a 64 bit chip (actually I’m talking about AMD chips right now, as their are no interesting Intel alternatives at this time) though. The K8 architecture is quite optimized, also for 32 bit. It has a native built-in memory controller (huge performance boost), dual channel abilities (on the s939 platform) and more interesting techniques. Also Cool’nquiet is an interesting technique; this lowers the clockspeed of the CPU when not that much power is needed, resulting in lower power consumpion, less heat dissipation and thus less noise production.

About the overclocking issue: if you get a mainboard that has working AGP/PCI locks and you have good memory, the Winchester based A64 (s939) can be quite an overclocking monster. I run my 3200+ Winchester on 2167 Mhz (I can’t go any further because my mainboard isn’t fitted well for overclocking so I can’t really set the AGP and PCI locks), but I know more than enough ppl that have NF3/NF4 based systems that do more than 2.5Ghz with their 3000/3200+ Winchester CPU’s. That’s a lot of performance for very little money.

the native built in memory controller isn’t as good as you may think, it means that AMD has control over whether DDR2 memory works with there chips.

look here as its been discussed before (well this was about windows 64bit)


Well… of course AMD controls the use of DDR2 in some way. But, as already has been proven, AMD chips perform better with agressive timed DDR chips than slowly timed DDR2 chips (at a higher clockspeed). That’s a very good reason not to support DDR2 yet. AMD did announce that they might skip DDR2 and go for DDR3 (Q1 2006) at once.

And IF DDR2 is needed, it’s easy for AMD to integrate it into their CPUs or to add a northbridge to the mainboard (and thus not making use of the internal memory controller).