Free/commercial software using 64-bit capabilities?


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Having purchased a new desktop very recently (i3, 4 Gig RAM, 1 TB HDD, 64-bit Windows 7) I was excited to experience whizz speed in apps like Photoshop and video-editing. Just to be dissapointed. No whizz speed, only slightly enhanced normal speed. I have realised to optimally benefit from a 64-bit system one needs to use 64-bit software. How is the development towards 64-bit software? Which apps (freeware and proprietary) are available in 64-bit format?
 
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Having purchased a new desktop very recently (i3, 4 Gig RAM, 1 TB HDD, 64-bit Windows 7) I was excited to experience whizz speed in apps like Photoshop and video-editing. Just to be dissapointed. No whizz speed, only slightly enhanced normal speed. I have realised to optimally benefit from a 64-bit system one needs to use 64-bit software. How is the development towards 64-bit software? Which apps (freeware and proprietary) are available in 64-bit format?
Just google it...
You may find things like this:

http://www.x64bitdownload.com/
http://www.64xsoft.com/
http://www.x64freeware.co.uk/
http://www.freeware-guide.com/download/64bit.html
http://www.brothersoft.com/downloads/x64-software.html
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-windows7-vista-64-bit-software.htm
 

Core

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Since your post had nothing to do with the thread in which it was posted, I separated it into its own thread.

You'll find that at this point the most significant difference in performance between 32-bit and 64-bit editions will be in software designed to do certain process-intensive tasks such as video encoding, image/sound rendering, etc. It's not supposed to "make Word open faster"; you do see a noticeable difference if you use 64-bit Photoshop to edit large megapixel files.
 

TrainableMan

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It is also worth noting that some 32-bit applications may actually perform slower in a 64-bit OS. To benefit from your 64-bit environment always use 64-bit products when available.
 

Digerati

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The biggest disadvantage I have found to using 64-bit is hardware drivers older hardware are sometimes harder to find. That said, if a company has not got with the times and created 64-bit updates for you hardware, it is time to let that company go for they are not keeping up.

It is also important to note that even though your favorite programs many not have 64-bit versions (and if not, send them a stern note threatening that you will soon move to the competition if they don't get on the stick) Windows runs fine in 64-bit mode and since Windows itself takes up a lot of resources, being able to do its own housekeeping chores quicker means those resources are available to your and all your other programs that much sooner. This is the same with multiple core CPUs - your programs may not support them, but Windows does.
 
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Ian

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Is it documented somewhere or is it based on user reports?
From what I understand, it can be slower when needing to use WoW64, although when I wrote the 32-bit vs 64-bit article and mentioned it I couldn't find any details on the expected decrease (if WoW64 is used).

I did some more googling and found a figure of 2% mentioned here:
http://www.viva64.com/en/l/0002/print/

There's also a little more mentioned here, although it refers specifically to XP/2003:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896456

The WOW64 subsystem creates a 32-bit environment on the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Some 32-bit programs may run slower on these operating systems than they would on 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP. For example, a 32-bit program might run slower on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition than it would on Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Alternatively, some 32-bit programs that require lots of memory may exhibit increased performance on the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. This performance increase occurs because the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition support more physical memory than the 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional.
 
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TrainableMan

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Program performance considerations

The WOW64 subsystem creates a 32-bit environment on the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Some 32-bit programs may run slower on these operating systems than they would on 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP. For example, a 32-bit program might run slower on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition than it would on Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Alternatively, some 32-bit programs that require lots of memory may exhibit increased performance on the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. This performance increase occurs because the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition support more physical memory than the 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional.
See the More Information section HERE. This is not where I first saw it, and here it is mentioned in regards to Win Server & XP 64, but it's the first thing I found on the MS site and it goes into a discussion of WOW64, which seems to still apply to W7.

Just for arguments sake though I also found THIS while looking. Check out the section Performance Implications of Running a 64-bit Operating System where, with the right hardware ...
Because processors with AMD64 and Intel 64 architecture can execute 32-bit instructions natively, they can run 32-bit applications at full speed, even on a 64-bit OS. There is a modest cost for converting parameters between 32-bit and 64-bit when calling operating system functions, but this cost is generally negligible. This means that you should see no slowdown when running 32-bit applications on a 64-bit OS.
Even then it says "should see no" which is not "will not see"; so there is no guarantee they won't.
 
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