[Techtalk] 64-bit systems

Indefatigable42 indefatigable42 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 16:25:56 UTC 2007

Hi all,

I have a couple of general questions relating to 64-bit processors. The CPU
I'm looking at putting in my next computer is the Intel Core 2 Duo.

First: will I need a new operating system? I can see that Vista is available
in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and I've heard of 64-bit versions being
developed for certain Linux distributions. Windows XP only seems to come in
one flavour. Can I run a 64-bit machine on a 32-bit OS (which I already
own)? Will it be completely incompatible, or will it just not let the system
perform as well as it can?

Second: how well can I expect my old software (games, etc.) to run on a
64-bit system? I've read that it's supposed to be fully
backwards-compatible, but does it really work that well?

Third: the last I heard, hardware drivers were the one thing that couldn't
be gotten around. If I have an old peripheral device whose manufacturer is
no longer making new drivers for it, am I out of luck? (Fortunately I only
have one such peripheral, and it's a scanner, which will be cheap to replace
if I have to... it's just rather sad that I'd have to ditch a perfectly good
piece of equipment, even if it's five years old.)

Thanks in advance!


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