[Techtalk] 64-bit systems

Doc Nielsen docnielsen at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 17:39:39 UTC 2007

On 3/30/07, Indefatigable42 wrote:
> 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.

I have the AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+
I found Athlon 64 to be as reliant and quite a bit cheaper than Intels
core 2 duo.

> First: will I need a new operating system?

No, but you might have to reinstall windows.

> 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.

No, Windows XP Professional also comes in both 32bit and 64 bit versions.

> 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?

The 32bit version of windows XP pro runs just fine on a 64bit CPU (here),
and my old debian i686 kernel didn't complain either when i booted on
the new motherboard.

> 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?

Indeed it does, nothing's broken here, yet.

> 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.)

If it works on XP pro 32bit, you dont need to either upgrade to vista,
nor replace the scanner.

> Thanks in advance!

You're quite welcome :o)
Good luck with the new 64bit world.


Evry little box should have a pat on the back by uid 0 at least once a day
Even a tux or a beastie needs love, just like I do :o)

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