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Is it important to own a 64-bit OS if you are a gamer?

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#1
I pondered on this question for sometime now and have waited to see if games would ever see need of a 64-bit OS. However, they've been far and few. One game which is yet to be release called BC2 won't use it and here is the reason why:

A 64-bit operating system is recommended in general, but not required.

We won't have a 64-bit exe version for BC2 as there wouldn't be any practical benefits for that at all for that game and it would't be worth the additional QA cost & development time.
source

This answer to the use of 64bit OS piqued my curiosity because I wondered if most developers have this sentiment towards 64-bit. That if they can optimize their games without the need for additional memory or additional virtual memory it would be a RD cost benefit for them to just use 32-bit. I'm looking at this from the practicability aspect of how a 64-bit environment would work with these games. Sure you can get a game to use 8 Gigs of ram but is it practical to do so? In other words is there any tangible need for more memory for that game? So far the answer is no.

Other games to be released in a few weeks are Mass Effect 2 and Alien Vs. Predator. Neither of which state if 64-bit will be supported. ME2 system requirements state that they recommend 2 gigs of ram so I don't believe it's likely that more will benefit the game.

So, what am I getting at? With all these PC titles being released there is still no indication that developers are in mass to adopt 64bit OS. As one already mentioned it simply no practical benefit for their game. In the end if you are gamer more so then anything else do you really need a 64-bit OS? More then likely no you don't. However, if there are other applications that demand it's use it maybe something you would need to research to see if it's a benefit to have.
 
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#2
I find a lot of games don't even work in x64.

So I'd say its not important.

yet.
 

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#3
You don't need x64 but then again you don't need 8 threads on the i7 but we'll get it anyway. Having x64 means that you can run multiple game's simultaneously (yes some people do that) and multiple programs as well.
 
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#4
I find a lot of games don't even work in x64.

So I'd say its not important.

yet.
Hmm...I have never seen a game NOT running on x64...
 

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#5
What games do you have which don't work in x64? All mine work fine, including some which go back to 2002.

X64 is the future whether the developers have bothered to get on board or not, 32bit should die. And theres always Crysis 64 bit
 
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#6
64 is the way to go now...Everything is starting to head that way .... :toast:
 

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#7
What games do you have which don't work in x64? All mine work fine, including some which go back to 2002.

X64 is the future whether the developers have bothered to get on board or not, 32bit should die. And theres always Crysis 64 bit
Agree'd there is no real reason to stay 32bit since 64bit is just as compatible.
 
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#8
Which would be better:
A 64bit version or multi-threaded?
 
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#9
What games do you have which don't work in x64? All mine work fine, including some which go back to 2002.

X64 is the future whether the developers have bothered to get on board or not, 32bit should die. And theres always Crysis 64 bit

Spellforce order of dawn, Wizardry 8, most of the other games I have in my game box :laugh:

It could be I've just had bad luck.
 
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#10
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#11
I think it is a must now, most gamers run cards around the 1GB mark leaving only a little over 2GB left. I place an i5 rig under a good upgrade path for people and as an average they will use 4GB for dual channel. So I think it is a no brainer to go 64bit and I haven't found one game yet that I couldn't play.
 

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#12
For a modern gamer, running a high end rig, that wants to play games on high or better setting, x64 is a must.

Yes, the programs/games might not take advantage of it by themselves. But the fact that the OS has more address space to work with is required.

For high end gaming, 4GB of system RAM is pretty much the minimum. The game might only use 2GB for itself, but the OS needs RAM, your background programs need RAM, and all of that adds up.

Now, you add in modern graphics cards, taking up pretty much a minimum of 512MB, but most high end cards are taking up almost 1GB, some going to 2GB(HD5970). Of course, SLi and Crossfire means you could easily have 2 1GB cards. So on a 32-bit OS, when you consider the address space required for modern graphics cards, it just isn't enough. Dropping an HD5970 into a 32-bit OS means you only have enough address space for 2GB of system RAM, and the game wants that 2GB for itself, so you run out...

Now, you can say that the high end graphics cards aren't required, you don't need an HD5970, you don't need to run games maxed out, you don't need SLi/Crossfire. However, we don't need a lot fo things when it comes to gaming, but we like having them. We don't need to play at anything higher than 1024x768, we don't need to play at anything higher than low settings. And if you don't mind playing at those settings, then 32-bit probably is good enough for you, but for those of use that like to get the most out of our games, 64-bit is a requirement, even if the game doesn't actually support it.

Spellforce order of dawn, Wizardry 8, most of the other games I have in my game box :laugh:

It could be I've just had bad luck.
So a 6 year old game and an 8 year old game? Sounds to me like the issue has nothing to do with x64, and everything to do with the games simply not being compatible with modern OSes.

Though it is possible that they use some 16-bit code, or installers, in which case it would be the x64 causing the problems, as 16-bit support was dropped, just like 8-bit support was dropped with x86 based Windows.

Of course XP mode would probably allow these games to work perfectly fine under x64 Win7, I know that is what I use to play SimTower...
 
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#13
32-bit address space is still fine for today's games, but barely.

You simply cannot get everything out of your hardware if your system RAM amount + GPU ram exceeds 4GB.

4GB system RAM + 1GB GPU RAM is a standard now. You need 64-bit OS to handle that.
Upgrading further will grant you nothing in 32 bit OS.

There's also a performance improvement in DX11 (something related to GPU memory not being copied to system memory) that is exclusive to 64-bit OS.
I don't remember exactly and cannot find that article :/

We need W1zzard to help on that one :)

Cheers,
 

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#14
Until console games are no longer being ported to computers, computers won't see 64-bit games until consoles have 64-bit hardware. Because memory is where consoles always cut back on production costs, we are still at least another generation away from a 4+ GiB console.

It will happen eventually. I just wish that developers would use x86-64 compilers so that the memory is available if it needs it. It only took (I think) two Valve programmers two days to make the Source engine compile on x86-64. There is no excuse not to at least make 64-bit binaries available regardless of whether or not it "optimized" for it.


I'll make it real simple. If you had 64-bit operating system with 12+ GiB of RAM, you could load the whole of Liberty City from GTAIV in your memory with no loading except at start up. That's a huge advantage in regards to development because you don't have to focus on actively loading and disposing of parts of the city. Instead, GTAIV is designed to have a 256 MiB footprint for consoles with higher draw distance (and thusly, more memory) for the PC version. They could use 64-bit today easily but consoles with multiplatform development prevents it from happening.
 

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#15
Spellforce order of dawn, Wizardry 8, most of the other games I have in my game box :laugh:

It could be I've just had bad luck.
LOL, never heard of any of them! The only ones of mine are the older Codemasters games like Toca 2 and 3, and I think that was more a Vista compatability issue rather than x64. 32bit emulation in x64 is near faultless in my experience, but you're buggered with 16bit apps (not sure if thats to do with Vista/W7 or x64 though).
 
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#16
They're gifts from when I was younger, parents would only get me buy 3 games for 10 pound type deals XD

No surprise you'd not heard of them heh.
 

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#17
Oh, fair play then. At 38 I'm old enough to have had the ZX81 which came with 1Kb of RAM, but the older PC titles weren't on my radar cos I was too busy thrashing motorbikes round London as a dispatch rider at that time, didn't get my first PC til 2003!
 
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#18
I find that 64 bit OS' don't like sound cards that aren't under 100 dollars. That really messes with gaming, I'd say. Opening the control panel for mine causes the OS to crash in 64 bit but it's fine in 32.
 

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#19
I find that 64 bit OS' don't like sound cards that aren't under 100 dollars. That really messes with gaming, I'd say. Opening the control panel for mine causes the OS to crash in 64 bit but it's fine in 32.
Not an OS fault more like lazysoundcardmaker.exe fault.
 
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#20
Not an OS fault more like lazysoundcardmaker.exe fault.
I dunno, more like my fault. It was just released and I already knew it didn't have proper drivers yet. :laugh:
 

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#21
I dunno, more like my fault. It was just released and I already knew it didn't have proper drivers yet. :laugh:
90% of computer errors are caused by the user :p
 

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#22
Yeah, even my Creative (pause for abuse) XFI Fat.Pro works perfect on x64 W7, and we all know the rep of Creatives' drivers.
 
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#23
I can't say I agree with some of the reason for 64-bit OS. For one, I see it as dying OS. With WIndows 8 already promoting 128-bit it's clear that 64-bit OS had peaked and on the decline of it's life cycle. It will be only a matter of time before we start seeing CPUs that support 128-bit, etc. Furthermore, as a gamer there is no practical use for it. Sure, you can use a 64-bit OS to run 32-bit games. But some posts seem to imply that if you have a 64-bit OS then everything else is 64-bit as well. I like to make it clear that's certainly not the case. If a program or game doesn't use 64-bit it will run in a 32-bit environment.

Now there is nothing wrong with that except if you fall into the category of running a 64-bit OS that you've never (or hardly) seen use of. Hoping that one day you will. In such an example is why I believe a 32-bit OS is just fine for gaming use.
 
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#24
Something that is truly backwards compatible would be great if possible. Most software I use is obscure, so I find myself backtracking to windows XP for production.

But there is no point going 32bit if 64bit is available for the same price. Also look how long it took to for 64bit to become even remotely popular. If 64bit isn't being used properly by apps then 128bit would be even more pointless.
I just keep the same copy of XP. Back it up and reinstall when I upgrade.
 

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#25
But there is no point going 32bit if 64bit is available for the same price. Also look how long it took to for 64bit to become even remotely popular. If 64bit isn't being used properly by apps then 128bit would be even more pointless.