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Posted 15 Apr 2012

Advantages of 64-bit

, 15 Apr 2012
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Some test results.

Nowadays people who buy Windows or install Linux are confronted with the 32- vs. 64-bit choice. There are several advantages including memory management etc. This question and responses on Stack Overflow pretty much sums up the main advantages and points to consider.

I wanted to do  a real world test comparing memory operations running in different modes. This led to this question and some findings – posted on Code Review. Now I’ve done some more testing divided into four groups 32- and 64-bit pointer operations – executed in 32- and 64-bit mode. This is the output:

64-bit pointer, 64-bit mode

  • Loops: 100 Elapsed time: 6987.638000 Average: 69.876380
  • Loops: 200 Elapsed time: 13861.296000 Average: 69.306480
  • Loops: 300 Elapsed time: 20833.421000 Average: 69.444737
  • Loops: 400 Elapsed time: 27746.943000 Average: 69.367358
  • Loops: 500 Elapsed time: 34693.142000 Average: 69.386284
  • Loops: 600 Elapsed time: 39019.204000 Average: 65.032007
  • Loops: 700 Elapsed time: 38858.330000 Average: 55.511900

64-bit pointer, 32-bit mode

  • Loops: 100 Elapsed time: 5601.273000 Average: 56.012730
  • Loops: 200 Elapsed time: 11104.902000 Average: 55.524510
  • Loops: 300 Elapsed time: 16671.022000 Average: 55.570073
  • Loops: 400 Elapsed time: 22228.157000 Average: 55.570392
  • Loops: 500 Elapsed time: 27787.730000 Average: 55.575460
  • Loops: 600 Elapsed time: 33332.861000 Average: 55.554768
  • Loops: 700 Elapsed time: 38896.038000 Average: 55.565769

32-bit pointer, 64-bit mode

  • Loops: 100 Elapsed time: 13312.479000 Average: 133.124790
  • Loops: 200 Elapsed time: 22025.908000 Average: 110.129540
  • Loops: 300 Elapsed time: 33019.403000 Average: 110.064677
  • Loops: 400 Elapsed time: 44024.916000 Average: 110.062290
  • Loops: 500 Elapsed time: 55038.448000 Average: 110.076896
  • Loops: 600 Elapsed time: 66054.053000 Average: 110.090088
  • Loops: 700 Elapsed time: 77091.699000 Average: 110.130999

32-bit pointer, 32-bit mode

  • Loops: 100 Elapsed time: 13775.434000 Average: 137.754340
  • Loops: 200 Elapsed time: 27503.340000 Average: 137.516700
  • Loops: 300 Elapsed time: 41255.826000 Average: 137.519420
  • Loops: 400 Elapsed time: 54918.705000 Average: 137.296762
  • Loops: 500 Elapsed time: 67934.638000 Average: 135.869276
  • Loops: 600 Elapsed time: 66102.285000 Average: 110.170475
  • Loops: 700 Elapsed time: 77136.964000 Average: 110.195663

The obvious conclusion is that the best reason to select a 64-bit Operating System is if you have a lot of programs running in 64-bit mode. And another point for captain obvious: don’t select 64-bit OS if the code you are running is 32-bit – it will hurt the performance. The result from running with 64-bit pointers in 32-bit mode being fastest is actually a bit surprising - but it might be a result if the test environment optimizing for better performance - this test is executed on a Mac OS X machine – running 64-bit natively. To make 100% proper conclusion I would have to dual boot the same OS in different bit-settings on the same metal – which is very impossible for me!

Hopefully I’ll have the time to test on other environments soon.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Michael Banzon
Denmark Denmark
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionNobody cares! Pin
Member 308248716-Apr-12 6:31
memberMember 308248716-Apr-12 6:31 
AnswerRe: Nobody cares! Pin
Michael Banzon17-Apr-12 7:27
memberMichael Banzon17-Apr-12 7:27 
This is not written to convince you to buy any 64-bit OS or new/better hardware.

The intention is to clarify the performance issues that developers need to confront when choosing to compile/optimize code for 32- or 64-bit architectures. There is a performance gain out there waiting - in some cases - but there could quite as well be a performance hit.

In addition I must say - that when I upgraded my personal machine form 4 GB RAM to 12 GB RAM I saw a clear performance boost in AV-editing software as well as large image editing/viewing - there are many causes for this improvement but to me at least it is a welcome upgrade. You are must certainly right, when you conclude that if you don't see any problems you shouldn't upgrade Wink | ;-)
GeneralRe: Nobody cares! Pin
Member 308248718-Apr-12 4:14
memberMember 308248718-Apr-12 4:14 

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