benefits of 64 bit server OS

Posted on 2010-01-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Other than the possibility of usage of More physical memory what are the other significant benefits for  going from 32 bit Server OS to 64 bit?

Question by:anushahanna
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Fayaz earned 400 total points
ID: 26276301

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kiwistag earned 400 total points
ID: 26276715
Some speed enhancement/effiency as far as i've noticed.
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LMiller7 earned 400 total points
ID: 26277252
The #1 advantage of a 64 bit OS is the VASTLY increased virtual address space.
In a 32 bit OS the address space for each process is limited to 4GB, and that is TOTALLY independent  of the size of RAM. The upper 2GB portion is reserved for system use. The lower 2GB is private to each process. Each process has it's own private 2GB address space, totally independent of the size of RAM. The system can use many GB of RAM because there are many processes.

For many applications that 2GB is severely limiting. All of it's code and data must fit into this space. There are some techniques that an application can use that eases this restriction but they are awkward to use and have serious restrictions. This can be increased to 3GB with a boot option, restricting system address space to 1GB, generally resulting in loss of overall system efficiency. This only applies for applications that are large address space aware. Most aren't.

A 64 bit OS increases this 2GB private address space , for native 64 bit applications, to a full 8TB. This is an increase of over 4000 times, and that may be further increased in future OS versions. Note that this is totally independent of the size of RAM. Some application types benefit greatly from this increased address space. System address space is also increased to 8TB, greatly improving system efficiency for such things as the system cache.

32 bit applications will have their address space increased to 4GB, provided they are large address space aware. Otherwise they will see no changes.

This increased virtual address space, along with the ability to address over 128 GB of RAM, is why 64 bit systems were developed. Server 2008, datacentre edition, is limited to 2TB RAM, and that only because that is the most that Microsoft was able to test. Everything else is minor in comparison.

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Assisted Solution

bsharath earned 400 total points
ID: 26277951
The question of what kind of benefits you will see from a 64 bit
processor/operating system really depend on what kind of work you do
on your PC.  The big advantage a 64 bit system has over a 32 bit one
is the ability to handle math computations better.  For educational
institutions, corporations or anyone doing large amounts of
calculations/processing this translates into a decent block of time in
savings.  The average PC user on the other hand will only see a slight
upgrade in performance.

Microsoft has a web page set up here which lists in their opinion the
top 5 reasons to get Windows XP Professional x64 Edition


There is a potential downside to upgrading to xp 64.  In my research I
came across a number of people reporting compatibility problems with
programs such as Adobe Acrobat and Windows Media Player.

The bottom line is that 64 bit processing is definitely the direction
the industry is heading.  While you may not see an immediate increase
in performance as more programs come out which are written to take
advantage of the 64 bit architecture you will probably begin to see
real speed increases. Until then you may have to suffer through some
problems as the bugs and compatibility problems are worked out.

And see this

Assisted Solution

ZJORZ earned 400 total points
ID: 26278546
for DCs, the ability to get the complete NTDS.DIT (AD database) into memory
the benefit really depends on the current size of the NTDS.DIT file

Author Comment

ID: 26349797
Thanks for the detailed info. Thanks to LMiller7 & bsharath for the in-depth analysis and explanation.

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