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Windows XP64 Professional

by: dsmith - May 19, 2005

I just starting playing around with Windows XP64 and I thought that I would make a thread to discuss it with others that may be using it and a place to put some links.

XP64 - What is it & Why Bother?

XP64 is a beta OS that you can try for free from Microsoft. Yes, I said free and Microsoft in the same sentence. Unfortunately, it is only valid for 120 days and you must have a 64-bit processor to use it.

I am a born tinkerer and when I built my last computer, I wanted something a little different, so I went with an AMD 64 Athlon. (side note: these processors rock - I am sold on AMD, but that is for a different thread). I purchased and installed Windows XP, but wanted something to use the full power of my processor. So, I decided to give the XP64 a test. In fact I am writing this thread on it right now!

Getting XP64

I originally was able to download a beta version from Windows that was valid for a year. However, when I just checked the XP64 site I found that it is now in production and only a 120-day evaluation CD can be ordered.

Also, I found on the same site that Windows is offering an upgrade program for XP (32-bit) pro to XP64. This is only valid until July 31, 2005. So if it is something that you may want to do, you should act on it pretty quick. DO NOT DO THE EXCHANGE BEFORE TRYING XP64. If you exchange your 32-bit for 64-bit, your 32-bit will not be able to be activated. 64-bit computing is cutting edge. Cutting edge means that there are still things that do not work - most importantly device drivers. My advice is to get the evaluation copy and make sure that you can get drivers for your devices. 32-bit device drivers will not work in XP64.

First Impressions

My first impression is that it seems exactly like XP without all those annoying device drivers being installed :). Honestly, I have not used it enough to say that there is a performance increase or not. Also, the hardware that I have it installed on, is the fastest computer I have ever used bar none. I will try to do some comparisons in the future as to performance and see if I can find anything measurable.

The installation went just as expected, but many of my devices didn't work. At the time of this writing however, all of the major items are working and working perfectly. Again, it is too early to tell as to performance or stability.

Device - NVIDIA Video cards

Nvidias support of XP64 seems to be up to par. Drivers can be easily obtained from NVIDIA's download site. Just make sure to select XP64 Pro as your desired platform. This driver installed on my system without a hitch.

Device - Broadcom Wireless g Network Card

I don't know why Broadcom has to make it so hard to download or find a driver. I thought that I would have to give up on my attempts at XP 64 because of this card. My only access to the internet is through this card. Luckily, I did a search and found a zip file that had a driver that worked. I found this file on another forum and quite frankly I have no idea where it came from. It worked for me and anyone with this card is more than welcome to give it a try.

Here is a link to the zip file.

Device - Gigabyte Motherboards

Props to Gigabyte on their support of the XP64 architecture. I was able to go to their XP64 driver download site and find the necessary device drivers, including my on board RealTek Audio. Again, these all installed and worked without a problem.

Conclusion (for now)

I am a junkie for trying new things like this. I hope to continue this thread with more possible hardware links, software links and overall comments. I would love to hear if anyone else is using or trying XP64 and what their impressions are. Also, I would love to make this a thread where links to device drivers could easily be found.

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