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If I'm running a 64-bit OS (Windows XP x64 edition) and a program has both a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version, what are the advantages of using the 64-bit version? Will it be faster?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

XP 64-bits is not more secure than 32-bits.

Vista and (better) Windows 7 introduced in 64-bit mode enhanced security with hardware-backed DEP, Kernel Patch Protection and mandatory driver signing.

So the only advantage in XP is that a 64-bits program can use more than 4 GB of memory.
However, practically speaking, no program needs so much memory, except in large servers.

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No program uses more than 4Gb of memory? Except on servers? That's a bit strong, ain' it? –  ldigas Jun 6 '10 at 20:13
    
No, its totally correct. Also take Bubu's answer in account, you may notice improvements in performance. (Yeah I'm in that 1% and I did notice some 64bits are faster than the 32bit version.) –  Shiki Jun 6 '10 at 20:21
    
@Shiki - I'm not arguing performance (simply because I've no idea whether there is any). But a lot of programs use more than 4gb of memory. True, they may not be programs for a wide spectra of users, but nevertheless (think numerical computations). –  ldigas Jun 6 '10 at 20:25
    
Hm... Hardware DEP is available in 32-bit systems (including XP), and Kernel Patch Protection was ported back to Windows XP 64-bit in some update. –  Hello71 Jun 6 '10 at 20:38
    
Idigas: Well.. but if one uses a PC for mathematical computation... ^^" | anyway: XP 64 bit is something what one should not use. Only Vista/Win7 comes with seamless support in my opinion. Even drivers on XP for 64bit can be a pain in the arse.. –  Shiki Jun 6 '10 at 20:50
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if you run the 64-bit version, it will be able to address more memory, and if it is optimised well (as are some games) there may be a <10% improvement in performance. But in general it is not felt by the endusers.

i think most people run 64-bit just because of the memory addresing concerns.

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