Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems Preview
One of the major topics attracting the public attention when they touch upon AMD Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 processors is the discussion of their 64bit capabilities. Unfortunately, there is not much to talk about yet. There are no public operation systems supporting 64bit AMD64 extensions that is why the biggest part of our today’s article will be devoted to the performance of Athlon 64 FX-53 in 32bit Windows XP operation system.
However, the situation is not as hopeless as it might seem at first glance. AMD has already sold quite a bit of processors supporting AMD64 technology. Moreover, Intel has also announced their long-term intention to introduce AMD64-compatible 64bit extensions support in its upcoming desktop CPUs in the far-away future. That is why it is more than evident that AMD64 technology will become a success one day. Sooner or later 64bit operation systems and the whole lot of 64bit software will come to the market. Especially, since software developers have no alternatives left: if the program will require more than 2GB of memory then the only way to solve the problem is to use 64bit processor mode.
But this is the future. Although there is some movement towards the use of AMD64 technology today already. The first remarkable event in this field took place in the beginning of February, when Microsoft Company offered everyone the opportunity to get acquainted with a preliminary version of their Windows XP operation system with AMD64 technology support. This OS is officially called Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems and is available for free download on the Microsoft web-site. Of course, we couldn’t leave out this fact and took a closer look at the new operation system.
I would like to stress that this is the second time already we get to work with a Windows version supporting AMD64 technologies. In our article devoted to AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 we have already provided some benchmarks results obtained in this OS. However, at that time we had an earlier beta-version of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems at our disposal. Although at that time already it worked flawlessly, without any evident bugs. The public demo version of this OS is marked with a newer date and works without any problems on Athlon 64 FX/Athlon 64 processors. However, this system is hardly suitable for every-day use. In fact, it can be useful only for software developers and testers who simply have to use a 64bit system. Regular users do not need to shift to Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems and sometimes simply cannot do it at all.
The first problem you face when installing Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems is the lack of necessary drivers. Very few hardware developers offer drivers for their devices, which are compatible with the Windows versions supporting AMD64. Regular 32bit drivers cannot be used for 64bit operation system. For this reason, for instance, the owners of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems cannot use ATI based graphics cards in their systems: the Canadian company doesn’t supply the graphics card drivers for this operation system yet. Also the owners of some network cards, RAID controllers and audio solutions may face similar problems. That is why if you decide to install Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems in your PC, make sure that you’ve got drivers for all the hardware devices you have in your system.