Since we are now talking only about a preliminary version of this OS, it doesn’t make much sense to carry out very detailed test session with the whole bunch of applications involved. For our preview we will simply run PCMark 2004 test, which measures the performance of the most widely spread algorithms.
File Compression, MB/s
File Encryption, MB/s
File Decompression, MB/s
Image Processing, Mpixels/s
Virus Scanning, MB/s
Grammar Check, KB/s
File Decryption, MB/s
Audio Conversion, KB/s
Web Page Rendering, pages/s
DivX Video Compression, fps
Physics Calculation and 3D, fps
Graphics Memory - 64 lines, fps
As we see, typical 32bit procedures loading the CPU and the memory show almost the same performance level in 64bit Windows version as they do in 32bit Windows. In other words, this is another proof to the fact that the use of WOW64 emulator doesn’t cause any performance drop in 32bit applications running under 64bit operation system. However, according to the obtained results there are two exceptions to this rule.
The first exception. Web Page Rendering test shows a much higher result working in 64-bit Windows version. This happens because the test measures web-pages rendering speed with the help of the Internet Explorer version installed in the system, and of course, in Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems this is a 64-bit version too. This way, we can clearly see that 64-bit Internet Explorer is tangibly faster than 32bit one, and Athlon 64 processors really do “speed up” web-surfing.
The second exception. It has to do with the last two benchmarks, which indicate a performance drop during their work in 64-bit operation system. Moreover, this performance drop is not so crucial in the 3D benchmark, while in 2D benchmark (the very last one) it is simply dramatic. In this case I would blame the graphics driver for such a failure of the 64-bit system. It looks as if the situation with the drivers for Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems is aggravated not only by the absence of these drivers. As we have just seen, the existing drivers are far from ideal as well. The best example here is Detonator from NVIDIA. However, we should be fair: ATI has no drivers at all, which would support processors with AMD64 technology in 64-bit operation systems.
To prove everything I have just said, here are the results of 32-bit games tests in Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems:
3DMark 2001 SE
Quake3 (four), High Quality, 1024x768x32
Unreal Tournament 2003 (dm-antalus), 1024x768x32
The numbers speak for themselves, I suppose. 32bit games run under Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems work much slower than in the regular Windows XP Professional. Moreover, there are some problems with the actual work of the gaming applications. We discovered very bad artifacts in a number of our test 3D applications, such as Aquamark3 or X2 – The Threat. All in all, NVIDIA still has a lot to do about the improvement of its 64-bit graphics drivers.