making the plunge to 64-bit vista

after fooling around with vista basic and mac os x, i’ve finally settled on 64-bit vista. it might not seem like a big deal, but a 64-bit version of windows makes quite a bit of a difference for me. this, however, is not necessarily a good thing.

pros:

  • all 4GB of memory that i’ve bought for this laptop can be fully addressed
  • if running 64-bit software, there’s potentially a performance boost

    cons:

  • 64-bit drivers are STILL not necessarily readily available for all of your hardware
  • there isn’t a lot of native 64-bit software yet

    what this really boils down to is whether or not you can find drivers for your hardware. for me, it’s been a mostly mixed bag. i cannot find 64-bit drivers for the touchpad made by dell. synaptics makes a driver, but there is no support for an emulated middle click. this absolutely kills me.

    vmware server does not support a 64-bit OS. their paid product vmware workstation does, but man, server doesn’t. this was almost enough for me to give up 64-bit vista. but i really wanted to make use of all of the memory that i bought. paul told me to use virtual pc which does work…for the most part. video support for X doesn’t work out of the box, but it does install an OS.

    trying to find 64-bit software is pretty difficult. firewall was one of the bigger challenges for me at first. my firewall of choice, zonealarm, does not produce a 64-bit version of their software. comodo firewall pro however does work and works fine for me. it’s better than the windows firewall, so i guess it’ll have to do.

    antivirus support is still handled by avast, thankfully. it looks like avast uses a hybrid approach to scan for viruses, so a big part of the engine is still run in 32-bit mode. how much of a performance impact this is, i’m not sure. i haven’t noticed anything.

    the bulk of the rest of my applications are still 32-bit though. everything seems to work for the most part. video drivers were manually updated from laptopvideo2go. that definitely made things more stable on the video front, but still the drivers are a little buggy from time to time. when vista first came out, i read an article that nvidia was responsible for nearly 25% of all vista crashes. crazy, huh?

  • 3 thoughts on “making the plunge to 64-bit vista”

    1. I just installed Vista x64 on my Dell 1720. Found ALL drivers on the dell website.. guess what, even though Vista x64 is not supported by dell on Inspiron 1720 (so they don’t have any 64-bit Vista drivers on their support page), other dell notebooks have 64-bit support. Since the underlying hardware is the same, you can look out and get the drivers for all your devices. I’m all set and enjoying my 64bit fun ­čÖé

    2. Found drivers for Inspiron 1720 touchpad on Vista 64 on Dell support for Latitude D630c. Don’t know if middle click emu works. I needed this drivers because I use the “disable touchpad when mouse detected” option, implemented in this package. The Synaptics drivers on Synaptics website does not support this.

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