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Monday, May 09, 2005
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

3. Product Overview

Why upgrade to Windows x64? Do I really need this upgrade? What am I going to gain from this release?

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Overview

According to Microsoft, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition supports the latest class of Intel Itanium processors designed for users who need to create and manipulate large amounts of complex data.

Windows XP 64-bit Edition is designed for users that require large amounts of memory and floating point performance in areas such as mechanical design and analysis, 3-D animation, video editing and composition, and scientific and high-performance computing applications.

Based on the Explicitly Parallel Instruction Set Computing (EPIC) design technology, the Intel Itanium processor can perform up to 20 operations simultaneously by using advanced compiling techniques and large processor resources. This means that the applications can preload substantial amounts of data into virtual memory to enable rapid access by the processor. This reduces the time for loading data into virtual memory and the time for seeking, reading, and writing data to storage devices and as a result, applications to run faster and more efficiently.

· Performance Benefits

With the 64-bit version, engineers can create large, more complex models in fields such as automobile or airplane design. This means that engineers can use a lot of new techniques to improve product design. Except that, 3-D animators, digital artists, and game developers, can render more complex 3-D models faster that before. According to Microsoft, in the areas of scientific and high performance computing, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition will aid in oil and gas exploration, seismic analysis, computational fluid dynamics and scientific visualization among other applications. The hardcore gamers will experience more complex textures that require biggest amount of memory with more image effects on the upcoming games for the 64-bit Windows,without having to worry about the performance.

· Increased amount of memory used

In our days, there are a lot of users that are reaching the memory limits on the 32-bit systems. Here comes the new x64 Edition to solve this problem. With Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, the memory limit has increased to 128 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and 16 terabytes of virtual memory. The amount of virtual memory is going to be increased even higher in the future, as new hardware capabilities will be available.

Virtual Memory Error Message - Users that have this problem on Windows XP are not going to see it again soon on
Virtual memory error message on Windows XP when the size you set was bigger than 4096

· Single Desktop for Technical and Business Applications

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition will provide a single desktop for technical and business applications, eliminating the need for technical workstation users to maintain a PC for business applications and a separate workstation for high-end technical applications. Most of the existing 32-bit programs will run on the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition in comparable performance to 32-bit Windows, hopefully it will be boosted.

Server Administrators will not have to worry about compatibility problems when they want to setup a server with both Windows XP Professional x64 Edition systems and 32-bit systems. Furthermore, they can manage them with the same administrative tools.

On Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Task Manager displays the 32-bit programs that run through WOW64 emulator with an "*32" extension.

· Same programming model

Developers with 32-bit skills will be comfortable and quickly productive in the 64-bit Windows environment, finding it virtually identical to the development environment for 32-bit Windows. The Microsoft Win64 application-programming interface (API) is the same with the Microsoft Win32 API except some necessary modifications to acquire best performance on every platform.
Finally, the feature set is the same as the previous 32-bit Windows with the necessary modifications which includes: UI and programming models, networking, security, graphics, multimedia, directory service, Plug and Play, and tools features.

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