2. System Specifications
3. Product Overview
5. Security Issues
6. Gaming Experience
7. Availability And Price
8. Windows Installation
9. Drivers Installation
10. Test System
11. Game Benchmarks - Far Cry
12. Game Benchmarks - Colin McRae 2005
13. Game Benchmarks - Half Life 2
14. Application Benchmarks - 3DMark2003
15. Application Benchmarks - 3DMark2005
16. Application Benchmarks - PCMark04
17. Application Benchmarks - SiSoftware Sandra 2004
18. Application Benchmarks - Science Mark 2
19. Application Benchmarks - Pov-Ray
21. Drivers Availability
22. Programs that are not supported
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is an operating system with a lot of opportunities. Currently, there aren’t a lot of users that really need this release, but in the future memory capacities will have reached such high levels that it will be necessary. Programmers, web designers, 3D animators to gamers, all will need this.
According to Bill Gates, Microsoft is going to continue supporting this operating system as well as Windows XP (Professional and Home Edition) for another 10 years. This is because Windows XP is the most successful operating system. Moreover, a lot of the features of the “Next Generation” operating system Longhorn, will be made available in the future for the Windows XP and Windows x64 versions through patches.
Considering this, then it is a very good move to choose to buy this version over other releases. We still recommend you that if you choose to install this operating system, that you create a second partition or install a second hard disk drive to avoid any problems.
From our tests, we have come to the conclusion that with the new operating system, current 32-bit applications (including games) will have a performance decrease of 1% - 8% although in some special cases there may also be a performance increase of 5%. The benefits of the 64-bit architecture come into their own with 64-bit applications where we managed to see over 49% performance increase and there is still room for improvement. The ability to simultaneously run more applications than ever before, makes this release necessary for the power users.
Security and Compatibility
Considering that there are not a lot of antivirus programs available for this OS at this time, we would suggest you not use this version for surfing on the Internet, especially if you have important documents on your machine that you don't want to lose.
Microsoft believes that by the end of 2005, all new server class machines shipping will be 64-bit and at the end of 2006, the majority of new PCs and workstations will be 64-bit. This is logical if we consider that the price range will be at the same level as for Windows XP Professional of Home versions and that there are a lot of 64-bit processors to choose from, so Windows XP x64 will dominate in the end. It is the prelude to what will happen when Windows Longhorn Final version is released.
We still suggest you install in a separate partition or on another hard disk drive to avoid compatibility problems, and to check our list for available drivers and the available programs that are supported for now. It will take some time before this will be a 100% safe OS to install, replacing your older Windows. Don't forget to take a look at microsoft.com for more information and how to buy Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
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