Making the most of my memory – x64

May 3rd, 2008 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

A few months back Adrian put a small box on my desk. Inside was 8 gigs of RAM and a message: "It's time." Time to go to Vista 64 bit. I resisted. The little box sat on my desk, staring at me for weeks.

I was scared. I was absolutely convinced that I would lose a lot more than I would gain with those 4 extra gigs. So I started out by taking inventory.

As it turned out there would be only one casualty of moving to 64 bit - my Microsoft Fingerprint Reader. This had been the stickler for a long time. Microsoft wouldn't give a clear message on whether they would be creating the software to support the reader on 64 bit. In fact the packaging on the Fingerprint Reader I got Adrian at Christmas gives no indication that it works only on 32 bit Vista! When Microsoft finally came out and said that they weren't ever going to make a 64 bit version there was nothing left to stand in my way!

UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy Manager(Luckily he had found the UPEK Eikon reader, which I think works even better than the Microsoft one, although the software takes a little getting used to.)

Installing Vista 64
Vista 64 needs a full installation (you can't upgrade from 32 bit). Because of this and a lack of time I installed Vista 64 on a new hard drive. The drive with 32 bit OS (and my data) is visible from 64-bit (and vice versa) so choosing which OS I want to use is just a matter of hitting F8 to bring up the boot loader on start up and choosing the appropriate drive. This made it really easy to bring my data across to the 64 bit install, making it a very fast transition overall.

And the extra RAM? It's amazing. My system just flies!

Hardware with 64 bit Vista Drivers
Anyway, here's a list of hardware that I've found works just fine on 64 bit. (Hopefully if you're contemplating making the jump, it might save you some time!)

3 Responses to “Making the most of my memory – x64”

  1. Jim Barstow Says:

    I was stumbling around the net and came across an article on vexentricity, which I then continued to read most of the articles here. Great content!

    I had some comments about installing Vista 64, since I am currently using XP Pro x64 (I can't seem to get over that initial reservation about changing all that I know and love) but XP Pro x64 in itself has its share of abandoned drivers, missing software (even MS Powertoys won't install on xp 64) and what not. I finally got around to starting this upgrade a couple weeks ago, in a similar fashion as you had.

    I installed a 2nd drive (2nd OS drive that is, actually the 6th in the system) for Vista. This is on an Intel Q6600 G0 stepping quad core, 8GB RAM, nVidia 8800GTX 768MB PCIe.

    So, I inserted the DVD, (MSDN ultimate edition). Booted the system from the DVD, which loaded the usual initial setup drivers, switched to the "starting Windows Vista" message and WHAM! BSOD. This is discouraging.

    I haven't had the chance to troubleshoot the issue just yet, but wanted to share my initial experience with you and provide my hardware. I am happy to hear the Intuos 3 works well under vista, since it seemed to give me a little trouble under XP 32 (my other system) if I left it plugged in during boot.


  2. taylor Says:

    Try installing vista with only 2 gigs of memory. when installed and updated then add the other 6

  3. Kathie Says:

    That bug has been fixed as of Windows Vista SP1 ... hoever, thart does mean that you need SP1 DVD to install windows if you want to avoid the problem.

    You'll find more information over on our PC Doctor Guide's website.

    ** Also Details on how to create a slipstreamed ISO on Adrian's ZDNet blog.

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