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Win32 vs x64 ?

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So I was setting up a new project in visual studio 2010 and I notice there is this option to develope either Win32 or x64 apps. I was wondering like what is the pros and cons of these two and like whats the difference I guess. I mean I would assume that x64 is better but I think that might just be my naivete of the subject getting the best of me.

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I guess my next question on the topic would be, If I am writing a game to be run on a high end Nvidia graphic card set up, would I want to write that in x64. I mean if i am assuming the consumer has a rig to run it then they would probably have 64 bit OS right?

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Except for people aiming for a very high-tech games engine like let's say CryEngine/Unreal, you probably will never reach the memory limit and the small performance boost advantage is not worth the compatibility/portability issues you will encounter. Almost all games even nowadays are built in 32bits only, and some rare offers both the 32bits and the 64bits executable file, but I don't think I ever saw any game offering only a 64bits version. In any case, you can always switch it anytime to see how it's different during your development.

 

As an exercise, just look on your own computer what's installed in the "Program Files (x86)" (32bits) folder versus the "Program Files" folder (64bits). Most of what is installed in the 64bits version are Microsoft programs, drivers and some high-end applications like Autodesk's ones.

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a few years back, I was building most of my stuff for x64: "yay, finally free from the address space limits".

then I was like "but, it doesn't work on my 2003-era laptop running Windows XP...".

 

I then returned to doing 32-bit builds.

 

a few times I have considered returning to doing 64-bit builds, namely to be free again of these memory-usage limits, but generally have been finding ways to put it off (tricks to shave off memory use, ...).

 

 

granted, the usage of 32-bit OS's is fading, so it probably wont be an issue for too much longer.

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Perhaps not so relevant for personal projects but compiling for 64-bit usually makes your software harder to crack due to less tools being readily avaliable which support 64-bit extensions (OllyDbg for one) laugh.png

Edited by Karsten_

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I use both for all my projects.  Its very easy and requires almost no extra work.  That said according to the latest steam survey more than 70% of windows systems are 64-bit. Edited by Ryan_001

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