64 bit processor - does it matter?

  TIMSMITH 12:45 21 Feb 2006

I'm buying a new pc and have been told to get one with a 64 bit processor as apparently thins will be required in future. I'm presently looking at pcs for around £1000 which have Intel Pent IV 640 3.2ghz processors which I understand are 32 bit. Will this matter? Or should I go for an AMD system which might have slower clock speed but be 64bit? Any advice would be appreciated.

  rmcqua 12:48 21 Feb 2006

The P4 640 is a 64 bit processor.

  Diodorus Siculus 12:50 21 Feb 2006

It will probably matter in the future but for now there is no advantage per se.

However, I'd go for an AMD64 option for the cost benefit - they can be cheaper and run just as well, albeit at lower clock speeds. Something like an AMD 64 3700+ will easily match what you are looking at.

Do you have a particular machine in mind? There are a lot more considerations than processor speed nowdays, as I am sure you are aware.

  dms05 14:00 21 Feb 2006

I've just bought a laptop with AMD 1.8GHz Turon 64. But just as important is the 3D graphics ability. And 1Gb RAM and 100Gb HDD. Diodorus Siculus is spot on with the cost benefits of the AMD range. On a £ for £ basis you buy a lot more processor from AMD.

  TIMSMITH 14:21 21 Feb 2006

Thanks. Dell told me that the Intel 640 was 32 bit (althoug you get the impression that you're talking to a salesperson rather than someone who really knows what they're talking about.
Another issue was that Dell's pc (Dimension 9510) has 3 pci slots and one pci express slot whereas Evesham's Lightning Plus (another I'm considering) has 3 spare pci express slots. Dell provide an NVidia 6800 256mb whereas with Evesham I can go to a 6600gt 128 mg. Our use will be fairly normal home, games, internaet, wordprocessing. So should I even be concerned about these things?

  rmcqua 14:51 21 Feb 2006

Unless you are anticipating doing some very serious gaming, with 2 pci-express graphics cards running in SLI mode, then I don't think the fact that the Evesham machine has 3 pci-e slots should influence your choice.
For your intended use, either machine and either video card would be fine. The Evesham machine probable has more possibilities for upgrading for ultra high gaming performance.

  TIMSMITH 22:39 21 Feb 2006

No serious gaming being considered (unless my eeven year old son gets some new ideas...) Think I'll flip a coin.


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