64bit vs 32bit

Why have 64bit processors not suplanted 32bit ones yet. I thought it would have gone the same way as 32bit vs 16bit (was the last one the 286 or 386)?

geek_gadcl, Feb 22, 8:08 pm

They have for the most part.

Only the Netbook version of the Atom is still 32bit

geek_vtecintegra, Feb 22, 8:12 pm

What you have to realise is that the popular 64bit (as apposed to the unpopular Itanium which is still yet to die, and may never) is just an extension of the x86 architecture, so strictly speaking it will never supplant 32bit fully as the x86 architecture is still an integral part of the 64bit processor.

geek_damon3, Feb 22, 8:17 pm

The 80386 was a 32bit extension of the 80286 (and prior chips)

geek_vtecintegra, Feb 22, 8:23 pm

A large number of chips do either; ie. you might find many x86 machines could run a x64 os.

But for business etc use I wouldn't want to support a large number of x64 client pcs just yet. Drivers and software can be a little trying. THis said for the most part I am very happy with Win7 x64.

geek_ocm_aquisitions, Feb 23, 9:17 am

And that's why 64-bit isn't mainstream for M$ environments. They haven't pushed it. Leaving everyone in some strange limbo between the two, oddly letting the retail market slowly make the switch rather that a quick forced one through business sector.

Linux supported the the AMD64 specs before AMD even started selling 64-bit chips.

geek_cybertao, Feb 23, 9:36 am

64 bit is mainstream for new Windows installations.

geek_vtecintegra, Feb 23, 11:44 am

Ok, to clarify, I meant x64 architecture currently running a x86 operating system. This IS common, especially in the business sector; ONE of the reasons is of course liscensing.

Yes, there are exciting and obscure compatability issues with x64 clients and the rest of your x32 Windows network too. Nothing major, just a couple of gotchas. It'll be interesting to seehow the migration happens over the next few years.

geek_ocm_aquisitions, Feb 24, 8:18 am