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32 bit Versus 64 bit
Old 28th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
32 bit Versus 64 bit

Hi folks,

I'm a long time Mac user considering getting a Windows 8 laptop.

I'm a bass player who also likes to mess around with synth plugins in Ableton Live 8. (Nothing too complicated or CPU intensive).

What are the pro's & cons of either 32 or 64 bit?

I take it that everything is compatible with 32, but some things aren't ready for 64?
Will my light-duty use make use of the memory that 64 bit frees up?

Thanks in advance,

- pbasswil
Old 28th January 2013
  #2
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The only difference is that 64 bit programs and plugins can access more memory. A 32 bit program can not load 64 bit plugins, and a 64 bit program cannot access 32 bit plugins unless a wrapper or bridge is involved.
Old 28th January 2013
  #3
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🎧 10 years
...con's you'll be running Windows 8
Old 28th January 2013
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Electric Blue's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
We're running massive sessions in the studio with the 64 bit Ableton on a Windows 7 ADK PC w/ 16 gigs of RAM. Works beautifully.
Old 28th January 2013
  #5
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johnnyv's Avatar
 
13 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It would be good to make you move soon before Windows 7 is not offered.
Right now everything works great with windows 7 64 bit. Seems windows 8 will have to go through the usual beta testing so I'm going to sit it out for a year. To many drivers missing still.
But a Lenovo Think pad 64 bit will serve you well.
For me going 64 bit made a huge difference when using plugs and soft synths.
You can still load the 32 bit version of your software if you need to work on old projects.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyv ➑️
It would be good to make you move soon before Windows 7 is not offered.
Right now everything works great with windows 7 64 bit. Seems windows 8 will have to go through the usual beta testing so I'm going to sit it out for a year. To many drivers missing still.
But a Lenovo Think pad 64 bit will serve you well.
For me going 64 bit made a huge difference when using plugs and soft synths.
You can still load the 32 bit version of your software if you need to work on old projects.
Thanks for this.

My use is not mission critical, so I'm not terrified of some bumps in the road with W8.

I'm a VST synth dabbler. Could you be more specific about the difference 64 bit makes to everyday use? I could understand massive sample libraries benefiting from lots of RAM; but how much RAM can subtractive synths use?

Thanks,

- Peter
Old 29th January 2013
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
BTW, I was surprised to learn that Lenovo doesn't even make a 17" laptop, which unfortunately is the size my aging eyes strongly prefer. :^/
Old 29th January 2013
  #8
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shponglefan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Two benefits:

1) In theory and all else being equal, 64-bit can run faster than 32-bit. There have been tests done to demonstrate this for things like Internet Explorer, etc. Not sure how this impacts VSTs though.

2) More usable RAM.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shponglefan ➑️
Two benefits: (to 64 bit)

1) In theory and all else being equal, 64-bit can run faster than 32-bit. There have been tests done to demonstrate this for things like Internet Explorer, etc. Not sure how this impacts VSTs though.

2) More usable RAM.
Ah, thanks. Just googled, and found that 32-bit only addresses 4GB of my memory (will probably have 8GB). Is that correct??

With 64 bit, I'd need to "wrap" my 32-bit plugins? Is this easy and cheap to do?

Tia,

- Peter
Old 29th January 2013
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
lol ah just getting deeper into computers, eh? I like it.

Yeah, get 64 bit. Don't even think about it. Solves many issues and 64 bit is the standard now days anyway. I have 64GB of ram and that's not enough with the amount of samples I use :O

But you said you use mainly synths and those don't take nearly what my samples do. To 'wrap' your plugins, usually the DAW handles that. I know my Cubase does it automatically. But I think other programs that had 64-bit support added later on you have to wrap your plugins yourself.

Google jbridge, I'm sure others can chime in for alternatives
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
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shponglefan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbasswil ➑️
Ah, thanks. Just googled, and found that 32-bit only addresses 4GB of my memory (will probably have 8GB). Is that correct??
Yes, except in practice usually only ~3.2 gigs is usable. Any extra RAM is not used.

Quote:
With 64 bit, I'd need to "wrap" my 32-bit plugins? Is this easy and cheap to do?
Yes. Usually the DAW does it via "bridging". However, this doesn't always work smoothly. I use Reaper and I've noticed pops and other audio issues sometimes when bridging 32-bit plugins. I prefer to use 64-bit plugs as a result.
Old 29th January 2013
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
64bit all the way, I did some tests with Kontakt/Logic and noticed there was less hit on the CPU in the Activity Monitor 32bit vs 64bit. It could be due to other factors, but I stick with 64bits..
Old 29th January 2013
  #13
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johnnyv's Avatar
 
13 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I use Sonar and when I upgraded and re loaded some old 32 bit projects It just warns you that it will now use the 64 bit versions and some things might not sound the same,, that's all. Everything worked with the exception of a couple of 3rd party freebies. No biggy, they were only reverbs and easily replaced.

But for me it made it so I could now use VST's like Session drummer which would not run on 2 Gigs of RAM under 32 bit. And yes, everything seems perky and faster.
Just check your audio interface has the proper drivers available, that is the most important thing right now, there are people waiting and waiting...

Why worry about the screen size , just add a real monitor... 17" will push the price through the roof won't it?

If your going mobile a lot are using some kind of a Cube thing. Laptops are a bit of a pain to customize and not recommended by a lot of DAW builders.
Old 29th January 2013
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Ok, I'm learning a lot from you guys here.
I'm just gonna keep asking questions until you guys get tired of me. :^)

How 'bout Windows 8 versus Windows 8 Pro? After a quick investigation, the only thing I could see in Pro that might make a difference to me is the ability to get Windows Media Center (though I'm not a video guy at all, so maybe not even that).

The machine I'm looking at doesn't come with Pro, so it would be an upgrade anyway.

Comments?

thanks again

- Peter
Old 7th February 2013
  #15
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Windows 8 Pro is mostly geared to adding business/enterprise IT features. If you "just dabble" as you say, chances are you aren't using Windows Media Center and can get by with Windows Media Player in the standard version.

Also, 64 bit is the only thing to consider in 2013.
Old 7th February 2013
  #16
XI-MACHINES
 
DAW PLUS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brew ➑️
Also, 64 bit is the only thing to consider in 2013.
Absolutely correct. Everything is heading 64 bit or is compatible with it. 32 bit is only a choice if you intend to use stone age soft- or hardware with it.
Old 7th February 2013 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Blue ➑️
We're running massive sessions in the studio with the 64 bit Ableton on a Windows 7 ADK PC w/ 16 gigs of RAM. Works beautifully.
+1

don't go 32 gig, never buy outdated technology, everything will adapt to what is current.
Old 8th February 2013
  #18
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Janesaid2me's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ive been running 64 bit sonar x2 on a winows 7 system 64bit with veryblittle issue for about a year now....
Like the previous poster said....dont buy outdated technology...especially if u can afford whats new....
Old 8th February 2013
  #19
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kaboom75's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Windows 8 64bit
Ableton Live 9beta 64bit
Ableton Live 8beta 64bit
Ableton Live 8 32bit
Soundtoys 32bit
Slate Digital 64bit
DMG Audio 64bit
U-he 64bit
Eventide Blackhole 32bit
ValhallaDSP
ilok2
A load of 32bit PC games.

All works fine on Windows 8 64bit What wont work is software and games that have not been patched in around five years. 32bit programs will run just fine on a 64bit OS.
I use Jbridge to run 32bit plugins in 64bit DAWs works fine and costs Β£15 and is very easy to use.

Just using soft synths and effects plugins you wont reach the RAM limitations of a 32bit DAW
If you use Sampled instrument plugins adding around three of them will crash a 32bit DAW. Live 8 and 9 32bit are limited to 3.2GB of RAM
Live 8 and 9 64bit can use 16 GB on a standard OS and upto 32GB on WIN 7 or WIn 8 64bit Pro.
You need a 64bit OS, 64bit DAW and 64bit CPU to get around the 3.2GB RAM limit.
CPUs have a limit of how much RAM they can use the early intel i7 has a max of 16GB but i7 Ivy and Haswel can use upto 32GB RAM.

Windows 8 is better optimised for multi threading, loading data and booting faster.
Windows 8 boots faster by using more than one CPU core to boot and all the win programs have now been consolidated into fewer programs.
Windows 8 64bit standard can use 16GB of your RAM
Windows 8 Pro 64bit can use 256GB of RAM
64bit is about 5 - 10% faster than 32bit.
64bit Software can load data faster as proven in flight simulators steaming in scenery without juddering.
32bit DAWs crash when the project space gets to 3.2GB
64bit DAWS well some of my mixes are 6 - 9 GB in size no crashes.
Old 18th July 2013 | Show parent
  #20
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Dayl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by crewxp ➑️
I have 64GB of ram and that's not enough with the amount of samples I use :O
This sentence will stick with me for a while I thought I was sample heavy and I'm only just building a 64bit system now haha wow 64GB ram .. Here I was thinking 32GB would be overkill.
Old 18th July 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
IMO the 64 bit aspect is overrated re performance. The biggest jump in performance I ever saw was using SSD. 64 bit always seemed a little fishy to me. Yeah it can be compatible, but I don't see the internet groaning with benchmark tests on how great x86 is vs x64 when it comes to plugins/daw etc.
Old 18th July 2013 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
11 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefyn ➑️
IMO the 64 bit aspect is overrated re performance. The biggest jump in performance I ever saw was using SSD. 64 bit always seemed a little fishy to me. Yeah it can be compatible, but I don't see the internet groaning with benchmark tests on how great x86 is vs x64 when it comes to plugins/daw etc.
I didn't even know people were claiming performance improvements with 64bit plugins over 32bit. I always thought it was just the extra RAM.

To be honest... it's really only good for having large sample patches loaded up (ie. Kontakt libraries, Omnisphere) where one patch can be 1-2GB itself. That's the only advantage I'ev noticed.

If it weren't for that.. my projects would never come close to 4GB. I'm not even sure how many audio tracks that would require. 4GB is still a lot in my eyes.
Old 18th July 2013
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Be sure to take inventory of your plugins before switching to 64 bit - some run only in the 32 bit environment which makes for a massive headache. I use tons of Waves and Soundtoys plugins on pretty much all of my mixes, which I only have 32 bit versions of. Since they're so processor intensive I sequence and record all my heavy samples in 64 bit, shut down my DAW (DP, argh), and then switch to 32 bit for DSP/mixing. It's SEVERELY annoying to have to make that second step.
Old 18th July 2013 | Show parent
  #24
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Dayl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eplust ➑️
I use tons of Waves and Soundtoys plugins on pretty much all of my mixes, which I only have 32 bit versions of. Since they're so processor intensive I sequence and record all my heavy samples in 64 bit, shut down my DAW (DP, argh), and then switch to 32 bit for DSP/mixing. It's SEVERELY annoying to have to make that second step.
nooooo....still? why dont you bridge them? I am not going to work like this....damn, thats so counter productive.
Old 20th July 2013 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayl ➑️
nooooo....still? why dont you bridge them? I am not going to work like this....damn, thats so counter productive.
if you have any advice on how to do this in DP i'm all ears, this **** is beyond frustrating at this point...pair that with DP's notorious constant crashing and you can imagine i've had a lot of shouting matches with my computer, haha
Old 21st July 2013 | Show parent
  #26
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Dayl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eplust ➑️
if you have any advice on how to do this in DP i'm all ears, this **** is beyond frustrating at this point...pair that with DP's notorious constant crashing and you can imagine i've had a lot of shouting matches with my computer, haha
Haha you sound like me. I'm only just in the process of making the switch over and will look at grabbing Jbridge if Studio One does not bridge well. I've never used DP sorry man, I did see JBridge having a Mac version.. but man.. I'm so fresh to these things that I'm in no position to give advice. I just had to comment on how painful your scenario sounded, I just couldn't work like that.

Hope it sorts itself out bud!
Old 21st July 2013 | Show parent
  #27
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11 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eplust ➑️
if you have any advice on how to do this in DP i'm all ears, this **** is beyond frustrating at this point...pair that with DP's notorious constant crashing and you can imagine i've had a lot of shouting matches with my computer, haha
Buy JBridge.

Install it. Open it, and follow the easy steps to convert your 32bit plugins (just the ones that dont have a 64bit version. more and more have 64bit veriosn now). pay attention to what folders you put what in. I have a 64bit plugin folder... and put the 64bit plugs and the jbridged plugs in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayl ➑️
Haha you sound like me. I'm only just in the process of making the switch over and will look at grabbing Jbridge if Studio One does not bridge well. I've never used DP sorry man, I did see JBridge having a Mac version.. but man.. I'm so fresh to these things that I'm in no position to give advice. I just had to comment on how painful your scenario sounded, I just couldn't work like that.

Hope it sorts itself out bud!
Studio One does not have a bitbridge. They don't plan to add one, ever really.
With that said.. they made some tweaks to their audio engine so that JBridge actually runs pretty damn good all things considered. I noticed the CPU gets s***** if you have too many Jbridged plugs... so I've slowly put surely converted almost everything to a 64bit alternative. Even with letting go of my lovely 32bit plugins... i found 64bit versions that are honestly better. I still bridge for backards compatibility. Also... instruments like Kontakt actually run better when bridged than they do native (which is weird... but true for me)
Old 21st July 2013 | Show parent
  #28
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rksguit's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPhoenix ➑️
Buy JBridge.


Studio One does not have a bitbridge. They don't plan to add one, ever really.
Wow,that would be a total deal breaker for me,I tried J bridge,ages[18 months ago-Iv'e only used a computer for 2 years],and I couldn't work it out,but I use Sonar X2a,and the built in one,handles the ludicrous 700 vst effects I have in total,no problem!

I should point out that I mostly use the stock plugs plus waves SSL,API,and DSM,all the others are just there for giggles.

EDIT: W7 Pro is the go,W7 Home premium has a 16GB limit....I don't know about W8,all I know is I don't like the look of "metro".
Old 21st July 2013 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPhoenix ➑️
I didn't even know people were claiming performance improvements with 64bit plugins over 32bit. I always thought it was just the extra RAM.
Although technically unrelated to the word length (ie 32bit or 64bit), 64bit intel architecture allows the use of more registers, which can definitely speed things up, as less memory/cache swapping is required in certain algorithms.

However, this is both a small performance gain, and only valid for specific algorithms. It certainly isn't a reason for using or avoiding 64bit for most people.


TL;DR 64bit can be faster

Regardless, as others have said, just go 64bit unless you have to deal with legacy hardware/software.
Old 21st July 2013 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Head
 
Dj K 4 Yahweh's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaboom75 ➑️
Windows 8 64bit
Ableton Live 9beta 64bit
Ableton Live 8beta 64bit
Ableton Live 8 32bit
Soundtoys 32bit
Slate Digital 64bit
DMG Audio 64bit
U-he 64bit
Eventide Blackhole 32bit
ValhallaDSP
ilok2
A load of 32bit PC games.

All works fine on Windows 8 64bit What wont work is software and games that have not been patched in around five years. 32bit programs will run just fine on a 64bit OS.
I use Jbridge to run 32bit plugins in 64bit DAWs works fine and costs Β£15 and is very easy to use.

Just using soft synths and effects plugins you wont reach the RAM limitations of a 32bit DAW
If you use Sampled instrument plugins adding around three of them will crash a 32bit DAW. Live 8 and 9 32bit are limited to 3.2GB of RAM
Live 8 and 9 64bit can use 16 GB on a standard OS and upto 32GB on WIN 7 or WIn 8 64bit Pro.
You need a 64bit OS, 64bit DAW and 64bit CPU to get around the 3.2GB RAM limit.
CPUs have a limit of how much RAM they can use the early intel i7 has a max of 16GB but i7 Ivy and Haswel can use upto 32GB RAM.

Windows 8 is better optimised for multi threading, loading data and booting faster.
Windows 8 boots faster by using more than one CPU core to boot and all the win programs have now been consolidated into fewer programs.
Windows 8 64bit standard can use 16GB of your RAM
Windows 8 Pro 64bit can use 256GB of RAM
64bit is about 5 - 10% faster than 32bit.
64bit Software can load data faster as proven in flight simulators steaming in scenery without juddering.
32bit DAWs crash when the project space gets to 3.2GB
64bit DAWS well some of my mixes are 6 - 9 GB in size no crashes.
Hi,

I'm looking to purchase ableton live9 64bit version to use in my my windows7 64bit OS. I was going to use jBridge to be able to use some of my 32bit vsts, but after reading what i've copied & pasted below, I think i'm going to with what it says.

Does anyone else have any ideas or thoughts on this?

Thanks!

From - 32 or 64 bit Ableton Live 9 - which one to choose?

"Jbridge can enable 64 bit VST's on a 32 bit host!

From my experiments with both 32 and 64 bit, I have found that it's instruments, particularly samplers that are taking up the most RAM.
In the Sound on Sound article - 64-bit Computing: Should Musicians Move To A 64-bit OS?
a great suggestion is made. Rather than moving your host to 64 bit technology and using Jbridge to bridge all those 32 bit VST's you have, you can go the opposite way, using a 32 bit host and then using Jbridge to bridge all the 64 bit VST's.

Conclusion:

The best/most stable current set up for me, seems to be running a 64bit OS, with a 32bit DAW. There are just too many variables for me to move to 64bit DAW at the moment (64 bit max, 64 Bit Ableton, 64 Bit plugs), all of which are largely untested. And then after I've beta tested all their new 64 bit softwares, I'll only get negligable performance improvements anyway. I hope this article helps you make a more informed decision about whether you switch yet".
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