Windows XP 64-Bit Preview: First Look at Athlon 64 Performanceby Wesley Fink on February 7, 2004 12:30 AM EST
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Windows XP 64-Bit Preview: First Look at Athlon 64 Performance
In case you missed the news, Microsoft has just released a public preview of XP 64-bit. Microsoft officially calls the new Operating System the "Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems". The Customer Preview can be downloaded for free or ordered on CD for a fee at the 64-bit Edition website. The CDs will not ship until mid-February, but the free 420MB download version is available NOW. We couldn't wait to download the preview of the new OS and run an Athlon 64 through some benchmarks.
Your first task after downloading and installing the OS will be finding drivers for some of the components in your system. Microsoft's new 64-bit Newsgroup is a great place to start your search. Drivers are part of the new 64-bit OS, but they are still spotty in many cases. We needed to find a 64-bit driver for the 3Com LAN on our Asus SK8V and better video drivers. XP64 installed a driver for our Radeon 9800 PRO, but it was really basic and not much in the performance department. After we discovered ATI did not really have a 64-bit driver, but nVidia did have one on their web-site, we swapped in an Albatron FX5950 Ultra video card. We also found 64-bit drivers for our 3Com on-board LAN and SK8V Sound at PlanetAMD64 and Collosumus. With the basic features taken care of we were ready to take our first stab at testing 64-bit performance.