Management

Configuration Tips for Windows Vista 64 (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

8 Jul, 2009 By: Robert Green

The right system architecture, RAM, and graphics card make the difference in 64-bit operating systems.


In the last CAD Manager's Toolbox, I answered some basic questions about using Windows Vista 64-bit operating systems. I wanted to continue the topic in this installment by sharing some configuration tips that I've found handy.

New Is Better
Although old machines might have to serve us for a while, 64-bit operating systems make a lot more sense on newer machines that have faster multiple-core architectures and modern chipsets that have been developed and tested in 64-bit operating system environments.

My rule of thumb is that you should buy new machines with 64-bit operating systems preinstalled as you phase out old machines and 32-bit operating systems.

Processors
The 64-bit operating systems can access a lot more RAM (more on this topic below) and that RAM-addressing space can be serviced a lot better with more processor cores. The sweet spot for 64-bit operating systems now is the dual quad-core 5500 series chipsets that can address as many as 48 GB of RAM. Matching these processors with a high-performance graphics card yields a noticeable improvement in performance.

RAM Amounts
The simple rule of thumb as far as RAM for 64-bit operating systems seems to be 6 GB or more. With any less than that you won't see the processing advantage. With RAM amounts at 12 GB or more, the performance of 64-bit systems really starts to shine as you notice much less hard disk access and, therefore, faster computing performance.

Worth the Price?
The conclusion I've come to is that 64-bit operating systems are worth it if you invest in new, multiple-core machines that have plenty of RAM and robust graphics cards. If you need the computing performance, 64-bit systems are worth the expense. However, casual computer users can stay on 32-bit systems for the foreseeable future.


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter


Poll
Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Yes.
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote



Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition