For years, we’ve heard that 64-bit computing was the next “big” thing. It offers support for more memory, potentially doubles performance for certain computationally intensive applications, all while offering full backward compatibility.
Indeed, this was a major selling point for Athlon64 and Opteron owners (besides the amazing price/performance ratio which has only been matched recently with the Intel Core 2-based CPUs). 64-bit version of Linux are now the standard, but Windows XP Professional x64 Edition has always been plagued by driver support and software compatibility.
With Microsoft pushing for increased x64 adoption with Windows Vista, going as far as including a 64-bit DVD with all retail boxed versions of Windows Vista Ultimate, and the advances to kernel security in Windows Vista x64, the time is perfect for transitioning to a 64-bit Windows...isn’t it?
To put this to the test, I decided to install Vista x64 on four different computers: my own, my brother’s, and my parents’. My original plan when starting this project was to document the software incompatibilities and idiosyncracies of Vista x64. It would turn out that I would have more than enough material for an article just talking about installation troubles.