Early on Intel used a different branding for 64-bit. Today they everybody simply called it x64 to distinguish i from x86.
I have developed many programs for x64 mainly when I needed more main memory for the work, Visual Studio 2005 and onwards support 64-bit builds for Windows XP Professional x64 and above.
How can you develop programs for x64, only if you are developing another O/S? Application programmers developed 64-bit applications with x86-64 instructions on x86-64 architecture. Yeah, x64 is used to distinguish from 32-bit x86 system and 64-bit x86-64 system.
Sony PlayStation 4 (Pro) and Xbox One (S) are the 64-bit x86-64 systems, rather than x64 system, the reason is obvious that there is no 32-bit code found on both systems, so there is no that eXtened.
As to the developing tools from Microsoft, I used Windows SDK and Visual C+ 6.0 to compile some simple 64-bit applications on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for AMD Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 systems. If one only needs large memory than 2GB space, he/she could utilise AWE to retrieve additional memory resources through PAE on IA-32 architecture.
32-bit Windows is difficult to allocate more than small amounts of memory. For example, malloc() will fail even with enough memory available. This is one of the main motivations for quickly taking advantage of XP x64 which had no problems. I can malloc() as much as available memory.
I used to use an Athlon64 CPU and it was equipped with 4GB of memory and only the 64-bit version of Windows could leverage it all. Video card memory sites on top of main memory so where does it have to go when your video card has 4GB of VRAM?
This is why I have used 64-bit Windows since the get go. Even 32-bit games run better, this is due to better memory management and the ability to load Windows system components above the 4GB line,
Yup, your said is right, but not what I want to say on this title. I am interested in the system with limited resources but applicable. If some a day, there would be 128-bit processors on shelves, what about it? I never made any comparison between 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, I just make comparison between IA-32 and AMD64, which are two similar architectures but not one architecture with different versions. As to the performance of computer games, it depends on the types of games, the designs of game console system (hardware and software) and the most important things, CPUs and GPUs.
Video Card Memory is an exclusive memory system dedicated for GPU, which could not be utilised like system memory, but some provide means to remap partial or full onto the system addressing space. Like most of AMD entry level GPUs which is equipped with 1GB VGA memory, it just exposes 256MB space on the system. Of course there is another thing, that is the integrated GPU, no matter on the North Bridge or CPU chip, it allocates part of system memory as the Video Memory. Those memory are borrowed from the system memory, leaving part between 3GB towards 3.5GB or above 4GB. They are mapped by the processor addresses mapping system, controlled by firmware (BIOS or UEFI). They are two things, so please do not confuse them.
32-bit games run better on x64 system? Yup and/or no, once again depending on games and the underlying system one configured!
128-bit or wider word sizes are not likely due to the difficulty of designing an ALU to handle that many bits, I like wider word sizes for financial calculations etc
Video card memory uses several memory interface logic blocks to attach memory chips directly, it's designed that way to improve bandwidth. CPU memory is on modules which are further away which does limit bandwidth slightly.
L1, L2 and L3 cache memory is made from static RAM on the CPU die. The amount of cache has increased to be able to increase overall performance. The trend for more cache memory seems like the best route towards the future. Addition cores have diminishing returns.
64-bit windows loads components above the 2GB line so more lower memory is available for games etc. Remember video card memory has to be memory mapped too which is hard to do with the 32-bit address space.
Video cards have long had more than 512MB of VRAM which cannot be leveraged fully except with 64-bit Windows.
Your reply is appreciated, but your words "Remember video card memory has to be memory mapped too which is hard to do with the 32-bit address space" and "The trend for more cache memory seems like the best route towards the future", no, you are far from the fact.
modern processors are now bolting on graphics which has killed the low end video card market. trends seem to be for more graphics.
My i3-2100 (sandy bridge) has basic graphics which work fine for most needs. The motherboard by Asus has been a headache. Asus was slow to fix problems with the BIOS and their update program does not work right either. Asus seems to be abandoning and orphaning hardware faster than ever.
Last board I bought was this MSI 970A-G43 for my AMD CPU and it has survived better than any 2 Asus boards I had before. It has a lot of capacitors but none has blown up yet. I have lots of fans though to remove warm air as best as possible. I have 2 front, one rear and one top exhaust fan.
My CPU is overclocked to 3.8 GHz which does add to the thermal load a tad. The video card is also overclocked. AMD is popular with overclocking enthusiasts.
I've used lots of motherboards from Taiwanese companies, such as Abit, AOpen, Asus, ASUSTek, Asrock, Gigabyte, MSI, SOYO, TCommate and many many more. Some are still there, some are written into history. Allow me to be frank, I do not like processors which are boosted merely by increasing speed or lengthen pipeline such as Intel NetBurst and AMD Bulldozer.