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Old 07. Mar 2010, 01:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wales, UK
Posts: 1,174

I've recently upgraded to a new system and went for Win7 x64 Home Premium
(cost of the OS was a consideration, hence HP, along with the fact I wanted all of my RAM available for use, hence x64).

Personally I've found plenty of freeware that I'm happy with and suits my needs, certainly from a security point of view.

Avast 5
Comodo Firewall and HIPS
WinPatrol Plus
MBAM (on demand)
Secunia PSI
Sandboxie (not guaranteed 100% reliable under x64 but still does offer a considerable extra degree of safety).

Add into that, the inbuilt W7 security such as UAC, PatchGuard, and a little common sense with surfing habits and downloads, and I feel pretty secure.

I've also had a play with Virtualbox and a number of different Linux distro's.
If I need XP, I fire up my old PC.

Regarding games, Steam seems to be working fine for me (HL2, Dirt2, OFDR). I've also almost finished Crysis (non Steam), I actually used it's 64-bit mode without any problem all the way through to Reckoning (final level), when right at the end I started suffering severe lag and BSOD's! After fruitlessly messing around with the ATI Catalyst drivers it turned out to be a known problem with Crysis and DX10. Playing it in 32-bit DX9 mode solved the problem for me I just need to work out how to kill that last bl**dy Alien ship!

I don't think you'll have any problems from a gaming point of view under x64.
Maybe some older games may have issues but from what I've read, these are in the minority, especially with W7's compatability mode also at your disposal. (I've also seen quite a few forums out there that have topics which list which games work and suggested workarounds to use if they don't).

Personally, If you are upgrading to a new machine I don't see the point in staying with x86 when clearly the future is x64. As has been said earlier, those software developers that haven't already done so, will no doubt be working hard to modify their programs for a 64-bit environment if at all possible.
Obviously you'll likely come across problems along the way but there's usually a workaround to find somewhere out there on the web.

Personally I'm very happy with W7 x64
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