64-bit or 32-bit ?
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Old 28-01-2017, 03:09 AM   #1
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Icon5 64-bit or 32-bit ?

OK, so due to the tragic loss of my entire old DAW, I'm having to rebuild a DAW on a new system.

ALL of my favorite freeware and payware VST instruments and effects are 32-bit and I used to run 32-bit Reaper. Also, my former operating system was 32-bit Linux with 32-bit Wine for the max ability to run Windows programs on Linux. My old hardware had a lot of RAM, but I never used most of it because of the 32-bit OS.

According to the Linux resources, 32-bit Linux is required for more compatibility with 32-bit Wine and 32-bit Windows programs as far as I can tell (if I'm not mixed up). Also, 32-bit Linux support is gradually being phased out and replaced with 64-bit Linuxes, but the popular 32-bit Linuxes such as Lubuntu will still be continued and supported, just maybe not as much.

My new current system has 8 GB of RAM and already has a 64-bit OS installed on it. What should I do?

1) keep everything normal and run 64-bit Reaper, regardless
2) keey everything normal and run 32-bit Reaper, regardless
3) keep everything normal and run both according to which VSTs are buggy
4) wipe everything and go back to 32-bit OS and 32-bit software for maximum backwards compatibility

Luckily so far, all of my 32-bit utility programs all work. It's just the VST's i'm not sure about. On the Reaper forum, some say that 32-bit plugins on 64-bit Reaper are somewhat buggy or at least CPU hoggish.

What do you think?
Linux or Windows are each OK with me, all my Windows stuff can run on 32-bit Linux, but might NOT run on 64-bit Linux due to 64-bit Wine being younger and not as strong as 32-bit Wine. Or is this wrong?

Last edited by Nystagmus; 28-01-2017 at 05:42 AM.. Reason: fixed a spelling / grammer error

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Lotus_Jewel (20-07-2017)
Old 28-01-2017, 04:57 AM   #2
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

If you have 8GB of ram you need to run 64-bit stuff to utilize it. At the very least 64-bit OS, probably 64-bit DAW. VSTs are whatever - most of them aren't going to eat up more than a GB or two of ram at the very most. I'd personally run 64-bit everything until you run into an issue, then downgrade those specific things to 32-bit if necessary.

Windows or Linux is a personal choice. I love Linux and use it as the primary OS on several computers but I don't feel like it's mature enough in A/V to make music on reliably. That's just my take on it; plenty of people do so successfully. YMMV.
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Old 28-01-2017, 05:01 AM   #3
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

I'm running a 64 bit system and DAW (FL Studio 11.x) with a lot of bridge 32 bit VSTs w no issues.
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Old 28-01-2017, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

Thanks guys. What u said makes sense.
My current hardware isn't as powerful as my previous hardware, but I think it might be easier to configure because I picked stuff that is better supported and since it's older (used), more documented.

My previous hardware had some really cool features, but they never got tried because the OS couldn't fully support it, and then after my apartment got broken into and tampered with, stuff started to fail. It was wierd, but I digress.

I had a lot of success with Linux as the OS and Windows Reapers for the DAW, so I will probably try Linux again, even if it's just for a separate computer. It was very intellectually rewarding.
But on the other hand, Windows is more compatible than Wine even though Windows seems less stable than Linux to me for some stuff.

But this current system is so new and was installed well and seems pretty stable so far. Nothing has crashed yet, but I haven't run much yet either. I'm still downloading and installing and configuring and planning.

I don't have monitors nor a MIDI controller yet though. Argh.

Anyways, thanks.

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Old 28-01-2017, 09:47 AM   #5
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

You could run a virtual machine in hyper-v (virtualization support built into windows) if you really don't want to throw out a stable environment but you really do want to mess around in a more familiar one. You set it up so that your windows machine loads up as a virtual machine every time you start your pc, then you can add or remove virtual machines with any OS/Software as you please. I think you need to set up a virtual network to connect them to your networking and I/O hardware, and you're going to eat up a small amount of resources running hyper-v in the background, but otherwise, you get the best of both worlds. Of course, that's what I took away from a chapter in a "for dummies" book on the subject, so do your own research before you go down that road.

Also, theoretically, 64-bit plugins (applications in general really) can be twice as fast as their 32-bit counterpart because, you guessed it, more bits. That said, I don't know how close you get to that number in the real world and I use a 32-bit daw/plugins (in a 64-bit OS) just fine. I just enabled large address awareness on my daw using some third party software because when I looked at how big my library was I didn't feel like going hunting for all of those VSTs in 64-bit. I've never used more than like 3 gigs to load up a whole project file, and I can expand access for up to 8 gigs (maybe more? that's how much memory I have anyways) easily.

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Old 28-01-2017, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

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Thanks, interesting tips and comments.
I don't think my laptop would be powerful enough for hyper-v, but it's an interesting idea worth studying in some ways. I will think about what you said. Thanks.

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Old 28-01-2017, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

Nys, sounds like you've got a solid setup. I'd try sticking with the 64-bit as much as possible to make use of that 8GB ram.

Regarding hypervisors, the Hyper-V role is only included as a service in Windows Pro or Enterprise. If you're running those you have access to it, if you're on a Home or Basic edition you won't. There's also a stand alone bare metal install (that's free), but it's pretty complicated to set up.

Hyper-V also doesn't include PCI passthrough until the Server 2016/Windows 10 version of Hyper-V, which you'd need to let guest VMs use connected equipment (like interfaces and MIDI controllers and whatnot). It's straight up not available in earlier editions, and I can't speak to the reliability in the newest version as I've never run music production on a Hyper-V based VM. I have run my audio setup in a Windows 10 VM on a KVM host and it worked great.

If you make your host/base Windows install your workstation and only do non-music related things with your VMs, that'd work just fine.
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Old 14-09-2017, 05:04 PM   #8
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

Well, I'm finally running a 64-bit OS again after a few prototype installs.
I figure at least the OS can use more RAM and my image-editing programs can use more RAM.

Reaper 64-bit handles all of my 32-bit plugins fine, I just don't like the GUI window thingy.
So many mouse clicks and I start to lose inspiration. Also, I hardly own any 64-bit plugins that don't also have a 32-bit plugin. So I don't really need it. But I like knowing that I'm not trapped at 32-bit since Linux is slowly phasing out 32-bit support on some distros. (I use Linux).

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Old 20-09-2017, 03:26 PM   #9
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
I'm running a 64 bit system and DAW (FL Studio 11.x) with a lot of bridge 32 bit VSTs w no issues.
++ Same thing. no problems at all. In 32 bit you will download your finished big project for hours, especially if your RAM is less than 8 gb.
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Old 20-09-2017, 03:44 PM   #10
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

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Originally Posted by PrimeSuspect View Post
++ Same thing. no problems at all. In 32 bit you will download your finished big project for hours, especially if your RAM is less than 8 gb.
Same here..Windows 7 Pro 64 bit system with 32 GB of ram and a RME Hammerfall card installed..as well as the obligatory jBridge software, that's well worth the ridiculously low price he's charging for it! I've only ever had a couple of issues over the last few years..and those were nothing really serious, just screw-ups of my own making.

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Old 21-09-2017, 03:16 PM   #11
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

I've never needed more than 4GB of RAM for anything, and never got the "Out of Memory" error, even with pagefile turned off. But I switched to a 64-bit OS anyhow, just because FireFox is a memory hog and I might get into deep video editing. But yeah, I get plenty of complex good tunes done every month or so; RAM is not a limiting factor, even at 4 GB. Currently my computer has 6 GB

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Old 21-09-2017, 04:27 PM   #12
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

Properly coded programs don't run out of memory anymore, except in the most extreme circumstances. Dynamic allocation means it'll spread what you have around. When it's out of ram it uses the hard drive, which is at least an order of magnitude slower. More ram tends to be about increased performance, not base functionality. You can get a lot done with 4 or even 2GB if you're patient.

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Old 21-09-2017, 06:09 PM   #13
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Re: 64-bit or 32-bit ?

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Originally Posted by Artificer View Post
Properly coded programs don't run out of memory anymore, except in the most extreme circumstances. Dynamic allocation means it'll spread what you have around. When it's out of ram it uses the hard drive, which is at least an order of magnitude slower. More ram tends to be about increased performance, not base functionality. You can get a lot done with 4 or even 2GB if you're patient.
Yeah, this is true. Although, for me, most of the time, even the hard drive isn't being used (not paging). Often virtual memory can be turned off, depending upon what type of computer user you are and how many programs you run at the same time.

I just use one program at a time, and except for those programs that complain if virtual RAM is off, I don't mind turning it off. As a compromise, I set my pagefile to min=512 MB max=512 MB.

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