Alienware says game PCs need more than faster chips like more optimizations for 64-bit:
Alienware's Marc Diana believes optimizing systems for the 64-bit world would allow game PCs to make big strides in performance. In effect, today's 32-bit environments are putting a crimp on PC-based gaming.
"So many people are caught up in this hardware race. Dual-core, quad-core this and that," said Diana, who is Alienware's product marketing manager for desktops. "If these companies--Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, ATI, and AMD--if they'd just sit down and realize the performance benefit of optimizing their drivers and software for 64-bit."
"I think that would make sense now," Diana said emphatically.
Much of the software in the PC world is still 32-bit, including most copies of Windows XP and Vista. In fact, Diana said Alienware doesn't offer 64-bit operating systems because "we don't feel comfortable shipping a system to a customer with the 64-bit driver support that's out there in the industry."
The most obvious limitation of 32-bit operating systems and applications is a cap--4GB--on how much memory an operating system can use. And some applications can't even use the entire 4GB. "Who cares about DDR3 memory? What about giving me 4GB?" Diana asked.
"They're building (software) for something that is inherently very old technology," he said. "We (need) drivers that are very healthy in the 64-bit space. I'm not saying that 64-bit drivers don't exist. I'm just saying there's not enough software development and support on that end to warrant companies like us to move to 64-bit operating systems."