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Windows XP Professional X64 Edition
Microsoft Windows operating system released in 2005
Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, released on April 25, 2005, is an edition of Windows XP for x86-64 personal computers. It is designed to use the expanded 64-bit memory address space provided by the x86-64 architecture.
The primary benefit of moving to 64-bit is the increase in the maximum allocatable random-access memory (RAM). 32-bit editions of Windows XP are limited to a total of 4 gigabytes. Although the theoretical memory limit of a 64-bit computer is about 16 exabytes (17.1 billion gigabytes), Windows XP x64 is limited to 128GB of physical memory and 16 terabytes of virtual memory.
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not to be confused with Windows XP 64-Bit Edition as the latter was designed for Itanium architecture. During the initial development phases, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition was named Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems.
Supports up to two physical CPUs (in separate physical sockets) and up to 64 logical processors (i.e. cores or threads on a single CPU). As such, as of 2014[update], the OS supports all commercially available multicore CPUs, including Intel Core series, or AMD FX series.
Uses the Windows Server 2003 kernel which is newer than 32-bit Windows XP and has improvements to enhance scalability. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition also introduces Kernel Patch Protection (also known as PatchGuard) which can help improve security by helping to eliminate rootkits.
Supports GPT-partitioned disks for data volumes (but not bootable volumes) after SP1, which allows disks greater than 2TB to be used as a single GPT partition for storing data.
Allows faster encoding of audio or video, higher performance video gaming and faster 3D rendering in software optimized for 64-bit hardware.
Ships with Windows Media Player (WMP) version 10. Windows XP Professional shipped with WMP 8 (with WMP 9 shipping with Service Pack 2 and later), although WMP 11 is available for Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later.
Benefits from IPsec features and improvements made in Windows Server 2003.
Since the x86-64 architecture includes hardware-level support for 32-bit instructions, WoW64 simply switches the process between 32- and 64-bit modes. As a result, x86-64 architecture microprocessors suffer no performance loss when executing 32-bit Windows applications. On the Itanium architecture, WoW64 was required to translate 32-bit x86 instructions into their 64-bit Itanium equivalents--which in some cases were implemented in quite different ways--so that the processor could execute them. All 32-bit processes are shown with *32 in the task manager, while 64-bit processes have no extra text present.
Although 32-bit applications can be run transparently, the mixing of the two types of code within the same process is not allowed. A 64-bit program cannot use a 32-bit dynamic-link library (DLL) and similarly a 32-bit program cannot use a 64-bit DLL. This may lead to the need for library developers to provide both 32-bit and 64-bit binary versions of their libraries. Specifically, 32-bit shell extensions for Windows Explorer fail to work with 64-bit Windows Explorer. Windows XP x64 Edition ships with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Explorer. The 32-bit version can become the default Windows Shell. Windows XP x64 Edition also includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer 6, so that user can still use browser extensions or ActiveX controls that are not available in 64-bit versions.
Only 64-bit drivers are supported in Windows XP x64 Edition, but 32-bit codecs are supported as long as the media player that uses them is 32-bit.
Installation of programs
By default, 64-bit (x86-64) Windows programs are installed onto their own folders under folder location "C:\Program Files", while 32-bit (x86-32) Windows programs are installed onto their own folders under folder location "C:\Program Files (x86)".
There are some common issues that arise with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
Does not include NTVDM or Windows on Windows, so 16-bit Windows applications or native MS-DOS applications cannot run. Some old 32-bit programs use 16-bit installers which do not run; however, replacements for 16-bit installers such as ACME Setup versions 2.6, 3.0, 3.01, 3.1 and InstallShield 5.x are hardcoded into WoW64 to mitigate this issue.
Any 32-bit Windows Explorer shell extensions fail to work with 64-bit Windows Explorer. However, Windows XP x64 Edition also ships with a 32-bit Windows Explorer. It is possible to make it the default Windows Shell.
The RTM version of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition was built from the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 codebase. Because Windows XP Professional x64 Edition comes from a different codebase than 32-bit Windows XP, its service packs are also developed separately. For the same reason, Service Pack 2 for Windows XP x64 Edition, released on March 13, 2007, is not the same as Service Pack 2 for 32-bit versions of Windows XP. In fact, due to the earlier release date of the 32-bit version, many of the key features introduced by Service Pack 2 for 32-bit (x86) editions of Windows XP were already present in the RTM version of its x64 counterpart. Service Pack 2 is the last released service pack for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.