- There is a valuable discussion taking place on the Laser Scanning Forum concerning 64 bit and OS.
- Faraz Ravi from Pointools notes that point cloud processing will benefit from the move to 64 bit, but there are issues.
- It seems that Windows 7 is stable and a better bet than Vista.
I don’t know if you have been following the discussion on the Laser Scanning Forum concerning the move to 64 bit processors, as well as whether to go with Vista or Windows 7, but it is certainly worth reviewing if this is a current topic in your shop.
It is really interesting to see the range of opinions – from “don’t go there” to “we upgraded and have not had any issues”. Kind of scary in a way. Seems to be individual machines can react differently depending on minor configuration settings. Almost 30 years into the PC era and this is what we are still dealing with – sad.
I checked in with Faraz Ravi at Pointools for a little expert opinion. First of all he points out that point cloud processing is actually an application that would benefit from 64bit processing and more ram. 32 bit apps can only address 4gb of RAM, and that includes the graphics card. One of the people who made the jump upgraded to 8 gig, and of course saw significant performance improvement.
The potential issue is with the components that may be part of an application. It’s an all or nothing situation. Meaning every bit of binary has to be compiled for 64 bit. If you have any 3rd party dlls these either have to be upgraded by the supplier to 64 bit or that functionality will have to be left out.
This is the case for Pointools. Some of their 3rd party dlls are 32 bit and Faraz is having to cut out that functionality, at least for now in his planned 64 bit release. It would seem that everyone would want to take advantage of 64 bit processing, but I guess it is a scheduling thing.
Concerning the OS, most of the recommendations are to go to Windows 7 and skip Vista. This is what I have been hearing in general, and from although I have not used 7, I have not been impressed with Vista. The good news is you can download 7 and use it for free until next spring, plus the Vista drivers do work with 7.
Any other thoughts?