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dave_matsumoto
Beginner
73 Views

General question about ideal development system

I apologize in advance if this is a total newbie question. I did some searching here on the forums and couldn't find the answer I was looking for.

I'm nearing the end of my VTune trial, and liked the tool. However, there were several cases where I guess I gathered a lot of data, and my system slowed to a crawl because it started swapping to disk. I am on a quad-core Intel based Dell with 4GB of RAM under Windows XP (ok, so 3GB RAM).

I am seriously considering the purchase of a system with a lot more RAM, so that basically forces me to move to Windows XP x64. However, I do 100% of my development on 32 bit apps. Can anyone here tell me if it's a mistake for me to do my 32 bit development under Windows XP x64 with VS2008 + the Intel performance tools?

Thanks!
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4 Replies
TimP
Black Belt
73 Views

Not to answer all of your questions, but it's entirely reasonable to develop and test both 32- and 64-bit applications on XP X64.
dave_matsumoto
Beginner
73 Views

Thanks for the response, Tim. I failed to add more detail to my original post, though. Basically, since VS2008 is strictly a 32bit app and has the ~3GB memory limit, will going to x64 help me at all? In other words, would the Intel tools be able to take advantage of the extra memory addressable by the x64 OS, either XP or Vista? That's my biggest concern, as I don't want to fork out a ton of cash on a beast of a system, only to find out that all of that memory is basically useless. :)
TimP
Black Belt
73 Views

Visual Studio doesn't limit the memory access of applications run in association with it. While I haven't verified it myself, VTune is supposed to take advantage of 64-bit address space, even when profiling a 32-bit application. Also, an application running on 32-bit OS has to share the 2GB or 3GB address space with the OS, a limitation not shared when running under 64-bit OS. Evidently, you will see diminishing returns for expanding RAM beyond 4GB, if you run only 32-bit applications under 64-bit OS.
dave_matsumoto
Beginner
73 Views

Thanks, Tim, that is really useful information. My main concern is just making sure that VS2008 + the Intel tools have enough RAM to allow me to work on any large project without significant slowdowns. My x64 license should be here any day now, so I can do a quick test on a system before I plunk down the big bucks on a nicer rig.

This is totally OT, but I plan to buy VTune soon -- however, I'm not so sure about the Intel C++ compiler, since they are coming out with Parallel Studio, which will be compatible with the MS compiler. What are your thoughts? :)
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