XP64 is a dead end. Vista 64 is one option, and currently advised and supported, an alternative is Windows 7 RC, which appears to run smoothly but is not supported and drivers are still rare.
XP64 is not officially supported with CS4, and as far as Microsoft is concerned, is a dead-end. You want Vista 64 now if you want a 64-bit OS. Windows 7 will be out *sometime* and is the next logical step (you can run the release candidate for free right now), but you're best waiting until it's RTM and then fully vetted for CS4.
No problems with drivers for 64-bit, with most modern hardware. I run Vista 64 on two very different systems, and eveything on them is fully supported. The issues seem to lie more with outboard peripherals like scanners and printers than anything else. Some video hardware (like my old Blackmagic Designs DeckLink SP PCI card) don't work, but your average PC/workstation is going to not have any driver issues.
Thanks for the reply. Just one follow-up if I may. Which version of Vista
64 do you recommend? I think there's a Home / Business / Ultimate???? All
apparently different flavors of the OS. Is there a significant difference
and which would be better for NLE work?
I've got Ultimate and Business, and frankly, they're both overkill for an NLE. Not that they cause any issues, but they just include features that don't necessarily do anything for an editing rig. Truth is, you can get away with Home Premium; it lets you access more RAM than Home Basic does, but is leaner/meaner than Ultimate and Business without all the additional addons and utilties. Plus, it's cheaper.
Personally, I would opt for Business with a second choice being Ultimate. I would avoid the Home versions, but then, I'm not an average user, with several servers, network drives and NAS storage, VPN connections etc. Beware that the Home versions may carry memory limitations that do not apply to the higher end versions. Look at the Microsoft site to see where the differences are.
Thanks guys ... Now the $64K question ... Is there really a big difference
between 32 & 64bit from a performance & stabilization perspective? Is it
worth the $350 bucks?
The price difference is maybe $ 50, not $ 350, and yes, it is worth it if you use more than 4 GB RAM.
You might as well go Vista 64 or even just duel boot windows 7 64 (I'm finding it as stable as XP and faster tahn Vista).
If you have more than 4 gigs of Ram then 64 OS is way faster unless all you do is edit dv video and never use After Effects at the same time.
I haven't tried Windows 7 yet, but some people in my vicinity are very enthousiastic about it.
I wonder, since updating to Vista 64 SP2 showed a 2.5-3% performance increase (in some cases even 5%), how much performance gain did you achieve with Windows 7 over the regular Vista 64 SP1?
I never did an actual benchmark. But the main thing is everything is way more snappier (I guess thats the word for it). Browser files open way quicker...everything seems to be quicker with in the comfines of the OS. Not saying that Premiere edits quicker with Win 7 (it might but it wouldn't be much). I just save so much time looking through all my harddrives and have NEVER had a driver problem.
I haven't even booted my Vista in a few weeks...no point. Because I have a duel boot if something does screw up in Win 7 I can always just open the project in Vista.
Plus the way everything is organized just makes regular OS stuff that much faster (too many little fixes to name here)
I would suggest to the OP downloading/installing Win 7 RC instead of buying Vista 64. Win 7 will function fully untill March of next year. It's amazingly stable.
I was recently told that Win7 is supposed to be available 29 Oct 09. If that's true, and it's as stable as people are claiming, I think I'd pass up Vista completely and install the version of Win7 that's out now.
Wow! What a difference ... I just finished installing (not without some difficulty, BTW) Vista x64 (Home Premium version), increased my RAM to 8Gig and there is a significant difference in the performance of CS4.. I haven't had a chance yet to export to AME, but if I get a linier increase there to the increase in Premiere CS4, I'll be happy. All that sluggishness in the GUI seems to be gone .. I do something now and it actually happens!!!