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64-Bit Software Revisited, Often the Wrong Choice

By now, most of you should be running a 64-bit version of Windows. This allows you to use more than 2GB of RAM. As Windows itself often takes at least 1GB, it is important to have more RAM to run powerful software and work with large files. This is especially important in the world of graphics if you are editing photos.

While a 64-bit operating system (Windows) is very good, it is almost always a poor choice to use 64-bit software unless that is your only choice. I’ve written times in the past why the 64-bit version of CorelDRAW is the wrong choice for 99% of users even though Corel makes it quite a search to find and install the 32-bit version.

Prior to the release of CorelDRAW X6, users claimed that a 64-bit version was highest on their wish list. I agree, I was one who thought it sounded good. But the downsides far outweigh the upsides. If you scan using a TWAIN driver, you can’t use it in CorelDRAW X6 or X7 64-bit. This isn’t really Corel’s fault, there simply are no 64-bit TWAIN drivers. Corel did address this by adding a WIA driver, but it offers far fewer features than a good TWAIN driver.

This same problem will also appear in any 64-bit software that has the ability to use a TWAIN driver. Yes, that includes Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements if you are using the 64-bit versions. Many scanners also have a Photoshop plug-in for scanning so it is less of an issue in Photoshop.

Even you don’t think this is an issue, then why do I constantly get e-mails asking me why a user can’t scan in the newer versions of CorelDRAW? There are also numerous questions why the options for scanning are so basic compared to previous versions. In every single case it is because the user has the 64-bit version when the 32-bit version is the far better option.

Speaking of Photoshop, its plugin filters are very popular. Many plugins work in a wide variety of image editors. For years, plugins were only 32-bit and thousands of them were created. Now that there are 64-bit versions of software, some of the more popular plugins have been converted to 64-bit. But thousands have not and probably will not be converted. So the only way to use all of that 32-bit plugins is to run 32-bit software. This is a huge reason to use the 32-bit versions of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Corel PHOTO-PAINT and any other image editor.

Another great way to extend the features of CorelDRAW is by using macros. Quite a few of my favorites will no longer be developed. They only work in the 32-bit versions of CorelDRAW. This is yet another great reason to use the 32-bit version over the 64-bit version.

Now let’s talk about the upsides of using 64-bit software. It allows you to create files larger than 2 TB and for that piece of software to use more than 4 GB of RAM. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever created a file anywhere close to 2 TB in any software. If you are even creating files in CorelDRAW that are close to 500 MB (25% of the size limit) then I’d suggest you are probably doing something incorrectly. There are small fraction of users who do need to create these large files because they are creating massive pieces of artwork. Even then, I’m not sure most of those users should be creating files anywhere near the 2 TB limit.

The same is true with the 2 GB of RAM limit for 32-bit software. While this one is more limiting, the number of CorelDRAW users who will come close to this limit is a very small number.

Below are just some of the previous posts I’ve written on the subject.

Prefer Blog Posts in Another Language?

If you are a regular reader then you probably have at least a good understanding of English. There are many users who understand little or no English and I wanted a way for those users to benefit from the content in the Graphics Unleashed Blog. Along the top of each page is a bar showing flags representing the languages (as shown below) I think are most desired. Click on the flag and the content will be automatically translated to that language. It may not be a perfect translation, but it is far better than reading a language you don’t understand.

translation-bar

I do have the ability to change the languages listed on this bar. So if you want to provide me a compelling reason to add or remove one of the currently listed languages, leave a comment with your reasoning. I’m sure I’ll hear from one person who feels I should include Swedish. Sorry, there just aren’t enough Swedish speaking people to include it here. I debated about including Chinese or Russian because I know there are a lot of people who speak/read those. But if I add one, I really need to remove one as there is a limited amount of space.

Behind the scenes there are more language enabled and automatically submitted to search engines for indexing.

About Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III
Foster D. Coburn III is the author of thirteen books on CorelDRAW, the latest being CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed. He has been a contributor to numerous magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site and many more, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics and Web conferences.

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One comment

  1. This is exactly why computing is so frustrating, and has been since the 1980’s. WHY didn’t Corel tell me this, WHY didn’t Parallels tell me this, WHY didn’t Microsoft tell me this??? What I was told was that 64 bit is the future of computing, and nothing more. I guess it’s a good thing I don;t use a scanner!!!

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