Half-Life 2: 64-bit versus 32-bit. Are more bits better?

Valve gave gamers an early Christmas present last Thursday when they released a fully 64-bit native port of their mega-hit Half-Life 2. Steam will be able to determine if you are running Windows x64 and download the appropriate files to upgrade your installation. Techage ran the two head to head to see how the new version ran and it wasn't pretty. The problem is the 64-bit version doesn't offer anything new, and the performance improvements one would expect are absent, replaced by slowdowns and bugs. They write, "the 64-Bit version of HL2 is buggy, as is Lost Coast. There have been numerous reports of various bugs on the Steam forums, and I have experienced a few myself." Regarding speed improvements they say, "The 32-Bit had better overall frame rates than the 64-Bit" while the load times on the 64-bit version were quicker.

The major problem with the upgrade is that it is apparently necessary if you're running Windows x64. The promising, albeit much-maligned, Steam platform automagically upgrades your installation. Unless you have no other choice than to game in 64-bits, you might want to wait until Valve polishes this mess up.

[Via Evil Avatar]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.