64-bit World of Warcraft game client now available for testing

So, remember the hints that've been dropped recently about a 64-bit game client? Well, it's here. In a blue post on the PTR forums, Dresorull has formally announced the client's existence and provided a link to a 64-bit executable file that runs in place of the normal 32-bit one. (This means that you won't have to download a huge new version of the game, just a small file that you can then toggle between in the launcher settings.) This is still being heavily tested; it will only work on the PTR and is being distributed separately from the PTR itself.

Now, before you get too excited, realize that this isn't a panacea. If you're running a 32-bit OS, you won't be able to use this at all, and a 64-bit system with limited memory (say, 4GB of RAM or less) may actually see decreased performance due to the increased memory usage of 64-bit programs. Systems with more memory, however, will be able to cache more program data in RAM. This should help speed up things that require large reads from the hard drive, such as changing zones, and may increase stability for those who run lots of addons.

A 64-bit client is now available for use with the 4.3.2 PTR. You can download it at the link below, unzip it into your PTR directory, and then run the executable to test it.

• The 64-bit client is being distributed separately from the PTR as it is not yet supported for use with World of Warcraft.
• This can only be used with the 4.3.2 PTR, it is not to be used with the live version of the game.
• A Mac version is not available yet, though we are working on one and plan for it to be available in the near future.
• The game's built in voice chat does not currently work in the 64-bit client.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.