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Looks like Valve may be preparing a 64bit version of the Steam client

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Valve may be preparing a 64bit version of the Steam client with an update in the Steam Beta Client that was released yesterday.

Their wording in the patch notes certainly suggests that's what they're doing:

Added support for shipping different binaries to 64bit vs 32bit operating systems in Steam self-updater. This support is being added in preparation for future updates.

Considering the client is already 64bit on Mac, it would make sense to bring that to Linux and Windows soon too. With most people now on 64bit, it was only a matter of time before they did this. Going by the Steam Hardware Survey, few people remain on 32bit. Giving their updater the ability to know the difference between systems, would be the first step towards rolling out 64bit to those systems that support it and eventually warn people on 32bit systems when that eventually becomes deprecated for the Steam client.

We already know they're planning an overhaul of certain parts of the client, with various leaks and Valve eventually talking about it. It's entirely possible that this is in preparation for that to happen.

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46 comments
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tonR 9 August 2018 at 3:58 pm UTC
Pity to all 3 GamingonLinux users... They certainly will having hard times playing Steam games in the future...
/s
GustyGhost 9 August 2018 at 4:04 pm UTC
2019: 128-bit architectures roll out and become pervasive with 100% market penetration.

2031: Valve FINALLY delivers 128-bit Steam client.
lucifertdark 9 August 2018 at 4:09 pm UTC
It's about time too, I've been using 64bit Ubuntu since 6.06.
Doc Angelo 9 August 2018 at 4:40 pm UTC
If the installation of Steam will be easier that would be fine. Maybe Steam will still depend on some 32 bit libs because of all the games that are 32 bit (such as Civ 5 for example). If that is true, there would be literally no benefit from changing the client from 32 to 64 bit.
madchaotikan 9 August 2018 at 4:49 pm UTC
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Doc AngeloIf the installation of Steam will be easier that would be fine. Maybe Steam will still depend on some 32 bit libs because of all the games that are 32 bit (such as Civ 5 for example). If that is true, there would be literally no benefit from changing the client from 32 to 64 bit.

I agree, a 64bit only steam will most likely prevent playing majority of games.

Having a 64bit steam using the 64 bit sys libs but brings with the 32bit part system independently. But I know about the technical difficulties regarding all the different distros and versions. So just a whish.

However, 64 bit client would be a step into the right direction.
Dedale 9 August 2018 at 4:53 pm UTC
I sort of get that on some distros 32 bits librairies are problematic.

But what would be the advantages for me ? Steam works flawlessly on my xubuntu 18.04.1. You still can run a few games on a pentium 4. Besides, i have a 32 bit netbook dating back to 2009. I did play games on it although not via steam.

Do not get me wrong, i welcome 64 bit software when they offer an advantage. So i am all ears.
sa666666 9 August 2018 at 4:53 pm UTC
Doc AngeloIf that is true, there would be literally no benefit from changing the client from 32 to 64 bit.
Yes, there will still be a benefit; we will have at least started the (eventual) upgrade from 32 to 64-bit. Every single 32-bit program that remains is another slowdown on the road to full 64-bit. And every time someone keeps an old 32-bit program around, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy of not needing to upgrade.

Consider what probably prompted this action; the OSX port being 64-bit only. Until someone forces the issue, many people/companies will be happy to stick with 32-bit for another 10 years, holding back progress. Only by moving to 64-bit everywhere will companies eventually get the message. They will no longer have an excuse to release 32-bit games when the client becomes predominantly 64-bit.

32-bit is dying; let it die. We need to be moving to 64-bit entirely. This is 2018; it should really have happened at least 5 years ago.
Doc Angelo 9 August 2018 at 5:12 pm UTC
sa666666Yes, there will still be a benefit

Maybe I missed it, but what would the technical benefit be?


Last edited by Doc Angelo at 9 August 2018 at 5:13 pm UTC
sa666666 9 August 2018 at 5:16 pm UTC
Doc AngeloMaybe I missed it, but what would the technical benefit be?
In isolation, nothing. In eventually forcing companies to move to 64-bit, it should be obvious. And for those that argue that 64-bit uses more RAM; consider that on an almost pure 64-bit system, a few 32-bit apps being around bring the baggage of needing 32-bit libs, using more RAM than the increase from 32 -> 64-bit.

Plus all the benefits of 64-bit, of course (access to more RAM, often-times faster compiled code, etc). These may not affect the Steam client directly, but forcing people to move from 32 -> 64-bit definitely will.


Last edited by sa666666 at 9 August 2018 at 5:17 pm UTC
Doc Angelo 9 August 2018 at 5:24 pm UTC
sa666666In isolation, nothing. In eventually forcing companies to move to 64-bit, it should be obvious.

Steam needs to support 32 bit applications as long as it exists. I don't even know how many games in my library are 32 bit, but I think there's a lot of them.

For every app, the developer should evaluate what would be the right thing to do: 32 or 64 bit. I'm sure the devs of Civ 5 had their reasons. That Steam is 32 bit doesn't mean that every game dev is also inclined to use 32 bit.
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