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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Steam, Valve
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MayeulC 9 Aug, 2018
Let's quote an old Valve statement on this:
quote=[Plagman]We will not drop support for the many games that have shipped on Steam with only 32-bit builds, so Steam will continue to deploy a 32-bit execution environment. To that end, it will continue to need some basic 32-bit support from the host distribution (a 32-bit glibc, ELF loader, and OpenGL driver library).

Whether the Steam client graphical interface component itself gets ported to 64-bit is a different question altogether, and is largely irrelevant as the need for the 32-bit execution environment would still be there because of the many 32-bit games to support.[/quote]
So you'd still need a few "bits" to continue supporting 32bit apps. But that would be a step in the right direction. AND SHOW THE DAMN EXAMPLE! How can we be taken seriously when asking for a 64bit build if Valve doesn't even bother with their client?

In my opinion, the Steam client should have been 64bit from the start on Linux (even though I was using more 32bit computers at the time, I would have understood). Maybe they could deprecate support for 32bit, telling developers that they will refuse submissions of 32bit apps in the future? Or just refuse for new apps to use the 32bit steam runtime, so developers could bundle them, together with an hypothetical future shim for 32 <-> 64bit openGL, and other critical libraries.
14 9 Aug, 2018
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Quoting: Eike
Quoting: 14
Quoting: EikeMany Games will still come in 32 bits...
And?

... these will still need 32 bit libraries?
Can't Steam include the dependencies like game installation wizards of old? Think about .NET prerequisites in Windows. Steam games will install those if missing.
Asu 10 Aug, 2018
with 32bit you can still access 2.5 GB memory. That's freaking many for a lotsa games. Minus MMORPGs. And very modern full HD games with HD textures. Which are way too far and few between on linux. Unfortunately.

I use a mac and linux PC both 64 bit so I'm ok with steam going 64 bit.
Creak 10 Aug, 2018
Here are some advantages to go 64-bit, going from better performance to increased security:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/607322/what-are-the-advantages-of-a-64-bit-processor#607347
rat2000 10 Aug, 2018
For people who have trouble installing the 32 bit version of steam, just use flatpack. works ok. What I am happy about here is that moving to 64 bit means at some point(hope as soon as possible) they will ditch 32bit and hopefully games will follow that trend.
Hori 10 Aug, 2018
Finally,

But I hope people on 32bit will still be able to play their Steam games, for which they paid for.
Some people like building old/retro PCs just to test/play games on. Maybe they could prepare a stripped down version of the client just for 32bit systems which would require minimal maintenance on their part (even if all it could do it just download and launch games and nothing more than that)
Hori 10 Aug, 2018
Quoting: Asuwith 32bit you can still access 2.5 GB memory. That's freaking many for a lotsa games. Minus MMORPGs. And very modern full HD games with HD textures. Which are way too far and few between on linux. Unfortunately.

I use a mac and linux PC both 64 bit so I'm ok with steam going 64 bit.
Anything below 8GB is inadequate for gaming, no matter the genre.
If you play older games, or small indie games you might be able to. But all modern games and even more complex indie ones require 8G for full performance.

You CAN do with 4GB but for many games that means closing your browser and other applications while playing, as many games have 32bit engines and won't benefit from more than that anyway. But remember those 4GBs are shared between your OS, your apps, and the game - which is why IMO 4GB still falls under the "inadequate" category - it's 2018 after all, you shouldn't need to close your apps when playing a game, what if you need to search for something, like info from a game's wiki?

2.5GB is too few even for just Google Chrome, let alone games.


Last edited by Hori on 10 August 2018 at 8:32 am UTC
Eike 10 Aug, 2018
Quoting: HoriAnything below 8G is inadequate for gaming, no matter the genre.
If you play older games, or small indie games you might be able to. But all modern games and even more complex indie ones require 8G for full performance.

2.5GB is too few even for just Google Chrome, let alone games.

You seem to be confusing system RAM and what a single application actually needs. I wouldn't recomment having less than 8 GB on a machine to play games either. But that's not all for the game, but for the system, caches, ... Many games are fine with accessing up to 4 GB as a 32 bit application.
Hori 10 Aug, 2018
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: HoriAnything below 8G is inadequate for gaming, no matter the genre.
If you play older games, or small indie games you might be able to. But all modern games and even more complex indie ones require 8G for full performance.

2.5GB is too few even for just Google Chrome, let alone games.

You seem to be confusing system RAM and what a single application actually needs. I wouldn't recomment having less than 8 GB on a machine to play games either. But that's not all for the game, but for the system, caches, ... Many games are fine with accessing up to 4 GB as a 32 bit application.

I just updated my comment in the meantime.

And yes, I though you were saying that it's enough for the system.
I'm still not sure how many games would be fine with less than 4GB just for that game (so 6-8 for the whole system)
One newish game that comes to my mind is Stellaris - that one is 32bit (poor choice IMO) and can't use more than 4GB... but it REALLY needs all of those 4GBs (well maybe not in the early game, but mid-late game it certainly does).

But yes, I totally read your post wrong initially, I apologise. We seem to agree that 8GB for the whole system is really needed.


Last edited by Hori on 10 August 2018 at 8:38 am UTC
Eike 10 Aug, 2018
Quoting: HoriOne newish game that comes to my mind is Stellaris - that one is 32bit (poor choice IMO) and can't use more than 4GB... but it REALLY needs all of those 4GBs (well maybe not in the early game, but mid-late game it certainly does).

Developers might face problems similiar to Linux support in general: Engine, middleware, whatever stuff only supporting 32 bits. If you're starting a new game not too small, I agree you should go for 64 bit nowadays. I wondered if maybe too many people are on 32 bits still, but it seems it's less than 5%.
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