Without a viable 64-bit Windows operating system, 64-bit enthusiasts have turned to Linux to provide a possible solution.  Anandtech has taken the two largest 64-bit Linux distros, and the Windows 64-bit OS for a test drive.  The test machine being driven by none other than the Athlon 64 3500+ Secket 939.  The results may surprise you. 

One quick note, make sure you pay attention to what means better performance on the graphs, on several of them, the best performers had the smallest numbers.  e.g. render time measured in seconds, less is better.

Given just the three operating systems analyzed before, SuSE comes out ahead of Fedora consistently – but more importantly, both Linux distributions also lay waste to the 64-bit and 32-bit editions of Windows XP. In fact, the only real benchmarks where Windows ever came against either Linux distribution were the game tests. Fortunately, the point of this analysis was to see if Linux takes advantage of the 64-bit gap; and with reasonable assurance, we can conclude it does. Encoding, database and rendering tests all show a distinct advantage with a 64-bit operating system over a 32-bit one, and even more distinct advantage with Linux over Windows.