World of Warcraft 64-bit client enters public testing

Blizzard has kicked off 2012 in style, by releasing an early version of the long-overdue 64-bit client for World of Warcraft.

Currently only available on the public test realm, running v4.3.2, the 64-bit executable simply replaces the traditional 32-bit one. Might not sound like much, but it means that you can simply download the latest client rather than a completely new version of the game.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

Once installed, you’ll be able to toggle between 32- and 64-bit versions through your launcher settings.

While it’s exciting news, it’s still early days. Blizzard is still putting the new version through its paces, and explain that the client is actually not currently supported for use with World of Warcraft.

As QA spokesperson and blue poster Dresorull explains on the forums, it’s not quite ready for public consumption just yet:

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.

It’s important to remember that this update – while it’s good news – isn’t for everybody. If you’re running a 32-bit operating system, then it’s not for you at all (but you knew that, right?). If you do have a 64-bit operating system but have limited memory available (4GB of RAM or less), then – thanks to the increased memory requirements of 64-bit programs, your gaming experience may decrease.

But! If you have a 64-bit system, plenty of RAM and a desire to experiment, you really should grab the new client file and see how it works. If all goes to plan, you’ll get better speed for things like changing zones (or other events which require significant hard drive access), as well as increased stability if you’re running a bunch of add-ons.

Sound like you? We’ve got the 64-bit PTR client (4.3.2) right here to download, and remember to spend some time in the Public Test Realm forums to stay up to date with new happenings. Give Blizzard your feedback, and fingers crossed we’ll have a shiny new official 64-bit client in the next major patch!

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