Fractal eXtreme is a program that allows fast and easy exploration of Fractals. Our goal with Fractal eXtreme is to make it so that you can click, drag, and zoom your way through the beautiful complexity of fractal images, without waiting for calculations, and without having to learn cumbersome commands.
Exploring fractal images is all about seeing an interesting piece of detail and then zooming in to see it more closely. When you zoom in you may see another interesting piece of detail that you want to zoom into, you may want to pan over to a different area, you may want to zoom out and try somewhere else, or you may want to adjust the colours to bring out the details. These simple steps are all that you need to know to start having fun.
64-bit math to accelerate fractal calculations
When AMD announced their 64-bit processor architecture around 2002 we immediately realize that these processors, which are now standard in almost all computers, would greatly enhance deep-zoom fractal calculations. While a 32-bit processor can multiply two 32-bit numbers and get a 64-bit result, a 64-bit processor can multiply two 64-bit numbers and get a 128-bit result, potentially giving a four times speedup when doing high-precision math. In addition to this significant advantage the 64-bit processors have 64-bit registers, they have twice as many registers, and they can reference many millions of times more memory than the old 32-bit processors.
The 2.0 version of Fractal eXtreme comes in two versions: 32-bit and 64-bit. The 64-bit version uses the power of 64-bit processors to calculate deep-zoom fractals much faster than a 32-bit pogram can. Given a 64-bit processor (most processors from 2006 or later) and a 64-bit operating system (64-bit Vista for instance) the 64-bit version of Fractal eXtreme can calculate deep-zoom fractals an average of 3.5 times faster and up to 5 times faster than the 32-bit version running on the same machine. Together with many other calculation tricks this lets Fractal eXtreme calculate fractal images using hundreds of digits of precision without undue slowdown.
Cygnus Software strongly recommends using the 64-bit version of Windows Vista because only then can the 64-bit version of Fractal eXtreme be used. Using the 64-bit version of Vista also allows more memory to be used by your computer which leads to better performance, and lets memory hungry programs such as games run more reliably. With 4 GB of memory costing just $100 in April 2008 there is no doubt that 64-bit Windows is the right direction to move in. Since 64-bit Vista can run 32-bit applications at full speed there is little reason not to install the 64-bit version of Vista.
Fractal eXtreme - 64bit software
Current version: 2.24
Release date: 2016-01-10