Windows 7: 64 bit vs. 32 bit.

trnsilver

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Feb 2, 2008
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#1
Hey guys. I have a basically brand new DELL Laptop with 4GB ram, a huge hard drive, great video card, etc. etc.

Currently, I (believe) I have Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit installed (came with computer).

I have already ordered Windows 7 and am going to do a completely clean install - reformat the computer, install vista and then immediately upgrade to windows 7.

However, when I was reading about it today - I noticed that it will come with 64 bit and 32 bit versions. It says if you have 4 GB of RAM or more to use 64 and if you have 3 or less to use 32. Well, considering I have 4, should I use 64 bit?

And, what advantages / disadvantages are there?

Thanks!
 

cindra

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Dec 17, 2008
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#2
If you are a home user 32-bit is typical, and I am not sure you can install a 64-bit version if your processor isn't 64 bit. If you are able to choose, be sure that any hardware drivers/software you want to use are compatible. A lot of it is not.

Someone smarter than me can give ya more details. :)
 
#3
You can install either the 32 or 64 bit versions on your system, but if you want to upgrade it has to be from/to the same version, i.e., 32bit Vista can't be upgraded to 64bit Win7, it would require a clean install.

The 64 bit version will make better use of your 4G RAM and it is necessary if you want to increase your RAM at all above 4GB. There are few reasons not to do a clean install of the 6 bit version in your case, IMHO.

One caveat is that all your drivers need to be 64 bit but Windows 7 handles most of that unless you have some unusual old hardware like multi-port serial cards, etc. Heck, give it a whirl, you'll know right away if there is a driver issue to solve, and you can always go back to 32 if it is problematic.

Good luck!
 

styfle

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Mar 31, 2008
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#5
Definitely 64 bit. Theres no reason not to. Some say there are less drivers but that was more for winxp 64 when it was first introduced. Win7 should be much much better 64 bit.
 
#7
Tarek, are you gonna give some specifics as to why the OP should use 32 bit instead of 64 bit, or just shoot off your mouth? :010:shutup ;)

Given his system resources I see no reason for him not to at least explore 64 bit, and if he has no driver issues, he will reap some nice benefits.
 
Nov 14, 2008
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#8
Because 32-bit is very good for a home user, which I think he is. Some applications and stuff are also not compatible with 64-bit, which will be an issue if he likes to play games and stuff.
 
#9
There are precious few 32 bit applications that have problems in Windows 7 64 bit. The OP may indeed be a 'home user' as you say, but the fact that he has 4GB RAM and is even thinking about 64 bit makes him a candidate to at least load it up and try it, especially since he indicated he would be doing essentially a clean install.

The reviews all seem to have come to the same conclusion as my testing; for most folks it will work just fine and offer significant advantages in RAM management at 4GB and above. See the articles at giz and other reputable sites like cnet.
 

KabaModern

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Mar 31, 2008
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#10
Use 64-bit. You'll make most of your RAM and it allows you greater flexibility down the line. They will eventually stop making 32-bit. As far as application incompatibility, you'd be amazed how quickly companies are releasing updates to work with 64-bit. I'm testing Windows 7 64-bit and am having NO software or hardware problems. It's a charm.

:eek:k:eek:k
 

styfle

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Mar 31, 2008
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#11
Use 64-bit. You'll make most of your RAM and it allows you greater flexibility down the line. They will eventually stop making 32-bit. As far as application incompatibility, you'd be amazed how quickly companies are releasing updates to work with 64-bit. I'm testing Windows 7 64-bit and am having NO software or hardware problems. It's a charm.

:eek:k:eek:k
It may be a long time before Windows is only 64 bit; OSX on the other hand is just a stone's throw away. Windows has much more hardware it needs to support.
 
Sep 26, 2009
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#12
Whatever procyy you gonna get,it'll be an x86-64,not a native x64,so you can run both x64(64bit) and x86(32 bit).

I have used Vista Home Premium x86 SP2,7 Beta (7057 Build) x86,
7 Ultimate RC1 x64 and presently on 7 Proffesional RTM x86
the hood: Intel Core 2 Duo 3 GHz,4 gigs of Ram,512 MB Ati Radeon HD 4850,WDC 640 GB

I must say,
I didn't feel much of a difference between x86 and x64(apart from the fact that 7 pawned Vista any day)
Only that my file transfers were a bit slower on x64 than that on x86.
Actually bigger the instruction set(64 bit > 32 bit,simple math..ehh)
,more memory the process will take.
so,i guess that memory management funda ain't true.

The x64 effects should shine above 4GB,anyway the OS(7) limits usage of RAM to just 3GB of your installed memory..and even that wouldn't max out(be used up completely),in the near future!
Until you are into encoding,video processing and other data-intensive jobs,I don't see the point of x64.

Anyway
If,
you want futurity,you may consider x64( i dunno if M$ provides option to switch between x64 and x86 for free,)
but. x86 will give you peace of mind,,all apps and games would support it!
that's up to you,pal.but I guess I have pretty much influenced your mind;)

Final Advice:whatever,32 or 64,you choose.
go for Home Premium or Ultimate(which actually combines features of Both Home and the unnecessary ones of Professional edition:mad:)