Tech Tip of the Week: Should You Install Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit?

By Julio Franco
Jul 29, 2009
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  1. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,363   +260

    64 Bit for the Win!
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,259   +41

    Its just not for everyone for two possible reasons.

    Not everyone needs it

    It may be more expensive than the 32 bit version.
  3. The ONLY reason why someone would actually NEED 64 bit OS is if you answer yes to the following question : Do I have 4 or more Gig of RAM.

    32 Bits OS can manage up to 4 Gig of ram. 64 Bit OS can manage more then 4 Gig.

    End of story.
  4. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TechSpot Maniac Posts: 529

    well, I thought that 32 bit could not use 4 gig of ram very effectivly. thats y I am uisng the Windows 7 RC 64bit as my primary OS at the moment. When u next my a PC, make it fucture proof, buy a 64Bit system and OS, you will save money in the long run.
  5. Well x64 if for serious computer working and gaming
    and x32 is for poor loosers that cant afford good computer for gaming, office "pancton" workers, and those pathetic people who only exist to fillin usless junk in social nets like facebook etc
  6. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,259   +41


    Not entirely true, what about production software that are written for 64 bit os.
  7. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,363   +260

    64 Bit also has a few nifty Security extras aswell, and 64 Bit is the same price as the 32 Bit version as they are included in the same box, the only question is if you have 64 bit drivers but almost all drivers made for vista and windows 7 have a 64 bit version, if it doesn't then i highly dout it has a 32 bit version, it seems silly to buy 32 bit OS now that 64 bit is out, plus programs are going to start being written for 64 Bit compatibilty and imagine the gains if computer games could use 6GB+ of RAM! it would be awsome! let alone the fact that there would be less loading times as you could litterally load the entire game to RAM.
  8. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 668   +22

    I have been running 64bit Vista Home Premium since December. I havent ever had such a solid operating system. I am running a newer machine (9gb ram and core i7) but i would heartily recommend 64bit to anyone purchasing a new computer.
  9. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 195   +19

    I'm going to buy 64-bit Windows 7 Professional when it drops in October. Both my boxes have been upgraded to 8GB of RAM. Besides, most of the desktop PCs at the local Best Buy stores are running 64-bit Windows Vista.
  10. x64 is the way to go people. I've been running it and I've only had one issue...my printer driver. It only took a few minutes to find the correct one and install it. I run heavy graphics apps so my 12Gb of RAM is being used.
  11. It's about the right time to opt for 64-bit. Everyone functions fine in 64bit Windows 7, and it's not even released yet, and odds are most people here will want more than 4 GB of ram in the near future, if not now.
  12. Captain828

    Captain828 TechSpot Guru Posts: 277

    I have Windows 7 RC1 and 4GB of RAM and I have to say... it's really sweet!
    Alt-Tabbing out of demanding apps is a breeze and there are few issues with 32bit apps.

    In fact, most 32bit apps work just as well on a 64bit OS as on a 32bit.
     
  13. JDoors

    JDoors Newcomer, in training Posts: 62

    In my experience, it's not just a "driver" issue. Though many or most 32-bit programs and standards work with a 64-bit system, there are plenty that choke. If you can live with or work around it, you're good to go. If you absolutely rely on such products, you're screwed, until and IF they upgrade to the 64-bit architecture.

    For me there's been a few annoyances going 64, but nothing SO important that I wished I hadn't upgraded. Your mileage may vary however!
  14. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,086   +154

    "One of the most commonly cited differences is that the 32-bit architecture has a memory access limit of 4GB (2^32 bytes)."
    Sorry but this is wrong. 32-bit windows can access 36-bit memory address space via PAE (Physical Address Extensions). 32-bit Windows Server editions illustrate this. Hardware with this capability has been around for a loooooong time.

    Microsoft disable the PAE memory access advantages due to "driver problems" (nvidia was the main culprit) and "performance" (I have seen a few benchmarks where performance loss was negligible) back with WinXP officially.
  15. The main reason I'd still consider 32-bit, is because of better CODEC support. All CODECs today are made in 32-bit editions, but only some are made 64-bit. If you want to use Windows Media Center on 64-bit Windows, you can only use 64-bit CODECs. I need CoreAVC for playing H.264 movies with subtitles, so 32-bit is my only option.
  16. VonDisco

    VonDisco Newcomer, in training Posts: 19


    Gosh you're pleasant.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,026   +221

    there are two major ways to improve existing code:
    1. add 64 bit memory and file support AND
    2. add support for SMP (symmetrical multiple processing) which we call multiple core(s)
    if the regression testing is worth $0.02, these enhancements will force the location of many otherwise undiscovered bugs.
  18. bwchato

    bwchato Newcomer, in training Posts: 53

    that's exactly the reason fot the 64 bit OS.i have 4 ghz and windows says 3,24.I want to change to the 64bit because of that
  19. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,026   +221

    Actually to my understanding, driver signing is an attrribute of Vista, not x64 systems per se
  20. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 900

    Usually windows just tells you the clock speed your CPU is supposed to be running at, not its actual clock speed. So if you overclock your CPU, you will need a tool like CPU-Z to read your actual clock speed. Upgrading to a 64 bit OS won't make a bit of difference.

    Or did you mean gigabytes, as in amount of RAM?
  21. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,086   +154

    They include both versions of the install on the disc. You can choose which to install with Win7.
  22. I have been running 64 bit Windows 7 for a month now. It works flawlessly. I am a gamer and I couldn't b happier. Driver support for 64 bit is much better now than even 32 bit was a few years ago for Vista. 64 bit is here to stay and Windows 7 will be around for a few more years while memory for desktops and laptops gets cheaper. My HP HDX 16 can hold at least 8 GB of ram so that is why I am going to 64 bit. In other words if your computer is capable of adding more than 4 GB of ram in the future then you should install Windows 7 64 bit now rather than later.
  23. I only use embroidery software and do some accounts work, I never have a capacity problem as I have a couple of external hardrives I save onto. When there is an upgrade we always have problems with the embroidery software company issuing new updates to enable us to continue with that version. I never play computer games, if I upgraded to Windows 7 and 64 bit I would probably have to buy all new software which would be phenomenal cost.
    What's the answer in this case
  24. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,026   +221

    Very good! Compatibility extends to both SOFTWARE and hardware issues -- look before you leap!

    fyi: here's the compatibility info


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