Should you install Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit?

By Matthew ยท 72 replies
Jun 22, 2011
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  1. davbell22602

    davbell22602 TS Enthusiast Posts: 61

    Why is that? The most ram my PC will hold is 4GB.
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    There is a bug in WEI for Windows 7 you can fix that very easy if you want to know how just contact me and I'll post here how to fix it.

    4GB of RAM suppose to show 3.xGB free not 2.xGB free. If you see this you know you got the bug. Also 2GB of RAM that's it. 3GB of RAM the same. Once you move up to 8GB or higher then you have to make sure the system is showing the correct available RAM free. if it doesn't let me know. 32-bit max is 4GB and 64-bit 192GB on certain versions of Windows 7.

    Windows 7 Home Prem maxes out at 16GB. If you install 32GB or higher you need Windows 7 Ultimate and 64-bit.
  3. T77

    T77 TS Enthusiast Posts: 300   +6

    If I recall correctly, you get both the 32-bit and 64-bit discs in one single package, so you might as well install the 64-bit version and save yourself another fresh install if you go beyond 3gb.:)
  4. Mr Taylor

    Mr Taylor TS Member

    Because 64-bit Operarting System require minimum 4 GB Ram to take the full advantage of 64-bit architecture.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    64 can address more memory. If you aren't working with 16bit software from the 90s or using a printer from that era, then there is no reason to avoid a 64 bit version of Windows/
  6. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    64-bit processes can use more memory per process than 32-bit processes.

    Also 32-bit processes can, via a boot option, be allowed to address more memory under 64-bit Windows via enabling the large address aware (LAA) flag in Windows boot as well as marking the binary you are running as capable of LAA. This will allow a 32-bit process to use 3GB private memory rather than 2GB.

    The tradeoff is kernel and shared memory space is reduced and can theoretically cause problems/crashes if your app needs that kernel/shared memory (rare but possible - obviously a risk as they allocated a lot in the first place!).
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Well 64-bit can use more memory but, MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit can only access up to 16 GB. Where has the Pro, Enterprise and Ultimate 64-bit can handle up to 192 GB of RAM.

    Look at it this way...

    Windows 7 32-bit
    32 pipe tubes open to access a flow of water to be stream into those 32 pipes.

    Windows 7 64-bit
    32 pipe tubes + 32 pipe tubes into 64 pipe tubes open double the access level water flowing into 32 additional pipes.

    The point is that other software vendors never gave use access to 64-bit applications. We're still using 32-bit here.
    Browsers are all still 32-bit and some have limited support for 64-bit
    Adobe Flash/Shocware they're still 32-bit and not 64-bit
    It's a mess to really get into why they are not giving us true 64-bit and yet most like me have 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB Memory System.

    Right now I am on Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate SP1
    4 GB Max on this ACER/GATEWAY NV53

    WEI = 5.9
    Installed memory (RAM) 4 GB and 3.78 GB usable))

    Now under 32-bit Chrome Browser only 1.87 GB of that 3.78 GB is being use.
    I also use this laptop as HDTV DVR 24/7 once the 4x Network HDTV Tuners are triggered and the external USB2.0 500 GB or 1 TB portable attacked for store is use. Things can really slow down on 4 GB system. Another system with 8 GB and 7.xx usable that can do more than this system again the extra RAM comes into play. Both are setup the same way. The only differences are newer MOBO (motherboard) but can be upgraded.

    So again having the OS run in native 64-bit instead of native 32-bit there is huge difference. But like I had said if there is no software vendor creating 64-bit native applications to use the extra 32-bit then using just 64-bit going to be not where it could be.

    Windows 9 or 10 were suppose to be 128-bit and were not even using 64-bit 100% in applications yet. How are we suppose to be using 128-bit and then later 256-bit.

    Maybe one day..
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    And on that note, captaincranky facepalms, then puts his computer to sleep.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Bravo. The reality is quite different than all the hype, isn't it!

    Along this same line of reasoning, few understand how 64bit systems differ from 32bit.
    (I'll give you a hint), Were it not for the bloated MS software, then only scientific programs would ever need 64bit memory access.)
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    On the flip side, bloated M$ software may hasten the necessity for 128 bit OS....:p
  11. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Or large games with massive textures, large video editing projects, large databases, large (perhaps bloated) applications from other vendors.

    Another issue is memory space fragmentation. 32-bit memory space is very easy to fragment until you cannot allocate without using anywhere near the max process memory. Something this is an issue in is for applications manipulating fairly large amounts of data as well as having very large uptimes. In fact you don't even need very large sets of data. If you don't, you just need more uptime.

    It's not as simple as saying "it's all hype" without understanding the pros and cons of a 64-bit environment and supporting it. Unfortunately Microsoft have been counter-productive in 64-bit adoption because the toolset for 64-bit development is inferior to 32-bit.
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    We all got in this 64-bit idea, which look good but now it's like 32-bit horse power is what you'll have to deal with even on 64-bit. I started using 32 GB DDR 1600 XMP then had to take out 16 GB to make 7 run smooth. Not much apps using all those Gigabits plus Windows 7 was only using 3 GB. Now with 16 GB about 12 GB free.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Wirth's Law: Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    Then there's the "Best Buy Rule", which is, "as software becomes progressively slower, it also becomes progressively more expensive and heavily laden with DRM".

    Oh, and before I forget, the GUIs become progressively uglier as C average, college dropout, Visual C++ programmers, learn it is equally simple to fail in the graphic arts arena.
  15. scanningireland

    scanningireland TS Rookie

    It depends on your hardware.If you have older hardware 32 bit is fine.But if you want to run more demanding applications with new hardwares then 64 bit is better.
    amandatr04 likes this.
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    We are using much higher level software nowadays too. You lose the efficiency of micro-tuned code (pedantically designed assembly is unbeatable but takes forever to complete relatively speaking) but gain massively in productivity.
  17. amandatr04

    amandatr04 TS Rookie

    It depends completely on your system configuration. If you have low configuration then 32-bit is fine. High end PC's should get 64-bit version. 64-bit computer can handle more memory than a 32-bit computer.
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    If the CPU is 32-bit then you have to use 32-bit OS. If the CPU is 32/64-bit then you can use either one but I would still install the 64-bit OS for now. Even though it's 64-bit OS it still can run 32-bit code software.
  19. feemally2

    feemally2 TS Rookie

    I still don't understand why we use these both bit. some time software are not install because that not match the windows bit. Why it is happened?
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    Software is just as likely to not work with the wrong version of Windows, as it is with software of different bit structure.

    When a 64 bit version on windows is on a computer, and a 32 bit software is installed, it is filed in an "x86" folder, and Windows runs, "Windows on Windows", (32 bit on top of 64 bit), when it is launched.

    Keep in mind that performance was generally regarded as poor, with 64 bit versions of XP.

    Windows 7 is reliable in 64 bit versions, and it is capable of running either 32 bit or 64 bit software equally well, as long as the software is designed for Windows 7
  21. riyan harris

    riyan harris TS Rookie

    It depends on your system type.The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer's processor (also called a CPU), handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system.
  22. sadman3

    sadman3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 126

    Thanks a lot for the information guys. I was just deliberating on which to install until I came across this thread. I use my PC for online gaming through vpn. Most of the games recommend 64 bits on windows 7
  23. sadman3

    sadman3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 126

    Better have the 64-bit when it has the same price. Why choose the lower one on this case? Lets be practical now a days.

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