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Windows 7: Should a 4gb (max ram) laptop run on a 32 bit or 64 bit OS

19 Aug 2011   #1
lfk

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Should a 4gb (max ram) laptop run on a 32 bit or 64 bit OS

I recently purchased a laptop that has a MAX of 4gb of ram that came programmed with Windows 7 professional 64 bit. I understand that a 64 bit OS needs a minimum of 4gb and because I cannot increase the amount of ram, would running a 64 bit OS slow down my computer if I ran many programs (5+) at once ? Would running it on a 32 bit version be better in the long run ( I will probably use this laptop for 3-5 years).

My question is should I have it changed to a 32 bit version of Windows 7? Why or why not? What are the pros and cons of running the computer on a 32 bit and 64 bit? Would it make a difference in speed etc.? Which OS would be the most beneficial for running many programs? Why?

Thanks


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19 Aug 2011   #2
smarteyeball

 
 

Long run? x64 all the way.

x64 is becoming the new standard. You wont lose performance installing x64 with the added advantage of the extra RAM being utilized.
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19 Aug 2011   #3
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

In the long run, x64 is what your system would benefit from. It will allow your system to utilise all of your RAM. You would also notice a considerable increase in speed and performance if you do things like video editing. For the pros and cons, take a look at the points in the thread below.

http://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...omparison.html
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19 Aug 2011   #4
vaidas3

Windows 7 pro 64bit. (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lfk View Post
I recently purchased a laptop that has a MAX of 4gb of ram that came programmed with Windows 7 professional 64 bit. I understand that a 64 bit OS needs a minimum of 4gb and because I cannot increase the amount of ram, would running a 64 bit OS slow down my computer if I ran many programs (5+) at once ? Would running it on a 32 bit version be better in the long run ( I will probably use this laptop for 3-5 years).

My question is should I have it changed to a 32 bit version of Windows 7? Why or why not? What are the pros and cons of running the computer on a 32 bit and 64 bit? Would it make a difference in speed etc.? Which OS would be the most beneficial for running many programs? Why?

Thanks
It's difficult to say with only 4GB RAM. minimum for windows 7 64bit is 2GB that is 1GB more than 32bit, because 64bit OS uses more RAM than 32bit.
With 32bit you will get around 3.5GB (other ~0.5GB is reserved for other memory like vram etc) out of 4GB. 64Bit will be able to use all of 4GB RAM. because 64bit OS uses more ram difference is almost nothing.
If you have 64bit OS now running fine and all your drivers and sowftware works fine there is no need to change to 32bit and in future 64bit support will get even better as more and more 64bit programs comes out..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #5
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

To answer you questions

1. The 32 bit win 7 will not be able to use all 4GB. It will only use about 3GB
2. The 64 bit version will run pretty well on 2GB unless you do a lot of heavy processing.
3. To future proof your OS go for 64 bit unless you have any software with won't run on 64 bit. Nearly all 32bit apps will run quite happily.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #6
Zomby88

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Who told you it needs 4 gigs ? It will run with 1, 2. or 3 !! Your motherboard only supports so much memory wether it`s 32 or 64 bit. If your laptop came with 64 bit leave it alone. Find the maximum amount of memory your board supports and install it. 4 gigs is plenty enuf for a laptop.
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19 Aug 2011   #7
Chilidawg

windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 

My new laptop shipped with the 64 bit version of Windows 7 and 4 gigs of RAM. I opted to add another module for a total of 8 gigs.

Truthfully, I'm not a real power user. No heavy video editing. It ran well with 4 gigs, and I didn't notice any improvement after the upgrade.
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19 Aug 2011   #8
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chilidawg View Post
My new laptop shipped with the 64 bit version of Windows 7 and 4 gigs of RAM. I opted to add another module for a total of 8 gigs.

Truthfully, I'm not a real power user. No heavy video editing. It ran well with 4 gigs, and I didn't notice any improvement after the upgrade.
Unfortunately, you wouldn't. Gaming computers tend to have around 12GB of RAM but the most RAM games will ever use is 1GB and even then, there's probably something faulty within the game.

To tell you the truth, I've never actually seen any program or system for that matter that needs 12GB RAM. Sure, if you're planning on playing Crysis 2, The Witcher 2, Dirt 3, have a hundred tabs on Firefox open which are all playing flash games and watching YouTube videos, video editing, watching movies, talking on Skype and using Photoshop you might want to think about getting a RAM upgrade. But no one in their right mind will do anything is crazy as that.
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19 Aug 2011   #9
seth500

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

4gb even video editing is enough I have never used over 4gb of memory for editing and never have had any problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #10
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The only need that I have had for more than 4GB of RAM on a desktop computer is to run Virtual Machines.

For a couple of desktop class machines at work that function as workstations, we run 8GB of RAM to run multiple SQL Databases.
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