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Windows 7: 32 bit vs 64 bit?


07 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
32 bit vs 64 bit?

All other things being equal, which is better , and why?

Thanks so much.
Bill

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07 Feb 2013   #2

Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit), Win 8.1.1 (64-bit)
 
 

64-bit will allow you to address more RAM than 32-bit. That is the essential difference at the moment but going forward, more and more software will be written to take advantage of 64-bit for increased speed and capability of handling larger files.

There isn't really a downside to going 64-bit other than it requires a minimum of 2G of RAM so as long as your processor supports it, go ahead and install 64-bit.
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07 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

What is the realistic amount of RAM usable with 32 bit?
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07 Feb 2013   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Somewhere between 3 GB and 4 GB. Normally, one would install 4 GB to get the maximum usable RAM which will be between 3 GB and 4 GB. A 64 bit system will allow as much RAM as your motherboard will support but 8 GB to 16 GB is what is most commonly installed. Very few users will ever need more than that unless they do extreme multitasking, intensive video editing, or run RAM disks. Unless you have a really old system, there is no point in limiting yourself to 32 bit.
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07 Feb 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The bigger question is...what's your fear of 64 bit, or what is your argument against it? For most people, there's no decision to be made. 64 bit has been the default for me for about 6 years or so now, and I'd expect most to be that or a little less.

For all of Vista's perceived faults, it did usher in the norm of 64 bit on the desktop.
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07 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

There is almost no reason not to go with a 64-bit OS anymore.
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07 Feb 2013   #7

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

I think a reason some stay with 32 bit is to run the old 16 bit programs they are fond of. We have moved along so long that 64 bit is a big improvement and beside using more memory uses more sophistacated programs. We can still use 32 bit programs and there's no sense sticking with 16 bit programs anymore.
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08 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wrenches View Post
I think a reason some stay with 32 bit is to run the old 16 bit programs they are fond of.
If that is an absolute requirement, then you know those old apps have low system requirements...and would run wonderfully in a virtual machine.
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08 Feb 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I'm surprised that Microsoft still distributes a 32-bit version of Windows 7. They won't sell XP any longer, which many people would prefer, but they support a 32-bit version of a current OS.

Why?
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08 Feb 2013   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

For people upgrading to Win 7 on older machines?
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 32 bit vs 64 bit?




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