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Windows 7: Installing windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit

16 Nov 2010   #1
littleluis

windows 7 professional
 
 
Installing windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit

My pc computer is a dell xps 400. It will allow 3.5 GB memory ram as usable. I am planning to do a clean install of windows 7, and I know my cpu supports 64-bit. The question is: what do you recommend installing windows 7 32-bit or windows 7 64-bit? Which one will provide better performance considering my hardware limitations? I cannot have more than 4 Gb of ram, and 3.5 gb is going to my limit in reality. Thank you.


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16 Nov 2010   #2
fireberd

Windows 7/10 64 bit
 
 

I thought I answered this (or an exact same) question on the Dell users forum. But, I would suggest 32 bit as Dell supports Vista 32 bit so you should be able to use those drivers for Win 7 32 bit. If you go to 64 bit there are NO Dell device drivers and getting some devices to work may be a problem.

Keep in mind the install sequence (1) Install Windows (2) Install Intel Motherboard Chipset Drivers (3) Install device drivers including video, Dell sound drivers, ethernet, etc. HERE is the Dell Vista 32 bit driver downloads.
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16 Nov 2010   #3
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Like Fireberd, I'm thinking 32 bit would simplify your life.
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16 Nov 2010   #4
gregrocker

 

Agree 32 bit has the least problems and doesn't stress with 4gb of RAM.

The Win7 installer is mostly driver-complete, however, so I wouldn't swap out any drivers unless performance dictates the change. Only import drivers missing in Device Manager after optional Windows Update quickly provides those newer than what are in installer.
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17 Nov 2010   #5
fireberd

Windows 7/10 64 bit
 
 

If the user has the standard Integrated Audio, it requires a Dell driver to work or work correctly. We have found that non-Dell sound drivers, in most cases of these "older" models, does not work. With SigmaTel, Windows will usually install IDT drivers and the newer IDT drivers do not work with the older Dell SigmaTel implementation.

As there are Dell Vista 32 bit drivers it should work OK with Win 7 32 bit. However, with many older Dell's that do not have Vista drivers users are having to install PCI sound cards to get sound in Win 7.
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17 Nov 2010   #6
littleluis

windows 7 professional
 
 

My xps 400 system came with a creative soundblaster PCI card. I do believe that I will find window 7 drivers from creative website. I am just curious... I ran windows 7 advisor in my xps 400 under windows xp operating system, and it said that all my hardware is compatible, and neither any connotation regarding drivers. The only exception is the sound card that it is compatible but I need to get the free drivers provided by the soundcard vendor. I see (fireberd) that I need to get all the 32 bit vista drivers after I install windows 7. I thought that windows 7 install disc will take care of it automatically at the beginning or later once I request for upgrades from win 7. Fireberd, it you are right, then I do not understand the information provided by windows 7 advisor. It is confusing since it never says that I need to get drivers (from vista 32-bit) left and right. I do not get it.
By the way, let's assume for a moment that my hardware and drivers are doing great under windows 7... I would like to know more regarding my initial question (gregrocker said something about it). With 3.5 gb ram usable, what is the best thing to do: installing win 7 32-bit or win 7 64-bit? Thank you.
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17 Nov 2010   #7
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

The 32 bit version has a 4gb ram usage maximum with actual usage somewhat less. 64 bit can support much greater ram quantities. You mentioned the Dell's 4 gig ram limit and this is why we recommend going 32bit install.
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17 Nov 2010   #8
wearetheborg

XP Pro 64 bit
 
 

Is it 3.5 gb usable ram or 3.2 gb?
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17 Nov 2010   #9
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

varies from 3.4 to 3.2
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17 Nov 2010   #10
kodi

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Just to repeat what gregrocker said; Windows 7 will install your drivers you do not have to get Vista drivers.
After you have installed go to your Device manager and see if there are any yellow exclamation marks and if there is post back here and we will find drivers for you.
64 bit is really not an option as you cannot increase the amount of ram to take advantage of 64 bit and you probably have older software that wont work with 64 bit
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 Installing windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit




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