Quote: Originally Posted by Antman
There is no answer to the question as posed. And the basis of the question is flawed.
There is really no starting point from which to address your concerns. There are volumes upon volumes of science to consider, which all illustrate that 64-bit processing is to 32-bit processing as flying is to driving.
You have to abandon your prior concepts regarding memory usage. After a minimum configuration is obtained for a particular system, to include potential application demand, free RAM is wasted RAM. Free RAM is not a goal to be pursued. A 64-bit system utilizes more RAM due to way it handles addressing. But when it handles it, it is substantially more efficient.
One area of FUD against 64-bit Windows is the backward compatibility support. Borderline nonsense - but you will need to understand more about the science than I am will attempt to illuminate here.
The world is moving forward to 64-bit processing not because it is somehow flawed - rather because the forward progression is what it is. An advance.
I'm not sure if I agree with you assumption that the basis for my question is flawed.
Unless I'm missing something, even Microsoft says you need 2GB minimum RAM for x64 and only 1GB minimum RAM for x86. That means, according to Microsoft, x64 uses (reserves?) 1GB more RAM than x86, right off the bat.
If an OS runs out of RAM (I don't care if its 'free' or previously 'reserved' by the OS for app usage), it starts to page out memory to the hard drive, and swaps back and forth, as apps are brought into the foreground and/or moved into the background. I'm assuming this is still the case with x64 OS; if not, then please let me know.
So, if you need 1GB RAM for x86 and 2GB RAM for x64, and if I have a hard cap of 4GB RAM total on the system I want to run Windows on, in theory I'd rather use x86 and have ~2.5GB of RAM left off for apps, vs. x64 and have allot less RAM left off for applications. If my hardcap max was > 4GB, then yeah, x64 all the way.
I'm trying to make an intelligent decision on how much free RAM I'll have left to run applications, after the OS is done starting up, before the OS starts to page memory to the hard drive. What's the 'sweet' spot in max ram capability where one would be better off using x86 vs x64?
If this question is a "flawed" one to ask, then why the minimum memory discrepancy stated by Microsoft?
For what its worth, I'm not trying to argue. Believe me, I WANT to move to x64, but I won't bother doing it on a PC that can't have enough RAM for the OS to run without performance hits from paging memory to the hard drive. That is what I'm trying to determine, and was hoping those who are knowledgeable here will know the 'overhead' that x64 Windows 7 has (vs. x86).