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Windows 7: 32-bit vs. 64-bit: What's the REAL difference?

12 Dec 2009   #1

Windows XP
 
 
32-bit vs. 64-bit: Performance difference?

I've dug around the internet forever trying to hunt down some hard numbers about the performance differences between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, to no avail.

I've never used a 64-bit OS for any of my personal machines, I work in IT and w/o a doubt 64-bit machines run into WAAAAAAY more issues than their 32-bit counterparts. I'm up to 4GBs on the machine I'm building, and not really needing any more at the moment. I am a hardcore gamer, and my must-have programs are Adobe Dreamweaver and Fireworks. I occasionally use Premiere but only for rare hobby stuff.

So I'm debating which version to put on this new machine (specs on profile), and really wish I could see some hard numbers on the difference. If 64-bit isn't going to give me a pretty significant boost w/o a memory upgrade, then I don't feel it's worth the trouble...but I can't find any benchmarks anywhere...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2009   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nmaster64 View Post
I've dug around the internet forever trying to hunt down some hard numbers about the performance differences between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, to no avail.

I've never used a 64-bit OS for any of my personal machines, I work in IT and w/o a doubt 64-bit machines run into WAAAAAAY more issues than their 32-bit counterparts. I'm up to 4GBs on the machine I'm building, and not really needing any more at the moment. I am a hardcore gamer, and my must-have programs are Adobe Dreamweaver and Fireworks. I occasionally use Premiere but only for rare hobby stuff.

So I'm debating which version to put on this new machine (specs on profile), and really wish I could see some hard numbers on the difference. If 64-bit isn't going to give me a pretty significant boost w/o a memory upgrade, then I don't feel
it's worth the trouble...but I can't find any benchmarks anywhere...
Hi and welcome

there are no hard numbers because everyone uses their computer differently. In the apps you mention (without more ram) you wont get more than about 10% increase. Yoour comment about way more issues is absolutely, positively true. I regularly analyze BSOD dmp files and of the last 500, over 400 were 64bit. Issues like memory, poor driver support, and bad hardware.

I was running 64bit (4gigs ram) and wiped it in favor of 32bit.

Its less resource intensive, has a smaller footprint and stabile

Let me know if you need specs.

Ken J++
SMJ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 x64 (SP1)
 
 

It all depends on whether the applications you are using are taking advantage of 64-bit. If not well, there is little that can be done. Also if your hardware is not up to snuff and doesn't have drivers. Newer hardware rarely has that problem, however.

I recommend at least dual-boot for a while, running the 32 and 64 bit versions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2009   #4

Windows XP
 
 

@zigzag3143: Suppose that makes sense, thanks a lot for the reply. Hearing someone else echo my experiences w/ 64-bit issues is exactly what I needed. Think I'll stick to 32-bit at least for another year or two...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #5

windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

1 - can address more than 4 gig of memory.
2 - extra registers available for use in 64bit apps.
3 - much more flexibility in virtual memory management, better caching etc.

so even on a machine with under 4 gig of ram there is improvements. I run x64 on my 3 gig laptop and my 2 gig spare machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

64-bit is to push you to buy all new hardware that works on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nmaster64 View Post
I've dug around the internet forever trying to hunt down some hard numbers about the performance differences between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, to no avail.

So I'm debating which version to put on this new machine (specs on profile), and really wish I could see some hard numbers on the difference. If 64-bit isn't going to give me a pretty significant boost w/o a memory upgrade, then I don't feel it's worth the trouble...but I can't find any benchmarks anywhere...
.
There is one important issue that 64 bit resolves and that is ram lost due to the video adapter. As an IT guy and gamer you know that the ram on video adapters is growing. 512 megs is the minimum for games and budget adapters with 1 gb are not uncommon. On a 32 bit system all that video ram comes right off the top of the first four gigs of address space. When I ran Windows 7 32 bit with 4 gigs of ram I only had 3.25 gb available to the system using a 512 meg video adapter. I switched to Windows 7 64 bit and all 4 gigs became available because the 4 gig address space limit is gone. So, while 64 bit isn't noticeably "faster" it could result in better performance on a 4 gig system depending on how much additional ram becomes available/usable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #8

Windows 7, Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victek View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nmaster64 View Post
I've dug around the internet forever trying to hunt down some hard numbers about the performance differences between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, to no avail.

So I'm debating which version to put on this new machine (specs on profile), and really wish I could see some hard numbers on the difference. If 64-bit isn't going to give me a pretty significant boost w/o a memory upgrade, then I don't feel it's worth the trouble...but I can't find any benchmarks anywhere...
.
There is one important issue that 64 bit resolves and that is ram lost due to the video adapter. As an IT guy and gamer you know that the ram on video adapters is growing. 512 megs is the minimum for games and budget adapters with 1 gb are not uncommon. On a 32 bit system all that video ram comes right off the top of the first four gigs of address space. When I ran Windows 7 32 bit with 4 gigs of ram I only had 3.25 gb available to the system using a 512 meg video adapter. I switched to Windows 7 64 bit and all 4 gigs became available because the 4 gig address space limit is gone. So, while 64 bit isn't noticeably "faster" it could result in better performance on a 4 gig system depending on how much additional ram becomes available/usable.

As this debate has gone on for a while, 4G is the 32bit max and you can actually access it with PAE though others like myself think it's dirty (windows has this set to 4G). That 4G shouldn't be 3.25 in 32bit, it's if you have over 4G that we run into more problems (blame MS). So as an IT you should know that the physical space of 32bit is actually 36, which creates the 4G PAE stuff....

They do have some increase overall with 64bit overall but gernally you need 2G to really see any noticable increase. I don't know where they are, as it's buried in leagues of text... But some guy did a benchmark with 2G and 4G of ram with both 32/64 and posted his results. It was interesting because 64bit seemed to outperform, though it does have it's drawbacks. There are some areas in which 32bit just performs better, probably due to the fact people haven't utilized the code yet.

Now if you think about it, the driverspace and and OS are all in 64bit, with optimizations (depending on the driver lol) and so that should help some of the performance issues, though as stated above you can't notice it too much with 2G. The obvious reasons being that the address space is double.

And so we go back to weather it's faster or not because of "double" size. That would matter entirely if the program was built to utalize the size differences. Such as WinRar is a perfect program for 64bit, but COD4? Not really. All in all we still need to learn how to utalize the code more and then you might really start to see better performance.


See this argument is really retarded as of now, because we can't prove much hard evidence on what is faster for what, because most programs are still only optimized for 32bit, until we see more programs then I would start the thrashing.

[sources]
Operating Systems and PAE Support

So I don't look like a dumbass when I say 32bit really has a physical address space of 36! Also note that MS limits sizes for 32bit versions of the OS.... In reality you CAN use over 4G of memory for 32bit, but they do have a lot of conflicts.

Oh and **** me, fixing my first paragraph now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 32-bit vs. 64-bit: What's the REAL difference?





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