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Windows 7: 32 bit vs 64 bit Comparison

05 Jul 2010   #41
JonM33

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

You should mention (as a "Pro") better security for a 64-bit OS.

Reasons? A 32-bit virus cannot infect 64-bit system files or 64-bit processes. It doesn't make you completely immune from viruses/malware but it is a LOT better than 32-bit Windows in regards to security. See link below for some proof.

http://www.windowsecurity.com/articl...re-Secure.html


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05 Jul 2010   #42
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Hmm, that article is somewhat misleading, JohM33...

  1. There are more than 2 64bit processors. Some are: IBM's POWER architecture, SUN's Niagara architecture, DEC's Alpha, IBM's Cell (it's one little devil that's more of a "fusion" of General purpose cores accompanied by Special function cores, all 64bit), and many others...
  2. x86-64 extension doesn't include encryption acceleration. Encryption acceleration is independent of the ISA extension. Core i7 have AES NI encryption acceleration, it will accelerate any AES encryption that invokes proper compiler flag.
  3. Processes that uses WoW will run as if it's running natively, so a malware running in WoW might infect a 64 system regardless of the "bitness". Maybe it can't write to a 64 bit process's memory space, but it can still access a whole lot more of devices, say it can write it self to disk, and modify startup parameters so that it automatically ran at startup, etc...
But overall what she said is true, 64bit is safer than 32bit. Windows 64bit kernel accompanied with patch guard, etc... Accompanied by correct processor, it is safer...

zzz2496
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05 Jul 2010   #43
JonM33

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
Processes that uses WoW will run as if it's running natively, so a malware running in WoW might infect a 64 system regardless of the "bitness". Maybe it can't write to a 64 bit process's memory space, but it can still access a whole lot more of devices, say it can write it self to disk, and modify startup parameters so that it automatically ran at startup, etc...
I didn't say that it couldn't infect a 64-bit OS or even more so if you are running 32-bit applications (such as MS Office, a web browser, etc) which in fact are vulnerable. But a 32-bit virus/malware cannot infect 64-bit processes nor system files.

It is improved security, not complete.
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06 Jul 2010   #44
Topi

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Great article Lordbob75!

I have been using Windows Vista 32 bit & 64 bit and Windows 7 64 bit, I have never had any kind of problems using 64 bit system, except once and that was my own fault
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06 Jul 2010   #45
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Topi View Post
Great article Lordbob75!

I have been using Windows Vista 32 bit & 64 bit and Windows 7 64 bit, I have never had any kind of problems using 64 bit system, except once and that was my own fault
Thanks!

~Lordbob
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07 Jul 2010   #46
esha

Win 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks for all that info

Can I ask for some clarification please?

On my 64bit system, several programs installed themselves into a folder called Program Files (x86). Is it safe to assume that those are 32bit programs? I guess that 64bit software would get installed into the main location.

Now, according to all those explanations, those 32bit programs shouldn't be any faster because they are still 32bit and can only use 2GB RAM, even if I have 6GB in my PC - is that correct?
But some of these programs are definitely faster, especially when handling large amounts of data (which I think is due to the additional RAM). As you said, I shouldn't notice much difference, but I do! Why can that be?
(Mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm glad that they are faster now )
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07 Jul 2010   #47
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by esha View Post
Thanks for all that info

Can I ask for some clarification please?

On my 64bit system, several programs installed themselves into a folder called Program Files (x86). Is it safe to assume that those are 32bit programs? I guess that 64bit software would get installed into the main location.
No problem.
Yes, those are x32 programs.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by esha View Post
Now, according to all those explanations, those 32bit programs shouldn't be any faster because they are still 32bit and can only use 2GB RAM, even if I have 6GB in my PC - is that correct?
But some of these programs are definitely faster, especially when handling large amounts of data (which I think is due to the additional RAM). As you said, I shouldn't notice much difference, but I do! Why can that be?
(Mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm glad that they are faster now )
I would guess this is because your system as a whole has more RAM to share out to more programs. This means that each program can have the full 2Gbs.

Hope that helps.

~Lordbob
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08 Jul 2010   #48
PhreePhly

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

One thning you should mention, although not something one would see too often, is that Win x64 will not run 16-bit applications. This is not an OS issue, but a CPU issue. You can get around this by installing XP-mode (Virtual machine).

This is an issue in the enterprise, because there are 16-bit (usually VB6 or earlier) programs written by system admins to perform simple operations like log file parsing or applying settings to system registries. I have actually run into a few of these and the only way I could continue to use my x64 OS on the network was to re-write the apps.

As of Server 2008 R2, the Windows Server architecture is 64-bit only, but Server 2003 and Server 2008 were available in 32-bit.

PhreePhly
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08 Jul 2010   #49
Hipster Doofus

Windows 7 Pro x64 -- PCLinuxOS KDE4 FullMonty 2011
 
 

Great read. Thanks. Cleared a cloudy point.
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09 Jul 2010   #50
Vratar

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Integrated Graphics and 4GB limit?

Hello,

Thanks for the great thread! I bought my Win 7 back in November '09 -- the 32-bit version (unfortunately), since my old machine only had 1.5GB RAM in it, and couldn't go beyond 2GB. Now I am about to upgrade my HW to an AMD Phenom II x4 with 4GB RAM. I realize that I will only get just about 3GB usable, and I guess I can live with that.

My question is about the integrated graphics, which I will be using for a while (I'm not much of a gamer...), and how its "shared" memory is allocated. Lets assume I have 3GB of RAM available to Windows. If I allocate 512MB of my system RAM to the graphics, will it come from that 1GB that Windows doesn't "see" (keeping me with the same 3GB usable), or would it come from the usable system RAM, leaving me with only 2.5GB available?

I don't think I'm ready to shell out for a new OS license, so I'm trying to maximize what I've got. Thanks for your help!
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