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Windows 7: Which Windows 7 Is Right for You — 32-Bit or 64-Bit?

30 Oct 2009   #1
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 
Which Windows 7 Is Right for You — 32-Bit or 64-Bit?

Quote:
Which Windows 7 Is Right for You — 32-Bit or 64-Bit?

Before choosing the right version of Windows 7, one must consider a number of factors. Here's how to get the version you really need.

Randall C. Kennedy, InfoWorld
Oct 30, 2009 5:37 pm





For most would-be Windows 7 users, a 64-bit version of Windows 7 is the right move. But if you don't have sufficient RAM (at least 4GB), or you rely on devices that don't have supporting 64-bit drivers, or you need to upgrade an existing 32-bit installation, 32-bit Windows 7 might be the better choice. A few editions of 64-bit Windows 7 provide a Windows XP Mode that solves some backward-compatibility problems, but it isn't a universal panacea. In speedy Q&A format, here's just what you need to know.

Q. Is my PC supported under 64-bit Windows 7?
A. Most PCs manufactured in the past three years (i.e. after Vista's debut) are capable of running 64-bit Windows 7. The exceptions are those that ship with low-end CPUs that don't support the AMD or Intel 64-bit extensions. Examples include Intel's Atom line of low-powered CPUs and early Intel Core CPUs, like the Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo). If you're not sure what kind of CPU is in your system, or whether the CPU supports 64-bit operation, you can use the free Intel Processor Identification Utility to find out.
More at: Which Windows 7 Is Right for You ? 32-Bit or 64-Bit? - PC World


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31 Oct 2009   #2
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there

I'd question the 4GB RAM minimum requirement bit -- even with 2GB RAM the 64 bit version is probably the better choice.

W7 x-64 runs quite nicely on a 2GB machine and photoshop x-64 runs fine also (better than the 32 bit version).

It's a technical explanation beyond the scope of this post but running a 32 bit OS on a native 64 bit CPU DOES involve quite a bit of instruction fiddling etc etc.

It gets very techhnical and mathematical but really unless you HAVE to run the 32 bit version I'd ALWAYS go for the 64 bit OS -- and if you can upgrade the memory (it's cheap) then do it.

Most 32 bit apps will run anyway in a virtual machine so there really isn't any reason NOT to install the 64 bit OS except in very special cases where you need the application to interact with the hardware directly.

Cheers
jimbo
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31 Oct 2009   #3
TheSchaft

Windows 7 x64 HP, Windows 7 HP, Windows 7 Ult
 
 

Interesting.

Here in the US, at least what I have seen - the Windows distributions from BestBuy, etc. - come with two DVDs, the 64 and 32 distros, in the box for ~ $109.00.

A neighbor got the Upgrade distro and found problems with one specific program, a court steno thing that uses a USB dongel to authenticate the app - an example of a hardware interaction dependency. We tried it first with the 64 bit DVD, but no joy. The 64 bit drivers would have cost $850.00, so we loaded in the 32 bit DVD and away it goes.
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31 Oct 2009   #4
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Too bad that one app prevents people from moving on to 64 bit Windows. That's how it goes.

I'm glad I went 64 18 months ago. I have not seen many programs that will not run for me.
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31 Oct 2009   #5
HerrKaLeun

W7 Pro 64
 
 

It is sad that some software or hardware manufacturers don't support 64 bit. I recently bought an energy simulation. One of the good software to chose from clearly stated "32-bit only". Well, I have 64 it at home, 32 bit at work. but purchasing a software for $ 2000 with annual upgrades (that you really need) and not being future-proof jsut made me rule that software out entiirely. That just is a trick to sell you later the 64-bit version again. There is not rechnicla reason for 32-bit only (other simulation software use the same simulation engine EnergyPlus and run well under 64-bit)
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31 Oct 2009   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Some manufacturers don't support 64bit? Try just about evey ISP! When the 7 betas were first out there were no XP 64bit drivers even for the old dsl adapter! Once making the change to a different ISP the modem the ISP provided still saw only 32bit 2000, XP support only! GGrrrr....

Fortunately you have the option of "Buying Your Own" amd using that instead otherwise be stuck not being able to get online in the 64bit Windows! The 64bit 7 is now however!

As for how much memory 4gb is the recommended minimum even while the 64bit 7 will still run on a 1gb system. The problem there is that the 64bit method sees more data placed in the active ram and less swapping out to the drive by way of the paging file used for virtual memory making the data processing more efficient.

Where the 32bit Windows may see 512mb taken with an idle clean install with nothing else on the 64bit takes a few hundred more like 750-800mb. Even when running the 32bit XP bringing the amount of memory from 1gb upto 2gb saw a noticable performance gain and a little more stability for that version. When climbing from 2gb upwards there was no large gain however.

Likewise between Vista and now 7 going from 4gb upto 8gb as one person recently remarked seemed to make no difference while the extra ram at 4gb did help for the types of programs being run. Programs like CAD, video capturing, and other things that chew more memory then would take advantage of the extra memory you can use in the 64bit Windows there.

Even if you are not able to locate 64bit drivers for your present hardwares the move upto the 32bit 7 is worh it for most. For many programs however if you look around a bit you can often find a newer version of it that will run on the 64bit Vista and 7.
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02 Nov 2009   #7
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
It's a technical explanation beyond the scope of this post but running a 32 bit OS on a native 64 bit CPU DOES involve quite a bit of instruction fiddling etc etc.
What's a "native 64-bit CPU"?
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02 Nov 2009   #8
chuckr

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
It's a technical explanation beyond the scope of this post but running a 32 bit OS on a native 64 bit CPU DOES involve quite a bit of instruction fiddling etc etc.
What's a "native 64-bit CPU"?
"It's a technical explanation beyond the scope of this post" ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #9
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
It's a technical explanation beyond the scope of this post but running a 32 bit OS on a native 64 bit CPU DOES involve quite a bit of instruction fiddling etc etc.
What's a "native 64-bit CPU"?
"It's a technical explanation beyond the scope of this post" ...
Spoilsport
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Let's see for the typical desktop you won't be seeing any strictly 64bit cpus for the time being. The present cpus available simply support the 64bit OSs as well as the 32bit. What happens when a 128bit OS?(speculative in blogs at this point) comes out where you still only have a 32/64 capable cpu?

For the present time however the ideas addressed here are for finding out what each person should consider when making the upgrade to 7. If 90% of your hardwares and even addon devices see at least Vista 64bit support available and your system has at least 2gb of memory along the 64bit Windows may just work out well.

Softwares as well as hardwares can also play a role when making the decision. The 32bit 7 was found to have a great deal of backward compatibility for older programs that simply won't run on the 64bit 7. For many that is a factor to look at as well.
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 Which Windows 7 Is Right for You — 32-Bit or 64-Bit?




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