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Windows 7: Potential Windows 7 Build Information

21 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Potential Windows 7 Build Information

Hi all. I am new to this site, as I am looking to build a new system from scratch. I have built quite a few systems in the past, and all have performed flawlessly (using Windows XP). Recently, my 5 year old system motherboard crashed (no hope to salvage it), so I decided to build myself a new system from scratch. I have ordered all the pieces, and will be receiving them this week to physically build my system (which is easy enough in general), but the real question is "What operating system should I use with this new system". My new system specs will be as follows:

*Case – Rosewill Blackbone
*PSU – Rosewill RFA-120 700W (was combo deal with case)
*Mobo - ASUS M4A79XTD EVO 790X
*CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2G
*Heat Sink - CoolerMaster N520-GP
*RAM - Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333
*Graphics - PNY - GeForce 210 1GB DDR2 PCIe 2 (wont be doing any gaming or heavy graphics)
*HDD 1 – WD 500GB SATA2 7200 (OS Drive) – This is a brand new drive, never used
*HDD 2 – Seagate 500GB SATA 7200 (Backup)
*HDD 3 – Maxtor 250 GB SATA 7200 (Old WinXP OS Drive)
*Optical - LG 24x DVD-RW SATA (x2)
*2x120mm Case fans for intake (front) & exhaust (rear), 1x80mm side fan (intake)

The system will certainly support a 64-bit OS, but I am concerned with the programs not working in 64-bit. (I did read that 32 bit programs will run on a 64 bit system; is this correct?). If I were going to use 7, it would be the 64-bit Ultimate edition..

Also, not sure if I want to finally upgrade to Windows 7 or stick with WinXP. My laptop and my wife’s PC still have Win XP (not upgrading those anytime soon), and I currently have it set up for home networking, so I am not sure how well all the machines will play with each other. Is this an issue for one machine that runs 7 and other that run XP?

I am interested in the speed of the system/programs and overall stability. 4GB RAM in a WinXP system with a Quad-Core processor will go very fast (compared to my older Single-Core, 2GB RAM system), but Win7 is obviously much beefier and takes a lot more to run it fast. Is the hardware above enough to really make it purr? I will not be doing anything too hardcore with it. No gaming, no heavy graphics work. Basically, its for browsing, Office, and some music and movie burning and a few other minor things, so nothing too intense..

Please let me know if these specs sound like they will really be enough, or if i should possibly upgrade to 8GB RAM (only another $50).

Thanks in advance for any advice..

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Hello there, 1st of all...

What do you need to do in the computer? or let's rearm that question, what are you going to be doing on this PC? (i noticed that you're not a gamer, because of the video card you've picked)

Here you have a comparison chart:

Compare Windows 7 Editions

And here you have the differences between 32 and 64 bit:

Check that chart out, and see which edition fits to your needs.

I'd say Home Premium or Pro (if you are going to use 16GB+) both on 64-bit flavors :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Given what you have said so far, you aren't likely to need more than 4 GB or RAM. Windows 7 is quite efficient in how it allocates RAM usage.

The vast majority of 32 bit programs will run fine on 64 bit--over 95% I'd say. If you have any programs that are particularly old (say more than 5 years) or uncommon, you might want to find out about them for sure. Maybe there are replacement programs that are known to run well on 64 bit or maybe you can get newer versions of the same programs.

It's questionable that you would need Windows 7 Ultimate.

Here is what Ultimate has that is not available in Professional:

BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, MUI language packs, boot from VHD.

Here is what Professional has that is not available in Home Premium:

Domain join, Remote Desktop host, location aware printing, EFS, Mobility Center, Presentation Mode, Offline Folders, Group Policy (GP) controls, advanced backup, XP Mode.

If you don't know what that stuff is, you aren't likely to need it. Windows Home Premium is what most people use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

i know that one of the main differences with 32 v. 64 bit is the amount of RAM it can "use", and this is one of my main reasons for considering the 64-bit edition. (I know there are other differences, but the biggest difference for me would be the usable RAM).

I am basically going to be doing some Photoshop work (not major work, but small things within PS), Movie/Music burning, Office 2010 work, Web browsing, etc. Nothing too intense.

However, I might have a few programs that I use that are not compatible with Windows 7 (scanner software, etc), so they have to run in XP mode, thus it seems that Pro or Ultimate would be my best options for that.. Although, it does seem you can do this with Home Premium as well (?)

I'm going to start out with 4GB RAM, but could easily upgrade to 8GB (again, cheap enough if 4GB is too slow).. is 4GB going to make it really smooth?

It seems to me that maybe Professional would be the best for me.. I would probably use Remote Desktop Host, XP Mode and possibly advanced backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

You are confusing the "XP mode" of Professional with "compatibility mode" of Home Premium.

Windows XP Mode as found in Professional and Ultimate is a downloadable add-on. It has two parts: the virtualization software itself, and a disk image containing a pre-installed, activated, licensed copy of Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 preinstalled.

"Compatibility Mode" is completely different and part of Home Premium. There should be a tutorial on this site for it and there is certainly a lot of information on it at

Such as this:

In all likelihood, "Compatibility Mode" would work for your older programs--if they won't run in standard Windows 7 mode.

"XP Mode" is a much more complex solution.

I don't see any reason for you to go above 4 gigs of RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2011   #6

Windows 7 x64

I have 4GB RAM in my Win 7 Home Premium set up and I've never had any problems (and I do much more on my system than you plan to do with your rig), and never needed more than 4GB.........Considering what you are doing you could get by with 2. If you are dead set on 8GB of RAM (which will be unecesary for what you are running, you will need a 64-bit operating system as 32bit only supports 4GB of RAM)

The difference with Win XP mode in Professional and above is that it actually runs as a virtual system, it does not do this in home premium.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

seems i can get by with 4GB RAM.. and i understand the difference between XP Mode and "XP Compatibility (read a bit more on it). im certainly not dead set on 8GB RAM, i was only mentioning it in case 4GB wasnt fast enough, but it seems from what everyone says, is..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2011   #8

Windows 7 x64

Sounds good =) yeah 4GB of RAM will be perfect for your system. Sounds like win 7 professional might be the way to go then?

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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