We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Windows Help


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Windows 7 32 bit versus 64 bit


Guybrush1

Likes # 0

Hi everybody

I am looking for a bit of advice on the merits of Windows 7 32 bit versus 64 bit.

I have pre-ordered Windows 7 Pro through Amazon and as the disk is going to come with the choice of both 32 and 64 bit versions I was considering taking the plunge and installing the 64 bit version but I have some concerns which i am hoping you guys (and gals) can help me with.

First question is, if I take the plunge and install 64 bit and its a disaster can I change my mind and install the 32 bit version and activate it using the same key again. Or to put it another way can I use both 32 and 64 bit versions with the same key on my machine as many times as I want as long as only one version is activated at any one time?

Next question is as I am an avid gamer what could the downfalls be? Now I'm not bothered about it improving performance in games as I appreciate that just about all modern PC games are programmed in 32 bit and as of yet very few have been "enhanced" to take advantage of a 64 bit enviroment. All I want is for the games to run and be compatible. Will a 64 bit operating system cause huge games incompatibility? Any gamer out there running there games with no probs? Please list successes and games that won't run under Windows 7 64 bit if at all possible.

Lastly I have a resonably up to date system (Though not cutting edge lol) I have 4 gb memory an Intel Quad Core Processor 2.4ghz and a Sparkle Nvidia 9800 GTX+, Realtek High Def Audio (onboard) with two hard drives that total over 800 gb.

How readily available are device drivers and how good is Windows 7 64 with its built in and generic drivers?

I know thats a lot in one go but any advice so I can make an informed decision when the time comes would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance

Guybrush1

P.S. I am running the 32 bit Windows 7 RC evaluation copy and its awesome !! ;-)

Like this post
dth

Likes # 0

Assuming that your hardware will work OK with the 64 bit version - based on Linux experience - you won't really notice that much difference in performance unless doing doing something like video editing (which can be 40% faster) and the like.

Like this post
sonyboy

Likes # 0

For me ...the main benefit will be the RAM addressing issue..It will be a big boost for me to be able to go beyond the 3 Gig threshold that the32bit system does not permit!

Like this post
Pine Man

Likes # 0

'go beyond the 3 Gig threshold that the32bit system does not permit!'

4GB actually;-))

Like this post
bremner

Likes # 0

Technically but not actually

click here

Like this post
Pine Man

Likes # 0

'Technically but not actually'

Not wishing to appear pedantic BUT it's actually 'technically and precisely'.

The maximum that a 32bit system can utilise is exactly 4GB and if you read para 4 in your link it explains nicely how it is all divided up.

Like this post
bremner

Likes # 0

32 bit systems can not utilise 4GB of RAM.

We are talking RAM not addressable space.

"It turns out that these systems have a 4GB address space, which must be used to address physical RAM, as well as other things"

"The first thing that I see on this list is “Graphics card”. Video cards nowadays commonly have one or two hundred MB of RAM on them. That video RAM takes up part of the 4GB address space, which then is not available for your physical RAM"

Obviously have a 512Mb graphics card and your addressable apace is instantly down to 3.5GB.

So technically it can address 4GB but actually a fair bit less.

Like this post
Pine Man

Likes # 0

I think we will have to differ on this issue.

Like this post
Bailey08787

Likes # 0

...whereas you're clearly devoid of humour

Like this post
Teaboy

Likes # 0

With respect to all you knowledgeable geeks.

I suggest that the main advantage of 64bit is the amount of memory it can support. well over 2ooMB' whereas the 32bit has a maximum of just 4MB

Huh!

Like this post
BIG Ben strikes 10 again!

Likes # 0

Ok, let me tell you what I have heard of the situation.

Windows 7 ships with the 32 bit and 64 bit media, the license allows you to activate either of the copies. M$ says you will only be able to activate either the 32 bit or 64 bit. I think you could probably get away with dual booting and activating both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions on the same key, no problem.

Let me clear this up for you also...

Windows XP and Vista 32 bit editions will only USE 3.25gb... There was a patch that was bought out for Vista to show 4GB if you have it, but it will not use it.

My opinion on 64 bit vs 32...

I think it would be wise to make the move over to 64 bit. It seems to pretty stable, more stable than when Windows XP 32 bit or Vista 32 bit was in it's first stages. 32 bit apps seem to run ok within the 64 bit environment and being able to use 8GB of RAM is great!

Hope that helps!

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

Motorola Moto G2 release date, price and specs: Best budget smartphone gets upgrades

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

How to make an 'Apple iWatch' using an iPod nano and a 3D printer