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X32 or x64

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September 6, 2010 1:23:53 AM

Hey there,

I have a Compaq Presario CQ50-112eo. The processor is 2 GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core Mobile Processor RM-70 (1 MB Level 2 cache), memory is 3072 MB (1 x 1024 MB + 1 x 2048 MB) DDR2, graphics are by NVIDIA GeForce 8200M and 256 out of 1407 MB are dedicated to that. The original OS the laptop came with was Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (32-bit). First of all, I can't figure out if the processor is x64 or x32. Then, if it is a x64 processor, I'm wondering if it's worth switching to Win7 x64 OS. Would there be any significant difference. I am mainly looking for improvement of performance and speed of the computer. Considering the fact that I have 3gb of DDR2 RAM I kind of hesitate to Switch to x64 OS, because I've heard that x64-based OS should only be used on computers with 4 or more GB of RAM. I don't know how true that is, but anyway I am highly interested in my case, and whether or not I should switch to x64 Win7.

Looking forward to some nice and useful comments

Cheers,
Stamen

More about : x32 x64

a c 215 $ Windows 7
September 6, 2010 2:17:44 AM

Yes, the Turion X2 RM-70 is 64 bit capable. I would go 64 bit anyway, as if you want to upgrade the ram up to or higher than 4GB (provided that system can handle more than 4) you leave yourself with that option.

Edit: I found this with a quick Google search. Next time you need specs on a particular processor, I suggest you try Googling the question first.
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September 6, 2010 4:55:51 AM

Alright, I am more interested in getting more view on whether or not my pc would perform better if I started using a x64 OS. That's what I want more opinions on.

I didn't really get what you meant by:

'as if you want to upgrade the ram up to or higher than 4GB (provided that system can handle more than 4) you leave yourself with that option'

Thanks for the response though.

Have a good day!
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
September 6, 2010 5:41:42 AM

32 bit operating systems can only address a maximum of 4GB of ram. even if you use less than that, you can still install and use a 64 bit OS. As for whether it would perform better... no, not really. 64 bit is really about 2 things:

1. A larger memory address space available to the operating system (more than 4GB).
2. A larger memory address space available to applications running within the operating system (again, more than 4GB). Modern applications still don't need that much (I can think of perhaps only a handful that actually do), so this point is much less relevant than the first one above.

Either way, I would go 64 bit. There is no reason not to. The performance of the OS won't be any better than that of it's 32 bit variant, but it will be no worse either - especially with 3GB of ram. Had you been running the computer with only 1GB of ram, my response in this thread would be considerably different. 64 bit versions of Windows 7 are also no more expensive than their 32 bit variants either. Again, no reason not to go 64 bit.
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September 6, 2010 12:43:25 PM

Ditto to the above poster. I'm running my dual core desktop on 64 bit vista business and 3 gb of ram along with a 9600gt and it runs decently. If you go 32 bit, you may limit yourself down the road.
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September 7, 2010 8:41:28 PM

Yeah, but why is that guys? As far as I see, you say there'd be no improvement, but also nothing would go worse either. So in that sense there is basically no difference between using x32 and x64 OS. So I'm not getting this? Give me a reason you'd prefer x64 over x32 in my case. Besides that, some software apps don't have x64 versions. Then again, one could still install and use then even though using x64 OS. But, what I have also experienced before is that some printers, like the ones at the school where I study, don't quite support x64 bit systems. Especially some plotters. The cause might have been different but it might have also been because of the fact x64 OS was used as my friend, who failed printing on those plotters, told me. So, when everything comes to an end, for me it's still quite ambiguous what to do in my case. Give me a good reason why I should switch to x64 OS :) .

PS.

Some time ago I contacted AMD concerning the processor, I'm currently using, and they also said there'd be no improvement in performance if I switched to x64 OS. So, again... I'm looking for a convincing reason to start using x64 OS.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
September 7, 2010 9:00:14 PM

Do you have some piece of hardware that does not have 64 bit driver support? A printer? Scanner? Something else?

Lack of driver support is the only major reason not to move to a 64 bit OS. But then there are no compelling reasons (other than addressing more than 4GB of ram which really only benefits booting up the system, and programs that need to utilize more than 4GB of ram at a time. Photoshop and VMware - and any other virtualization products - come to mind right away.) to move to 64 bit unless you want slightly faster boot times, and use programs like Photoshop or VMware. That being said, I would still do it anyway, unless as stated initially, you have a device attached to the system that provides a critical function you cannot live without.

But eventually it won't matter. Next consumer version of Windows will very likely (yet to be confirmed by Microsoft) be 64 bit only. If a piece of hardware is what's holding you back, you might want to look at a newer device for that function (whether it be a printer or some other device like I mentioned above).
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September 7, 2010 9:21:59 PM

Alright! I get the point. But there's one other thing I've heard but am not sure about. Is it correct that apps use more RAM while run on x64 OS, or while being run in their 64-bit version? Cos if so, then there's a reason for me why not to switch to x64 OS, cos often times I am close to the limit of my 3GB RAM, while using various apps while working. Anyway thanks for the useful information. Things like that should be more widely discussed and more light should be shed on such topics, cos most of the people around me don't know what a x32 and x64 OS or processor is. I guess it is producers' responsibility to make things more clear and known concerning this aspect. But who knows...
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
September 7, 2010 10:38:11 PM

Yes, there is a tiny bit of overhead when running apps inside a 64 bit environment. If you are already using most of the ram in your system (3GB as you mentioned earlier) under a 32 bit OS, that's actually your most compelling reason TO move to x64. As we've already mentioned in this thread, 64 bit operating systems can address more system ram, and since you seem to NEED more ram, you now seem to have a concrete reason to buy some additional RAM, and make the switch to 64 bit Windows.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 8, 2010 6:29:06 AM

stamenvalchev said:
often times I am close to the limit of my 3GB RAM, while using various apps while working

Are you sure that is the case? Windows 7 memory usage is a little confusing. Becasue it will grab spare memory for system caches it can appear to be using more memory than it really does. As soon as an application needs that memory the system will release it. This speeds the system up and makes the most efficient use of your RAM.

Unless you are running a lot of demanding programs at once - running a couple of Virtual Machines, editing huge video clips, that sort of thing - I would very much doubt that you really are maxing out your RAM. You'll know if you are because you'll start to get disk thrashing and the whole system will slow to a crawl.
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September 8, 2010 10:12:32 PM

Concerning ijack's post: you might be right. It's not like I was really, really using all the RAM, but it was close to that.

Concerning The_Prophecy's post:
I wouldn't be making this whole thread if I was considering buying extra RAM memory. Was I to do that, I'd straight away switch to x64. The case is, as mentioned earlier, that I got 3gb of RAM, and so far I've not found/heard/been told a good reason to switch to x64. I already know your and ohiou_grad_06's opinion about the case, but those were just opinions. Didn't get a reason or explanation why actually to switch to x64. So yeah, we'll see about that.

C u around guys! :) 
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
September 8, 2010 11:18:45 PM

If you have 3GB and plan to stay there, the shortest, simplest answer is that there is no overly compelling reason to switch. It's more about preparing to move to 4GB and beyond.

I had simply assumed that that was your plan at some point, but it seems I helped drag this thread on longer than it needed to go. My apologies.
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September 8, 2010 11:45:39 PM

No worries mate. It was still useful to see some other views on the topic.
It totally makes sense to get 1 more gb of RAM, but it also comes down to financial issues... Anyway, I'm wondering how exactly is it with RAM memory. As far as I know, there are 2 slots for the memory, and in my case now, they are currently taken by a 2gb and 1gb chip, or whatever the thing is called. So if I want to have 4gb all in all I need to buy 2 more gb of memory and substitute that with the 1gb (let's call it a chip once again). Or could I just buy an extra memory of 1gb and insert that into my laptop. Not really sure how it works. It might not be the right thread to be asking this now, but could also be useful to get some light shed onto this topic as well.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
September 9, 2010 1:03:30 AM

Most laptops come with 2 ram slots, so you would only need to buy a single 2gb stick as the existing configuration would be a 2gb stick and a 1gb stick as you correctly assumed above.

Buying a 1GB stick would be a waste of money for you.
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August 29, 2011 8:24:00 PM

Best answer selected by stamenvalchev.
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a c 403 $ Windows 7
August 29, 2011 8:24:29 PM

This topic has been closed by Area51reopened
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