32 to 64
I have a 32 bit vista and an upgrade disk to windows 7. If i upgrade my ram would i be able to install the 64 bit upgrade? and would it be worth it? is 64 bit with 4GB that much better than 32 bit with 3GB?
You can not do an in place upgrade to 64bit from 32bit, it must be a clean install. But yes you can use an upgrade disk to do a clean install, that is format the drive and install windows 7 fresh.
64bit will allow full use of 4gb's of ram, you will notice only about 3.2 gb's show up under 32bit windows, keep in mind that my computer properties will show 4gb's is installed, but its not all usable by the system.
Is it worth it? A better question would be why not? Check all devices for 64bit drivers. Only thing I ran into not working was one of those usb to serial cables. Everything else worked great, been using 64bit windows for a few years now.
As cranbers has stated, you cannot do an in-place install however you can do a clean install with the upgrade disks.
Assuming you already used Windows 7 Upgrade adviser to check for compatibility problems then:
The minimum RAM required to install Windows 7 64 bit is 2 Gbs.
Now as for the question of upgrading ram, that depends on your use. As for "why not?", waste of money if you dont need the ram.
If you have 2 gbs of ram already I recommend you stick with that for now, if you have less then 2GB then yes you need to upgrade to 2 Gbs to even be able to install W7.. If you find need more once you use windows 7 64 bit version, then get another 2 gbs~ if you can. The reason you may need more ram while using the same thing as before is that any program running under 64 bit programming will require a bit more ram then the 32 bit version.
any program, driver ect. will run perfectly fine on Windows 7
as for XP programs... you'll have to check the developers web site for information. Most will run fine, and if they don't you can run in computability mode.
If you fork over the extra cash for Windows Ultimate 7, you can run a virtual OS of windows XP.
Windows 7 Professional also has XP mode, and it's cheaper then Ultimate.
As for programs in Vista, they should be fine if there's any problems run them in Compatibility mode. As for XP, give them a try if not try compatibility mode. If still that doesnt work, your going to need a dual boot XP or XP mode.
arges is right for the most part, 4-6 gbs of ram is all you really need if your an above average user. However you can get more even if you dont need it to have a more future proof system.
8Gbs of memory is slowly becoming a standard in desktops (perhaps another year more will do before complete standardation) because of leap in 64 bit technology. As you may not know, 64 bit applications all use vastly more memory than their 32 bit counterparts. This is mostly due to the increase in bits, or coding. I myself saw an increase of 200mbs of memory use from 32 to 64 bit. (883 on 32 bit with Chrome/Antivirus/msn/Zune music player to 1.1 gbs using the same software but 64 bit)
8Gbs of memory is no longer only for the "video/photo" editing but to a home user as well with the implementation of dual and quad core CPUs. Not to mention reduced cost in RAM. Games are using more and more ram than before, and many of them now adays are breaking 2 gbs of RAM for their highest settings. High-definition content (Movies/games/Audio) is also standard in new PCs, this only boosts the RAM usage. More and more software developers are supporting/some becoming exclusive to 64 bit.
Also law of diminishing returns is an economics law not a memory law. Please do not confuse overkill for diminish returns law.