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Vista 64 bit or 32 bit?

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December 8, 2007 3:09:54 AM

Hey guys I'm just about finished building my new computer, and I'm stuck on whether to get Windows Vista 64 bit or 32 bit. Price isn't an issue as I can get both copies for free from my university(one perk of being an engineering student). Now there's something I'm wondering about the 64bit version of Vista, do I need all of my software to support 64bit or will my old 32bit software still work on a Windows Vista 64bit installation? I know that I'll need new drivers but I was wondering if software like Civ4, or Nero etc.. will still work regularly or do I need to hunt down 64bit versions of my software?

Thanks

More about : vista bit bit

December 8, 2007 5:43:06 AM

All drivers must be 64-bit. 32-bit applications and games, however, generally work fine. There may be a few exceptions to that rule, but in most of those cases you can just grab the 64-bit version.
December 8, 2007 1:01:13 PM

I have Vista64 and 4GB and really great! :)  The future is 64 and more than 3GB of RAM. Also, SP1 is just around the corner (I installed the RC1 last night).

If you really having a specific problem and need XP, you can buy or reuse a small HD and have dual boot controlled by BIOS. This is what I do and my 2nd HD is Server 2003 for development. Work great!

So, why don't you go 64, install mainly used programs, do some testing and see if you should go back to 32bits?
Related resources
December 8, 2007 4:41:25 PM

I think 64bit is the way to go... and as you said LoneEagle I can always go back to 32bit if it's not compatible with some of my software, plus this leaves me open to having 4 gigs of memory in the near future. Thanks for the help.
December 8, 2007 4:58:18 PM

Glad I could help you. It been nearly a year since introduction of Vista. Software and drivers will all be 64bits in a near future. I don't think the next version of Windows to have 32 and 64bits version. It's will be probably only 64bits.
December 13, 2007 10:34:40 PM

How do 32 bit and 64 bit Vista differ as far as performance goes?
December 14, 2007 11:25:53 AM

fordy9 said:
How do 32 bit and 64 bit Vista differ as far as performance goes?

The main reason was restriction to the amount of memory accessible. 32 bits only have a maximum of 4GB. There won't be really a huge difference in performance.

Anyway, the future is 64bits for sure. It like regular TV vs HDTV, we can't avoid it! :) 
December 23, 2007 1:47:30 PM

I don't think you can watch Flash content yet on 64 until Adobe brings out the 64 bit drivers or whatever. Microsoft won't be in a hurry to help either because their Silverlight competes directly with Flash.
December 23, 2007 1:52:08 PM

a_dude said:
I don't think you can watch Flash content yet on 64 until Adobe brings out the 64 bit drivers or whatever. Microsoft won't be in a hurry to help either because their Silverlight competes directly with Flash.

Yes you can, but you must first do some tricks! :) 
http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2153/vista_adobe_flash_p...
December 24, 2007 4:36:20 AM

Cheers. I'll try that soon..
December 24, 2007 5:02:40 AM

Something to keep in mind is that if you get the 64-bit version and aren't really happy, like it doesn't work with all your programs. You can send for the 32-bit disc from MS for a small fee. Like shipping costs or something.

I bought the 64-bit knowing I had that option. Never needed to use it though.

Heres a link http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1033/ordermedia/d...
December 30, 2007 7:16:55 AM

i've not having any trouble with flash at all with V 64 Ult. (at least, not on my own web site which has flash vids, or with xtube).
January 2, 2008 9:05:51 PM

I have read all the replys in this thread and as far as I can tell the only real cons to 64 bit vista is the drivers all need to be updated and a limitation for RAM. Is there any more Pros or Cons to 64 bit vs 32 bit??? I am trying to decide between 64 and 32 also.
January 2, 2008 9:56:45 PM

I would give a try to Vista 64 before saying that I might have a driver's problem or whatever. It's been a year now and SP1 is now available has a beta to general public and the final version should be here soon.

You install it, update it to the latest, install your other applications, use it for a week and see by yourself. If everything is fine like me, why would you go back to 32?

It's up to you! :) 
January 3, 2008 5:31:30 AM

Because not enough applications run in 64-bit Vista. This has been going on like forever. There's even a list someone made up and posted here. It might not be up to date but I doubt it's changed that much.

If you want to be able to use any application and program, 32-bit is still the version to get, I think.
January 3, 2008 8:56:46 AM

Not enough applications run??. I guess that'd be correct if you included all the old 16 bit crap, old old games, and software that's a couple versions behind..

I actually *have* the OS, and it's run everything I've put on it.
January 3, 2008 2:08:13 PM

Many of us are running Vista 64 and really like it. You might hit the odd app here or there that won't run but it's pretty rare at this point. If you have any older, less mainstream apps you need to run simply check them out ahead of time. Vista 64 rocks pretty well.
January 3, 2008 2:45:38 PM

Quote:
Is there any more Pros or Cons to 64 bit vs 32 bit??? I am trying to decide between 64 and 32 also.

You shouldn't have any problems with 64-bit as long as your hardware is fairly new. Even the older stuff is getting more support. (When I say older, I mean 3 or more years) The cons mentioned here are valid, some drivers issues, some software issues. For most, these wont be a problem. The PROS... are still yet to come. Its more of a move to be future proof. That is, until they actually start making 64-bit apps. Then you will know for sure if it is a good move. Which I'm sure it will be. It will be another 2-3 years before the majority of apps offer a 64-bit version.

The real issue to consider (which I'm sure you have) is whether VISTA is right for you. In that case: It depends on what you use your computer for. If you use any special software for work you need to check with the manufacturer to make sure Vista is supported. Photoshop is not supported, for example. The Gimp is a good FREE Photoshop alternative for those not in the professional arena.

Games would be the other thing to consider. If you play some really old game religiously then you would also want to check for support. The oldest game I play is Quake 3 and it runs fine. (cira 1998?)

I'm happy I made the 64-bit plunge. Now I wait to reap the benefits.....*crickets*
January 3, 2008 3:20:33 PM

Quote:
Photoshop is not supported, for example.


CS3 installed and runs fine on my Vista 64. Now I have never checked to see if they 'officially support it' neither am I a regular user of PS. Do you have any more info on this? I guess there may be a few bugs yet on some systems and Adobe will not guarantee you will get it working. Is that the idea?

Don't forget the RAM benefit. You can actually get your full 4 gig or more used on a 64 bit OS.
January 3, 2008 5:34:40 PM

http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2007/03/2...

I was under certain understandings given a bit of research. If the support for PS has changed since I did my research I apologize for spreading old info. I was under the impression that Adobe was anti-vista and were going to try to make it hard for the new OS. I guess more people adopted it than they thought and were forced to support it in the face of losing revenue. The linked PDF in the article seems to be a revision of their earlier stance on the OS.
January 4, 2008 3:37:21 AM

So, is there an updated list? Does Flash Player and other common 32-bit programs (for e.g., Firefox) run properly in 64-bit Vista?

I was considering a Windows OS to learn from for future/potential employment (if I can get it). I read that only a small percentage of businesses were going to upgrade or use Vista. So, other than the fact it is newer and will have more support, what are other reasons to get it?

I think XP is still a safe choice and since Vista failed so badly, many people want to stay with XP and therefore, XP has received a longer 'shelf life.'

There is no shortage of websites regarding the problems with Vista. Vista depends on service packs or it will remain 'sick.'

January 4, 2008 8:45:32 AM

32 bit Firefox and Thunderbird run perfectly fine. As does every other 32 bit application I've installed - Oblivion, NWN1, NWN2, Bioshock, The Witcher, WoW, Nero 8, Napster, Adobe Reader, blah blah blah....
Flash hasn't created a 64 bit version of their player. But 32 bit Firefox/Opera/IE will all run Flash on 64 bit Vista.

And Vista isn't "failing" - It's fine. It works, and does what it's supposed to. It didn't instantly take over the world, sure. It's adoption is slower than M$$$FT would like, sure. But it works fine.
January 5, 2008 3:07:43 AM

Does Vista need disk defragmenting as often as XP and 2000?

I believe that the cons/flaws with Vista regard mostly drivers and some issues that will need service pack fixes. I still think a major flaw with it is needing the faster, more advanced hardware. But, I digress.

I am mostly interested for business reasons as I am considering studying/learning (on my own and possibly, courses) Windows and other OS/networking. If I had XP and then got Vista, I wonder if it matters which computer I use for each. Can Vista work on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ system? I will have an Intel Quad Core system, too. Maybe Vista would be better on that? The other thing to note is that it would be OEM whether it's XP or Vista. Which version of Vista is good for networking? Can I get by with Basic? I just need the OS to learn networking and run programs/hardware that 'needs' Windows.
January 5, 2008 6:52:07 PM

If you're going to take classes/go to school to learn, then you should install and use whatever operating system the course is taught on. I know that's kind of a "non-answer", but it's the truth.
January 6, 2008 10:31:47 AM

It would be to obtain designation or certification. I am not sure yet which operating systems are taught, maybe both? I think I will consider an OEM version of Vista Premium just so I can become familiar with it. I'll probably have XP retail as well.
January 7, 2008 2:03:14 AM

LoneEagle said:
The main reason was restriction to the amount of memory accessible. 32 bits only have a maximum of 4GB. There won't be really a huge difference in performance.

Anyway, the future is 64bits for sure. It like regular TV vs HDTV, we can't avoid it! :) 


I do not mean to knit pick your comment. I just feel it is important to be as correct as possible so as not to deceive any noobs. Vista 32 bit can only take up to 3.5 GB of Ram. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605

For the record, I agree with you that the future is 64 bit. This is unfortunate for me in some ways and not others as my board has only 32 bit compatibility. 4 DIMM slots @ 1024MB each. My PC is just over the 3 GB thresh hold at 3086 MB. I wonder how long I get to enjoy that? For now my PC with all the software and apps is running perfectly. I guess I will have to *caugh* upgrade down the road. Woo Hoo!

Now back to enjoying this interesting thread...
January 7, 2008 1:00:40 PM

parabola said:
I do not mean to knit pick your comment. I just feel it is important to be as correct as possible so as not to deceive any noobs. Vista 32 bit can only take up to 3.5 GB of Ram. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605

For the record, I agree with you that the future is 64 bit. This is unfortunate for me in some ways and not others as my board has only 32 bit compatibility. 4 DIMM slots @ 1024MB each. My PC is just over the 3 GB thresh hold at 3086 MB. I wonder how long I get to enjoy that? For now my PC with all the software and apps is running perfectly. I guess I will have to *caugh* upgrade down the road. Woo Hoo!

Now back to enjoying this interesting thread...

Good link that explain why you see less than 4GB available to the OS. But a 32bits OS can still address a maximum of 4GB where the balance are other type of RAM (Video card, ...) but the OS is addressing a total of 4GB.
January 9, 2008 7:08:48 AM

LoneEagle said:
Good link that explain why you see less than 4GB available to the OS. But a 32bits OS can still address a maximum of 4GB where the balance are other type of RAM (Video card, ...) but the OS is addressing a total of 4GB.


Really? So you are saying that you can factor in the memory of a graphics card to get a total and maximum of 4GB then?
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