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32 or 64 Bit Vistas

Last response: in Windows Vista
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February 6, 2008 2:12:49 AM

building a new pc and decided to gets vistas home premium. i dont know whats the different between 32 and 64 bit OS. so can anyone explain to me and how a 32 bit or 64 bit would affect what i do on my computer???

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February 6, 2008 6:53:43 AM

An easier way to put it would be get a 32bit version of vista, simply because there is still not a lot of compatiable software and most people are currently using 32bit systems.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-versus-Windows-o...

As you can see from this there is hardly much difference.

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February 6, 2008 10:43:21 AM
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I beg to differ with Maz - I've been running 64 for half the year now and haven't found any recent 32 bit apps/games that aren't fully functional. It runs everything I've put on it, full stop. So IMHO, it is overblown at this point to spend a lot of time belaboring compatible or non-compatible software.

I'm not bringing this up as an OhMaiGawdz h0w darez he di$s tha 64-Bitshizzlez, but simply to point out that the compatibility stuff os overblown, and there are valid reasons for a home enthusiast to use V64.

As to 'What's the Difference' - In simple english, 64 bit operating systems read/use instructions which are twice as long, and have addressable space which (theroretically) can handle 16 Exibytes of addressable space (two bits times 10 to the 64'th power). Something like 10 million times what a 32 bit OS can handle. Why is that important now?? Because 32 bit windows can "only" handle 4 GB of addressable space, a good chunk of which is needed for devices and communications - This is why people with 32 bit OS's cannot utilize 4GB of RAM, and the is the primary reason why enthusiasts are beginning to switch to 64 bit.


Vista 64 has the libraries needed to run 32 bit code. 32 bit applications run using the included set of DLL's (libraries) to do the work of translating between the two. There is obviously going to be some performance overhead, since you're running your 32 bit apps inside what amounts to a container/translation layer. But many of the common commands which are less than 32 bits in total length can be grouped to run in pairs as a single instruction. The rule being that there has to be enough space within a 64 bit command for both 32 bit instructions plus the necessary tags needed to differentiate the two. Actual performance will obviously vary depending on exactly what you are doing, but to a great extent the added efficiency of grouping instructions offsets the performance penalty of having to run a translation layer.

In practice, I haven't noticed any difference. Apps, games, whatever.




Also - let me ask a question: Set aside the 32 or 64 bit thing for now. Do you normally use 3rd party apps for music and video??? And do you plan on contunuing to use these on your new comp??? Of the answer to these is "Yes, I use 3rd party apps for music and video, and intend on continuing to do so", then I would suggest you look into using the Business version instead of Home. Home's selling point is the 'free' Media Center/Movie Maker apps for music and video which are included with the OS. But if you're going to replace that anyhow, then there's no point. Better to go with Business for the security upgrades and superior Backup and Restore functionality (You get Windows Fax and Remote Desktop as well, but I don't see many home users playing with these...).


Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit

M$FT: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/415...
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February 6, 2008 6:01:38 PM

I was going to chime in in favor of going 64 but Scotteq has pretty much covered it. From personal experience with it I can tell you 64 is a very good option. Pretty much everything I throw at it will run. There are a few exceptions here and there. If you have any particular apps or hardware you have any doubt about it will be best to research them individually.

February 7, 2008 3:52:20 PM

I started with Vista 32 2GB and moved to Vista 64 4GB and really happy with my choice. Its great and I won't go back.

The only problem is M$ is holding the SP1 :( .

Question to OP: Retail, Upgrade or OEM?

Retail/Upgrade: You can order the 64bits CD from M$ for around 12$ and you could try it and see by yourself if you like it or not. If not, just reinstall the 32bits!

I don't think the OEM have the option to order the other version (32/64). You get one, you're stuck with it.
Anonymous
February 7, 2008 5:02:58 PM

Don't the Vista DVDs come with both versions on it, just the CD code will install the appropriate version for you?
February 7, 2008 5:40:00 PM

Comp - If you buy Vista Ultimate, you get both a 32 and a 64 bit DVD in the box. If you buy a different version, you get one CD but can get the other version (in the US) from Microsoft for something like $11 handling charge. So if you get a 32 bit DVD, you can ask Microsoft to send you a 64.
February 7, 2008 6:45:40 PM

Scotteq said:
Comp - If you buy Vista Ultimate, you get both a 32 and a 64 bit DVD in the box. If you buy a different version, you get one CD but can get the other version (in the US) from Microsoft for something like $11 handling charge. So if you get a 32 bit DVD, you can ask Microsoft to send you a 64.


I'm pretty sure this will only work with a retail copy though. I don't think OEM has this option.
February 7, 2008 9:32:11 PM

notherdude said:
I'm pretty sure this will only work with a retail copy though. I don't think OEM has this option.

I believe too. But I had the upgrade and I could order (in Canada) the 64bits version.
February 7, 2008 11:42:26 PM

LoneEagle said:
I believe too. But I had the upgrade and I could order (in Canada) the 64bits version.


A retail upgrade will have the 64 replacement option but I understood no OEM version did.
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