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should i get vista/xp 32 bit or vista/xp 64 bit

Last response: in Windows Vista
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March 23, 2008 9:08:44 AM

hi
im buying the parts 2 build my new system and cannot decide which OS to buy
here r the specs on my comp
CPU: Intel E8400
Mobo: eVGA nForce 680i
RAM: 4gb Kit (2x2gb) Crucial Ballistix
HD: 2 x 320gb Western Digital
Graphics Card: 2xGigabyte GeForce 9600gt (SLi)
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 750W

i know 32 bit OS's can only see about 3.25gb of the RAM, but since i'm running 2 graphics cards, about 500mb of the remaining memory is going 2 dedicated to them, making the loss minimal.
So, my question is: Is it worth going to the 64 bit version of windows to get the slight performance boost? and once ive decided on 32 or 64 bit, should i go for xp or vista?
thanks in advance for everyones help

More about : vista bit vista bit

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March 24, 2008 11:25:04 AM

The short answer: Your Video cards use the same address space as everything else. So adding cards leaves *less* address space for memory. The loss will not be 'minimal' - The second card will take away that much more address space, leaving that much less for memory.

Why??

In 32 bit Windows operating systems, the total addressable space available is 4GB. If you install a total of 4GB worth of RAM, the system will detect/use/display less than 4GB of total memory because of address space allocation for other critical functions, such as:

- System BIOS (including motherboard, add-on cards, etc..)
- Motherboards resources
- Memory mapped I/O
- Configuration for AGP/PCI-Ex/PCI
- Other memory allocations for PCI devices

Different onboard devices and different add-on cards (devices) will result of different total memory size. e.g. more PCI cards installed will require more memory resources, resulting of less memory free for other uses.

This limitation applies to most chipsets & Windows XP/Vista 32-bit version operating systems. Again, this is a limitation of the Operating System not having enough address space to allocate to the system *and* the RAM. Not allocating address space to devices renders them inoperable. Not allocating addresses to RAM simply results in the unaddressed section not being used in an otherwise fully functional computer. Therefore the OS designers assign RAM last.

We can have long debates about mathematical fundamentals and discussions about why the original Windows designers couldn't allocate the full theoretical max of 36 bits of address space so that users today would be able to use more resource. But at the end of the day, the designers and engineers 'Didn't Then'. So we 'Can't Now'.


If you install a Windows operating system, and if more than 3GB memory is required for your system, then the below conditions must be met:

1. A memory controller which supports memory swap functionality is used. The latest chipsets like Intel 975X, 955X, Nvidia NF4 SLI Intel Edition, Nvidia NF4 SLI X16, AMD K8 and newer architectures can support the memory swap function.

2. Installation of Windows XP Pro X64 Ed. (64-bit), Windows Vista 64, or other OS which can provide more than 4GB worth of address space.



Note: Windows Vista 32bit SP1 displays the installed amount of RAM. This is a display change only. Microsoft has made no change to the address space limits/allocation.
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March 25, 2008 11:10:48 PM

I have Vista64 and happy with it. You still have room for more RAM. So, I would suggest you to go 64bits. In performance, they are both the same (32 vs 64).
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March 26, 2008 5:32:54 PM

I would recommend 64 to everyone unless they are attached to old software or summat.
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March 26, 2008 8:17:00 PM

Vista 64 (and maybe other versions) has this bug where you can’t install successfully if you have more than 2 GB I think. What you need to do is take out 2 GB and then put it back after you install it. Just a warning because it wasted several hours of my life.

Also, check the software compatibility if they are important to you. It’s not only incompatible with “legacy software”. Even some new stuff has problems.
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March 26, 2008 10:00:42 PM

thanks 4 that every1, ive been convinced to go vista 64 bit now, just 1 more question... the anti-virus i use (CA Vet, i don't pay for it, my dad get 3 licenses for the price of 1) doesn't have 64 bit support (at least from wat ive read on their site...can some1 recommend a good anti-virus that works on 64 bit and isn't too expensive
thanks
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March 27, 2008 1:57:09 AM

possessed, see the software thread and look a page or two in there was a recent thread answering your question.

(I'm to lazy to look myself and don't remember the consensus off the top of my head.)
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March 27, 2008 12:05:55 PM

I use Avast which is free and works great (I think!), windows security centre works with it too. Havent read any reviews for it though as I not too worried about viruses.
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March 30, 2008 6:30:52 PM

Correction to a post above. You can install Vista if you have more than 2gb in your system. I have 8gb and V64 installed with no problems. I have a Asus P-35 chipset. Possible that there is some conflict on older MB's with >2gb memory. If you have new hardware <2years old, go 64 bit, install 8gb, and turn page filing off. Vista 64 rocks that way once it teaches Pre-fetch how you work.
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March 31, 2008 3:05:57 PM

jeffdawgfan said:
Correction to a post above. You can install Vista if you have more than 2gb in your system. I have 8gb and V64 installed with no problems. I have a Asus P-35 chipset. Possible that there is some conflict on older MB's with >2gb memory. If you have new hardware <2years old, go 64 bit, install 8gb, and turn page filing off. Vista 64 rocks that way once it teaches Pre-fetch how you work.



Yes, that bug is only on specific systems.
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