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Vista 64 have 32bit version as well & 32bit Memory Management question

Last response: in Windows Vista
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May 25, 2008 11:58:56 PM

I am looking to build a new rig with nearly 8GB of RAM now that prices are so low. However as I understand I will need Vista 64bit to fully utlize all 8GBs of RAM.

However I am not ready to jump ship over to 64bit camp yet, and would still like a 32bit version to dip my feet into should things go wrong under 64bit. My intention was to set up a dual boot system of Windows XP MCE 2005, Vista 32 and 64bit.

Main question: Does the 64bit version of Windows Vista come with a 32bit on the disc as well as the normal 64bit version?

Secondary question: Would having 8GB of RAM cause the 32bit OS's to throw a tantrum and not boot, reminiscent of the Windows 9x OS's when you installed more than 1GB of RAM or will it just happily carry on and ignore the excess RAM that it cannot access?
May 26, 2008 12:24:12 AM

I believe if you buy Vista Ultimate, you get both 32bit and 64bit in the same package.

If you buy any other version of Vista, you will get 32bit in the package and the option to order the 64bit version from Microsoft for basically the shipping cost (around $10).

I am strictly speaking of the retail packages.

8 gigs is an outlandish amount of RAM. What might you be doing with your rig if you don't mind me asking?

I don't think having 8gigs would cause any issues with the operating system as long as the hardware supports it.
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May 26, 2008 2:39:23 AM

I just had a similar question and almost went dual boot with 32 bit XP and 64 bit Vista (Ultimate does give you both, not sure about the others). After running 64 bit Vista Ultimate for about 2 weeks now, I can say there is no reason that I can think of to run a 32-bit OS in addition as I have experienced no hardware or software incompatability issues and I play/use many programs and games. Just go 64 bit Vista, its a very tight OS by MS standards, just as reliable as XP and capable of supporting more hardware.

Also, dmroeder asked why so much RAM because it is nearly impossible to use more than 4 GBs of PC2 6400 even with Vista. You would have to be running multiple first person shooters at maximum res and editing videos at the same time. Buy 2 2GB sticks and run it dual channel. If in the future, programs come out that actually exceed that, you can always double up, otherwise it is just a waste as there will be no performance improvement from 4 GB to 8 GB.
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May 26, 2008 1:43:21 PM

If he's doing Video he very well can use 8GB of Memory.

To answer the OP's second question, Vista 32 will simply ignore the RAM it cannot use/address. Be advised, though, that on a hardware level 4 DIMMS can take some tweaking (tREF 54 or more, Command Rate 2T, manually set voltage/timings) since Auto settings on most hardware are developed with 2 sticks in mind.

On the first - If you buy Ultimate, you will get both discs.
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May 26, 2008 4:01:42 PM

Basically I will be using this machine as a PVR for two digital tuners which I have had lying around for ages doing absolute bugger all. Meanwhilst, I intend to be playing multi player games (the newest ones) while these recordings are taking place (I understand IO can be an issue which is why I intend on setting up a RAID 5 array for the recordings to go onto while the games will run off a 300GB Raptor drive where the OS and other apps will be placed.

Since I am in a Vista 64bit forum, I may as well check. I will be using Hauppage WinTV NOVA Digital USB and a Leadtek Digital TV Tuner USB - don't suppose these TV tuners will have any issues under 64bit Vista??

My rig is going to be using DDR 2 memory and since a lot of people have vouched that DDR3 is not worth getting and is too expensive, I thought I may as well stock up on memory of the same time before it becomes extinct and I end up filling my system with two ill matching pairs at a premium price as a result of the extinction.

Also, I know this is a vista forum but does anyone know how 32bit version of XP MCE 2005 will react to more than 4GB of RAM
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May 27, 2008 2:01:20 AM

You can pretty much get rid of VM with 8 GB Ram but that's about the only reason for it at this point.
If you do go with 8 GB Ram make sure it's from a respectable Company. I only use OCZ and they have there own Forums that can help you with setting up timing. I think I have mine at 32 24 but I'm also running top of the line RAM.
You shouldn't have problems with MCE but you'll only see 3 GB RAM (I'm one of the few people who actually hate's XP so probably not the greatest person to give advice on that subject).
I went with 64 bit Vista and I couldn't be happier. I tried putting XP on my sons computer and after a day got so aggravated with it I just bought Vista and made my life easier.
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June 5, 2008 2:52:47 PM

Any 32-bit OS whether it be Vista, XP, whatever... will not be able to fully utilize 4GB of RAM, let alone 8GB. If you plan on running 64-bit XP or Vista, then having 8GB is worth it; but if you're using a 32-bit OS, you're just throwing your money away.

Either stick with 64-bit or use only 4GB.
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