I'm currently running XP Home (32bit,) on a 64bit compatible computer that's four years old and I'm just curious really, would a change from the 32bit version of XP to the 64bit version make any real difference? What does this mean in terms of performance, etc?
-- 64-bit will be slightly slower than the 32-bit in benchmarking software because it has to run 32-bit apps. in Windows on Windows (WOW) mode - but you won't likely notice the difference in everyday use.
-- 64-bit will generally see and use all of your memory.
-- 32-bit is limited to seeing and using about 3.5GB of total memory (RAM, CPU, and GPU).
-- 32-bit hardware drivers are almost universally available; 64-bit are not (plan on giving up using your old peripherals that worked well in 32-bit).
The only real reason to upgrade to a 64 bit OS at this point in time is to extend your memory beyond 4 GB. If that is not a consideration for you, then there is no point. Thats why 64 bit really didn't catch on until you started to see systems running into the 32 bit memory barrier.