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Vista Home vs. XP Home (32-bit)

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March 3, 2008 6:20:15 PM

I've decided 100% on 32-bit. Now I'm deciding between Vista and XP, either version will be home. Vista would be between Home Basic and Home Premium. Here are the prices I've found online:

Vista Home Premium OEM DVD: $118
Vista Home Basic OEM DVD: $80
XP Home w/ SP2 OEM CDROM: $92

My computer will be mainly used for games (Guild Wars, BF2, BF2142, COD4, FS:X, and others), watching DVDs, and doing things like word processing, spreadsheets, etc. My main worry is compatibility with Windows Vista. As far as I know, everything I use right now would be compatible with windows vista too, so that doesn't seem to be a problem. Also, I would only want to get Vista if my new system (not yet built, but en route) could rip it apart:

Gigabyte P35-DS4
Core 2 Quad Q6600 (plan to OC)
4GB Corsair XMS2 DHX
8800GT OC
Creative SB Audigy 4
Seagate Barracude 7200.11 500 GB

So I'm definitely leaning towards vista, but what are the main differences between Home Basic and Home Premium? Enough to warrant an extra $38?

Thanks

More about : vista home home bit

March 3, 2008 6:57:25 PM

Mr Gates will like you more if you 'go large' :) , 4 gigs of RAM will be pointless on any 32bit version.
March 3, 2008 7:05:30 PM

I'm really just looking for advice on the xp vs. vista issue, not 32 vs 64 bit...
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March 3, 2008 7:12:23 PM

I would go for Vista.

It needs more Ooomph than XP, but your system is definitely powerful enough to handle Vista as well as DirectX 10.

March 3, 2008 7:17:44 PM

Powerful enough to "just" handle it, or powerful enough to manhandle that b!tch?
March 3, 2008 7:40:01 PM

I would go Vista. XP, lets face it, is a dinosaur. You can't even use native SATA mode (AHCI) on XP without a floppy disk or some fancy slipstreaming. If you ever plan to use RAID or ESATA, that makes Vista an easy choice. And with SP1 out, nearly all negative sentiments about Vista are essentially amount to resistence to change. As far as Home Prem vs Basic, I don't really care too much. The core stability, compatability, and security of Vista is what makes it so nice, but I appreciate the eyecandy as well. I'd go Home Prem given you'll be using it for a few years, but Home Basic is a bit slimmer and cheaper. Up to you.

As others have said, and you brushed aside without really giving us a reason, it doesn't make much sense to use 4gb of RAM on a 32bit OS. Might as well either stick with 2gb and save some money. If you want to move to 4gb, it does make sense to go 64. /shrug

Additionally, I would recommend an E8400 for your purposes over a Q6600. The E8400 will deliver supperior performance in most games, nearly all desktop applications, and will do so at a far better performance/power ratio. The only point where a Q6600 really makes sense over an E8400 is video encoding, which you didn't mention. I don't think it makes sense to go quad for more money unless it will give you a genuine benefit, which in this case, it doesn't seem like it will.

PS. An E6300 will "rip apart" vista. You're WAY over your margin in that respect.
March 3, 2008 8:00:51 PM

Why doesnt it make sense to use 4GB of RAM? Because you cant utilize it all, boo hoo. 64 bit driver support is pretty good these days, but far from perfect, plus unless you use over 4GB you dont get any performance increase over 32-bit. I would say defanately go Vista, but as to which flavor, I cant really say.
March 3, 2008 8:11:35 PM

Go with Vista Home Premium. Basic is useless and you might as well just use XP. I know you don't want to hear about 64bit but you might run into some issues trying to run 4GB of RAM + 512MB of Video Memory on a 32bit OS. Besides not getting full use of your hardware there are some issues that can pop up in this scenario. Probably more then what you might run into as far as 64bit compatability based on what you say you're using it for.
March 3, 2008 8:12:48 PM

Anybody notice how Vista is going belly-up? Massive price cuts, the "Vista Capable" class-action lawsuit showing hardware requirements were understated, even M$ admits Vista is broken. XP Pro is the best Windoze OS.

4 GB is just fine under XP, but you'll find a bigger increase in performance with another hard drive.
March 3, 2008 8:26:49 PM

4Gb with a 32-bit OS will still work fine, you're just going to not going to be able to use more then just over 3gb of it. And that's system memory, so it includes the 512mb from the vid card in the 3gb 32bit OS's can see.

IMO if you go vista there's no reason not to get 64 bit, and at this point I'd say Vista is fine to get as long as your system is on the new side.. Vista rapes older machines, brutal scaling at the low end but really nice at the high end. So get the 4gb of RAM and Vista 64 :) 

EDIT: And also I'd google for all the differences between Basic and Premium, I got premium and have been happy with it (aside from the atrocious file copy times, which is just bad on Vista in generall - although they're switching back to a more cache-based XP system for this to speed things up in SP1 thankfully)
March 3, 2008 8:32:26 PM

The reason I'm sticking with 32-bit is because:

"We can also see that the 64-bit versions take up quite a bit more memory as well. Again, the explanation is very simple: all of the variables are no longer only 32 bits long, but 64 bits instead. Typically, this makes applications between 20% and 40% larger, which consequently results in a higher memory footprint as well. File formats such as music files or videos are not affected by this.

The upshot is that it doesn't make sense to install a 64-bit version of Vista in order to better utilize 4 GB of memory simply because the 32 bit version would only recognize 3.5 GB. The problem is that while it is true that you would "gain" the missing memory, you would also immediately lose it to the system due to the 64-bit version's larger memory footprint. Thus, using a 64-bit version really only makes sense with larger memory sizes."

It only makes sense to go 64-bit if you're going to get 8 GB of ram. And I'm not.Plus, 3 GB is still more than 2 GB, so getting 2x2048mb ram is still better than 2x1024mb ram performance-wise.

And for the person who recommended the dual core versus the quad core processor - once you overclock the dual cores vs. the quad cores, the quad cores win even with the lower clock speed. Quad cores are also more future proof. And at this level of performance, any "benefit" you'd get in games from a "faster" dual core processor won't even be noticeable. I don't see any reason to get a dual core over the quad.
March 3, 2008 8:40:34 PM

Hmm well I gotta disagree with wherever that is coming from. You should check out Anandtech's site for information on utilizing 4gb of memory.

I just can't see this extra memory footprint being so large that it would eat up nearly 750mb-1gb of memory that you would have 'freed' by going to a 64-bit OS. Pretty sure 32 bit versions recognise in the area of 3.2gb in most cases also? And again, that includes your vid card memory, so your actual RAM drops another 512mb there.

I'd love to see more information on that, like benchmarks and such because I haven't heard about this as a potential performance issues since it was briefly questioned early in the XP 64bit days
March 3, 2008 8:48:13 PM

But anyhow, back to the main point - are we all in agreement that this system is more than capable of running 32-bit windows vista home premium very fast?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2008 8:48:27 PM

Vista home basic runs great for me. It runs faster than the other versions due to the lack of useless bloatware. It is the best Vista choice for a gaming rig.

Just for reference based on features:
Vista Home Basic = Windows XP Home
Vista Home Premium = Windows MCE
Vista Business = XP Pro
Vista Ultimate = All versions of Vista rolled into one.

March 3, 2008 8:56:35 PM

"4 GB is just fine under XP, but you'll find a bigger increase in performance with another hard drive."

Can somebody elaborate on this? Do you mean a different hard drive other than my Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, or an additional hard drive?
March 3, 2008 9:03:40 PM

I have used 32-bit Ultimate and 64-bit Ultimate. While it's true the memoryfootprint does indeed go up, it's like 200-300mb-ish. And, my ram was showing up at 3gb, not 3.5. Since ~250mb /= 1gb I have to disagree with Tom on that analysis, although I did read that same article and scratched my head. I've been using X64 Ultimate since it came out, and the ONLY program that I used to use that I no longer do is Coretemp. Every single game, hardware componant, driver, etc, worked flawlessly. Unless people are running antique software I'm not sure where the issue is. However, like I said, you'll be very happy with either, I'm just splitting hairs for the heck of it.

As for the E8400 vs Q6600, they certainly are similar, and I think you'll make a good choice with the Q6600. However, in my case I take cooling and power into account as well, and given the superior performance (in all games but Supreme Commander) lower price, and cooler/quieter process of the E8400 I think it squeeks out a win, especially for daily use, but that's just me.

However, lschmidt clearly has done some reseach, and has facts to backup his opinion...

I can't say the same for nhobo. Is his name a phonetic coicidence? I think not. ;) 

No, I haven't noticed that Vista is going "belly up." What I have noticed is that it has gone 100% mainstream, and has outperformed every expectation I had for it. DX10 is considered required now in gaming, and given ram prices dropping 400% the memory footprint is smaller than XP ever was per dollar of ram.

The Vista Capable lawsuit is a joke (PS, I take graduate level law classes.) Granted, Microsoft should have been clearer, but to sue overit is nothing more than a case of falling down on sidewalks. If you're dumb enough to not understand the difference between "able to to meet the minimum requirements of Vista Basic" and "Will run Vista like smooth sweetcream" than please get a lot more experience with PC's before you try to make recommendations to people on the forums. From day 1 Vista has been far more stable than XP was all the way up to SP2, and even compared to XP SP2 the stability was comparable. At 23 years old, I sure don't feel that old, but I swear, some of you act like you never used XP pre-SP2. The thing was marginally more stable than Windows 98, if that, and as vulnerable as swiss cheese.

And with XP, there is even less point in using 4 *cough*3*cough* gb. XP uses a what, 300 or smaller footprint when configured correctly? Do you really need 1700mb to surf your Macfanboi websites? Gaming? What? What DX9 game needs 1700+ MB of memory to run well?

Geesh.


March 3, 2008 9:06:58 PM

lschmidt I'm not sure what he meant, but based on the rest of his post, I wouldn't worry about it.

The 7200.11 is a fine series. There are slightly faster drives out there (the new Samsung F1's are beasts) but short of a Raptor (which isn't worth it until the refresh) you will not notice a difference at all.

If you want too, use the Toms Hard Drive charts to guesstimate what performance each drive has under the conditions you use it most (hard drives are a lot more variable than CPUs or Graphics cards), but honestly the difference is going to be nill.
March 3, 2008 9:07:37 PM

Ohhhh, that article... Yeah I didn't really like that one, neither did most people posting in it's comment thread O_o

I think what they were trying to get across there was the performance of Windows itself, and the loading/storing of applications in the system memory and that if you have more memory, you can store more/load faster from it. Unofortunately they don't actually give any measurable performance numbers, it's a very frustrating article lol. While Vista will use memory in porportion to what you have installed to improve performance, it will also release at applications like games require it.

But sorry for going a little OT on you, I just think you truly and honestly would be better served with the 64 bit version.

Your system will easily handle Vista 32bit as well. Only issue at all there is the unused system memory. As for Premium/Basic, you don't get the interface stuff in Basic, nor any of the multimedia players/burners... which most of us have anyway. Here's M$'s comparison list http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/...

Maybe google image the differences between the Basic and Premium UI to see what the deal is there and if it's somethign you'd want.
March 3, 2008 9:14:07 PM

The only difference between the OEM and Retail versions are the licences (i.e., legaleese)

Retail Licences are bound to the owner. You may move them from system to system all day like if you'd like. Microsoft only requires you to have it on one system at a time.

OEM licences are bound to the system, which is usually defined as the motherboard + another system componant. You cannot legally ever move the licence to a new PC (say you build a new one in a few years, etc.) It may not be transfered in any way.

However, given its lower cost, sometimes it's just worth it to sell your older computer as a set (with the licence) than to buy a full retail licence. I personally have a retail licence, but I do a lot of upgrading and/or moving around componants.

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2008 9:15:39 PM

Vista home premium includes the media center application. With a tuner card, your pc can act as a pvr or watch live tv. That is a biggie for me. The vista web site enumerates the differences.

I just saw Vista home premium upgrade for sale at Costco for $85. There is a procedure to install the upgrade version even though you don't have an old os installed. The benefit is that you get a full retail version which entitles you to support and no hassles if you upgrade your mobo. In addition, microsoft will send you the 64 bit dvd for $10 handling charge if you later want to try 64 bit.

Programs that have a problem on 64 bit are old 16 bit dos programs like civilization 2. Civ2-mge works, though.
March 3, 2008 9:15:45 PM

And PS I decided on premium because the advanced user interface looks kinda cool..
March 3, 2008 9:17:19 PM

lschmidt said:
And PS I decided on premium because the advanced user interface looks kinda cool..


Indeed. Once you use Aero for awhile you get on an XP system and immediately think "wow, this looks like shhtuff!" :D 
March 3, 2008 11:14:17 PM

lschmidt said:
The reason I'm sticking with 32-bit is because:

"We can also see that the 64-bit versions take up quite a bit more memory as well. Again, the explanation is very simple: all of the variables are no longer only 32 bits long, but 64 bits instead. Typically, this makes applications between 20% and 40% larger, which consequently results in a higher memory footprint as well. File formats such as music files or videos are not affected by this.

The upshot is that it doesn't make sense to install a 64-bit version of Vista in order to better utilize 4 GB of memory simply because the 32 bit version would only recognize 3.5 GB. The problem is that while it is true that you would "gain" the missing memory, you would also immediately lose it to the system due to the 64-bit version's larger memory footprint. Thus, using a 64-bit version really only makes sense with larger memory sizes."

It only makes sense to go 64-bit if you're going to get 8 GB of ram. And I'm not.Plus, 3 GB is still more than 2 GB, so getting 2x2048mb ram is still better than 2x1024mb ram performance-wise.

And for the person who recommended the dual core versus the quad core processor - once you overclock the dual cores vs. the quad cores, the quad cores win even with the lower clock speed. Quad cores are also more future proof. And at this level of performance, any "benefit" you'd get in games from a "faster" dual core processor won't even be noticeable. I don't see any reason to get a dual core over the quad.



I laughed so hard when I read this. This is exactly what I've been trying to tell people man! Though now that I read some comments about that Tom's article in its thread, I don't quite know whether I can trust it or not. Oh well, I'm probably going to go with vista 32bit home premium just like you are, and then request the 64bit when I think I'm ready for it

Oh and geofelt what is that procedure for installing an upgrade version without having the previous os installed?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 4, 2008 1:53:55 AM

Timck's post link is correct. I needed to do this to upgrade to the 64 bit version of vista. It is a catch 22. You need a 64 bit os in order to run the upgrade, but how do you get the 64 bit os without a clean install somewhere if you are coming from a 32 bit os? I was trying to run from the vista that the dvd loaded, instead of booting from the hard drive. It ran ok, but it would not activate. I called microsoft support, and after verifying that my product key was, in fact legitimate, tried to figure it out. It got escalated to a second level person who guided me through the process. They had no problem with it, and were very curteous and helpful. Support is in India, so be prepared for a different accent.
March 4, 2008 2:37:34 AM

geofelt said:
Support is in India, so be prepared for a different accent.
haha, also be prepared to reboot and press F11... no... wait... that's HP.
March 4, 2008 3:39:18 AM

ajsellaroli said:
I laughed so hard when I read this. This is exactly what I've been trying to tell people man! Though now that I read some comments about that Tom's article in its thread, I don't quite know whether I can trust it or not. Oh well, I'm probably going to go with vista 32bit home premium just like you are, and then request the 64bit when I think I'm ready for it


Tom's articles have really gone downhill over the past year+. Many of the old-tyme posters dive directly into the forums and avoid the main page like the plague.

Forum's rock, one of the best. Site... well I've started looking for second and sometimes third sources. Downside is Tom's is still a flagship and crap articles are being treated like gospel elsewhere.
March 4, 2008 3:43:56 AM

Everyone keeps saying how pointless it is to get 4GB of ram instead of only 2GB with the 32-bit version of windows. When ram comes in packs of 2x2GB or 2x1GB, and the 2x2GB only costs like $80 or $90 for GOOD ram, you still gain an extra 1.5 GB of ram over 2GB (3.5gb vs 2gb).

So somebody tell me how it is pointless to get 4gb over 2gb? You still gain 1.5 gb of extra ram. Ok..so you can't use your extra .5GB, whoopdeedoo.

I think we need a benchmark...4GB of ram 64-bit vs. 4GB of ram 32-bit. Anyone have a link to one already done?
March 4, 2008 4:11:49 AM

lschmidt said:

I think we need a benchmark...4GB of ram 64-bit vs. 4GB of ram 32-bit. Anyone have a link to one already done?

Nope, but there is this link.

Closest I could find.
March 4, 2008 4:44:41 AM

I would like to see a benchmark measuring gaming fps, and other real-life tests...not just passmark
March 4, 2008 6:40:18 AM

lschmidt said:
Everyone keeps saying how pointless it is to get 4GB of ram instead of only 2GB with the 32-bit version of windows. When ram comes in packs of 2x2GB or 2x1GB, and the 2x2GB only costs like $80 or $90 for GOOD ram, you still gain an extra 1.5 GB of ram over 2GB (3.5gb vs 2gb).

So somebody tell me how it is pointless to get 4gb over 2gb? You still gain 1.5 gb of extra ram. Ok..so you can't use your extra .5GB, whoopdeedoo.

I think we need a benchmark...4GB of ram 64-bit vs. 4GB of ram 32-bit. Anyone have a link to one already done?



2X2 might be able to be had for $80, but I've seen 1X2's of nice DDR800 OCZ for $20. Big price difference to only gain another 1/2 of that $20 on the move to $80. And as we've already pointed out, it's not 3.5 that you'll see... more like 3.

So to save 300mb of overhead, you lose 1gb. And that doesn't even count possible performance advantages of being X64.

It's cool if you want to do it, but I just don't see the point.
March 4, 2008 7:29:00 AM

Vista Home Basic would be a complete and utter waste of cash.
Vista Home Premium has the multimedia components built into the OS. This is really only needed if you install a tv tuner card, in my opinion.
Your system will feel faster and more responsive if you use XP, it just will.
As to your amount of ram don't worry about the 32 bit thing. Get the 4GB, just buy it in 2GB sticks so if you decide to go 64 bit all you need to do it is add 2 more 2GB sticks. Read the Toms article about Vista that basically says that Vista 64 with 8GB works as well as XP with 2GB.
I use Vista Ultimate it is my HDTV computer, it fast and maxed out, but it's faster when I run XP on it.





Rattus Viola: Sino non they quisnam operor non have scientia futurus vestri rector.
March 4, 2008 7:47:29 AM

You will run into problems with Vista 32bit and FSX.
With 32bit only seeing 3gigs I was getting low memory warnings when playing FSX for periods longer than an hour.
With 64bit vista no problem.
However I found certain games don't run properly on 64bit such as Stalker/The Witcher/NeverWinter Nights. These games all crashed out randomly while playing which is why I had dual boot and use XP32bit for these games.
If you're running Steam games such as HL2 etc make sure that you're connected to the net so steam can updated your games to the 64bit versions as you'll also get crashes whilst playing.
March 4, 2008 8:04:16 AM

I still prefer xp pro over vista. There are not many dx 10 titles anyways. I made my xp even much faster by doing my own xp lite with nlite. Nlite is a software that lets you to customize your own xp the way you want it. I got rid of all the crap I dont need and disable some of sytem services i dont need from xp disc, and reduce xp cd from 650mb to 180mb burn iso to cd. Now my xp runs hell fast and boots xp logo with all my games install and mp3 in only 3 secs and boots to desktop almost instantly after xp logo with only 1gb, and it improved games frames per second dramatically (Before xp lite Fear 1920x1200 fps 55/ with customize xp lite Fear 1920x1200 fps 78). You can also do lite with vista with VLITE, after vlite customization, 1gb will be sufficient enough to run vista with no lag, no need of 4gb. I also reduce vista from 3gb to 650mb from getting rid of all crap i dont need.
March 4, 2008 8:53:55 AM

I vote for XP over Vista 32. Vista 32 has some advantages, but XP is faster and more stable.
Also, Vista 32 will have a VERY SHORT life.
If you have a 64 bit CPU, get Vista 64 ultimate. That sounds like overkill, but you can get free upgrades with Vista 64 ultimate. Upgrading licenses can be very expensive.
RAM is cheap, 64 bit CPUs are common. I see no reason for buying a new 32 bit OS - unless you WANT to pay twice and WANT to re-install Windows another time. You are looking at OEM Windows, not retail (so you don't get both 32bit and 64bit in 1 box). The next version of Windows will be 64 bit ONLY. Most people I know already have and use XP while upgrading to Vista 64 after SP1 comes out.
BTW, I can run COD4, all MAX, 1920x1200, etc 30+ fps on Vista 64.

To answer your question on XP vs. Vista, use XP.
March 4, 2008 4:14:42 PM

Considering that XP is now old, and it only costs about $10 less than Vista (XP Home OEM vs. Vista Home Prem OEM), I would feel dumb paying the same price for an older product.

Also, many of you use your computers to ONLY play games. I use my computer for a lot of very import work other than playing games, and I just can't take a chance that 64-bit would clash with whatever program it is I need to use.

Oh, and by the way I already ordered Vista Home Premium 32-bit OEM...so that's what I'll be using until Windows 7 and that's the way the cookie crumbles!
March 4, 2008 5:21:57 PM

Also I should add in that...

Vista Home Premium OEM 32-bit
+
Vista Home Premium OEM 64-bit

costs LESS than

Vista Home Premium Retail

Also, getting 2x1024 or 3x1024 may save you a little money per performance, but most mobos only have 4 memory slots so if you ever want more than 4GB you're going to need to buy all new ram.
March 4, 2008 5:48:35 PM

XP is outdated, and will soon be cut off.

I personaly think Vista 32 is a half assed attempt that should have never been released. all new computers are either 64 bit, or stripped mega low voltage machines that cant handle Vista. Vista 64 is the future.

because some software still wont run on Vista, I'd say get XP and add in Vista 64 in the future.
March 4, 2008 7:13:03 PM

Facts
#1 - XP is the faster operating system of the two.
#2 – XP is no longer being updated.

#3 - Vista is Bloatware
#4 – Vista is being updated
#5 – Vista unfortunately is the way of the future.
#6 – If you have a good machine, Vista runs well.


Go for Vista with new machines, XP for old.
March 6, 2008 2:08:39 AM

groo said:
XP is outdated, and will soon be cut off.
And why is XP outdated, because Vista was released? Additionally support for XP is slated for expiration in 2012, that's not soon.

Vista offers nothing except DRM and the aggravation that it has brought everyone. I say to he!! with Vista, 32 or 64.

Choose XP and fight the bloat and instability created by Vista and the HDCP DRM sham. [:zorg:2]
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2008 9:28:36 AM

groo said:
XP is outdated, and will soon be cut off.

I personaly think Vista 32 is a half assed attempt that should have never been released. all new computers are either 64 bit, or stripped mega low voltage machines that cant handle Vista. Vista 64 is the future.

because some software still wont run on Vista, I'd say get XP and add in Vista 64 in the future.

Must be why MS is speding money bringing out XP SP3. :lol: 
March 6, 2008 9:55:31 AM

please reconsider the whole 32bit vs 64bit scenario. I just got a new computer with Vista HP 32bit and am already moving up to 64 within a week. It really isn't worth it using a 32bit OS with 4GB of ram (which i have). In my opinion anyway, i find Vista 64 runs a little smoother.
March 6, 2008 11:27:01 AM

Get: Vista home premium upgrade retail
Do the the double install trick (for a clean install)

I got it at Staples 2 days ago at $89.99 (used $10 coupon)
costco have it fo $85.

unlike the OEM version this serial number does not
live and die with the machine it was installed first on.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2008 12:15:57 PM

vangvace said:
Tom's articles have really gone downhill over the past year+. Many of the old-tyme posters dive directly into the forums and avoid the main page like the plague.

Forum's rock, one of the best. Site... well I've started looking for second and sometimes third sources. Downside is Tom's is still a flagship and crap articles are being treated like gospel elsewhere.



This is so true. Tom's is nothing like it used to be. The only thing I return to the site for now IS the forums, there is just nothing else about the site that is worth the time or I feel is creditable enough to bother with. It's all advertising and BS, and lots of links to more advertising and more BS.
What Tom's published on this page used the be the bible for enthusiasts.
It's a real shame it has recessed to it's present state.
December 28, 2008 9:49:37 AM

Really the only bigger memory footprint is the operating system itself. To this day, a majority of applications are still 32-bit. A 64-bit OS cannot simply run a 32-bit application in a 64-bit library. It needs to emulate a 32-bit environment first (ala WOW64) in order to have the application made avaiable to it. This performance overhead causes applications to run slightly slower (and I mean slightly), probably around 1-3% at worst. A 64-bit OS can address more kernel handles and windows handles, but it probably won't be able to take advantage of running multiple threads or task as its 32-bit counterpart.

Either way a 32-bit application runs virtually the same amount of memory with a 32-bit OS or a 64-bit OS. It all boils down to purpose. If 4GB of RAM is acceptable to you, then it would be ideal to run a 32-bit OS to take full advantage of the current running applications out there. Anybody who has run a 64-bit OS knows that most applications they install go in "Program Files (x86)". What does this tell you? It means that the application installed is 32-bit. Nobody running a 64-bit OS has been yet able to utilize the 64-bit OS simply put, there is no native 64-bit support out there yet.

As far as gaming goes, if you plan to build a mid-level gaming rig, but if all the games you play are still only 32-bit, it would be not be ideal to install a 64-bit OS because of the performance degradation due to the emulated environment. Software developers make 64-bit versions because they probably consume a lot of RAM. If you look up games that have 64-bit support its no surprise. Crysis?! How else would someone be able to stack 10,000 barrels in a physics enviornment and still get 20 fps without it the app crashing?! If you don't play Crysis, you need to stick with 32-bit. The most intense game I play is BF2. Other then that, I type reports for my college assignments and surf the web. That's all I do. This is why I have the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2008 installed. Fully activated BTW.
!