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86 Bit Upgrade Advice Needed

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September 15, 2009 8:01:13 PM

I'm currently running Vista 32 bit and will be upgrading to Windows 7 soon and I am thinking while I'm at it, it might be a good idea to upgrade to 64 as I would have to buy Windows 7 again to upgrade later. This is what I have currently.

Intel Core 2 Dual E6600 2.4GHz 1066 FSB/Asus P5N-E SLI MOBO/Super Talent STT DDR2-800 PC6400

I don't do gaming but do frequently have multiple programs open at once and understand it would improve performance with 64 bit. I don't want to spend a lot or even change if it isn't going to make a significant difference. Would this be worthwhile and what hardware should I consider?

Thanks!
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September 15, 2009 8:25:01 PM

86Bit title rolf.

Well last week I made the leap to vista 64 and had to wipe one box clean while the other was installed on a new drive and so I swap back and fourth between the two for office apps and games. On the side note it would not let me upgrade like on would from xp32 to vista32 and so had to either wipe or use a different drive. :??: 
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a b $ Windows 7
September 15, 2009 8:31:50 PM

Going from 32 bit to 64 bit requires a clean install.
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September 15, 2009 9:32:04 PM

A clean install is needed and memory usage will go up by a several hundred megabytes, even when idle, but that won't impair performance at all if you have 4GB of memory, or more.

Note: only specific programs (such as photoshop, video encoding, cutting-edge/future RTS games, etc...) will benefit from more than 4GB of memory and only if you have a powerful CPU and/or graphics card to go with it. Office programs and browsers use only 20-40MB per iteration and the average game uses 0.5-1.5GB.

The days of needing more memory to counter lagging when running winamp simultaneously with IE and Word are long gone.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 15, 2009 11:44:18 PM

Gulli said:
Note: only specific programs (such as photoshop, video encoding, cutting-edge/future RTS games, etc...) will benefit from more than 4GB of memory and only if you have a powerful CPU and/or graphics card to go with it.
Actually EVERY program will benefit from more than 4GB of memory if you normally have enough open programs to use up more than 4GB. The alternative is that they get paged out and you end up having to wait, sometimes for quite a while, for them to be paged back in again when you switch from one to the other.
September 16, 2009 9:35:36 AM

sminlal said:
Actually EVERY program will benefit from more than 4GB of memory if you normally have enough open programs to use up more than 4GB. The alternative is that they get paged out and you end up having to wait, sometimes for quite a while, for them to be paged back in again when you switch from one to the other.


Yes, when you have 200 iterations of Firefox running alongside 150 iterations of MS Word your system will definitely benefit from having more than 4GB of memory...
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a b $ Windows 7
September 16, 2009 12:14:55 PM

lol

You're both right, now stop arguing!
September 17, 2009 11:42:19 PM

Pardon my ignorance here, but the talk is of memory (4GB) and not of 32 vs. 64 or does 64 include more memory on its own?

Gullie <Note: only specific programs (such as photoshop, video encoding, cutting-edge/future RTS games, etc...) will benefit from more than 4GB of memory and only if you have a powerful CPU and/or graphics card to go with it.>

I forgot to mention my GC: NVIDIA GeForce 200 Series So with the other specs I mentioned above, are you saying that unless I'm running heavy usage programs like the ones you mentioned, I really wouldn't benefit much from the upgrade? Again, I don't want to spend the money and go thru the hassle unless its going to be significantly better.
September 17, 2009 11:56:23 PM

The bottom line is, it is true that all programs have the ability to benefit from added ram, Running less mundane things, such as everyday tasks or even light gaming, more than 4 gigs will not be noticeably different. If you are doing some sort of commercial work with your computer with gigantic files/encoding/decoding, then that's where the extra memory starts to shine.

64 bit just allows your to put to use extra memory, its does not provide more memory.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 18, 2009 6:01:04 AM

saidas said:
Pardon my ignorance here, but the talk is of memory (4GB) and not of 32 vs. 64 or does 64 include more memory on its own?
Your system will have however much memory you purchased and installed in it - changing the operating system doesn't change how much actual memory you have.

But a 32-bit operating system can only use the 1st 4GB of memory, so if you have more than that then some of it will be wasted unless you use a 64-bit operating system.

IMHO if you're installing a new system now and if your CPU is 64-bit capable, it makes sense to install the 64-bit OS even if you don't need it right away. On a system with 2GB or more of memory the small extra space requirement of the 64-bit OS really isn't noticeable, and you will have the ability to upgrade your RAM as much as you want without have to go through a complete reinstall.

If you need it now, then the choice is obvious. But even if you don't need it now, I still think it makes sense as a means of future-proofing since there's basically no downside.
September 18, 2009 10:53:40 AM

Just to be clear: I do not advise against getting 64bit with 4GB of meemory, but I do advise against getting more than 4GB on a P55 motherboard, because 8GB is just a waste of money and you won't see any noticeable performance gains over 4GB.

I myself have 6GB, but that's because I have an X58 motherboard with tripple channel.
September 18, 2009 3:23:08 PM

sminlal said:
Your system will have however much memory you purchased and installed in it - changing the operating system doesn't change how much actual memory you have.

But a 32-bit operating system can only use the 1st 4GB of memory, so if you have more than that then some of it will be wasted unless you use a 64-bit operating system.

IMHO if you're installing a new system now and if your CPU is 64-bit capable, it makes sense to install the 64-bit OS even if you don't need it right away. On a system with 2GB or more of memory the small extra space requirement of the 64-bit OS really isn't noticeable, and you will have the ability to upgrade your RAM as much as you want without have to go through a complete reinstall.

If you need it now, then the choice is obvious. But even if you don't need it now, I still think it makes sense as a means of future-proofing since there's basically no downside.


Even if you have just 4GB on a 32 bit system the OS will see less than that, because it can only address 4GB, whatever memory you have for video will be deducted from the 4GB
September 19, 2009 11:17:01 AM

Saidas: yes, get the 64bit OS with 4GB of memory, because a 64bit OS doesn't cost a penny more than a 32bit one and you'll be able to utilize a couple of hundred megabytes of memory more. Just don't expect any miracles from it, though things like program load times and minimum framerates in games will improve.
!