Stupid question

I know this is probably a stupid question but here it goes:

I just finished a new budget gaming build. It's a 64 bit build. I am at the stage to install the operating system. I only have access to a 32 bit windows vista install disk (ran out of money for the time being). Can I install a 32 bit vista on a machine designed for 64 bit?

Thanks for your help.
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  1. You can, but it will ignore anything that's not compatible. Most parts say 64-bit compatible, meaning they will work for both.

    The main thing that will be effected is the amount of RAM you can use. 32-bit maxes out at 4 GB of RAM, but programs will only be able to use 3.25 GB.

    If you only have 4 GB of RAM, it won't matter too much, except if you ever want to upgrade with either more RAM or Windows 7. You CANNOT upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit from Vista 32-bit.

    Go out and buy an OEM copy of Windows 7 64-bit for $100. It will make it all better...
  2. So if I install a 32 bit vista right now.... than do a clean install 64 bit 7 later I should be alright? I only have 4 gigs a ram right now anyway. Will my video card be affected by this? VGA SAPPHIRE 100283-2L HD5770 1G RT

    I planned on buying a windows 7 disk but had some unexpected bills.
  3. If you are in college, or know someone who is, get them to buy you a copy of win 7. They should be able to get it for like 30$ Right MadAdmiral?
  4. (a) yes, if you later do a clean format and install Win 7 64bit, you'll be fine. you'll be able to utilize all of your RAM at that point. until then, on a 32 bit system, you are limited to approx 3.5GB of ram.

    (b)Your graphics card won't be affected by this. However, i think the limitation of 3.5GB system memory in a 32 bit architecture includes your graphics memory. So, in a situation where your system is utilizing, say 500MB of your video ram, that only leaves you to use 3gb of your RAM.
  5. I have not read anything other than RAM and software being handicapped by a 32 bit operating system. A 32 bit installation will not effect a future 64 bit installation. You will just be able to use things that you couldn't use with a 32 bit OS.
  6. yes....I actually already bought windows 7 for my laptop. Unfortunately, they will only let you purchse one liscense at that discount. I plan on asking a friend from class to use his email. Until than, I'm not very patient and want to get this computer working for WOW.
  7. The clean install should be alright, but you'll need to back-up everything first, so you need another HDD. Also, it absolutely will be a hassle.

    I would also look around the Windows 7 forum. They'll have the answer in there for sure.

    EDIT: Other people answered the same while I was doing some searching...
  8. Thanks everyone for your help. I guess I should just be patient and wait till I have the extra money for the 64 bit OS.
  9. BTW, the OEM version is still cheaper than the upgrade version...
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