I7 875k: xp pro 32, win7 32, or...?

I just purchased a new I7 875k PC (w/o an OS)

mobo=BIOSTAR T5 XE CFX-SLI LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX

current RAM= 4 gb, but will probably expand to 6 or 8 in the future. This is probably not necessary now since my primary app, pinnacle studio, is a 32 bit app and does not work with amounts of ram greater than 2 gb I was told.

and I had a few questions:

1) what is the best OS for this rig -one that will best utilize the 4 cores (and even more with hyperthreading?) ?

2) I already have xp pro sp3 32 bit. Can XP Pro work well with the I7 machine, or will it merely 'work', but not utilize to the fullest extent the multiple cores?

3) I also have Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit in mu house already. Similar question as (2): Will this work well with the I7 machine, or will it merely 'work', but not take full advantage of the multi cores of the I7?

4) What are the differences between the editions of Win7
(home premium 32 64,
Pro 32 64, and
ultimate 32 64)?

When should you pick one edition or another?

5) money is tight , now, too, but I do want to get the most of my I7 investment.
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  1. I think you'd be best of with Win7 Home Premium 64-bit.

    I'd go against buying xp for a new rig. Almost every program that works in standard xp will work in win 7. (almost)

    Home Premium is what most non-business people will get, including most gamers/enthusiasts. 2 things the Pro has over HP are Windows XP mode and backing up over a network. XP Mode is NOT suitable for playing games with, due to the technical issues associated with it and since most programs'll work with win7 anyway, it's probably not worth getting. It is primarily aimed at businesses who NEED to have certain programs run. Ultimate is for someone without much of a budget or for people who need a weird feature set. Its feature over Pro include more virtual stuff, full multi-lingual support and more advanced encryption.

    With all that though, Home Premium is all that most people (excluding business) will need.
  2. You should certainly use a 64-bit OS for any new build. A 32-bit OS can't even fully use 4GB, so you don't even have the option of adding more RAM with a 32-bit OS. Here's a comparison of the different versions of Windows 7:


    This is what I would get:

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99
  3. thanks for the thoughtful replies. one thing, @short, you recommended w7 homr prem x64, but i saw in the last post, it was said that w7 hp does not have an xp mode. my primary app, pinnacle studio , v12, has not been officially approved w/ w7, and my initial tests with it on another pc i have with w7 ult x32 were problematic - even when I used xp compatibility mode. cd have been the install, too. I am trying to debug it. but I DO know that v12 studio works fine w/ xp pro.

    the next version, v14 (which I'll get as soon as it stabilizes), is w7 compat. so for the proverbial 'upgrade path' , i s/ prolly go w/ w7 hp it loks like.
  4. xp mode doesn't provide a very good fix for more intensive programs, since it's running a virtual machine with xp on it.

    That means that the programs that most people have that might not run on 7, still won't run on 7 Pro, or at least not well.

    Win7 HP
  5. Since you said you already have XP, I would just stay with that. If you were buying new, different story. But XP will do the job just fine. And if it doesn't work out, you can always buy something else later.

    You asked about multicore efficiency. The multicore difference between 7 and XP is negligible.
  6. thanks. i'm goin' w/ xp for the moment ($ and sense)
  7. but another OS that just found its way into my possession for free and is now an option , 64 bit vista home premium.

    I also have win xp pro 64 in my possession from a friend. I did not bring this OS up along with vista 64 since I heard notsogreat things about these OS's. Are these stable OS's, or even if stable, are ot indicated for my needs, which are...

    4 gb of ram, running a 32 bit app, pinnacle studio, and have the following OS's in my possession (zero $ )... what is the best OS of these zero dollar options?

    xp pro 32
    xp pro 64

    vista 64

    win 7 ultimate 32
  8. I like XP Pro 64 bit. It has a bad name largely from its early days in 2005 and 2006 when there were no 64 bit OS to compare it to. Today, Vista/7 64 bit have mostly the same problems. Those issues that XP 64 has a reputation for are largely 64 bit issues in general and not XP 64 issues.

    All Windows 64 bit versions require 64 bit drivers. 32 bit drivers don't work. So XP 64 developed a reputation for having no drivers and having compatibility issues, especially with older software. And back then, there was no good reason to upgrade to a 64 bit OS.

    As computers started to run into the 32 bit memory barrier (4 GB) users were forced to adopt 64 bit OS to bypass that limit. Vista and 7 are perceived as better largely because enough 64 bit support exists today. But that extends to XP 64 as well.


    Vista is just an older version of windows 7. XP has advantages over windows 7, but there is no reason I can think of to take Vista over 7 if there us no cost involved.


    If you have windows 7 ultimate 32 bit, then you have Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit as the license keys are interchangeable. You just need to find a Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit disk of the same distribution (Retail, OEM, or upgrade).

    EDIT: Sorry, the distribution part is incorrect. That applies to XP but the Vista/7 disks are interchangeable. Its only the key that matters.


    If you go 32 bit, then I would stay with XP. If you choose to do 64 bit, then I would go with XP 64 or 7 64.

    Both versions of XP are faster than 7. But 7 is more feature filled. XP is more flexible for power users. 7 is more secure in its stock form.

    Remember that 16 bit programs will not run in 64 bit windows. And this includes many 32 bit programs which use 16 bit installers well into the 2000's, so if you use a lot of older programs, you may wish to go 32 bit or at least dual boot.

    One advantage that Vista and 7 will have over the XP's is bundled drivers. MS always bundles lots of drivers with its latest OS. With an older OS like XP, you will have to get the drivers from the hardware manufacturers themselves. The parts usually come with driver disks so its not hard, but worth mentioning.

    You have all of them. Install them one at a time and make up your mind for yourself. They all bring something different to the table. You could set up 3 or 4 partions and install all of them. Just be sure to install them oldest to newest and it will create a multiboot environment automatically. Try them side by side. Then after you pick which one or ones you wish to use, you can wipe everything and set it up however you like.
  9. I didn't know you already had the OSs..

    If you're buying a new one, then 7 64-bit.
    If you're using one of the above stated, then either of the 2 64-bits have a good reason behind them and as do the 2 32-bits, but as FALCON said, if you have win 7 32-bit, then you already have a key for 64-bit, so that's my recommendation.
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