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32 bit vs 64 bit

Last response: in Windows 7
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March 26, 2012 12:06:21 PM

hi all i have a question
i have been using
xfx 750i extreme edition
2gb ram :D 
gtx 460
500gb HDD
and other stuff


so now i have upgraded ram to 4 gigs

32 bit (win 7) can only use 3 gigs of ram

so the question is should i switch to 64 bit OS (win 7) will i see any significant increase in performance or i m better staying with 32 bit os
i just use this PC for gaming

More about : bit bit

a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 12:10:54 PM

yes 64 bit will let you utilize all of the 4gb ram
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 4:28:47 PM

IT would be more trouble than it is worth if you are only using 4GB. -- the difference will not be noticeable and since you have an older system that was on 32 bit there is a chance that some of your older programs will not work on a 64 bit OS.

Main reason being that in order to switch from 32 to 64 bit will require a Fresh Clean install of the OS and then reinstall of all of your programs etc. -- you can not switch from 32 bit to 64 bit you have to start over and install of your programs and ensure that you have 64 bit drivers for all of your hardware. And the difference in running with 3.25 GB. of useable RAM and 4GB. after the switch is not even going to be noticeable for the most part (unless you are multi tasking and running several programs at a time and actually using the entire 4GB of memory - which is doubtful since you were up until recently only using 2GB. on the same system !!) -- Now if you had upgraded to 8 or 16GB of Ram then you would need to switch to a 64 bit OS but at 4GB. there is no compelling reason to do so and is not worth the hassle involved.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 4:36:17 PM

its also worth mentioning that 64 bit programs require more ram

edit: sidenote: 32bit windows has a cap of 4gb of memory. this includes video memory though. so if you have a 1gb card your max system memory is 3gb. if you had a 512mb card you could have 3.5. 2gb and 2gb. etc etc
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March 26, 2012 4:36:48 PM

Agree with JDFan. The difference in performance is minimal. But on your next build you should consider getting 64bit with at least 8GB memory
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 4:42:13 PM

neon neophyte said:
its also worth mentioning that 64 bit programs require more ram

edit: sidenote: 32bit windows has a cap of 4gb of memory. this includes video memory though. so if you have a 1gb card your max system memory is 3gb. if you had a 512mb card you could have 3.5. 2gb and 2gb. etc etc


Not quite --- The Video card handles the VRAM so it has no bearing on the amount deducted from the system available RAM --- that is handled through Video page files which are set aside for the card so whether you have 512mb of VRAM or a 2GB VRAM video card the same amount of Pagefile adresses are reserved from the 4gb. available (only time this changes is if you have multiple video cards which then sets aside extra page files for the swapping)
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 5:02:00 PM

also clearing up the more ram issue that does not mean your computer will crawl with 4GB of ram. that is all i have and i experience no slowdowns
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March 26, 2012 5:02:58 PM

I would say either dont buy new OS, or buy new OS and 8gb RAM. RAM is so cheap, you might as well save yourself another upgrade in the future. DDR4 isn't on its way yet...
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March 26, 2012 5:04:38 PM

JDFan said:
Not quite --- The Video card handles the VRAM so it has no bearing on the amount deducted from the system available RAM --- that is handled through Video page files which are set aside for the card so whether you have 512mb of VRAM or a 2GB VRAM video card the same amount of Pagefile adresses are reserved from the 4gb. available (only time this changes is if you have multiple video cards which then sets aside extra page files for the swapping)


I'm sorry, but I think this is not accurate. Even though memory can be paged, it does not exempt the system from reserving addresses for it. Here is an answer from Microsoft on the issue:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/hiltonl/archive/2007/04/13/the-...

Summarizing, the OS has to set aside an address pool for the video memory, which deducts from the pool available for system RAM. To address any memory above 4GB (System+VRAM), the system must use 64-bit addressing.

If there were any advances on this matter that I do not know of and you do, than I'm sorry and please elaborate.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 5:18:09 PM

Max1s said:
I would say either dont buy new OS, or buy new OS and 8gb RAM. RAM is so cheap, you might as well save yourself another upgrade in the future. DDR4 isn't on its way yet...


No purchase necessary --- the Product key for Windows 7 is useable on either 32 bit or 64 bit versions interchangeably -- so his 32 bit license can be reused for changing to 64 bit but as I said above there is not really any reason to do so as it does require reinstalling everything from scratch and the benefit is not noticeable at 4GB. of RAM.

Murissokah said:
I'm sorry, but I think this is not accurate. Even though memory can be paged, it does not exempt the system from reserving addresses for it. Here is an answer from Microsoft on the issue:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/hiltonl/archive/2007/04/13/the-...

Summarizing, the OS has to set aside an address pool for the video memory, which deducts from the pool available for system RAM. To address any memory above 4GB (System+VRAM), the system must use 64-bit addressing.

If there were any advances on this matter that I do not know of and you do, than I'm sorry and please elaborate.


Here is an Article that explains it somewhat -- the system reserves 256MB of video page files per video card and the video card and system use that reserve of memory to swap information between the system and video card -- the system does not even know how much VRAM your video card has and the adrressing of it is handled by the video card chips so whether it is using 256MB or 2 GB. all of the info that is shared with the system is still using that 256MB of pagefile memory ( UNLESS it is an onboard video chip that is using shared memory and not a discrete graphics card with it's own memory!)

SO it pretty much breaks down as 512MB system reserved and 256MB video page files that are deducted from the 4GB. limit on a 32 bit system leaving 3.25GB available in most instances -- However that can vary if you add a second video card in which case another 256MB is reserved for the video sub system leaving only 3GB available -- or if using an onboard video chipset that has no memory of it's own which then takes it's memory directly from the 4gb. of system memory (and actually also uses the same 256MB page file memory as well - so a 512MB onboard chip will use 756MB for video and 512MB for system reserve leaving only 2.75GB available of the 4GB. (so using onboard chipsets that share memory will eat up your available ram quickly - where Discrete cards with 1-3GB. of memory will only use the 256MB of the system adressable memory pool (Again only the video card addresses it's VRAM so the system does not need an address assigned to it)
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 5:41:19 PM

Stay with 32 bit, until you decide to go above 4 gigs.
There is little to no performance increase going to 64 bit with 4 gigs of ram.

Windows 7 changed the reporting of ram from the way it was reported in XP and Vista 32 bit. This was to eiliminate all the Questions on "Why I'm I only seeing 3.xx gigs with 4 gigs installed.

As stated by JD, 4 gigs is the limit for mapping memory addresses, so all MMIO's are mapped OUT starting at the 4 gig boundery. GPU memory is not a 1 to 1 ratio. With a 1 gig Video ram GPU you will probably have about 3.2 gig available, w/a 512 meg probably in the area of 3.5 Gig available. Sound cards will deduct, there is even a small deduction for DOS.

You'll probable have very few problems with software as appossed to Hardware. IE I had to ditch my GOOD scanner as Cannon would not release a 64 bit driver - would have been simple, but they prefered I buy a NEW scanner.
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March 26, 2012 5:45:33 PM

JDFan said:
No purchase necessary --- the Product key for Windows 7 is useable on either 32 bit or 64 bit versions interchangeably -- so his 32 bit license can be reused for changing to 64 bit but as I said above there is not really any reason to do so as it does require reinstalling everything from scratch and the benefit is not noticeable at 4GB. of RAM.



I agree that you can use the 32 bit key with 64 bit windows, but they have to be the same version. ie. home premium 32bit-home premium 64bit. I just did this myself with my brothers 64 bit copy and my oem win7 32 bit key. :D 

I did however run into issues with 32 bit win7 with BF3, hence the reason I upgraded to 8gb of ram and went to 64 bit windows. BF3 would eventually use all 4gb(or whatever 32 bit allowed for) and crash. It would usually take a couple of matches to crash to desktop, but it would eventually happen. I'd also get that low memory warning while exiting BF3. Every now and again I would alt-tab out and see 90%+ ram used. The crashes would usually happen in 64 player conquest servers mostly. Since switching/upgrading the crashes and warnings have stopped alltogether. So while I don't think there is any difference in performance between the two different versions(32/64), I do think that certain games/programs are starting to use more and more ram and 64bit is all I would recommend now for the future. Depending on the OP needs, he may want to just go to 64bit now and get it out of the way. It won't raise his FPS, and I don't think it will lower it either, but with ram prices as cheap as they are it's probally just as well.

http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/forum/threadview/2... thread with comments from users playing where even a moderator says switching to 8gb helped him from stuttering. This probally isn't typical of 95% of games out there right now, but I think it will become more common in future game titles.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 5:54:03 PM

ok, so... if it only takes 250 mb for a video card out of your total system ram, why does every system with a 1 gb video card and 4 gb or ram on win32 only have 3 gb of total system ram available?
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 5:59:15 PM

neon neophyte said:
ok, so... if it only takes 250 mb for a video card out of your total system ram, why does every system with a 1 gb video card and 4 gb or ram on win32 only have 3 gb of total system ram available?


They don't My system for example before I upgraded last year had a 32 bit OS and a 1GB. 5770 and had 3.25GB available which is where I get the info I provided. (I now have 8GB and a 64 bit system)
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 6:04:10 PM

mine did. so did the ops.

"so now i have upgraded ram to 4 gigs

32 bit (win 7) can only use 3 gigs of ram "

with a gtx 460, u do the math
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March 26, 2012 6:07:00 PM

I think i just learned something reading this thread...
PS: dont change OS...unless more RAM is coming.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 6:08:18 PM

neon neophyte said:
mine did. so did the ops.

"so now i have upgraded ram to 4 gigs

32 bit (win 7) can only use 3 gigs of ram "

with a gtx 460, u do the math


DO you have any onboard Video chipset disabled in the BIOS ?? IF not the system will set aside an additional 256MB of page file for it as well !
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 6:08:48 PM

no

this was on a core2duo p5q deluxe socket 775. no onboard video.
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March 26, 2012 6:11:43 PM

I suggest you stick with 32bit as you will only gain a small bit from the upgrade. I suggest trying to get access to as much of that 4GB's as possible. What you might also try ASRocks xfast ram. It allows you to use the extra ram as a super fast cache. Xfast RAM may not work with none ASRock motherboards but this is also possible with other software solutions.
http://www.asrock.com/feature/xfastram/
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2012 8:07:49 PM

Same as JD. Vista and XP both had about 3.5 gigs avail with 512 Gig GPU and dropped to about 3.2 when GPU was changed to a 1 gig GPU. Also have seen it drop to as low as 2.8 avail, it depends on how many MMIOs that require memory mapping, ie a sound card requires mapping.
There is a switch in some bios' that has to be toggled to go from 3 gigs to 4 gig (if I'm not mistaken).

There are a couple of confussion factors, such as (a) the 3 gig limit, and (B) the 2 gig limit imposed on program space - the kernal uses 2 gig which is shared between programs. Then throw in PAE.

Quote:
Memory mapped I/O and disabled RAMModern personal computers are built around a set of standards that depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the original PCI bus. The original PCI bus supported 32-bit physical addresses and 32-bit wide data transfers. PCI (and PCI Express, and AGP) devices present at least some, if not all, of their host control interfaces via a set of memory-mapped I/O locations (MMIO). The address space in which these MMIO locations appear is the same address space as that used by RAM, and while RAM can exist and be addressable above the 4 GB point, these MMIO locations decoded by I/O devices cannot be. They are limited by PCI bus specifications to addresses of 0xFFFFFFFF (232−1) and below. With 4 GB or more of RAM installed, and with RAM occupying a contiguous range of addresses starting at 0, some of the MMIO locations will overlap with RAM addresses.

End quote.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 27, 2012 2:00:40 PM

IROC_69 said:
thanks for ur concern people
after reading all the reply's
i think i m better off staying on 32 bit OS i will upgrade when i get my hands on more memory
btw i found this

http://www.howorks.com/2011/02/24/how-to-remove-windows...

it made my PC a bit more faster :) 


I'd be careful using that program -- as is mentioned it is designed by a group of Russian computer users and there are many Russian Hacker groups that use this type of promise in software to infect your system with malware, Tracking software etc. so without knowing more about it I'd avoid installing it on my system unless it was not connected to the internet or never used to access vulnerable data ( ie. banking info, credit card info, passwords to secure sites) -- Since the only method something like what they claim is possible is if the Kernal and the programs you are using is designed for it (like PAE (Physical Address Extension) aware programs ) -- chances are it does nothing but infect your system and distort the info that is being reported to make it seem to work - so use with extreme caution !! (Esp since even in his screenshots in the article it shows him using Ultimate which is the most pirated version of Windows and his screen does not show any activation status display (he has carefully minimized the screen to not show the activation status lines at the bottom) so not sure if I'd trust the source of the info.
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March 27, 2012 3:09:19 PM

i did some research about this program alot of people are using it

i use this PC for some internet and gaming @ 1280x1024
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a b $ Windows 7
March 27, 2012 3:41:11 PM

First - How often is your windows swap file used. If infrequently then more memory will NOT improve performance very much, and I would not use the mentioned Hack. The primary function of more memory is to reduce the use of the swap file and the slow down is due to the SLOWWW speed of a HDD.

An alternative would be to gett an SSD - Get one that will transfer to your "New" system. Current SSds are about 20->40 thimes faster than a HDD (still not as fast as ram).
1) Get a 120/128 gig SSD and put Your OS + programs on it + windows swap file. This will provide a termendous boost to loading the operating system and programs. The swap file will now be about 40 x faster than if it was on the HDD.
2) Buy a small one, say 40 gigs. Move your swap file here and use the remainder of the drive for files most often accesses.
.. in either case set the Min max of the swap file to the same size say 4 gigs If you should ever get an error "Out of memory" just increase the size. By setting min/max to the same value you prevent windows from dynamically varing the size.
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