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32-Bit Gaming

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 24, 2012 2:07:44 AM

I was just about to buy the parts for my tricked out gaming rig (i5 3570k and Radeon 7870) when I realized I needed an OS :pfff: 

I found a CD of Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit lying around, and was wondering if this would be sufficient for my gaming needs (Battlefield 3 and 4, Skyrim maxed out, etc.). Would the OS being 32-bit bottleneck my performance in any way?

I suppose worst case I could download this version then upgrade to Windows 8 later or something...

Thanks!

More about : bit gaming

a b $ Windows 7
December 24, 2012 2:16:05 AM

you'd be limited to 4GB of ram.
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December 24, 2012 2:25:33 AM

ss202sl said:
you'd be limited to 4GB of ram.


Is that the only limitation? FYI, my video card is 2 GB.

The most demanding games require 4 GB, like Battlefield 3.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 24, 2012 3:05:01 AM

ROUGHRIDER13 said:
Is that the only limitation? FYI, my video card is 2 GB.

The most demanding games require 4 GB, like Battlefield 3.


He isn't making reference to the amount of video memory. 32bit OSs have a 4Gb system memory barrier.

There's more info on it HERE
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December 24, 2012 3:09:57 AM

hedwar2011 said:
He isn't making reference to the amount of video memory. 32bit OSs have a 4Gb system memory barrier.

There's more info on it HERE


I know, sorry for the confusion, just wanted to throw that info out there.

So I guess I'll keep my 32 bit and wait until more RAM to upgrade? Is RAM the only difference?
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a b $ Windows 7
December 24, 2012 3:14:26 AM

ROUGHRIDER13 said:
I know, sorry for the confusion, just wanted to throw that info out there.

So I guess I'll keep my 32 bit and wait until more RAM to upgrade? Is RAM the only difference?


Not all older software is compatible with 64bit versions of Windows but since it has been out for quite some time, most major companies (including game makers) have adapted as such. The ability to surpass that 4Gb limitation of a 32bit system has benefits within games as well because you will have more data lanes for your processes to travel down thus making your experience faster and better.
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December 24, 2012 2:34:10 PM

hedwar2011 said:
Not all older software is compatible with 64bit versions of Windows but since it has been out for quite some time, most major companies (including game makers) have adapted as such. The ability to surpass that 4Gb limitation of a 32bit system has benefits within games as well because you will have more data lanes for your processes to travel down thus making your experience faster and better.


So does this plan sound good?:

I buy 2 x 4GB of RAM
Install my 32 bit Windows
Upgrade to Windows 8 in a few months or so, when its more reliable


Thanks
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a b 4 Gaming
a b $ Windows 7
December 24, 2012 8:28:35 PM

ROUGHRIDER13 said:

I found a CD of Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit lying around, and was wondering if this would be sufficient for my gaming needs (Battlefield 3 and 4, Skyrim maxed out, etc.). Would the OS being 32-bit bottleneck my performance in any way?

I suppose worst case I could download this version then upgrade to Windows 8 later or something...



I don't think you can upgrade from 32-bit OS to 64-bit OS. If you install Windows 7 32-bit you would be limited to Win 8 32-bit upgrade.

In a 32-bit OS you are never going to see the full 4GB of system RAM because other things on the motherboard also take up some of that 4GB total address space. Generally after all is said and done, you are typically left with enough address space to get around 3.25GB - 3.4GB of that 4GB of physical RAM. This is enough for games since games generally do not use more than 1.2GB of RAM unless it has a memory leak problem which is a design flaw of the game itself.

Graphics VRAM is separate from the system RAM unless you are using integrated graphics (either on the motherboard or inside the CPU), then some of the system will be used for the integrated graphics. Otherwise 3.25GB -3.4GB of RAM is fine for games. Unless you like run other things in the background. For example, I sometimes tend to encode videos while playing games. That in itself does not take up too much additional RAM, but the point is the more programs you have up and running the more system RAM you will be using.

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December 24, 2012 9:59:20 PM

jaguarskx said:
I don't think you can upgrade from 32-bit OS to 64-bit OS. If you install Windows 7 32-bit you would be limited to Win 8 32-bit upgrade.

In a 32-bit OS you are never going to see the full 4GB of system RAM because other things on the motherboard also take up some of that 4GB total address space. Generally after all is said and done, you are typically left with enough address space to get around 3.25GB - 3.4GB of that 4GB of physical RAM. This is enough for games since games generally do not use more than 1.2GB of RAM unless it has a memory leak problem which is a design flaw of the game itself.

Graphics VRAM is separate from the system RAM unless you are using integrated graphics (either on the motherboard or inside the CPU), then some of the system will be used for the integrated graphics. Otherwise 3.25GB -3.4GB of RAM is fine for games. Unless you like run other things in the background. For example, I sometimes tend to encode videos while playing games. That in itself does not take up too much additional RAM, but the point is the more programs you have up and running the more system RAM you will be using.


Ok, so you would recommend that I use the 32 bit until my needs require more usable RAM?

Also, Battlefield 3 recommends 4 GB of RAM. My system should totally kill it with maxed settings, but would using 32 bit end up bottlenecking my system? In the future?

Thanks and Merry Christmas
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a b 4 Gaming
a b $ Windows 7
December 25, 2012 3:44:19 AM

I don't play BF3 so I am not sure how much RAM it would actually eat up. Based on all the games I've played I have never seen a game use more than 1.4GB of RAM.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b $ Windows 7
December 25, 2012 3:49:26 AM

Since you already have the Windows 7 32-bit DVD you might as well just install it since it doesn't cost you anything. You can then save up money for the 64-bit version of Win 7 or Win 8. Before taking the plunge for Win 8 just Google around to see if it is compatible games that you are interested in play which were released before Win 8 was launched.

I recently ordered Win 7 Home Premium (retail) from Amazon for $150 if I am not mistaken. I am finally upgrading my HTPC from Win XP. It comes with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 25, 2012 12:31:30 PM

It also comes down to if the processor you have installed on the motherboard is capable of running 64bits. It usually (when purchasing it online) will say if it has 64bit capabilities or not.
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December 28, 2012 12:41:16 AM

I've been told that my Windows key is valid for both 32 bit and 64 bit versions, so I should go ahead and get the 64 bit download. How would I go about getting the 64 but version with no key for free? Sorry, I'm not familiar with how OS are installed.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 28, 2012 12:50:43 AM

I may have missed it earlier but how did you come across the 32bit version you have now? CD possibly?

If that's the case, there will usually be a 2nd CD/DVD that has the 64bit version.

Aside from that, it is actually against forum rules for us to provide direction on how to get a copy of Windows for free....sorry.....:( 

EDIT: I just scrolled up, imagine that, and saw that you found a CD laying around. Odds are, it is 32bit only, but you still need to be sure that your processor supports 64 bit architecture before putting a lot into attempting to find a 64bit version.
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December 28, 2012 1:30:02 AM

My CPU is 64 bit compatible.

The 32 bit OS came with a Vista laptop I bought right when Win7 came out. It only includes the 32 bit disk. Darn, I already bought 8 GB of RAM, so I guess I'll have to plan an upgrade soon.

So even if i had a CD key for the 64 bit, I couldn't get just the software for free (legally, of course)?
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a b $ Windows 7
December 28, 2012 1:34:29 AM

ROUGHRIDER13 said:
My CPU is 64 bit compatible.

The 32 bit OS came with a Vista laptop I bought right when Win7 came out. It only includes the 32 bit disk. Darn, I already bought 8 GB of RAM, so I guess I'll have to plan an upgrade soon.

So even if i had a CD key for the 64 bit, I couldn't get just the software for free (legally, of course)?


You could but it might be kinda difficult to find a copy of Windows 7 64bit as of now because when Windows 8 launched most companies pulled all their copies of 7 from shelves.
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December 28, 2012 1:53:59 AM

hedwar2011 said:
You could but it might be kinda difficult to find a copy of Windows 7 64bit as of now because when Windows 8 launched most companies pulled all their copies of 7 from shelves.


Is it possible to get it free legally with no CD key, and then enter the CD key myself?
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