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32-bit vs 64-bit

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 5, 2009 9:33:28 PM

Hello all! :D 

Ok, I have been wondering this question for a while: Which is better, 32-bit Windows or 64-bit Windows?

I know that with 64-bit, your computer can handle more than just 4gb of ram, but what are the other pros and cons of a 64-bit OS over 32-bit OS?

Thanks!

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a b $ Windows 7
August 5, 2009 9:58:32 PM

Originally when Windows XP64 came out and then followed by Vista 64 there were some intial driver issues (some still unresolved with sound cards)... but a few years down the line you would be hard pushed to find many pieces of software or hardware that doesnt run flawlessly on 64 bit os's.

There is however one example that springs to mind...... Flash Player for 64 bit IE... last time i looked the Adobe site claimed it was still under development.

I have been running Vista 64 since its launch, and aside from the need for more RAM... cant really fault it. XP is slightly quicker in some applications, but not enough to make a huge real world difference.
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August 5, 2009 11:29:36 PM

32-bits is mostly for 2Gb PC more than 2Gb you should use 64-bits O/S.

Because windows x86 will be able to handle 4Gb system total usage... this include the cache of the HDD, CD/DVD rom, videocard and everything else that have onboard memory.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 6, 2009 3:21:20 AM

Unless you have a netbook or some really old, unsupported software... there is really no compelling reason to stick with 32-bit. Whether you have 1 or 2GB or more of RAM doesn't make that much difference.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 6, 2009 1:07:17 PM
August 6, 2009 2:22:00 PM

Ok, thx all! :D 

Now for older software, what do you suggest for that? Is there some sort of setting I can use in 64-bit to make it compatible with older software?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 6, 2009 2:51:19 PM

XP64, Vista64, Win7 x64 all include different revisions of a technology called "WOW64" - for "Windows on Windows". What it is is a set of libraries that have everything needed to run 32 bit code in a 64 bit environment, plus a traffic cop doing the necessary registry and file redirection magic.

The result is that - by and large - 32 bit (Windows) applications "just run". The limitations are that WOW64 doesn't apply to drivers, which still need to be native 64 bit; and that you can't run 16 bit code, so very old games and apps have to be virtualized rather than run natively.
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August 6, 2009 11:49:40 PM

What do you mean by "virtualized?"
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a b $ Windows 7
August 7, 2009 3:21:45 AM

Emulated. Like DOSBox is a DOS emulator that allows you to run old DOS software on modern computers / hardware. For instance, I can run old Commander Keen games on Vista 64 using DOSBox... the sound even works... which really surprised me. Apparently, DOSBox also emulates old Sound Blaster hardware.

With Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate, you get a license to run 32-bit XP in a virtual machine. This means you'll be running a Windows XP environment from within Windows 7. The downside is that there is no hardware support... meaning software like 3D games will run in software mode only... no hardware support under the XP virtual machine. The upside is that your software thinks it's running under Windows XP... which means that if it's incompatible with Vista or Windows 7, it will run under the XP VM. (Providing it doesn't need any specialized hardware support).
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August 7, 2009 3:18:37 PM

Zoron said:
Emulated. Like DOSBox is a DOS emulator that allows you to run old DOS software on modern computers / hardware. For instance, I can run old Commander Keen games on Vista 64 using DOSBox... the sound even works... which really surprised me. Apparently, DOSBox also emulates old Sound Blaster hardware.

With Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate, you get a license to run 32-bit XP in a virtual machine. This means you'll be running a Windows XP environment from within Windows 7. The downside is that there is no hardware support... meaning software like 3D games will run in software mode only... no hardware support under the XP virtual machine. The upside is that your software thinks it's running under Windows XP... which means that if it's incompatible with Vista or Windows 7, it will run under the XP VM. (Providing it doesn't need any specialized hardware support).


Ok, thats cool! Sounds like I would be spending a bit extra on pro ;) 

Just wondering, is it XP 32-bit even if it is Windows 7 64-bit?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 7, 2009 3:25:31 PM

ElectroGoofy said:
Ok, thats cool! Sounds like I would be spending a bit extra on pro ;) 

Just wondering, is it XP 32-bit even if it is Windows 7 64-bit?




It's virtual, but yes - it's the full version of XP. Understand that there are limitations: Specifically, No Hardware Acceleration. So if you're looking to use that to improve your games, that's not going to happen. This works fine for old games, which do not require much computing power anyhow. But a modern title will be noticably affected for the worse.
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August 9, 2009 2:31:29 AM

Scotteq said:
It's virtual, but yes - it's the full version of XP. Understand that there are limitations: Specifically, No Hardware Acceleration. So if you're looking to use that to improve your games, that's not going to happen. This works fine for old games, which do not require much computing power anyhow. But a modern title will be noticably affected for the worse.


Yea, I understand that part... but is the version of Virtual XP 32-bit, even though it is Windows 7 64-bit? Or would it be Virtual XP 64-bit as well?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 9, 2009 4:36:20 AM

It's 32-bit XP with Service Pack 3.
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August 11, 2009 2:30:44 AM

Ok, awesome, thanks! :D 
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