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32 or 64 bit OS?


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I'm just recovering from being zapped by lightening and have rebuilt my desktop with a new motherboard. I've always installed a 32 bit OS in the past. Any advantage choosing 64 bit this time? Be quick, I want to decide by tomorrow night as there is a hell of a lot of data restoration, etc. to do, :-) OS = Win7

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When I only need 2G of addressable memory I use 32bit because 32bit is typically more compact.  Programs need a little less space than they do when they run 64bit.  However my personal desktop is alwa

Go for 64bit.   32bit can only access up to 4GB ram.

Not to mention that one can only actually use about 3.3GB of that 4GB.

Majorsco

It used to be that apps didn't support the 64 bit, but that is no longer true. I have a 64 bit laptop and. It handles everything fine.

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Some older programs may not work properly in 64 bit Windows.  I had to upgrade Office because OneNote didn't work properly printing under 64 bit Windows.

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Salty Dog
This is a difficult question to answer because the response is really: "It depends."

 

Assuming all your drivers works - which could be a big assumption - then your 64X machine will not be limited by the memory limitation. That's is you'll be able to effectively use more that 4GB of memory. Is that good? Maybe, if you routinely run out of memory then it's good. If not, then not much ground is gained.

 

Also, is all your software 64X ready. If yes then it'll be great. If not then it will use 32X emulation which could be slower that if it ran on a regular 32X bit machine.
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Davaoeno

I just bought a new computer and because I chose 64x i was told i had to go with Office 10 and not Office 13 

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Skywalker

My parents were unable to upgrade - so I deleted them.

 

It's horses for courses.  Do you need 64?  If so why?

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MattFromGA

When I only need 2G of addressable memory I use 32bit because 32bit is typically more compact.  Programs need a little less space than they do when they run 64bit.  However my personal desktop is always 64bit because I have 16g of ram right now.  As a developer I run many apps at once, run with lots of pixels on multiple monitors and run multiple virtual machines at one time.  

 

So if you are buying a machine with 4g of ram or less and you intend to not upgrade that memory, you may as well use 32bit as it will use that memory more effectively.  If you get more memory you have to go 64bit.

 

Do people still have driver problems with 64bit?  That must be some OLD printer.

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miles-high

It is easy to decide 1) if you need more than 4Gb RAM and  2) if you want "safer" multitasking. I have all 64's with 64 RAM and you can open more apps than you probably ever need to and still no prob... Now all programs available from aerospace manufacturers are in 64 (sims, training apps, etc. ).

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Kabisay-an gid

Go for 64bit.  

32bit can only access up to 4GB ram.

 

Not to mention that one can only actually use about 3.3GB of that 4GB.

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MattFromGA

Adding more memory doesn't always add up to mean better performance.  The Operating System will use virtual memory, so it will swap out memory to the hard drive as programs use the memory.  Typically, unless you run out of hard drive space on your swap drive, you will always be allowed to start more apps.  Swapping to hard drive is slower, so adding more memory when you are swapping to disk will definitely speed up performance.  If you have 4G of ram and don't swap, adding another 4G of ram to have 8G will mean nothing.  If you never go over 4G then it won't make a difference.  

 

Sometimes it appears like an app needs more memory than it does because it grabs up a % of available memory as a reserve, such as SQL server.  When running on a box with less memory it adapts and works with less.  Depending on the app and what it does this may mean nothing too.  A single db used 5 times a day doesn't need to grab 3G of my 8G.  It wont use that memory in a meaningful way.

 

Someone running with 32G of ram on their personal desktop is probably buying more ram than they need.  I do some heavy lifting on my box with 16G and rarely go over 12G of memory in use.  Other developers I know seem to brag about having 32G or more of ram on their dev box, yet for me, adding the extra memory would add no value other than to be able to nod my head and agree with the others about how important it is to have 32G of ram when you're a big boy developer.

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Mostly true however OSes like Windows will do tracks like caching and not flushing and clearing memory pages such that although the memory isn't "used" and has been paged out, it still may contain the original data. If this is so, and the page is requested, the MM can skip a swap page load and just map the page back in. 

 

Memory is cheap. 

 

Not sure what having a high-res monitor has to do with it, but my display setup is somewhere around 6mp at the moment. 

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Skywalker

I found that upgrading my HD to solid state drive (SSD) did improve the speed quite significantly.  But it's not a cheap option.

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MattFromGA

 

Not sure what having a high-res monitor has to do with it, but my display setup is somewhere around 6mp at the moment.

 

The more pixels exist on your desktop the more buffers and such that are used by the OS, so it will use more memory for that.  Its not just the graphic cards memory used.  Maybe things have changed with the way the GPU is used today, but it used to be that as you covered up windows, the contents behind it had to be cached like an image.  Also, double buffering applications would use more memory when you can open the window larger.

 

Thus if your resolution adds up to something like 10,000x8,000 you will use more memory than a laptop at 1024x768.

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