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64 or 32 Bit Windows 7?

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  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Just for my own personal interest, are people looking at going 64 bit or 32 bit on their Windows 7 "main machine" installation?

    If you plan on staying 32 bit, why? Hardware doesn't support it? Larger memory allocations worry you? Software issues? etc

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    at home i am running vista x64 and will upgrade to 7 x64 when the time is right.

    I think any new systems should be 64 bit as long as the system board allows more than 4 gigs to be installed.

    if you can only have a max of 4 gigs then i think you lose more than you gain with x64 due to addressing and such. pointer size and related issues.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    I have 32 on my netbook (duh Smiley). I may go for 64 on the desktop at home when it's released. Maybe. I don't have a real need for it.

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    I'll go with 32bit, no driver problems with school software and VM Ware and none of my computers has more then 4GB RAM

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    figuerres said:

    at home i am running vista x64 and will upgrade to 7 x64 when the time is right.

    I think any new systems should be 64 bit as long as the system board allows more than 4 gigs to be installed.

    if you can only have a max of 4 gigs then i think you lose more than you gain with x64 due to addressing and such. pointer size and related issues.

    I'm running x64 by default now, the only times I go x86 are for older hadware with no x64 support.

    I found even at 4Gb I was still losing 500-700Mb of that when running x86, I'm sure I don't lose anywhere near that due to larger pointers etc under x64.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I'll be running x64. Been running x64 Vista for two years now.

  • User profile image
    LeoDavidson

    CKurt said:

    I'll go with 32bit, no driver problems with school software and VM Ware and none of my computers has more then 4GB RAM

    AFAIK, VMWare works fine with 64-bit. A friend of mine uses it on his 64-bit machine and hasn't had any issues that I know of.

    My main Vista machine is 32-bit but I've already bought extra RAM to take it to 4GB (much of it unused, of course) in anticipation of switching to 64-bit with Windows 7. 64-bit seemed too risky back when Vista was new but it seems like a no-brainer now/

    (Laptop is 64-bit Vista but I won't be upgrading that. Need to keep a Vista machine for testing!)

     

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    PaoloM said:

    I have 32 on my netbook (duh Smiley). I may go for 64 on the desktop at home when it's released. Maybe. I don't have a real need for it.

    I thought the latest Atom CPUs were x64-compatible?

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    LeoDavidson said:
    CKurt said:
    *snip*

    AFAIK, VMWare works fine with 64-bit. A friend of mine uses it on his 64-bit machine and hasn't had any issues that I know of.

    My main Vista machine is 32-bit but I've already bought extra RAM to take it to 4GB (much of it unused, of course) in anticipation of switching to 64-bit with Windows 7. 64-bit seemed too risky back when Vista was new but it seems like a no-brainer now/

    (Laptop is 64-bit Vista but I won't be upgrading that. Need to keep a Vista machine for testing!)

     

    Can you run a virtual 32bit version of an OS in a 64bit VMware?

  • User profile image
    LeoDavidson

    CKurt said:
    LeoDavidson said:
    *snip*

    Can you run a virtual 32bit version of an OS in a 64bit VMware?

    Yep, VMWare lets you run 32-bit on 64-bit and also 64-bit on 32-bit.

    Running a 64-bit guest on a 32-bit host requires a CPU with virtualization support. That's probably true of 64-bit on 32-bit as well but I'm not 100% sure off the top of my head.

    Virtual PC also lets you run 32-bit guests on 64-bit hosts (and definitely requires virtualization support for it) as it's the basis of XP-Mode in Windows 7. (Virtual PC cannot run 64-bit on 32-bit at all, though.)

    BTW, In case it isn't obvious: Guest = the virtual OS; Host = the real OS.

    EDIT/PS: Neither solution has good enough 3D support to make Aero work, so if you're going to run Vista or Windows 7 as the guest OS inside the VM, it's going to look a little ugly. This doesn't affect the host OS at all though, of course.

     

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    LeoDavidson said:
    CKurt said:
    *snip*

    Yep, VMWare lets you run 32-bit on 64-bit and also 64-bit on 32-bit.

    Running a 64-bit guest on a 32-bit host requires a CPU with virtualization support. That's probably true of 64-bit on 32-bit as well but I'm not 100% sure off the top of my head.

    Virtual PC also lets you run 32-bit guests on 64-bit hosts (and definitely requires virtualization support for it) as it's the basis of XP-Mode in Windows 7. (Virtual PC cannot run 64-bit on 32-bit at all, though.)

    BTW, In case it isn't obvious: Guest = the virtual OS; Host = the real OS.

    EDIT/PS: Neither solution has good enough 3D support to make Aero work, so if you're going to run Vista or Windows 7 as the guest OS inside the VM, it's going to look a little ugly. This doesn't affect the host OS at all though, of course.

     

    Thanks! So with the right CPU virtualisation support everything is possible! Thanks so much, I was clearly missinformed.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    64bit ... all the way baby! Especially at work ... doing 32bit development and 64bit deployment to live is not a good idea. Fewer issues these days but some right gottcha's still exist.

     

  • User profile image
    Simo

    64-bit for work & home. Sabot highlights the work reason succinctly above. For home, I think the 64-bit driver requirement is a good test. Any device/hardware builder not writing a 64-bit driver these days doesn't take there job seriously and their 32-bit driver is going to be knocked together with the same level of ignorance.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    W3bbo said:
    PaoloM said:
    *snip*

    I thought the latest Atom CPUs were x64-compatible?

    The Z-series are, not the N ones (N270 and N280 are the ones used in pretty much all netbooks).

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Interesting. I'm surprised the take-up of 64 bit is as high as this. I wonder how high it will be with the less geeky crowd?

    PS - I might go 64 bit, but already cap my RAM (2 GB) so that would need to be increased too...

  • User profile image
    CplCarrot

    ManipUni said:

    Interesting. I'm surprised the take-up of 64 bit is as high as this. I wonder how high it will be with the less geeky crowd?

    PS - I might go 64 bit, but already cap my RAM (2 GB) so that would need to be increased too...

    Well on my 4Gb work machine I went 64bit Win7 since the beta. So far I have not found any hardware issues even with my 3G data card with drivers of unknown quality.

    In the early days of the beta I did have a few problems but now the only 2 issues are:

    Sometimes the fingerprint reader does nothing when coming out of hibernate/suspend.

    My wireless connection is flakey but I have evidence that this is more my old router at fault than Win 7.

    If you have more than 3Gb then 64 Bit should be a no brainer.

     

  • User profile image
    Dodo

    PaoloM said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    The Z-series are, not the N ones (N270 and N280 are the ones used in pretty much all netbooks).

    Not quite... only Atom 230 (single core) and Atom 330 (dual core) support Intel 64. All others don't, as of yet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Atom_microprocessors

    Some of the Z series can withstand great heat and have virtualization support though, because of the crazy guys in the military... Smiley

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    ManipUni said:

    Interesting. I'm surprised the take-up of 64 bit is as high as this. I wonder how high it will be with the less geeky crowd?

    PS - I might go 64 bit, but already cap my RAM (2 GB) so that would need to be increased too...

    "Interesting. I'm surprised the take-up of 64 bit is as high as this. I wonder how high it will be with the less geeky crowd?"

    well if you check the newer pc specs in stores more than a few are vista home premium 64 bit with 6 or 8 gigs of ram.

    i recently got a prebuilt box at bestbuy with home pre. 64   i have upgraded it after getting it to more ram and a different video card but it was stock 64 bit.

    been running it 24x7 for like 3 months now w/o any general problems.

    i have had an update / reboot problem but it may have had to do with an e-sata drive that was on when the reboot happened.

    office 2007 service pack was when it did the boot up problem.

    other than that, no issues, no lack of driver support.

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