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32 bit vs 64 bit Vista

post #1 of 4
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Hey guys

I dont know much about the whole 32 bit as opposed to 64 bit operating systems. I am going to be buying Vista sometime soon so I want to decide which version will work better for me. I understand that my C2D is a 64-bit cpu but what differences will I see with 64bit os as opposed to a 32bit. I have heard there can be compatibility issues with different components and programs. I use my computer primarily for gaming, some engineering programs, internet, and ms office. will installing a 64bit OS have a negative affect on any of those things i use most often? any help will be appreciated
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post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachatack View Post
Hey guys

I dont know much about the whole 32 bit as opposed to 64 bit operating systems. I am going to be buying Vista sometime soon so I want to decide which version will work better for me. I understand that my C2D is a 64-bit cpu but what differences will I see with 64bit os as opposed to a 32bit. I have heard there can be compatibility issues with different components and programs. I use my computer primarily for gaming, some engineering programs, internet, and ms office. will installing a 64bit OS have a negative affect on any of those things i use most often? any help will be appreciated
First, I believe that Vista Ultimate comes with both the 32-bit and 64-versions on DVD. For the other versions (perhaps excluding home basic), you can get the 64-bit version online at MS for $10 after buying the boxed 32-bit version.

Ok, that out of the way... here we go:

Theoretically, 64-bit is better... since, well, it's 64-bit! The singlemost important and clear advantage is that the 64-bit version recognizes much more system RAM. The 32-bit version recognizes up to 4GB, and due to all sorts of allocation, a max. of around 3.25GB - 3.5GB is effectively available (thus, you loose 0.5GB-0.75GB when you install 4GB). If you plan 4GB or more RAM, 64-bit is your choice.

HOWEVER. The 64-bit suffers still a bit from mediocre driver support. Although improvements have been made, and now the most common hardware is properly supported, driver support still lags a little behind the 32-bit version. I expect this to be resolved soon.

If you only have 2GB RAM, I'd go for the 32-bit version for now. However, an upgrade to 64-bit version in about half a year could be a good idea (no extra cost, except the $10 if you download it). You can use the same key as for the 32-bit version, but you are NOT allowed to run them at the same time obviously.
    
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post #3 of 4
^ What he said

64 Bit Vista IS the way to go if possible. The best thing you should do is check and see if ALL your hardware has 64-Bit drivers, especially your video card. If any one piece doesnt, you may want to stick to 32 Bit.

I run 64-Bit Ultimate on my laptop and it runs really well. I've run into very few compatability problems also...A LOT less than I expected. And when you buy Retail Vista, you get two discs, one 32 and one 64 bit.
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post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElMikeTheMike View Post
^ What he said

64 Bit Vista IS the way to go if possible. The best thing you should do is check and see if ALL your hardware has 64-Bit drivers, especially your video card. If any one piece doesnt, you may want to stick to 32 Bit.

I run 64-Bit Ultimate on my laptop and it runs really well. I've run into very few compatability problems also...A LOT less than I expected. And when you buy Retail Vista, you get two discs, one 32 and one 64 bit.
That's only for Ultimate. For all others, you'll need to download the 64-bit version at an extra $10 cost.
    
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