What is the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by tweetatoo, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. tweetatoo

    tweetatoo MDL Novice

    Sep 15, 2009
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    Hello all!

    Windows 7 installations are made for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

    I would like to ask: is it really noticed that 64-bit enhances performance? If 32-bit applications are to be installed on 64-bit, will there be any problems? I know that drivers are specific and that I have to download the compatible drivers for each system, but assume installing Office 2007 or Nero 8, would it be possible to run them under the environment of 64-bit OS?

    Thanks for help.
     
  2. oldsh_t

    oldsh_t MDL Addicted

    Dec 23, 2009
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    In a nut shell, 64 is a lot better. Faster and can handle far more memory. BUT you need the hardware to back it up!! It would be like putting a Cadillac body on a VW frame and motor. May look good but will not preform great.

    As for programs that you add to the 64 bit system, you will have to check with the creator of any of them. Some are set to run on both 32 & 64 bit and some will have 2 separate setups!! If the program is set up for 32 bit only, then it will probably not install, and if it does, it will not run properly!!
     
  3. tweetatoo

    tweetatoo MDL Novice

    Sep 15, 2009
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    Thanks a lot.
     
  4. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    May 6, 2007
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    The difference is 32! :D:D;)

    The only real reason to use 64 bit is the memory addressing. I recommend to use 64 bit for 4 GB and up, otherwise stay at 32 bit. The 32 bit support of drivers is still better at 32 bit OS. And you may use Vista / XP driver at W7 32 bit OS. I'm still using an old XP 32 bit driver from the year 2003 for my LAN at W7 at it's working. And there are almost no 64 bit applications available. If you are using 16 bit apps, you have to stay at 32 bit since at 64 bit there is no more 16 bit support for apps. Also at gaming, AFAIK there are no 64 bit games. The benchmarks of 32 bit compared to 64 bit at same hardware configuration is almost the same.
     
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  5. vladxed666

    vladxed666 MDL Senior Member

    Sep 19, 2009
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    XP 64 bit drivers run smoothly on Windows 7 64 Bit..
     
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  6. prathaprabhuin

    prathaprabhuin MDL Junior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    x64 bit utilizes if you have more memory - and showers the performance out of it, especially it is good if you have 64-bit processor.
     
  7. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Jan 7, 2009
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    I think for some its just a case of showing off a bit. You know what i mean.......... "im running 64bit with 3 gpu's 12gb of ram 2tb storage and an i7 extreme". For most users its not necessary and its the same with 64 bit systems. 32bit is ample for even the most hardened users. Im not knocking anyone running 64bit, its down tto the invidual to choose for themselves but IMHO 32bit is a good choice for most.
     
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  8. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

    Aug 19, 2009
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  9. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
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    Definately impressive Mrjinje :). However i stick to my point and i would definately say you were in the power user category so therefore would utilise 64bit technology. :D ;)
     
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  10. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

    Aug 19, 2009
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    #12 Mr Jinje, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
    I always thought the only difference (other than to F your machine with the SYSWOW64 folder structures) was to allow for more addressable memory.

    If you do not have 4GB of RAM, there aren't many advantages, IMO for home users it is strictly to avoid hardware limitations. So the easy answer is if you paid for more than 4GB of RAM, then install x64. That is the only real advantage. (larger than 2TB partitions might need x64 also)

    On the server side, there are also certain programs (Exchange 2007/2010) that only run on x64. But that is whole nother story.

    EDIT: Yeah, I think that larger than 2TB HDD will also be a problem, x86 cannot define anything larger, so it will probably only recognize the first 2TB, just like the 137GB-BIOS limitation, when the 4TB and 5TB drives appear.
     
  11. zolookas

    zolookas MDL Junior Member

    May 13, 2007
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    #13 zolookas, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
    Nonsense. All 32bit apps work on 64bit systems unless they come with 32bit drivers. But even those apps should be updated now and work on 64bit systems. Office 2007 and Nero 8 will work fine.

    32 bit apps are not going to work faster on 64 bit system, but 64 bit apps might (if they take advatange of that). You are not losing anything, but don't expect your pc fly.

    My advice:
    If you have more than 3GB of RAM, use 64bit OS, because 32bit architecture has a limit of 4GB addressable memory (that includes your RAM, video card RAM and some of other stuff). Also a single 32bit application can use a maximum of 2GB of memory (3GB with additional boot switch and if application supports that).

    The only thing might concern you is drivers, since 32bit drivers are not compatable with 64bit OS. Availablity of 64bit Windows drivers used to be problematic back in 2005, but it is not the case now. Windows 7 and windows update supports a lot of devices out of the box and you should be able to find updated driver on your hardware manufacturer site.
     
  12. oldsh_t

    oldsh_t MDL Addicted

    Dec 23, 2009
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    Nonsense??? I don't think so!! There are still many programs out there that are not set up to run on a 64 bit system. There are also many programs out there with 2 different install setups, one for 32 and one for 64!! Yea many may be changing over now, with the introduction of Win7, to work on both. But for anyone that has bought and paid for a 32 bit program, they will find that it may not work on 64 bit. Not everyone will run bootleg programs so they buy them. So for anyone wanting to switch over has to consider they may have problems installing their apps on it.

    I'm not hear to argue the point. The original question here is what was the difference between 32 & 64 bit!! I just pointed out a few facts to be considered!! You and I have no way of knowing what this peep is running, what programs he/she has, are they bootleg or store bought... etc. so to give the impression that every thing will be fine is not productive or helping!! And that is why I suggested to check what he/she has at the products web site first before making any jump to 64 bit (if that was the intention)
     
  13. zolookas

    zolookas MDL Junior Member

    May 13, 2007
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    #15 zolookas, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
    Vast majority of 32 bit apps need no modifications to run on 64 bit Windows. I am running 64 bit Windows and I know the facts myself. It runs every application and game I have tried and I had absolutely no compatibility issues at all. Of course, there might be issues, but don't exaggerate them. You are saying that 32 bit applications are not going to work or install and not work. This is just a lie.

    Generally, 64 bit support is needed only for applications which use their own drivers. Antivirus, Firewall and CD/DVD drive emulation software usually need them.
     
  14. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    If you have 4 GB or can forsee upgrading to 4 gb or more then use 64 bit, even if you have only 2 GB of ram because it would just plain suck to have your computer exactly the way you want it and have to do a clean install because YOU CAN NOT UPGRADE X32 to X64. If it is old hardware and you know you will not upgrade to 4gb or more then just use 32 bit.

    All of my computers use 64 bit weather they have 4gb or not (because they probably will at some point in time. My wife's computer has 32 bit because I see no reason to waste more than 2 GB on spider solitaire (which she can play all by herself by the way). My sons' computers both have 32 bit running because if as I see it if they want more ram they can mow lawns to buy it, since that doesn't appear to be an issue I will just leave them at 32 bit for now, besides, they seem to need fresh installs every two weeks anyway.
     
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  15. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    #17 Stannieman, Dec 28, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
    All (99%) 32 bit apps should work as well as they would work on a 32 bits OS.
    Only apps that need special drivers don't work, but that are things like a virtual cd/dvd drive, and maybe virtualisation apps (they sometimes create virtual network adapters). All other apps work.

    That's why microsoft included the wow64 folder in the x64 versions of windows, this contains the system32 files of the 32bit version to be compatible with 32bit apps.

    EDIT: @zolookas: sorry, exactly what you already said...
     
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  16. oldsh_t

    oldsh_t MDL Addicted

    Dec 23, 2009
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    Why do you keep arguing the point that I am wrong and then say this?? "Vast Majority". Well that just backs up my point that not all will work!!

    Again you back up my point!! And I don't exaggerating anything, just point out there MAY be issues!!

    I'm not saying that at all. Your the one reading that into what I have said!! May want to reread my posts!! Lie?? I don't lie about anything. Just point out some fact's for people to watch out for!!

    Again you back up my point!! So every thing is not going to be peaches and cream when someone decides to make the switch to 64 bit!! I guess there MAY JUST be some issues!! RIGHT!!!!!! Evon "Stannieman" Backs up my point here, (not that I think was his/her intention)

    You guys are not willing to go that 100% because you know darn well that not all will work!! (or your not sure). I'm glad that everything runs good for you and you don't have any issues. But to lead everyone down a path that "ALL IS FINE" is just stupid!! You have to remember that all peeps may not be as smart as you, and may not want to go the aggravation of upgrading to 64 bit, or may not want to buy an upgraded program because the vendor does not supply what ever is needed for the 32 bit version!!

    You may want to do more reading on the net about compatibility issues. From newbes to experts having problems!! Maybe your not but others are!!
     
  17. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    OK, 100% of the apps that work will work just fine, now can we quit arguing semantics here? This thread was started because someone wanted to know the differences between the two flavors, he got his answer and now he needs to decide.
     
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  18. oldsh_t

    oldsh_t MDL Addicted

    Dec 23, 2009
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    Sorry friend! I did not want this to turn into an argument, and I should have known better.