Windows 7 32-bit versus 64-bit

February 22, 2010 at 17:18:24
Specs: Windows XP, 3 GHz / 1919 MB
I have a AMD Athlon 54 x2 Dual Core Processor. I plan to install W7 on the computer. What are the advantages and dis-advantages to 64 bit version of W7?

William Lockie


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#1
February 22, 2010 at 18:48:56
First of all there are more requirements for 64bit. Namely, you need 4Gig Ram and compatible processor, motherboard, etc.
For both you will need to ensure compatibility - visit windows 7 site to scan equipment first.
Next, manually download drivers for all of your hardware for whichever you choose and save them to a flash drive.
Then gather together install disks for all of your programs and download windows 7 versions of your utilities (antiVirus, etc) to the flash drive also.
NOW for the differences. Right now most things you will do will be about the same on both 32bit and 64bit as most of your programs will be running as 32bit on the 64bit system. Eventually, there will be programs that will be optimized for 64bit. If your system is sufficiently modern that you see yourself keeping it for many years, it might pay, if it will be very outdated before then, it might not mean anything for you.
I am using 64bit on a new-built system and it works very well for me. The 64bit version comes with 2 versions of Internet Explorer, 32bit and 64bit. The 64bit opens web pages very fast, but there are many pages that do not work properly with it (mainly graphics intensive sites). That is the only truely 64bit program I have.
Programs that run on Windows 7 32bit will run on 64bit, but not all programs will run on windows 7, especially very old programs, so investigate on anything that is important to you.
I hope that this helps.

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#2
February 22, 2010 at 18:56:19
Also please note: When you upgrade to Windows 7 from Xp, you need to do a full clean install, you cannot do a direct upgrade unless you have Vista (then only 32bit to 32bit, etc.). You will need to back up all of your files to another medium and when you boot to the Windows 7 DVD, make sure you format your primary drive (or whichever partition you are installing to) at the beginning of the install to do it properly and not have problems later. You can do this with the upgrade disk set I am told though.

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#3
February 22, 2010 at 20:04:52
The move to 64-Bit is inevitable due to the amount of RAM that is accessible to the 32-Bit OS & applications. In short, the biggest advantage of 64-Bit Windows is its ability to handle a lot more memory than the 32-Bit version of Windows can. On the other hand, the biggest drawback the 32-Bit to 64-Bit transition has to do with 64-Bit device driver availability, but this issue is not as pronounced as it once was as 64-Bit computing is steadily becoming more mainstream.

The above explanation is of course overly simplified. However, if you want to delve into the technical differences between the two architectures, you might want to read this article.

Regardless of the benefits of migrating to 64-Bit computing, your 32-Bit vs. 64-Bit Win7 conundrum about which one to go for should reflect your actual computing needs at this time.

Windows 7 News!


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