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32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

There is several talks about it, most people way "64bit all the way", but I'm wandering if for a 2GB machine 32bit is just fine.

Currently there are more 32-bit software than 64-bit aware, 64-bit versions tend to need more memory (see for example just the install ISOs of Windows 7), ...

So would it be good to have a 32-bit one instead of a 64-bit OS? Which are pros and cons given the specified RAM capacity?

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marked as duplicate by BinaryMisfit Feb 10 '10 at 12:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Sigh How many ways can people ask this kind of questions...? – Ivo Flipse Feb 10 '10 at 12:03
This may be of help to you: – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Feb 10 '10 at 12:21
Thank you for pointing me out to that question, it helped me understand some things. – user27798 Feb 10 '10 at 12:36
Welcome to Super User. In future, please check the list of duplicates carefully before posting a question. Duplicate questions will be closed. Also review the FAQ for more details on how Super User works. – BinaryMisfit Feb 10 '10 at 12:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted


There'll be a marginal RAM usage decrease, as pointers are 32bit not 64bit, and you'll have slightly less driver issues in theory, and I'm really only saying 32bit for that. Go 64bit if you ever plan to upgrade, as the disadvantages are tiny, especially as 2GB of ram is still a fair amount, you shouldn't notice the few extra kb of ram taken by a pointer-heavy program.

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Please in future ensure a question is not a duplicate before answering. By answering the question, new users are given the impression it is acceptable to do so, and questions are not cleaned up correctly. Rather vote to close with a link to the duplicate. – BinaryMisfit Feb 10 '10 at 12:50
@Diago Sorry. I felt the question was different enough to merit an answer (as it was a specific part of "should I choose 64 or 32 bit?", rather than genericly), and thought ivo was about to close it, so I didn't go and find a dupe. I'll refrain from answering these sorta-borderline questions in future :) – Phoshi Feb 10 '10 at 12:54

A 32bit operating system is just fine with 2GB and even with 4GB.

The 64bit hype is just that, a hype. 64bit only (and only) help you, if you're using a software that needs more than 4GB ram (either indiviually one single piece of software or in total). Video-Editing and extreme size photo editing would come to mind.

Without the need for such software, a 64bit program will not run faster and will in fact need more memory. Not much, there's no benefit in a 64bit software, unless it needs extreme amounts of memory.

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Please in future ensure a question is not a duplicate before answering. If you cannot vote to close please flag for moderator attention with a link to the duplicate question. – BinaryMisfit Feb 10 '10 at 12:51
@Django: Ok, gotcha ...(still trying to finde my ways around here :-)) – Nicholaz Feb 10 '10 at 17:41