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I'm looking to install a x64 OS to take advantage of 6GB of RAM.

My options are Windows XP Pro and Windows Server 2008.

This box will not be used as a server, but I don't want to install the old OS either.

Any pro's / cons for either choice?

Any insights appreciated.


went with Server 2008 ... helped a lot

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What will you be using the computer for? I know you're not using as a server, but what programs do you want to run etc. – Move More Comments Link To Top Jul 24 '09 at 6:51
used for web development / personal use – roman m Jul 24 '09 at 6:52
recommendation ... – guerda Jul 24 '09 at 7:21
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Windows Server 2008 have same base as Vista.

But if you have only this options, I recommend Server 2008.

Because XP (x64) is very old and MS support has expired and haven't new updates.

UPDATE: You mentioned "web development" and for this is good Server, because have hyper-v for virtualization.

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WinXP 64bit is still supported, and will continue to be for another 5 years. See here: – Richard Jul 24 '09 at 7:46
@Richard: But only with "Extended Support Retired" (it's paid support) and last SP is SP2 – MicTech Jul 24 '09 at 7:56
XP 64-bit is horrible, unstable and has very bad support when it comes to drivers, antivirus software, etc. Definitely not recommended. – Stefan Thyberg Jul 24 '09 at 8:11
There are even sites dedicated to turning Windows Server 2008 into a workstaion OS: – matthews Jul 25 '09 at 2:15

One of the biggest reasons to go with Windows 2008 Server is driver support. 3rd-party 64-bit drivers on XP are not very good and not getting better.

Another added benefit as a web developer, is the ability to use IIS7 as your development server. The web server in XP only supports one web root. This can be a pain when developing for web apps that must be installed at the root of a site.

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+1 for mentioning IIS7 as it does not run on XP. Very handy for us web guys. – Kez Aug 23 '09 at 23:51

Windows XP x64 is built on top of an OS which is 8 years old; true that the x64 release was quite a way after.

Here are the system requirements for Windows XP x64 (via:

733 MHz Intel Itanium 800 MHz Intel Itanium


Conversely Windows Server 2008 is built on top of the same kernel as Vista and has things such as UAC (love it or hate it UAC is a step in the right direction) and a better CPU schedular. Win 2k8 was build in the era of multi-core processing, unlike XP.

For the record here are the Win 2k8 system requirements (via:

Processor Minimum: 1 GHz (x86 processor) or 1.4 GHz (x64 processor)

Minimum: 512 MB RAM

My vote - Windown Server 2008.

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Windows XP x64 uses the same kernel as Server 2003 - it even reports its version as 5.2. – TRS-80 Jul 25 '09 at 3:19

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