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32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

I have a laptop with a new i7 Q720 processor that currently runs Windows-7 32 bit. With the exception of limiting my RAM to 4gb, are there any other ways that the 32bit OS is hindering my laptop performance?

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marked as duplicate by heavyd, quack quixote, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Troggy Mar 25 '10 at 23:40

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.

There are several question on SU already covering 32 bit vs 64 bit operating systems. See – heavyd Mar 25 '10 at 18:42

You should prefer x64 for both Vista and Windows 7, unless you have a good reason not to. And about the only good reason not to is the need to support an older device that does not have a good x64 driver. Unfortunately, this category still includes many printers and sound cards, so check both. If you can find a good x64 driver for your sound card and printer, you can probably find one for everything else.

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"good *reason* not to" (I hate not having edit rights here) – mmyers Mar 25 '10 at 22:21
@mmyers: fixed, thx – quack quixote Mar 26 '10 at 0:30

Among other differences, when the processor runs in 32-bit mode, there are not as many general-purpose registers available. See Wikipedia's list of differences.

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You likely can not address all of the ram due to the need to address memory locations for devices. A change to a 64 bit OS would allow the addressing of those additional memory locations. Also as mentioned there is the difference in registers available. The following should give you some idea about how this all works in Windows land: So really the limit is 4gb-graphics memory-other device addresses....

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