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With vista and xp I always had problems installing their respective 64 bits versions, and always had to format and install them in 32 bits.

Problems like incompatibility with other programs, the system hangs, etc.

Tonight I will be installing windows 7 on my notebook, and I am faced with the choice again.

Has someone tried win 7 in 64 bits? Would you recommend it over the 32 bits version?

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If you don't need more than 3GB of RAM, then you probably don't need a 64-bit OS. That said, if you don't have any incompatible software/drivers, you won't notice a different, so why not? –  Sasha Chedygov Aug 7 '09 at 19:36
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Been using 64-bit 7 through beta/RC/and, as of this morning, RTM and loving it. Yes, I would recommend it over 32-bit, but only because I have 8 GB of RAM in this machine. As musicfreak said, if you don't have more than 3 GB, and don't intend to add more in the near future, you might as well stick with the 32-bit version. –  raven Aug 7 '09 at 19:46
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4 Answers

up vote 19 down vote accepted

64 bit works fine.

If you have poor quality drivers, you'll have poor performance and stability. This has been true in Windows since the dawn of time.

Applications also work just fine - including plenty of games, too. We have about 6 computers here running 64 bit Windows 7, for work and play - all fine.

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So you'd recommend it over a 32 bits install? –  jmfsg Aug 7 '09 at 19:30
    
If the hardware supports it, and you aren't running applications from 19-dickety-two, then yes :P –  EvilChookie Aug 7 '09 at 19:31
    
Your best bet would be to get a quick list of your hardware, and then do some basic searches to make sure there are Vista/Win7 drivers for x64. I have an older Dell laptop and the only driver I couldn't find was for my touchpad, but that wasn't that big of a deal. I reformatted to Win7 x64 from Vista x86 and haven't had an issue. –  Dillie-O Aug 7 '09 at 19:54
    
I wasn't able to get the scanner working on an HP 6500 wireless all-in-one (released this year, current drivers, etc.), but the printer does still work. YMMV. Other than that, 64-bit Win7 has been a joy to use. –  Feanor Aug 7 '09 at 20:50
    
This is going to sound cheesy, but 64-bit really is the way of the future. Unless you have a compelling reason to stay with 32-bit, I can think of no reason not to go with 64-bit. –  Keithius Feb 2 '10 at 17:52
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The driver issue has gotten much better since Microsoft withheld WHQL logo certification for drivers that don't come in 64-bit.

So it depends greatly on how old your hardware is, including stuff like printers, but if your manufacturer says Win7 compatible it will also work on 64-bit.

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64 bits is definitely the way to go! 64 bit will do twice the processing in the same number of cycles versus the 32 bit version of windows.

Just right there is a compelling reason to use the proper build for your x64 processor. Using the 32 bit version will only use half of the processors capability which is a waste.

This page has some illustrative comparison data between x32 and x64 for you to look over.

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Whoa! While I'll be the first to agree that 64-bit is much faster, making blanket statements like "64-bit will do twice the processing" and "only use half the processor's capability" are plain misleading and incorrect. Remember other things such as ram, hard drive speeds, and other hardware will affect the performance. 64 bit isn't twice the performance just because it's twice the number. (If that were the case, most of society would have made the switch). –  EvilChookie Aug 7 '09 at 21:58
    
Also you will only see an imporvement in applicaiton performance if the applicaiton itself supports the 64bit architecture. –  Sam Aug 8 '09 at 16:53
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The only issue I've run into so far on Vista 64-bit and Windows 7 64-bit is the bloody Cisco VPN client software which is available as as 32-bit version only, and a few system-related "browser helper objects" that IE wants to install for remote server administration, which again, only work in 32-bit (Juniper Network helper and others - just launch IE 32-bit for these cases).

Other than that, 64-bit Vista and Win7 just hum along very nicely. I have installed all sorts of Office products and add-ons, Visual Studio, lots of other programming tools (XML stuff, database stuff, lots of stuff), a ton of utilities and tools of all kinds (printer add-on like FinePrint, graphics stuff, pdfFactory Pro, text and hex editors and a lot more) - all works just fine.

Marc

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The Cisco IPSec VPN client worked in Virtual PC 2007 + Windows XP, so I would expect it to work in Windows XP Mode too. I haven't tried it yet, though. –  bk1e Aug 8 '09 at 22:29
    
@bk1e: good point, yes! There was no WinXP mode on Vista64, so I never was able to use Cisco VPN –  marc_s Aug 9 '09 at 11:54
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