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I have several machines that are running with 32 bit Vista and I want to upgrade them to Windows 7. Since the processors in the machines say they are optimized for 32 bit, should I stay with 32 bit Windows 7 or is it ok to use 64 bit? I already re-built one machine using 64 bit Windows 7 and it seems to be working just fine.

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"the processors in the machines say they are optimized for 32 bit" doesn't make much sense to me. Either they support 64-bit operation or they don't - I'd be curious what specifically you're reading that says this. – Shinrai Oct 5 '12 at 21:46
What CPU does your PC have? If it is capable of 64-bit, you should use it. Core2 CPUs, Core i3/5/7, AMD 64x, etc are all examples of 64-bit capable CPUs. – UtahJarhead Oct 5 '12 at 22:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the processor is only capable of 32 bit, it can't support 64 bit, therefore if you attempt to install 64bit OS, it won't work.

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Ok, So the processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo which is a 64 bit processor. It was shipped with a Dell Optiplex 360 which had Vista 32 bit installed. A co-worker was under the impression that it was somehow "optimized" for 32 bit. I think I'll go thr 64 bit route. Thanks for feedback. – Alan Fisher Oct 5 '12 at 22:32
With a Core2 Duo, you should be safe to install 64-bit Windows. Been there, done that and it works mighty nicely. – UtahJarhead Oct 6 '12 at 1:11
You did not mention in the post it was a 64 bit processor, actually it seems like you were suggesting it was 32 bit, either way a 64bit processor can run either 32 or 64bit OS's. – user88311 Oct 6 '12 at 11:11

You need Intel Virtualization Technology to emulate a 64-bit OS on your 32-bit OS. You have to confirm that your CPU supports it.

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