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I have a Dell XPS M1730 and am running Sims 3, and Lightroom 3.6 (I think), Adobe Photoshop.

I'm wondering if upgrading my RAM to 8 GB would make a significant change on my computer? I know I would need 64 bit to make use of the extra RAM. Just not sure it's worth it.

Right now I have Windows XP Professional. I'm going to upgrade to 7, I think I can even upgrade to 8 (more of my programs are incompatible though) but another question is: Does Windows 64-bit pose any problems for drivers, plug in play or running 32-bit programs?

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IMO the only issue you might potentially encounter in going 64-bit is if you have any 16-bit software you need to run. Or if any of your 32-bit software uses 16-bit DLLs. –  Alan B Jan 21 '13 at 16:13
    
If you buy the Windows 8 Upgrade before January 31 and skip the Windows 7 Upgrade, you will save yourself quite a lot of money. For example, 2 DVD box set Windows 8 Upgrade from Windows XP is GBP49.99. –  David Marshall Jan 21 '13 at 16:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Upgrading to 64 bit will be more beneficial to you in the long run. Your OS will have more memory available to it. Your applications would need to be 64 bit as well, to fully benefit from the memory upgrade. However, even if they arent 64 bit, they will still have more memory available for them to use.

The biggest hurdle, if at all, is driver availability. You can run the Windows 7 Upgrade Adviser from here. It will let you know if drivers are available.

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THANK YOU for a straight answer!:) I've asked several guru's that i know and they all say 32 bit, but it doesn't make sense to me! –  Darsh Jan 21 '13 at 16:19
    
Can I ask you another question really quick? When I'm playing sims 3 my cpu usage fluctuates from 80-100%. Will this hurt my computer? I'd never noticed it before tonight! Ram is between 37-64% Just don't want to burn up my cpu! THANKS –  Darsh Jan 23 '13 at 4:47
    
There is nothing wrong with a high CPU utilization. If your CPU was to get to hot, it would shut down the computer before any damage could occur. Dont forget to upvote and select the answer if it worked for you! –  Keltari Jan 23 '13 at 4:51
    
You are awesome! Thank you!:) –  Darsh Jan 23 '13 at 17:55

64bit Windows has a subsystem called WoW64 (Windows 32 on Windows 64) that lets you run 32bit programs on a 64bit system, so your programs should run fine on a 64bit OS even if they aren't 64bit themselves.

The possible trouble spot is device drivers, but if you don't have any really obscure hardware, and Windows has always recognized your devices without you having to manually install the drivers (i.e. Windows Update automatically installed the drivers for you), you're probably good to go.

Either way, it's probably worth trying the switch, and if you end up having problems, at least then you know, and can switch back to 32bit.

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Thanks a ton! You guys are great on this forum. So glad I found it! –  Darsh Jan 23 '13 at 17:57
    
Glad you found it helpful :) Don't forget to upvote it! –  Jargon Jan 23 '13 at 21:23

This is getting old now, but I thought I'd pipe in my 2c. Upgrading to x64 (64-bit) is generally an awesome thing. BUT, Dell does NOT SUPPORT WINDOWS 7 64-bit for the XPS m1730. So all the drivers that you can download from their site are mostly 32-bit drivers. You will have to do a fair bit of scrambling to get all your hardware working the way it originally did. Webcam, Microphone input, SD card, The game panel, the thing that controls the lights and even your volume buttons, all shipped with 32-bit drivers, so you have to cobble them together from a variety of sources.

It can be done, but it's not a walk in the park. Shame on Dell for dropping recent OS support on a model that's less than 5 years old.

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