Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can most Intel processors run 64-bit Windows 7? Such as all the

i7, i5, Core 2 Duo, Dual Core, Single Core with HT, and even just Single Core?

I think a popular view is that if you can run 64-bit Windows 7, then use it? It might have driver compatibility issue but if there is no device hooked up, then there is no problem?

What about some software / games not compatible with the 64-bit version or may run slower? thanks.

update: a couple of my machines have 4GB RAM. so 64-bit Win 7 can make use of the full 4GB RAM instead of only about 3.2GB

share|improve this question
Then go 64 bit. You won't regret it. – alex Oct 23 '09 at 18:03
up vote 12 down vote accepted

The vast majority of new processors do.

If you have any doubts, and know the (potential) processor model, you can use the Intel website to find out.

This will lead you to a page like this:

alt text

Whereupon, if you click the specifications link, it will show you if 64 bit can be used:

alt text

There's not much reason nowadays to not use a 64bit OS if you have more than 3GB of memory, but if you don't you may wish to stick with 32bit just in case there are any compatibility problems - but at this point it will be rare if ever, especially with windows 7, and you may see a performance boost in some of your apps.

If this is for anything other than your home PC however, such as for something at your business, be sure to test any programs you rely on thoroughly first.

share|improve this answer

Almost any modern processor can run Windows 7. Most processors made in the last 4 years have been 64 bit. A notable exception to this would be the Atom processor that powers almost all netbooks; this is 32 bit at the moment. Intel has been making 64 bit processors (I am not referring to Itanium) since 2004 (source here).

There are no real disadvantages to running a 64 bit OS; apps and games are not slower (a lot of them might even benefit from the fact the OS can address more than 4 GB of RAM) and drivers are usually not an issue for modern hardware. Any hardware that in certified to run in Windows 7 must provide both 32 and 64 bit drivers.

share|improve this answer

I would say that any CPU in the past few years, inarticulately everyone on your list - with the possible exception for single core with HT are 64 bit CPU's that are capable of running Windows 7 x64 bit.

That being said, unless you have over 3.5GB's of memory, it isn't really worth using as the benefits are outweighed by other factors.

I would always advise looking at your motherboard manufacturers website and looking for updated drivers or going to the chipset companies websites for even newer drivers such as Realtek, Via etc.

share|improve this answer

I'm running 32bit Windows 7 and Vista on an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0 GHz processor with 3.0 GB of RAM.

They both run fine for most apps. This box will not run my Flight Simulator X very well due to my Sapphire Radeon X1300 128 MB PCIe graphics card. But that is ok because I have other home built boxes for that.

I mainly did this just to see if they would run and I really have no complaints like some that I have read about on several other websites.

Most of my home builds are other people's discards from upgrades just as this Asus M2A-VM. If this is all you can afford then I say, try it and go for it. This is just my own experience.

share|improve this answer
So, you've seen that this question was about Intel processors? – slhck Dec 15 '11 at 13:11
sorry i see this now. – tom Dec 15 '11 at 13:19

I think a popular view is that if you can run 64-bit Windows 7, then use it?

i think not.

if you have more than 4 GB of physical memory, then use it. if not, then don't.

there are still too many issues. and some appliactions are not yet 64-bit ready (e.g. Adobe Flashplayer)

share|improve this answer
Why not use a 64 bit version of Windows if you have less than 4 GB or RAM? Some apps are considerably faster if they're 64 bit (archivers, image processing apps). – alex Oct 23 '09 at 17:56
I somewhat agree. However, it shouldn't be 'if you have more than 4gb'. Instead, it should be 'if you have more than 3gb' since using 4gb on a 32 bit system will only yield 3 to 3.5 gb of available, mapped RAM. – th3dude Oct 23 '09 at 17:57
I also agree with alex. Memory isn't the only reason to upgrade. The future (and mostly the present) is 64 bit. – th3dude Oct 23 '09 at 17:57
@alex: most benches I've seen show some minor speed gains for 64-bits, offset by some minor loss. I must say I fully agree with molly - performance isn't an issue here. – harrymc Oct 23 '09 at 18:09
don't applications have to have specific instructions to take advantage of 64bit? – johnny Oct 23 '09 at 18:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.