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32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

I just ordered a Dell XPS 9000 which runs Windows 7 64bit.

I was just talking to someone who said they hate 64 bit. I did not get a reason but I wanted to know if there were any drawbacks to 64 bit these days?


I'll just check the year - yes indeed 2010!

I'll try explain this quick - if you have less than 4GB's ram in your machine run a 32bit OS, if you have 4GB's or more then run a 64bit OS.

Mostly ALL of your 32bit applications will work on a 64bit version of Windows. Most recent devices have 64bit drivers. The only drawback I can think of would be if you had a specific device that you don't have 64bit drivers for.

64bit computing is pretty much defacto lately, 32bit is dying out.

Also I would question this friends motivations for hating 64bit computing, What exactly does he hate about it - the ability to use more than 4GB's of RAM, or the extra stability and slight speed increase of 64bit computing? Hating 64bit computing, is like hating "The Beatles"

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    I would argue that even if you have less that 4GB of RAM you should use a 64 bit OS if the rest of your hardware is relatively modern. If gives you an upgrade path later on. – MDMarra Jun 17 '10 at 16:03
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    The are perfectly good reasons to hate specific 64bit OS, just as there are perfectly good reasons to hate specific Beatles (Paul McCartney for instance). I won't get into the Beatles, but before Windows 7 came out (a full 2 months before 2010), XP64 and Vista64 were the only options for Windows users. Vista in general was buggy and clunky with driver issues, Vista64 was worse. XP64 had major software support issues (iTunes and Quicktime for instance). Though with Windows 7, there's no longer a reason for Windows users to avoid 64-bit. – Lèse majesté Jun 17 '10 at 16:08
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    @Lese - I think you meant to leave that as an answer and not a comment. – MDMarra Jun 17 '10 at 16:48

As JL says the only real reasons why you shouldn't go for 64-bit is if you specifically have something that will not work on 64-bit, like an old scanner or other peripheral that has some special drivers.

I have a PS2 to USB converter that does not work, only a small loss but I would like it to work and the company that supplied it say they cannot make the 64-bit drivers as it costs money to get the certificate to sign the drivers so that Windows 7 64-bit will load them.

Past that I really don't see any reason not to go 64-bit, even if you only have 3GB of RAM you might want to upgrade later and having 64-bit on a machine will make it that much easier. If you're on an old machine that doesn't support more than 3-4GB of RAM then you're stuck to begin with but any modern machine shouldn't have that limitation.

Other than what I said the only times I have seen problems with 64-bit is with old programs that should have gone the way of the dodo many years ago, everything else just works.

  • So if I have only 4gb of ram, 64 bit will run as smoothly as 32? – JD Isaacks Jun 17 '10 at 16:36
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    Yes, 4GB ram is a good starting point for 64bit computing. – JL. Jun 18 '10 at 9:41

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