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What do I need to consider when moving to 64-bit?


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#1 jaypeecee

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 05:36 AM

Hi Folks,

I searched this specific forum for 64-bit threads and I couldn't find one that specifically asked the same question as above. However, I'm new to BleepingComputer so if I've missed something, please point me in the right direction.

I would like to replace my aging PC with a new model. It's pretty much certain that I will make the shift to Windows 7 Professional 64-bit for the OS. I've picked up a few snippets over the last few weeks about some of the potential pitfalls of making this transition to 64-bit. But I am by no means clear that I have a comprehensive list of all the necessary considerations. So, I'm turning to you folks as I'm sure you'll be able to help me build up a 64-bit checklist.

<EDIT> I am aware of the following website, which lists applications that are compatible with Windows 7 64-bit:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibi...x?type=Software

But I heard, for example, that some peripheral drivers may prove a problem and I'm sure there are other issues that may trip me up. There must be many people who have gone through this process so I'm looking for your words of wisdom.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

JPC

Edited by jaypeecee, 24 August 2010 - 07:10 AM.


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#2 s1lents0ul

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:18 AM

Heres a Link to Help you get a little more familiar:

Link to Microsoft 64 bit explanation

64 bit is less prone to rootkits then the former 32 bit OS's, so i hear, but im not sure why exactly, if someone can explain please :blink:

Are you going to build your own PC or buy one pre-made?
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#3 jaypeecee

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:20 AM

Heres a Link to Help you get a little more familiar:

Link to Microsoft 64 bit explanation

64 bit is less prone to rootkits then the former 32 bit OS's, so i hear, but im not sure why exactly, if someone can explain please :blink:

Are you going to build your own PC or buy one pre-made?

Hello s1lents0ul,

Thanks for the link.

I shall be buying one pre-made and it will probably be from one of the smaller UK manufacturers. It's a desktop as opposed to a laptop.

FYI, I have also edited my original post.

JPC

#4 RainbowSix

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:09 AM

32-bit has better compatibility and lower system requirements, but has a limit of 3-4GB of RAM.
64-bit has slightly better security, higher system requirements, and a RAM limit determined by your OS/Motherboard limit.

I have machines that run both and I prefer 64-bit. It is very common for machines to have 4GB RAM or more.
[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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#5 s1lents0ul

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:19 AM

Here is some more information, im including a Link to the Comments on this information at the bottom. I found them to have some useful information also.

Not only are there going to be several Windows 7 editions, but you will also need to decide if you are going to run a 32 bit or 64 bit version of the operating system. If your CPU is more than a few years old there is a good chance that you can only run the 32 bit version of Windows 7, however if you have a modern processor you may have to decide between each version.

The 32 or 64 bit architecture refers to the memory address length that can be referenced by the processor. This also has an impact on the maximum amount of memory that can be utilised, which is 4GB for a 32 bit CPU (but in reality the maximum accessible ram is often closer to 3.4 GB due to other hardware allocations such as graphics card memory).

Having a 64 bit OS doesn’t automatically make all applications faster because much of today’s software is written and optimised for a 32 bit era. You’ll need software specifically optimised for 64 bit processing to take advantage of any speed improvements. Fortunately, many games are already including such enhancements.

You may think that using a 64 bit OS for a 64 bit processer is an obvious decision, but it is not so straightforward. Introducing a new architecture will cause new compatibility and driver problems that wouldn’t exist under the old 32 bit version.


Pros and Cons of a 64 bit system:
You can address much more than 4GB of memory, which is ideal for avid gamers, CAD, video editors and heavy multi-taskers. However, any 32 bit software you use will still be restricted to 4GB memory – you need a 64 bit CPU, OS and applications to take full advantage of the extra RAM.
16 bit applications will no longer run. Although this is unlikely to be a problem, if you use very old software (from the Windows 3.1 days!) then it will not work under a 64 bit OS.
Existing 32 bit drivers no longer work.If you have older or poorly supported hardware you may find that it can no longer be used. Got a 7 year old scanner that just about works in Vista? You may not be able to get it working in 64 bit Windows 7.
Unsigned kernel-mode drivers no longer work. Along with the issue above, the inability to run unsigned kernel mode drivers will cause problems for old hardware. (There is reportedly a way to bypass this check).
Running some 32 bit applications on a 64 bit OS could actually be slower. The additional overheads in running 32 bit software in 64 bit mode could cause a slight degradation in performance. It will take some time for 64 bit software to become the norm.
The conclusion? Well, it depends on what you use your system for. If you have a 64 bit capable CPU but use older hardware, it would be safe to stay with a 32 bit version for the time being to ensure that you don’t need extra upgrades.

If you’ve got the latest hardware and drivers are available, then it would be worth while taking the step up to a 64 bit OS. If you regularly work with resource hungry applications that are 64 bit optimised (such as video editing, CAD and image packages) then it would be especially beneficial to be able to work with over 4GB of RAM amongst the other improvements.

In the not too distant future, 64 bit computing will be a common standard – as all hardware from the last couple of years has been designed with this in mind. Until a complete upgrade cycle has passed for the majority of users, there is still a strong case for some users to stick with 32 bit Windows for the time being. Once more 64 bit applications start to appear, it would be a good time to make the switch to the new architecture.

Comments - Windows 7 Forums

EDIT > Since i am also about to dive into the 64 bit world, i was curious and started looking around and found this:

"You should have AT LEAST 4G of RAM. That's the minimum addressing space for a 64 bit processor running in 64 bit mode. If it doesn't see enough physical RAM to satisfy the need, it will use virtual memory to make up the difference. The end result is constant swapping in and out of the page file and endless hard disk activity."

It sounds like it could be legit, does anyone know for sure, because thats important, IMO.

Edited by s1lents0ul, 24 August 2010 - 08:52 AM.

==]--s1lents0ul-->

#6 s1lents0ul

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:17 AM

i Also found this:

Version Limit in 32-bit Windows/Limit in 64-bit Windows:

Windows 7 Ultimate - 4 GB / 192 GB

Windows 7 Enterprise - 4 GB / 192 GB

Windows 7 Professional - 4 GB / 192 GB

Windows 7 Home Premium - 4 GB / 16 GB

Windows 7 Home Basic - 4 GB / 8 GB

Windows 7 Starter - 2 GB / 2 GB
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#7 hamluis

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:49 AM

Decent informational link, http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx.

Louis

#8 jaypeecee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:26 AM

32-bit has better compatibility and lower system requirements, but has a limit of 3-4GB of RAM.
64-bit has slightly better security, higher system requirements, and a RAM limit determined by your OS/Motherboard limit.

I have machines that run both and I prefer 64-bit. It is very common for machines to have 4GB RAM or more.

Hi RainbowSix,

Thanks for the feedback.

Did you have any problems with the drivers for peripherals, e.g. printer, scanner, digital camera, webcam, etc?

JPC

#9 jaypeecee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:36 AM

Once more 64 bit applications start to appear, it would be a good time to make the switch to the new architecture.

Hi s1lents0ul,

Many thanks for the info and I found the link very useful.

With reference to the quote above, there are plenty of 64-bit applications already available as evidenced in the Windows 7 Compatibility List for which I provided a link above.

JPC

#10 jaypeecee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:40 AM

Decent informational link, http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx.

Louis

Thanks, Louis.

JPC

#11 RainbowSix

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:25 AM

I didn't have any issue with drivers, but I made sure everything was 64-bit compatible before ordering the parts. The only compatibility issues I have now are with a few certain old games designed for Windows XP or earlier.

Edited by RainbowSix, 25 August 2010 - 11:27 AM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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#12 Ran-K

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:07 PM

So it's AT LEAST 4GB? I'm guessing having just 4GB wouldn't be so great then?

#13 RainbowSix

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:04 PM

No, he was comparing the RAM limitations of 32-bit vs 64-bit on specific Windows versions. The listed minimum for 32-bit is 1GB. The listed minimum for 64-bit is 2GB. Although these are the listed requirements, I've heard of at least one person who was able to install and use 64-bit on only 512MB. 4GB is plenty.

Edited by RainbowSix, 15 September 2010 - 08:04 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

CompTIA A+ certified
Stringfellow Electronics

#14 Eddi81

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:17 AM

It is at least 4GB, I think.

#15 RainbowSix

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:19 AM

4GB is (by many) the recommended minimum. The actual minimum is much lower.
[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

CompTIA A+ certified
Stringfellow Electronics




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