Vista 32 or 64 bit?

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28-01-2007 09:39:18

I want to get Vista so I can learn and and thus support it. I have a 64-bit processor so should I be getting the 64-bit Vista or stick with the 32-bit? I'm afraid 64-bit won't get the support and drivers shrug

Let's hear some opinions...


28-01-2007 10:19:41

I tried running a 64-bit beta 1, but the driver support at the time was in a bad way. I removed it and was running the 32-bit betas and the RTM up until earlier this month. At that time I switched back to the 64-bit and it's been fine. If you have recent hardware, there seems to be fairly decent x64 driver support. The only thing I couldn't get drivers for was my old SB Live! card, but considering it's a good 6 years old, and the state of onboard sound has much improved, it wasn't a big loss )

You're memory requirements will increase though, my base install took just over 500MB, while IIRC the 32-bit was ~350MB.

As for programs, most are still going to be 32-bit so you don't really gain anything there right now (no performance loss though), but as more and more people switch to 64-bit the apps will eventually follow.


28-01-2007 10:30:24

Thats kinda what I'm thinking. Pretty much all the processors are 64-bit now so its a only a matter of time until more software developers get on board...


28-01-2007 13:46:33

64-bit Windows doesn't gain you anything practical over 32-bit until you exceed 4GB of system memory. On the contrary it can cause a lot of problems due to hardwire drivers and incompatible software. So it's really not worth it to the average PC user, nor one who does a lot of hardcore gaming and such. It's more suited to the business or server environment that can better utilize it's capacity for more memory. There really isn't a performance difference to speak of with Windows. Some very specific CPU instructions will execute faster on a 64-bit CPU, but with typical software it won't be used to any real advantage. At this point it isn't work the headaches that go along with it, IMO.


28-01-2007 14:48:03

There are a few apps that can take advantage of running in 64bit that don't cross the 4GB line, VirtualDub is a good example, I get about 10fps more on my encoding and that is in line with what I've read others getting as well. But you are right, for the most part there is no perf advantage, but also no perf decrease by running 32 in a 64bit OS
Drivers are catching up quickly and I haven't noticed any software issues on my system that can't be attributed to "Vista" rather than "64-bit". YMMV.
Most people should only run 32bit for the time being though.


28-01-2007 21:32:45

This is the system I'm looking to build and put Vista on

I don't know what I'll do with my current rig shrug