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Last post Author Topic: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.  (Read 14023 times)

nudone

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i'm about to put win7 on my vista machine (within the next few days). the motherboard will only support 4 gig of ram and it's an Athlon 64 x2 4800 chip.

if i could get more ram into it i'd put win7 64 on. as i can't, and as i've read that 32 bit applications can run a bit slower on a 64 setup, i'm wondering if i should just stick to a 32 bit system.

the question is really: has anyone noticed any kind of performance difference with these 32 bit applications running under a 64 bit O/S. if it's not a very obvious difference, i.e. no pauses or weird glitches then i don't consider it a problem. i appreciate a faster machine will show less slow down - because of its age, i think my machine would, probably, be less capable of hiding any performance differences.

(i doubt i've got any 16 bit stuff so that isn't an issue.)

Deozaan

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 03:46:12 AM »
I'd make sure all of your hardware has 64-bit drivers, and that they've been signed, at least if you intend on using it. I can't use my onboard LAN adapter because the 64-bit drivers haven't been signed and Windows 7 won't let me install unsigned drivers.

I'll let others with more technical knowledge answer the questions with regard to 32-bit software speeds on a 64-bit OS.


nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 04:15:34 AM »
oh, yes. good point. never thought about 64 bit drivers. i don't really want to start upgrading hardware because of that.

f0dder

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 04:23:41 AM »
The only 32bit program I've noticed running slower on 64bit Windows was Foxit Reader - complex PDFs rendered extremely slow, so slow that it was actually faster to render them running a 32bit OS under vmware. That was a while ago, so the problem might have been fixed, and it might have been specific to 64bit XP - I'm pretty sure it was related to GDI+. Don't have any complex PDFs lying around now, so can't test with recent Foxit + win7.

Other than that, you've already mentioned the 16-bit issue yourself. It's not only an issue with applications themselves, some 32bit apps have 16bit installshieldcrap installers. Luckily that's only really for old old versions of software.

There's drivers, which can be a problem with old hardware, but the situation is much better with vista and win7 than it was with 64bit xp.

The issue you'd be most likely to run into is shell extensions - 64bit explorer requires 64bit versions of shell extensions. Personally I stick with 32bit xplorer2 even though I run a 64bit OS, and that works like a charm.
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daddydave

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 04:26:18 AM »
I went from Vista 32 bit with 1GB RAM to Windows 7 64 bit to 8GB RAM, and I went with the 64 bit version solely because of the opportunity to have enough RAM not to have to worry about RAM anymore.

Between the 32bit and 64bit apps on my system, I don't notice any speed difference, and certainly not "pauses or weird glitches."

I started to say there is not much of an advantage to going to 64-bit on a 4GB system, but on a 4GB system, I think 64 bit would see the full 4GB vs 32 bit only seeing 3GB, so it might actually be worthwhile.

By the way, DO check all of your drivers, including the chipset drivers for your motherboard and Google what others say about running Windows 7 64 bit on your motherboard (or off the shelf system if that's what you have.) Vista 64 bit DID allow 64 bit unsigned kernel mode drivers, Windows 7 64 bit DOES NOT. In fact, Google every piece of hardware you have because I'm not seeing a trial version of Windows 7 64-bit except for one that runs in a VM, and that won't help as far as testing drivers.
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f0dder

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 04:28:28 AM »
Hm, 64bit Vista allowed unsigned kernel mode drivers? Not unless running in driver signing test mode :)
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nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010, 04:38:46 AM »
okay, thanks everyone. i think i'm sticking with 32 bit. i'll upgrade the hardware eventually so i'll stick on a 64 version of win7 (or eight) at that time.

OR, i may just put a 64 version on now and treat it as a bit of a trial run - just an experiment. i'll be dual booting back into vista so it's not like i need everything to work perfectly on day one.

f0dder

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 04:40:08 AM »
OR, i may just put a 64 version on now and treat it as a bit of a trial run - just an experiment. i'll be dual booting back into vista so it's not like i need everything to work perfectly on day one.
Good idea giving it a test run to see what your app suite behaves like. Can't recommend dual-booting though, you'll probably end up spending most of the time in the old and well-configured OS.
- carpe noctem

daddydave

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2010, 04:44:45 AM »
Hm, 64bit Vista allowed unsigned kernel mode drivers? Not unless running in driver signing test mode :)

All I know is that I saw some Vista 64-bit wireless drivers for my old wireless card and that they didn't work in Windows 7 for the above reason.

EDIT: Could the signing be specific to the OS, so that to Vista they were signed, and to Windows 7 they weren't?
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 04:51:28 AM by daddydave »

nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 12:14:07 PM »
i chickened out. put the 32 bit version on. had one blue screen and issues locking up when running the system performance thing. so, i imagine it would have been even more temperamental if i'd gone for the 64 bit version.

not sure what i'll be doing yet. might just stick with good old green slimey vista.

Deozaan

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2010, 02:19:42 PM »
If you're going to go back to Vista, then there's really no loss (except time) if you at least try 64-bit Windows 7.


MilesAhead

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2010, 08:11:26 PM »
If you can lay your hands on Vista64 with SP integrated it's actually not bad.  They got rid of most of the problems with HD running on etc.. with SP1. Depending how much address space you eat up with the video there must be something to putting 64 bit Vista on with 4 GB ram because I saw several demo videos where the trade show dudes went to the trouble.  There must be a performance boost in there somewhere.

nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2010, 01:41:12 AM »
that's an interesting idea. i never once considered using the 64 bit Vista. well, i guess, i wouldn't as i wasn't aware of a performance boost. hmm, i shall have a think about that.

at the moment, after the last lock up of the system performance scan, win 7 is refusing to boot - i believe i need to run that auto repair thing a few more times (read elsewhere it might take a few tries).

i'm not sure what to make of this lock up problem. i could pretend it isn't happening and hope that it only occurs when doing the performance test - but how realistic is that.

to be honest - i quite like vista. i was just hoping i'd get a bit more out of win 7 - even though the charts don't seem to indicate vast improvements.

so, it's a radical idea...

i may just reinstall vista - maybe 32, maybe 64.

edit:
or i could do the win 7 64 bit like Deozaan said.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 01:43:50 AM by nudone »

Carol Haynes

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2010, 07:06:40 AM »
I would give 7 64 bit a go - what is there to lose apart from an hour of fiddling?

nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2010, 07:17:00 AM »
okay. i'll look for the 64 bit drivers that i think i'll need and take it from there...

nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 10:25:12 AM »
right. that's the end of the 64 bit dream. win 7 just started complaining immediately after installation about my router not having the "correct" ip address. or am i missing something there?

it claimed the network card was okay - can't see what i can do about the router (i'm not replacing it).

Carol Haynes

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2010, 01:27:32 PM »
Are you using fixed IP addresses or DHCP?

You could try disabling IPv6 in Windows 7 and see if that makes a difference.

To disable IPv6 just create the following registry/value:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\TCPIP6\Parameters]
"DisabledComponents"=dword:000000ff

IPv6 still appears to be there but it is completely disabled. Just delete the value to re-enable it.

nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2010, 04:42:41 PM »
i'm using a fixed ip - but i better double check later when i'm back at that machine. i'll try disabling IPv6 and if there's no difference after that i'll give win7 32 bit one more try. i may as well prove to myself that it doesn't like my hardware - if that is the case then i'll just forget about it until i buy a new setup.

Carol Haynes

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2010, 03:37:00 AM »
All I know is that I have no IPv6 hardware or software (who does?) and it has caused some odd effects on my system. Disabling IPv6 cured the issues.

The other thing is that IP are by default allocated dynamically and IPv4 and IPv6 so you may have a fixed IP on one system and a dynamic one on the other.

nudone

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2010, 03:59:33 AM »
i've had a bit of a play around with the settings (including the registry edit) and it remains uncooperative. so, that's then end of the experiment. it isn't something i want to spend time on trying to resolve. if win 7 (32 bit) hadn't locked up every time i tried the performance scan then i would feel more confident everything woudl work eventually.

i'll probably come back to giving win 7 32 bit another try in a few days, maybe with some hardware removed. if it locks up again, then i'll just stick with what i've got and save the experiments for another year.

thanks for the suggestions, Carol.

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 06:05:32 AM »
I just received 16 new workstations that have W7 Professional x64 and did not notice any performance issues with my 32bit applications.

I did not even need to use XP mode for any of my older apps.  The drivers gave me a little challenge on one of my printers but I resolved it by installing a different driver.

I am running Quad Xeons @ 2.93GHz, 6GB or RAM and the Nvidia Quadro FX 3800 with 1GB video RAM.

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2010, 02:44:32 PM »
Hm, 64bit Vista allowed unsigned kernel mode drivers? Not unless running in driver signing test mode :)

If it's only for use on your machine then you can apparently sign the unsigned driver as per here.

Haven't tried it, but if you really need that one piece of hardware running, you only have an unsigned driver and it's only for your machine - it could be a viable alternative.

f0dder

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2010, 04:10:27 PM »
Afaik that still requires you to run in test-signing mode, 4wd.
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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2010, 04:37:02 PM »
W7 blue screened when I went to 4gb memory.
It will only read 3gb on this machine anyway.
So pull a gig of memory and test it.
Or 2 just to see if that's the problem.

The 32 bit W7 doesn't like 4gb memory on this computer.

Carol Haynes

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Re: install win7 32 or 64 bit on a 4 gig ram machine - opinions, please.
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2010, 05:52:40 PM »
Sounds like a dodgy memory stick