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(2008-12-19) Which OS Architecture Would You Choose?

Posted by Jorge on 2008-12-19

Imagine you have the following hardware in a laptop:

  • RAM: 4GB
  • CPU: Intel Core Duo 2,5 GHz
  • HD: 250 GB (5400RPM)

Additionally you have the choice between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista. The usage of the laptop is quite heavy, like running one or more VMs (VMWare Workstation) at the same time.

What would you choose from a performance perspective, 32-bit or 64-bit OS? What’s your experience?

* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
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4 Responses to “(2008-12-19) Which OS Architecture Would You Choose?”

  1. tomek said

    64-bit OS … exchange the drive with 7200 RPM.

  2. I’ve gone with 64bit Vista on my Dell Laptop with 4gigs of ram. I don’t like losing .5 gigs of RAM with a 32 bit OS.

    There are some pain points, particularly in the area of video drivers. But if you can find stable 64bit drivers for all the components of your laptop, it’s a pleasant experience.

    MS seems to finally be coming around with support for 64bit OS in their consumer line of software ( Live stuff, etc), so it’s bound to get better and better.


  3. You don’t have a choice if you have more then 3GB of memory. Depending on your hardware configuration you’ll never see much above 3GB in 32bit client OS. Don’t make mistake I made.

  4. I think the choice between a 64bit version of an Operating System and a 32bit version of an Operating System shouldn’t be solely based on being able to address the amount of 4GB RAM.
    To quote TomsHardware:

    All of the variables are no longer only 32 bits long, but 64 bits instead. Typically, this makes applications between 20% and 40% larger, which consequently results in a higher memory footprint as well. File formats such as music files or videos are not affected by this.
    The upshot is that it doesn’t make sense to install a 64-bit version of Vista in order to better utilize 4 GB of memory simply because the 32 bit version would only recognize 3.5 GB. The problem is that while it is true that you would “gain” the missing memory, you would also immediately lose it to the system due to the 64-bit version’s larger memory footprint.

    The 64bit version of Windows Vista offers additional benefits beyond the ability to address more than 4 GB of RAM. These include support for hardware-backed Data Execution Protection (DEP), Kernel Patch Protection, and the requirement to use signed native-64bit drivers.
    When you’re an upgrader, it might also be wise to install a 64bit Operating System now: Future versions of the Windows client (beyond Windows 7) and Windows Server (starting with Windows Server 2008 R2) will be 64bit only. It would also mean you’d be able to insert more RAM without a need to reinstall.
    I’m stuck with a 32bit version on my 4GB Dell D630 for now. One of the applications my company uses is not available in a 64bit version, unfortunately.

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