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View Full Version : 32-bit or 64-bit - not your usual



pcuser42
09-05-2011, 02:34 PM
Yes, I know some people here are sick of this, but this has a difference...

A university friend uses 32-bit Windows on his netbook (the same model as mine - an ASUS Eee 1215N) as he claims that because the BIOS only supports ~3GB of RAM, going 64-bit is 100% pointless as it also breaks compatibility. I argue that because there is no real other difference between the two, the processor is 64-bit, (IIRC) ASUS have released a BIOS update to address the RAM issue and it futureproofs the system, I go for 64-bit. (He's running Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit.)

So, in the situation where 4GB of RAM isn't really achievable right now, 32-bit or 64-bit?

Erayd
09-05-2011, 02:54 PM
It's a netbook - how much RAM are you really ever likely to put in it?
It's already running a Windows install - why waste time reinstalling for minimal gain?In this situation, I have to say that the cons probably outweigh the pros, especially noting they'd have to reinstall Windows to switch. Just leave it as-is on the 32bit version.

If for some strange reason he later wants to install more RAM (bearing in mind that this is a netbook), then upgrade the OS at that point.

pcuser42
09-05-2011, 03:02 PM
It's already running a Windows install - why waste time reinstalling for minimal gain?

The stock OS was Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit: I had to reformat to install Windows 7 Professional anyway as I have a VLK from university, so it's here it becomes an issue.

Even if I was keeping 7HP, I'd reformat anyway to get rid of the bloat :p

Erayd
09-05-2011, 04:27 PM
...to install Windows 7 Professional anyway as I have a VLK from university...I assume you realise that unless your friend is also an employee of the university, this is technically piracy, and therefore illegal? It's also a direct violation of the volume licensing agreement.

dugimodo
09-05-2011, 04:29 PM
In practice the 32 and 64 bit versions look and feel Identical. There aren't many issues left with 64bit that haven't been resolved but it also won't gain you anything over 32bit on the hardware in question.

Use whatever you prefer but I doubt you'll notice a difference.

There are ways to take advantage of > 4G of RAM on 32 bit systems incidentally in fact in an article I read on Tom's hardware they got a bigger performance increase on 32 bit with 8G of RAM than they did on 64 bit. (using tricks like creating a RAM disk and setting the tmp files and swap file on it)

pcuser42
09-05-2011, 05:49 PM
I assume you realise that unless your friend is also an employee of the university, this is technically piracy, and therefore illegal? It's also a direct violation of the volume licensing agreement.

He's using a different version of Windows (as mentioned) obtained from elsewhere.

pctek
09-05-2011, 07:32 PM
as he claims that because the BIOS only supports ~3GB of RAM, going 64-bit is 100% pointless as it also breaks compatibility.

The BIOS? I doubt that breaks anything. It either sees the 4GB + or it doesn't.
I wouldn't have bothered, if that's what it came with.
And it's a netbook, not some high end gaming PC.

LynX
10-05-2011, 11:06 PM
64 bit applications/system also consumer more system resources... So while you gain 750MB (max) RAM you might lose on CPU power, graphics etc. Especially with an Atom; don't think it's going to do intensive jobs any faster.

Also, I think the 4GB problem is with the OS, not the hardware or BIOS. So I don't think a BIOS flash would make things any better; sure, Windows might "see" 4GB, but most likely it can't utilise the extra 500-750MB.