Windows 7 forum

General discussion

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit or 64 bit?

by DanielG1990 / November 18, 2009 7:41 PM PST

Hi guys,

I'm currently studying New Media and Communication Technology. I need to get Windows 7 Ultimate. Now my laptop when I bought it, had Vista Home Premium 32 bit. So my question to you is, do I upgrade to 32 bit or 64 bit? I work with alot of Adobe programs(Photoshop, Dreamweaver,...). I also do alot of multitasking. So I do need my computer to be fast. Under here you can see the specifications of my laptop. Sony Vaio VGN-FW11M

- Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26 GHz
- Intel PM45
- 4096 MB, 2x 2048 DDR2 PC2-6400 Samsung (can be upgraded to 8 GB)
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 - 256 MB, Core: 680 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, GDDR3

So I am even able to upgrade to 64 bit and would it be a good idea if I did?

Thanks in advance,

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit or 64 bit?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit or 64 bit?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I'm there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 18, 2009 8:31 PM PST

You have the right memory size and machine to move up to 64 bit. With Ultimate you get XP Mode so another reason.

I won't discuss the upgrade process as that's been done to death in the forums but note that you always plan your OS changes with the view that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. That is, you have backups of what you can't lose and what software you need is ready to reinstall.


Collapse -
32 bit v. 64 bit
by TaraS_WinTeam / November 19, 2009 6:14 AM PST
Collapse -
From that link.
by Kees Bakker / November 19, 2009 6:27 AM PST
In reply to: 32 bit v. 64 bit

The benefits are most apparent when you have a large amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer, typically 4 GB of RAM or more. In such cases, because a 64-bit operating system can handle large amounts of memory more efficiently than a 32-bit operating system can, a 64-bit system can be more responsive when running several programs at the same time and switching between them frequently.

The unanswered question:
Is 64-bit Windows slower, faster (or equal) then 32-bit Windows if your program mix (say, a browser to listen to streaming music while typing a document in Word, with a antivirus running in the background) only needs, say 1.5 or 2 GB.
I can understand you need less swapping if the program mix needs 6GB concurrently, so then it might by somewhat faster.


Collapse -
A compelling argument
by TaraS_WinTeam / November 20, 2009 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: From that link.
Collapse -
Re: 64-bit
by Kees Bakker / November 21, 2009 4:29 AM PST
In reply to: A compelling argument

I can't find any compelling argument in that link. All it says: if you have 4 GB or more and want to use all of it, you need 64 bit. And, lucky you, most hardware and most software will work with it.

I've got 2 GB and that's MORE than enough for what I do. In fact, 1 GB was enough, but I added an extra 1 so I could try Windows 7 in a virtual machine. I deleted the virtual machine after the trial period, but I left the 2 extra sticks in.

My question was if there's any good performance argument to go 64-bit for people like me. From your answer I gather that you can't tell, so assuming you represent Microsoft here, Microsoft can't tell. That's a pity, if the maker doesn't know the pros and cons of his own products in a given situation. Don't they do measurements?


Collapse -
Same dilemma here
by Steven Haninger / November 21, 2009 9:55 AM PST
In reply to: Re: 64-bit

My upgrade pack comes with both 32 and 64 bit Windows 7 Pro and the rig I built has 4 gigs of RAM the 32 bit version shows only 3 gigs usable so I installed the 64 bit version. It shows all 4 gigs. So, big deal. I've no native 64 bit apps anyway. I have to think that MS would like to boost the size of its 64 bit OS install base so developers will write more apps for that market. As I understand, MS Office 2010 will come in 64 bit so this may be a business decision to try and drive the market in that direction and maintain a leadership role as well. I'd like to try my new rig with the 64 bit version of Win 7 but am hoping that 32 bit applications won't suffer because of this.

Collapse -
32 vs 64 bit
by N0ORM / November 20, 2009 9:44 AM PST

What you have to consider is that you will need different drivers for 64 bit install. You will need to go out to the various adaptor companies that are the basis of your adaptors and see if they all have drivers available for your unit. Without these drivers you will be up the preverbial creek

Collapse -
Win 7 64 verses 32
by Trkn-2 / November 20, 2009 11:08 AM PST


If you upgrade to 64 it will let you use all of the memory you have and display all of it also and if you upgrade to the 8 meg it wil use all of it in your programs I use 64 and like very much hope this helps

Collapse -
Most everyone here is NOT correct about 64 bit O/S
by F1-Guy / March 17, 2010 7:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Win 7 64 verses 32

You and several others here mention that you can run your apps on the 64bit O/S and due to the fact that the 64bit O/S can leverage RAM above 4Gig it will be used. That is NOT correct. Yes the 64bit architecture leverages memory above 4G, but 32bit applications (ALL OF THEM ON YOUR PC MOST LIKELY)will NOT. A 32bit application is written to use a maximum of 4G and addresses nothing beyond. So regardless of how much RAM is in your 64bit O/S system, if you run 32bit apps it is a waste of hardware. Everyone assumes the O/S somehow magically uses the RAM exclusive of the programs running on top of it. WRONG!

Collapse -
To you this must sound like magic.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 17, 2010 8:10 AM PDT

That extra wasted RAM is indeed used by the OS. Think about disk cache and more.

Sorry to hear you may be missing the boat.

Collapse -
Two versions of Win7
by wtortorici / November 20, 2009 2:37 PM PST

Your programs must be optimised for 64 to take advantage of a Win7/64 bit. You'll have both versions installed 32 bit and 64 bit and they will have their own system files much like a VM for XP, only the 32 bit programs will reside in Win32 and you desktop icons will point to that program file folder and system32 folder in Win32 and like wise if the program is a 64 bit in Win64 program file folder and system64 folder.

The end results is if it's not 64 bit, you'll very likely not see any program performance gain.

Collapse -
by 3rdalbum / November 20, 2009 6:59 PM PST
In reply to: Two versions of Win7

I don't know about Windows, but on Linux there aren't any problems with using 64-bit. It runs slightly faster for intensive mathematical operations such as video encoding, assuming that the program is 64-bit (on Linux, anything open-source can be 64-bit native).

If Windows is anywhere near as good as Linux for 64-bit support, and from what I hear it is getting this way, then you'll be very happy on 64-bit.


Collapse -
32 bit or 64 bit
by chasrl / November 21, 2009 11:33 AM PST

There is no question 64 Bits because of the speed and the memory it recognizes. There will be more than enough programs coming out

Collapse -
by Kees Bakker / November 21, 2009 8:29 PM PST
In reply to: 32 bit or 64 bit

Do you have any comparative figures of the speed of the same 32-bit program (say, Excel 2003 doing extensive macro's on a 60.000 line spreadsheet) on the same machine under Windows 7 32-bit and Windows 7 64 bit? Or are just echoing what you read somewhere and hope they are right?


Collapse -
The theory goes .............
by Dango517 / November 30, 2009 4:43 PM PST

64 bit CPU run twice the number of bits of data through them at any one time. This doesn't not mean they are twice as fast, however. 64 bit systems can also run far more RAM then 32 bit systems.

If you need multi-tasking, add cores not RAM. A second monitor might help as well.

If you can only use 8GBs of RAM, why buy ultimate when that amount of RAM can be handled by premium?

Choose windows 7 from the list:

Helpful links:

I'd like to see the make and model number on that laptop. 8Gbs of RAM on a laptop?

This thread is tracked

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


CNET bought a house!

Take a look inside the house where we will be testing connected locks, thermostats and other smart home products so we can tell a complete story.