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Old 23rd August 2007, 08:28 AM   #1

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Default Windows Vista 32bit, 64bit??????????

well i thought i knew everything but i guess not. i've got almost all of my computer picked out and now i'm looking at operating systems. i was on newegg and i see there's the 32 bit windows vista and the 64 bit windows vista. what's the difference?
i also see dramatic price differences. example: windows vista 64 bit home premium for system builders 3 pack DVD is $314. then there's the same thing expect 32 bit and 1 DVD for $111.
then i see a vista user license for $209
lastly i see, which is what i think i need, windows vista 64 bit home premium for system builders single pack DVD for $114
what's all this about? which one do i need?

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Old 23rd August 2007, 04:47 PM   #2

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Hi Margo!

It will depend on the system that you get. Do you know what kind of processor you are getting? If you get a 64 bit processor then you probably will want to get the 64 bit Vista ( it should come with it if you are purchasing a complete system). But if you get a 32 bit processor you should get the 32 bit Vista or stick with XP. Ive set up a few Vista systems and so far I'm not real impressed although they were only 32 bit. So perhaps the 64bit will be better. We are in a similar transition of when windows 95 came out and we moved from a 16bit to 32 bit processors/Operating Systems. So Vista will have its share of lumps for a while.

The system builder option just sounds like an option for someone that builds computer systems and can just get 3 licenses in one shot.

What are you planning on using your computer for? What computer are you looking at?


Last edited by rpoy; 23rd August 2007 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 23rd August 2007, 05:14 PM   #3
Corey Bryant
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Seems like you might have two questions here. First check out The difference between 64 & 32 bit processors explained and then check out Vista Editions to help you decide.

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Old 27th March 2011, 01:57 AM   #4

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Well plenty of time has passed since this topic so this post is rendered useless but just for anyone else who has the same issue and can use this topic as guidance.

Most computers today have 64bit processors but the question lies more in your system ram. By this I do not just mean the ram as in how much ram your computer has but also any other ram combined whether its in your graphics card or sound card or w.e

32 Bit OS has a different maximum ram limit than the 64 bit OS, to calculate that number the following formula is used.

(2^Howmany bit your os is)/(1024*1024)/1024

so for example: 32 bit

(2^32)/(1024*1024)/1024 = 4 GB

and 64bit

((2^64)/(1024*1024)) / 1024 = 17179869184 GB

So if you build your system with a 32 bit OS and you have 3 GB of ram, a graphics card that has 2GB more ram, in total your pc can only utilize 4GB worth and it will evenly distribute how much it uses.

In a more extreme case lets say you go all out and purchase 12 GB of ram and three 2GB graphics cards plus 1GB onboard ram for the sound card. Your PC would have 17 GB of ram but if you are on a 32 bit OS your computer can once again only utilize a maximum of 4GB and your hardware would go to waste. A 64Bit os on the other hand has a much higher limit of .. 17 179 869 184 GB, thats right 17 179 869 184 GB haha

the downside to a 64bit os is it does consume more ram.. almost 700 MB or so , keep that in mind

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Old 29th March 2011, 05:37 AM   #5
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To tell the truth I can see only commercial step in the price difference between these types of Vista. I do not like it and it's on more proof that we won't see any interesting products by Microsoft in future.

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Old 17th May 2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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First off, make sure that the new computer(s) are strong enough to handle any version of Vista. The main problem with Vista, besides it having a messy file system, is that it has redundant start up programs in the beginning, thus the long boot and the speed of the machine when it's on. There are a few tweaks you can do to remedy this, but make sure you are running at least a Core 2 Duo machine with about 2GB of RAM.

In general, I highly recommend XP Professional to any business who is not interested in moving to Mac. This is because, despite the fact that it is becoming "obsolete" and it might not be as flashy as Vista or Windows 7, it's actually one of the most stable operating systems for Microsoft.

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Old 19th June 2011, 10:19 AM   #7

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The decision would actually depend on what driver and what components you have. It is not really a personal choice as there are hardware requirements for you to be able to run a 64 bit. Also, you have to know that it is not just about getting a 64 bit system but because you have more ram that you need to manage better. You must also know that there are limited applications that run on 64 bit so there are just few programs that you can benefit them from.

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Old 11th July 2011, 07:04 PM   #8
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This is a pretty old thread, but we just published a post on our blog that examines the practical differences between 32-bit and 64-bit for small business use, and also offers some guidelines on when one makes more sense over the other. This discussion is clearly about Windows 7 at this point, not Vista.


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Old 25th July 2011, 10:08 AM   #9

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There's no major difference between 7 and Vista regarding the platform whether 32/64. So the Windows 7 guide will work for Vista too.
The main problem with the x64 was the software compatibility, but nowadays, most software are working on x64 too, and regarding the performance boost I'll say to choose x64 if you intend to purchase new workstations for your company.

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Old 14th April 2016, 01:31 AM   #10
James Tacker

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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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This is one of those “in theory” vs. “in practice” questions; as some things in life as we know just seem to go that way. In theory, there are lots of interesting computer science differences between 32 and 64 bit operating systems and microprocessors. Lots of complex binary math, etc.; it’s interesting stuff and someone did a cool post on it above.

However, in practice, and what you need to know, is that 32 bit processors and operating systems can only deal with (ever) 4GB of any kind of memory. For example, if you have a computer that has 8GB of RAM installed and 1.5GB of video RAM, then a machine with a 32 bit operating system or processor absolutely cannot handle that; of course it will run fine, but will only be able to use 4GB of any memory at a time - period.

64 bit processors can handle any amount of memory modern computers currently can have under the hood, but you need to make sure you have both a 64 bit processor and operating system before you can use it. So the question to ask is simply how much memory does the computer in question have; if it has more than 4 GB, then absolutely a 64-bit operating system is needed to use it.

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