For this laptop which OS is best - 32 bit or 64 bit?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Cruise, May 5, 2015.

  1. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    I am about to buy a laptop for my daughter and (within my budget) I found two nearly identical laptops. They both have the same i3-4350 processor and 4GB RAM. They also both come with Win7 Home Premium (my preference), but one is the 32-bit version of the OS and the other is the 64-bit version. Assuming the laptop hardware configuration as is, which version of Win7 would be best, 32-bit or 64-bit? :doubt:

    Cruise
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  2. Tyrizian

    Tyrizian Registered Member

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    Since applications are starting to transition to 64-bit and will continue to for years to come, I say get the one with 64-bit.

    Plus, if your daughter ever wanted to expand her RAM, she would need a 64-bit operating system to utilize more than 4 GB of RAM (assuming the laptop has room for expandibility)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  3. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Ty, thanks for your input. The RAM slots in both laptops are now fully populated so the RAM would have to be replaced in order to increase memory. Besides which I don't see the need for that for quite some time as most of what she will be doing will be email, social networking, and other web-browsing.

    Which of the two laptops would you think would be more responsive for her use?
     
  4. Mister X

    Mister X Registered Member

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    Absolutely agreed. I second this.
     
  5. Tyrizian

    Tyrizian Registered Member

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    I would still go 64-bit, just in case she needs to run a 64-bit application.

    Plus, running a 64-bit system will enable her to run both application types (32-bit and 64-bit)

    But, as far as responsiveness, they should run equal with the same specs.
     
  6. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Hey Cruise,

    Insofar as their relative performance given your daughter's use of the laptop (predominately on the internet), I doubt that she would notice any performance difference between the two OS versions. But as the others have suggested, the 64 bit OS would be more 'future-proof', so I would also recommend that you buy the laptop with Win7 x64.

    pv
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  7. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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  8. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Thanks guys, I'll go ahead and get the Win7 x64 laptop for her.
     
  9. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    Good choice.:thumb:

    64-bit has become mainstream and with 4GB RAM, it is almost a no-brainer.
     
  10. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    32 bit versions of Windows can't use more than 3GB of RAM. You need a 64 bit version to use all of the 4GB.
     
  11. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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  12. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    I can't believe this question is still being asked in 2015.
    There is no question. 64-bit is the OS to use.
     
  13. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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  14. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Actually at 4GB it is a fair question. 32 bit will actually run a little faster with 4GB. 64 bit will consume more RAM and more disk space. A lot of software still comes in 32 bit only. But at this point in time for the sake of compatibility, 64 bit is probably a safer bet. Neither choice is wrong.
     
  15. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    True, but 32 bit Windows will have much less RAM available due to not being able to use all of RAM about 3GB.
     
  16. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    This is May 2015. You have to have a very special reason indeed to buy a 32 bit computer in May 2015.
     
  17. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    While I would also recommend 64-bit based on the RAM, I don't know if future compatibility will be an issue. The transition is taking so long that I wouldn't be surprised if the laptop will be at the end of its useful life when you finally need a 64-bit OS to be up to date.

    The only application I know of that has ditched its 32-bit version is the Dolphin emulator, and in that case part of the justification was that the last 32-bit CPUs aren't powerful enough to run games at playable speeds anyway. Although that doesn't have anything to do with running a 32-bit OS on one, of course.
     
  18. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    This is why I love mSATA SSD's. They can be very easily swiped in & out of laptops. You can own 2 of them and have laptop from a practical 32-bit setup with all your favorite/known, time tested & proven software. To browse, check the email and do the simple tasks she'll probably be doing. Play your old games and emulators on, and whatnot. Turn if off, and 2 minutes later turn it into a 64-bit gaming machine, utilizing all the RAM it has in it.

    More important to me than what OS it comes with, IMO these days is that you get a motherboard that supports mSATA SSD's. That's not only your "future proof" for ya, but versatile. But then finding and installing OS's and the keys for them is a trivial (and free) issue for me. It may not be for everyone.
     
  19. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    32 bit will address 4GB of RAM. The question is, what gets to address that RAM? The attached hardware will reserve some of it. 64 bit addresses are larger, so it should be about even at 4GB. I guess ultimately my point is that there really should not be a noticeable difference at 4GB. More than that, no question, 64 bits. Less than that, I would go 32 bit. 64 bit is horribly slow with 2GB. It's all funny when you consider my Windows 95 machine had 24MB of RAM, and that was more than most people had back then.
     
  20. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @xxJackxx But, because some RAM gets reserved you get a lot less than than 4GB usable. On my Windows 10 system, I can only use 2.96GB of the 4GB installed. I don't think the extra RAM used by a 64 bit operating system is going to be anywhere near the 1GB that is not usable with 32 bit Windows, meaning that with 4GB of RAM, you're much better off with a 64 bit OS.

    I find 4GB of RAM to be more than enough for everything I do, but 3GB to be not enough at times.
     
  21. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    That can vary greatly by machine. The last machine I had with 4GB of RAM and 32 bit windows used 3.85GB that was not addressed by other hardware. I assume you have integrated graphics with a large amount of memory reserved for it. I wouldn't currently do less than 16GB myself at this point, but not everyone needs that amount.
     
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