32 bit and 64 bit

  Diemmess 12:39 10 Nov 2014
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Answered

Am about to plunge in and buy a new Desktop. I think I have most points covered except the bit rate? Incredably the current PC is 8 years old and is still running XP qite smoothly, intending to use Win 7

64 bit seems to have been around for a long time but no one seems to lay down how important/not it is and what is the best system version to buy and use? Or what are the likely snags to follow from 64bit when 32 has been the usual for me for years and years.

For instance I still use Corel Draw v 12 which is a bit twitchy at times. Would this still work . Corel Photopaint of the same vintage is fortunately pretty well behaved.

Your observations and experience please?

  john bunyan 13:12 10 Nov 2014

I would go for 64 bit. On such a system 32 bit programmes mostly work and are shown in C: Program Files (x86) as opposed to C: Program Files for the 64 bit ones. Have a read here:

64 vs 32 bit

To use 4 Gig or more of Ram you need a 64 bit system - useful for the future.

  spuds 13:59 10 Nov 2014

I have never used "Program Compatibility Assistant", but it might be worth looking into it for checking any programs that you might want to install. Here's a bit of information, but you will need to look for the download of that program, should you wish to try it click here

  Batch 14:08 10 Nov 2014

Main benefits from 64bit

  • 64 bit can access a huge amount of memory (192GB seems to ring a bell). Whereas in practice 32 bit will only access approx. 3.4GB of memory - which may or may not be an issue for you depending on your intended usage.

  • Security on 64bit is said to be marginally better than 32 bit.

  • Forward compatible with newer (possibly 64 bit only) applications - but I don't think this is a major concern yet.

Benefits of 32 bit (IMHO):

  • Some older software that will not run on 64 bit runs easily on 32bit (I'm running some Win3.1 software on W7x32 which won't even install on W7x64).

  • If all you are using the PC for is office type work (e.g. word processing, spreadsheets), web browsing, viewing photos / videos (not video editing), you probably won't even use all of the 3.4GB that 32bit can access.

  • Windows updates are much smaller. I had W7x64 on one machine and W7x32 on another. The updates on x32 were about half the size.

  • Also the disk usage by the OS will, accordingly, be much less. Arguably, it follows that x32 might be marginally faster (as there is less to transfer around).

  • Also x32 supports 32 bit drivers (you absolutely cannot install 32 bit drivers on an x64 OS). So if you have old hardware with only 32 bit drivers (e.g. scanner, printer) the drivers may well (should?) work under x32.

  • The Windows context menus (e.g. in Windows Explorer) only support items of the same bit count. So if you had W7x64, any 32bit software (that was able to be installed successfully) which (normally) has context menus entries would not appear in the context menus. There is a workaround app for this (WOW64MENU) but it is a bit cluncky. Using 32bit Windows avoid this issue entirely.

BTW one way or another I've made W7 look and feel pretty much like XP for most day to day activity. Mostly by tweaking settings etc. It's not perfect, but liveable and a lot better than vanilla W7.

Also, my understanding is that the same licence key can be used for both 32 & 64, so if you install one version and don't like it you can switch to the other.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:23 10 Nov 2014

intending to use Win 7 why?. Get a machine with 8.1 and it is likely to be upgrade to windows 10 free next year.

Bought my 64bit PC windows 8.1, earlier this year old machine was XP 9yrs old. No problems converting from XP at all using classic menu and charms + apps are easy to use anyway. HAd a thread on here asking for advice on using 8.1 but once I had the machine never really seemed to need much help I hardly notice the difference.

Most of my old software works without problem apart from one game C&C Yuri's REvenge that seems to play much slower with three a 3x more powerfull processor and 8x the memory even runing in the xp or win 98 compatibility modes. ;0)

Just for fun I'm going to install Virtual box and run XP in that and see if the game installed in xp runs as normal.

Make the break, don't jump halfway, go for 64bit windows 8.1

  spuds 14:30 10 Nov 2014

"Make the break, don't jump halfway, go for 64bit windows 8.1"

That's what I have done, in the hope that W10 with be provided for free as an upgrade later :O)

  Diemmess 09:31 11 Nov 2014
Answer

Contradictory change of plan. There's life in the XP machine yet! I'm going to do some serious work to find and remove any procedures which may be interfering with otherwise smooth functioning.

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. You covered the whole problem really usefully.

This is a totally seperate problem and deserves a separate thread. I will launch a new thread when time allows.

  wee eddie 10:05 11 Nov 2014

There's life in XP yet:

As many of us use our Smartphones to access the Internet more, and more, the necessity of having a PC that is attached to the Net becomes less, and less, of a requirement.

There will be things that a PC can do on the Net that are impossible for a Smartphone but those are becoming fewer and fewer.

So, download CCleaner and disconnect from the Net, sweep your PC for Crap and remove all the software that is Net related. Finally remove CCleaner and get on with life with an XP PC that is rejuvenated.

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