32 or 64 bit vista

  conradwebster 12:51 01 Feb 2008

It seems a long time since any answers were posted on this subject. I want my computer to be as future proof as possible and most high end machines are now offering 4Gb or even 8Gb Ram. I believe 32 bit vista can only utilise 3Gb Ram at the most and Pc specialist advises ordering 64 bit vista with a high Ram configuration. However, the 'new' zone alarm pro firewall for vista only supports 32 bit vista as does onspeed (yes we are 3 miles from the exchange). Can anyone advise how well supported the 64 bit version is with respect to hardware and apps. Thank you

  anskyber 13:16 01 Feb 2008

click here is a sort of summary.

In a way you have offered the answer yourself. Checking around (try all your hardware like printers for example) shows that 64bit drivers are available in limited supply. The key point is even if they are there 64bit Vista is set up to only accept signed drivers. Some software is not put through the MS testing process and therefore is not signed.

The max RAM for 32bit is 4Gigs but that is for all mapped RAM requirements so a graphics card with say 256 Mb of RAM will take part of the 4Gb allowance. Typically therefore 32bit sees about 3.4 Gb of usable RAM.

  polish 17:30 01 Feb 2008

i have vista 32bit with 4gb ram but it is only reading as 3.25 when i bought the components for my pc the guy who served me told me this would be the case i dont think there would be any great need for the 64bit version it maycause you more problems than needed

  aquatarkus 18:52 01 Feb 2008

i have 4 systems at home that all run Vista X64 bit operating system (also have the Windows Home Server as well)Yes all drivers for use on X64 bit system must be signed by M/S but because of this you get a much more stable system, most BSOD's are caused by poorly written drivers anyway. You'll find that most printers, scanners etc from the major players have X64bit drivers available for their hardware unless its quite old. Software isn't a problem as most vendors have patches for Vista out now to ensure that their software is Vista compatible and 32 bit software runs just fine on the 64 bit platform. the only minor problem so far is antivirus software some of the security suites don't run on X64 but even this situation is changing, best so far is NOD32. So i would recommend X64 bit system without hesitation.


  conradwebster 10:00 02 Feb 2008

I had decided to go with the 64 bit platform but on checking I find that our btyahoo browser is not compatible which I find difficult to understand. I do not want to change provider so unless there are any ways to work around this it looks like 32 bit.

  Zeppelyn 22:39 03 Feb 2008

conrad webster

The btyahoo browser is not compatible with 32 bit Vista either, see their help screen and search for Vista. You could use IE or Firefox no problem, gives you the same really.

I dual boot with XP64 and Vista 64, had no problems finding drivers.

  tullie 15:48 04 Feb 2008

So use another Browser?

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