Windows 7 32 bit versus 64 bit

  Guybrush1 12:39 23 Aug 2009

Hi everybody

I am looking for a bit of advice on the merits of Windows 7 32 bit versus 64 bit.

I have pre-ordered Windows 7 Pro through Amazon and as the disk is going to come with the choice of both 32 and 64 bit versions I was considering taking the plunge and installing the 64 bit version but I have some concerns which i am hoping you guys (and gals) can help me with.

First question is, if I take the plunge and install 64 bit and its a disaster can I change my mind and install the 32 bit version and activate it using the same key again. Or to put it another way can I use both 32 and 64 bit versions with the same key on my machine as many times as I want as long as only one version is activated at any one time?

Next question is as I am an avid gamer what could the downfalls be? Now I'm not bothered about it improving performance in games as I appreciate that just about all modern PC games are programmed in 32 bit and as of yet very few have been "enhanced" to take advantage of a 64 bit enviroment. All I want is for the games to run and be compatible. Will a 64 bit operating system cause huge games incompatibility? Any gamer out there running there games with no probs? Please list successes and games that won't run under Windows 7 64 bit if at all possible.

Lastly I have a resonably up to date system (Though not cutting edge lol) I have 4 gb memory an Intel Quad Core Processor 2.4ghz and a Sparkle Nvidia 9800 GTX+, Realtek High Def Audio (onboard) with two hard drives that total over 800 gb.

How readily available are device drivers and how good is Windows 7 64 with its built in and generic drivers?

I know thats a lot in one go but any advice so I can make an informed decision when the time comes would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance


P.S. I am running the 32 bit Windows 7 RC evaluation copy and its awesome !! ;-)

  Forum Editor 23:41 23 Aug 2009

with the same key"

No, you can't. You'll buy either a 32bit version or a 64bit version, and although both versions will be on your DVD you'll only be able to activate the version you ordered/paid for - you can't just choose on the day. There's no reason why the 64bit version should be a disaster, it's exactly the same as the 32bit version.

If you install a 64bit operating system and you want to run 32bit software your machine will oblige - it will operate as a 32bit system. As far as I'm aware there should be no problems with 32bit games.

You'll need to check that there are 64bit drivers for all your hardware components/peripherals before you start the install. Windows 7 may have them onboard, or it may download them during the install routine if they were released after Windows 7 went to manufacture, but don't rely on it - check with the manufacturers and download 64bit drivers yourself.

  bremner 08:53 24 Aug 2009

With regard to the key.

I have pre-ordered from here. In their product description it simply states that Windows Home Premium comes with both discs. There does not appear to be a way to order a 32 or 64 bit version.

I have also looked on the MS site click here and again there is does not appear to be any option to choose 32 or 64bit.

  Bailey08787 14:48 24 Aug 2009

I think the main thing to remember is that 64 bit has 32 more bits than 32 bit.

That equates to double the amount of bits you get with the 32 bit.

If you like bits, it seems like a bit of a no-brainer to go with the option that offers the most bits.

However, a word of caution, the more bits you have, the more bits you have to potentially lose.

I'll admit, its a bit of a tricky decision - best to think about it a bit.

  audeal 16:41 24 Aug 2009

Every bit a joke

  Bailey08787 17:24 24 Aug 2009

a bit harsh

  sonyboy 17:42 24 Aug 2009

Oh dear! Have we started a bit of bother here:)

  Guybrush1 20:18 24 Aug 2009

Thanks FE

Though I must agree with Bremner, i haven't found a single site with the discounted offer distinguishing between 32 bit and 64 bit.

Bailey08787 you're obviously a "bit" of a prat!



  tigertop2 20:31 24 Aug 2009

Have to agree with Bremner. I am certainly expecting to have a one time choice when my preordered software arrives Maybe MS need to clarify this point as it was not an issue when ordering

  a member 21:58 24 Aug 2009

I dont see any problem ,if as stated you will have both 32 and 64bit discs in the box .try them both ,as long as you dont actually activate one then you will surely have the choice to try each in turn and activate the one you choose to adopt .only then you will have committed yourself and will not be able to change unless of course you buy a licience for both.

  sonyboy 10:25 25 Aug 2009

Agree with merlinx ....This is the approach I was going to try..
A "pre activation " test run ..mainly to check the 64bit hardware driver position !

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