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Windows 7 32-bit vs 64-bit

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					                    Windows 7 32-bit vs 64-bit

32-bit Operating systems can only handle about 3-3.5 GB of RAM because of the 4 GB
limitation. (Unless you are running the specially modded kernel image with Physical Address
Extension – PAE mode enabled which you can do by adding/PAE switch to your boot config file
or by typing “BCDEdit/set PAE force enable” in command prompt of Windows7).

Most recent processors are however 64-bit Operating System. That even removes the 4GB RAM
limitation and in general can be more responsive when running multiple tasks together. Home
Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate variants of Windows 7 all come in both 32-bit
and 64-bit versions. Even with all its advantages, people still prefer 32-bit Operating Systems
because of lack of 64-bit software’s, its inability to run 16-bit programs and a few
misconceptions as well. Let’s see if we manage to clear your doubt regarding this.

Is your computer capable of running a 64-bit version of Windows?

To run a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or any other operating system for that matter, your
computer must have a 64-bit capable, do the following:

   1. Open Performance Information and Tools from the Control Panel.
   2. Click on “View and print detailed performance and system information”.
   3. In the System section of the window that appears, you can see what type of operating
      system you’re currently running under System type and whether or not you can run a
      64-bit version of Windows under 64-bit capable heading. (If your computer is already
      running a 64-bit version of Windows, the 64-bit capable listing might not be available.)

   Is your computer currently running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows? To see if your
   computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, do the following:

          Open System from the Control Panel
          There, you can view the system type.

   Can you upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows?

   No. If you are currently running a 32-bit version of Windows 7, similarly, if you are running a
   64-bit version of Windows, you can only upgrade to a 32-bit version of Windows 7.
   Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you can only upgrade to 64-bit
   version of Windows 7. If you want to move from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit
   version of Windows 7, if you want to move from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit
version of Windows 7, you’ll need to perform a clean installation of the 64-bit version of
Windows.

Can you run 32-bit programs on a 64-bit computer?

Yes. Most programs designed for a computer with 32-bit Windows will work on 64-bit
versions of Windows.. However, drivers designed for 32-bit versions of Windows do not
work on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. You will have to obtain 64-bit
drivers for your devices, but you need not worry too much since most drivers CD’s these
days come with both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers. It’s only a matter of concern for older
hardware, especially the ones for which the company has stopped support and updating
drivers.

Would you benefit from using a 64-bit computer?

Yes. You will have more RAM available to you and you will finally be able to utilize your
entire 4GB or higher amount of RAM. Apart from that, 64-bit Operating system is more
efficient in handling memory intensive programs and from our experience software’s like.
Photoshop, 3D Studio Max and others which have separate 64-bit versions for 64-bit
Operating systems run smoother than their 32-bit counterparts.

				
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