Windows 7: 32-bit vs 64-bit

I recently upgraded my RAM from 2 GB to 4 GB. I have a 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate. I know that this version of Windows can handle up to 4 GB of RAM, but I need to know a little more. I am trying to decide whether upgrading to a 64-bit version of Windows will offer greater performance and program compatibility. Specifically:

- Will upgrading from 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate to 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate cause any increase in performance at all? (eg: Will RAM be accessed and used faster, more data stored in the same amount of RAM, etc)

- Will 32-bit applications and programs run slower on a 64-bit version of Windows? (I have mostly 32-bit programs, and I will likely have to use them if I upgrade)

- I've heard some programs are not compatible with 64-bit OSs. Approximately what percent of programs have this issue? Is there any way to resolve this (eg: a 32-bit compatibility mode)?

- If I have a program that will only work in a 32-bit version of Windows, can I use Windows Virtual PC with a 32-bit OS to run the program? Would that present any issues?

- What is the actual difference between the two versions? (eg: how they access RAM, how they store information, etc)

- Will a 64-bit version of Windows use other memory resources differently (eg: graphics card 'dedicated' RAM, USB flash devices, solid state drives, etc)?

- Are there any compatibility issues with the actual RAM itself (eg: a certain type of RAM won't work in a 64-bit OS)?

Thanks for the clarifications - I hope they will help me make an educated choice.
Rifdhan
 

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Last updated November 15, 2018 Views 1,041 Applies to:
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The whole structure is different in the 64-bit OS, and it uses WoW64 (Windows on Windows) such that 32-bit stuff will run.

Windows 32-bit versions could address more than 4gb, but the limit was set to preserve reliability and other issues that could crop up now and again.

In use, there is hardly any difference. W0W64 runs seamlessly with any application/program that is Windows 7 compatible. There are few exceptions to the rule, Lotus Smartsuite Millenium and Lotus Organiser are two that will only run properly in 32-bit, and also some small utilities which need to be bit-specific.

 The only time where 64-bit hits a stop is hardware drivers which have to be 64-bit or else..

 

Windows 10 Pro - Start10 - part of a local network which is a '3rd party optimizer-free' zone..

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- Will upgrading from 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate to 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate cause any increase in performance at all? (eg: Will RAM be accessed and used faster, more data stored in the same amount of RAM, etc)

Depends to some extent on what programs you are running, ie if they are designed specifically for 64bit - In most cases you will see no difference


- Will 32-bit applications and programs run slower on a 64-bit version of Windows? (I have mostly 32-bit programs, and I will likely have to use them if I upgrade)

 

No

- I've heard some programs are not compatible with 64-bit OSs. Approximately what percent of programs have this issue? Is there any way to resolve this (eg: a 32-bit compatibility mode)?

No percentage available, there are very few programs, designed for win7 that will only run on a specific bit version. You would have to view the proram makers specs.

There is no 32bit compatibility option


- If I have a program that will only work in a 32-bit version of Windows, can I use Windows Virtual PC with a 32-bit OS to run the program? Would that present any issues?

I dont use Virtual PC, but as far as I understand it provides a 32bit version of winxp

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/faq.aspx


- What is the actual difference between the two versions? (eg: how they access RAM, how they store information, etc)

- Will a 64-bit version of Windows use other memory resources differently (eg: graphics card 'dedicated' RAM, USB flash devices, solid state drives, etc)?

64bit allows the use of up to 192gb ram

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778%28v=vs.85%29.aspx



- Are there any compatibility issues with the actual RAM itself (eg: a certain type of RAM won't work in a 64-bit OS)?

No, provided the ram is compatible with your hardware

Thanks for the clarifications - I hope they will help me make an educated choice.
Rifdhan


1 person was helped by this reply

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