Okay, this is the last post in my series about the 32-bit or 64-bit question. I don't expect this poll to be generally valid since 4sysops readers are probably more adventurous when it comes to adopting new technologies. IT pros are used to fighting with computer-related problems all day. So they are not that much frightened of theoretical troubles that a new operating might pose.

Usually, that also applies to me. I am still a bit hesitant to make the 64-bit move, though. I will buy a new laptop soon and I am considering of equipping it with 4GB because I want to run VMware Workstation on it. So I am curious to know your view. You might have read my posts on Vista x64 or have made up your mind already. Perhaps, you even have experiences of your own. Some of you already shared your opinion in my original post about that issue.

If you didn't make up your mind yet, you might want to have a look at my articles about the 32-bit vs. 64-bit issue. You can find the links below the poll.

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So what is your choice? Vista x86 or Vista x64? If you are running Vista x86 at the moment and are planning to move to 64-bit you can vote for Vista x64 as well.

Vista x86 or Vista x64? What is your choice?



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13 Comments
  1. Aaron 14 years ago

    I’ve got two machines with 4GB RAM, so x64 is a no brainer. No issues other than the time it takes to eventually find a couple of missing drivers.

  2. Angelo Pascutti 14 years ago

    I don’t think a normal person needs more then 3GB of ram. I’m using vista x86 on a c2d e4500 with 2GB of ram, using CAD and maths programs all day (inventor 2008 / matlab 2007 / maple 11 and sometimes solid works or maxima) with ms-outlook/excel-2007 open all day long, and it works very fine to me. I can’t think how more ram would benefits me.
    In my opinion, there’s no real need to move to vista x64. Just remember, very few motherboards supports more then 4GB of ram.

  3. Jan Ivar Beddari 14 years ago

    My take on this is simple as a IT consultant/sysadmin with clients in the public sector:

    By the time I will want/need to start moving away from XP due to software compatibility (I predict first half of 2010) standard configurations for new computers will be at about 4GB of RAM. Choosing anything else than 64bit from that point on would just be stupid.

    So I voted 64bit, but not right now!

  4. Jan Ivar Beddari 14 years ago

    I just wanted to make another comment when I read your post again.

    I got myself a new laptop for work this year and I got 4gb RAM for the very same reason, virtualization. Ive been using linux as a server os for nearly 10 years now but Ive been hesitant on using it on laptops or workstations, it felt like too much hassle. Now, with a slim debian testing installation as “host os” and my main XP-install as a vm I feel Ive gained lots of flexibility:

    Backups is easier than ever, its easy to “gut out” my laptop if I need it for some sort of testing, I can test and compare vmware workstation/server, virtualbox, kvm (if I ever get to that) ..

    I can run 2x 2003 server, an XP and a Vista client simultaneously on this laptop. I use an external USB-drive to offload disk activity from the internal drive and it works great – although an express card esata-setup probably would be faster.

    The laptop is out of the HP business notebook series and runs ok with the 2.6.24-kernel.

  5. Eric 14 years ago

    I have been running x64 now for about 8 months on my HP dv9000 (dual core AMD). I haven’t had any issues with it except for the latency factor. I have 4GB’s of RAM and dual-SATA drives (RAID-0) and it’s still sluggish (especially on boot-up). Other than that, I don’t mind the O/S (btw, I am using Vista 64 Ultimate).

  6. Clintonio 14 years ago

    I’ve got two machines, both fairly high end, both on Vista.
    The main difference is that one is x86 and the other is x64. The one on x64 is Ultimate and I personally constructed the machine. It runs amazingly. Aside certain firewalls I’ve had no x64 issues.
    And the laptop that is on x86 is the same, it just has a better range of firewalls available.

    Since I plan to get 8GB of RAM for the x64 machine I voted x64, but in reality I see no difference.

    And if you have newer hardware then drivers aren’t an issue.

  7. Aaron, well it is exactly “the time it takes to eventually find a couple of missing drivers” that worries me a little. I don’t know how much time I already wasted with driver issues. I just had a problem with a graphics card driver for a Vista x86 laptop. It didn’t support the screen resolution for my external monitor. So I started to mess around with the inf file of the driver. You can really waste a lot of time with such things.

    Angelo, you’re right. A normal person doesn’t need more than 3GB at the moment. But if you look at the results of the poll, it seems that the majority of readers of this blog are not really normal. 😉

    Jan, you hit the nail on the head. I remember quite well that my first XP machine had 256KB and it worked just fine. Nowadays, I wouldn’t run XP with less than 1GB. So it is quite probable that in 2010 4GB or even 8GB will be quite normal for Vista. I also have been thinking of running a server OS, maybe Server Core plus Hyper-V, but I think that is even more adventurous and therefore more time consuming.

    Eric, to my experience in most cases the reason for slow boot-ups has nothing to do with the OS, but with applications that are loaded during the boot process. I assume fragmentation is not an issue in your case. Disabling Windows Search could also help.

    Clintonio, well, 8GB or 3GB makes a real difference, doesn’t it?

  8. Thomas 14 years ago

    VM workstation. 64bit, no choice. However consider that you will need LOTS of RAM and CPU’s. I just built my new VM workstation replacing my P4 w/ 4GB ram. My new system is running XP x64. My system has 2 quad-core Xeon’s, 16 Gig RAM. You can run a virtual Vista and test software compatibility. On draw back with Xeon is that your forced to purchase expensive DIMMS. Could not afforded 32 Gig’s would have doubled my cost.

  9. Jim 14 years ago

    As a consultant, x64 on my lenovo laptop dual core x86, I use the 4gb to support my demo VM environments and concurrently run presentations, etc. Vista 64-bit is fully supported, so 0 problems with drivers. MS Office 2003 suite runs fine as with latest patch version.

  10. Cristian Remy 14 years ago

    I have intensive applications with Vista X64, Server 2008 x64 and XP x64 and if you are careful to select your peripherals(good quality devices) there’s no trouble with drivers and support.

    Also the implementation of WOW64 from Microsoft is really amazing, almost any problem.

    I use Virtual machines, Database managers, Video processing applications and all works fine. Many games works well with x64 versions of windows.

    I recommend try a x64 windows version.

  11. Shahab 14 years ago

    I just installed Vista Ultimate x64 a week ago!
    well i have a Quad 2 Core Q6600 @ 2.4GHz with 4GB of RAM and a Nvidea GFORCE 8800GTX Xtreme Golden Edition Graphics Card!

    Well I’ve been using Vista as Beta version already so I know quite a lot about Vista by now!

    Haven’t gotten around using x64bit until just recently and i’ve got to say it runs way better then the old 32bit edition!

    Especially when i look at it performance wise.

    It runs much smoother, my 32bit used 2 takes like 10secs to load iTunes and now it just takes not even a sec.

    Another huge improvement factor is gaming!
    I wasn’t able to play Crysis on my PC with the graphics turned up to MAX!
    only could play at HIGH!

    Now though it runs way way smoother and better and when i moved the graphics up to MAX i actually noticed that the game was running better and smoother on MAX then the HIGH setting was running on the 32bit version!

    So in conclusion i’ve got to say that yes until now i think not a lot of ppl wanted or needed 64bit but since now apps and games and many other things have become so damn demanding it is really gud to have a 64 bit system and anyways when i just checked in stores just now i have noticed that they started selling pc’s with 64bit vista ultimate/Hpremium already pre-installed on it!

  12. Andy 14 years ago

    I just got a new laptop- Dell 1318 32-bit system. It was fast and worked well. Then, decided to change it to a 64-bit HP laptop, and got a bunch of problems at once. I couldn’t install most of my software, and i also got 2 viruses the first day I used the 64-bit system (never happened to me before). The laptop also freezed on me time to time, although I was running only couple of programms. After 3 days I came back to the store and changed it back to a 32-bit Dell! (26 Dec 2008). So, I still vote for 32-bit as more reliable and compatible with most software.

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