32 or 64 bit Windows with Parallels Desktop question

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Fatboy71, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Im planning on getting one of the new 27 inch iMac's early next year and I will be installing Parallels Desktop 8 and Windows 7 probably.

    Now when I got my last PC which came installed initially with Windows Vista 64 bit by the system builder, I found that my USB devices and I think some software and hardware wouldn't work. I can't remember all the details has its 5 years ago almost, but I can remember plugging things in like external hard drives and usually you get a prompt installing driver, but with the 64 bit version it basically could not find the drivers if my memory serves me correctly.

    Now I was wondering which version of Windows (32 or 64 bit) would you recommend to install along with Parallels Desktop 8 on my iMac. I am planning to have a total of 24GB of ram (the iMac would come with 8GB, and I would be installing an additional 16GB), but the last thing I want to do is run into compatibility issues like I did with the 64 bit Windows Vista that I had. Or has things improved from a compatibility point of view with 64 bit?

    I've never had a 64 bit version of Windows in the 10 years of owning a Windows PC (apart from when the system builder supplied my machine in error with 64 bit Vista, which I later removed once the system builder sent me the correct version). So I don't know if 64 bit is something I'm going to need or miss. It's just with the iMac having a 64 bit OS I wondered if it would be beneficial to have a 64 bit version of Windows too.

    The main things I do mostly on my computer are:

    1: Email

    2: Surfing

    3: Photo editing

    4: A bit of video conversion, for if I'm wanting to convert some avi, mp4, mpeg, mkv video to a different format to either then put on my iPad, Playstation 3 or to burn to a DVD disk.

    5: Using iTunes

    Someone did mention to me that video conversion would benefit from a 64 bit version of Windows due to been able to use more than 4GB of ram, but I wondered what you guys think of that?

    So in light of my uses, would there be any benefit to me getting a 64 bit version of Windows.

    Saying that though, it's quite possible (but I don't know yet) that I might be doing some of the above some of the time in the Mac side rather than Windows, but I wouldn't know this until I started using my iMac.

    Also in light of what my uses would be. Has mentioned above, I would have 24GB of ram installed on my iMac (has others on other forums have said that its best to get as much ram as you can afford and this was based on my uses too)

    I know that if I went with a 32 bit version of Windows it wouldn't be able to use more than 4gb of ram. So if I went with the 32 bit version. Would my uses I described and with running the VM (Parallels Desktop 8) would the 4GB limit be too low?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    Don't take this the wrong way, but for the things you're looking to use your new iMac for why do you need to install any version of Windows?

    OSX will do all the things you've listed without any additional software.

    Enjoy the iMac and rejoice in the fact you don't actually need to use Windows anymore :D

    ps: I still run Windows 7 x64 (through bootcamp and parallels) but only because I have some old software I use from time to time that won't run on the Mac ;)
     
  3. Fatboy71 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thanks for the help.

    I would probably end up doing most of the stuff I mentioned on the Mac side (that's what my plan is) but in case I didn't for whatever reason, that's why I asked what I'd asked. :)

    Like yourself I would probably have some pieces of software that I needed to use that would only run with Windows, plus my girlfriend is into card making and has a large collection of CD roms of card making programs and these only run on Windows so I know we couldn't do without Windows altogether unfortunately.
     
  4. Fatboy71 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I've just been thinking. If I went with a 64 bit version of Windows (Windows 7) and if I was wanting to install or download and install a piece of software that was only available in a 32 bit version, would I be able to install and use 32 bit software on a 64 bit OS in scenarios like this?
     
  5. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #5
    Yes, that will not be a version, it just wont take full advantage of the 64 bit OS...to me the issue is your peripherals in that I have some peripherals for which 64-but drivers do not exist and getting the 32-bit drivers to work is not fun...
     
  6. Fatboy71 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    My peripherals would be:

    3 USB external hard drives. All are over 3 years old.

    A USB 3.0 3TB hard drive I would be getting when I got the iMac for my Time Machine backups.

    Printer which is around 6 months old.

    Corsair Flash Voyager USB thumb.

    The USB keyboard that would come with my iMac.

    The bluetooth Apple Magic Mouse.
     
  7. paolol61 macrumors newbie

    paolol61

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    #7
    I don't see the advantage to put a 64bit OS a secondary, need more memory and in the VM (parallel or fuse ) need more CPU, I have installed the 32bit and is working fine with my Visualstudio and hope it will do the sane when I will change to W8 later this year, I tested also few games on a VM and it works very well with 3gb ram and 7 CPU.
    Just my idea ;)
     
  8. Fatboy71 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Thanks for the help its much appreciated.

    I would be getting the amount of ram I would be getting for the Mac side anyway (has its relatively cheap), plus the 32 bit and the 64 bit versions of Windows off the site I would be purchasing them from are the exact same price.

    I'm just thinking that if I would perhaps in future I want to do something on the Windows side which was perhaps quite memory hungry and with the VM, then the 3.5 GB limit on the 32 bit OS could be holding it back, even though I would have all that extra ram, the limitations of the 32 bit OS wouldn't allow access to anymore than 3.5 GB.

    Thanks again :)
     

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