4GB RAM under Vista 64-bit with BOOT CAMP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by YahonMaizosz, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. YahonMaizosz macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2007
    Hi guys..

    I am a university student majoring in Information System and is looking for a laptop. I had never see the need of owning a laptop before, however due to school and work requirement, I feel that I need to have my computer with me when I need it. Since the ONLY laptop design that I like in the market are only MACBOOK PRO and SONY VAIO, I figure that I should clear some questions before I actually made my purchase..

    Both are equally amazing laptop, almost the same price (MACBOOK PRO is slightly more expensive). Price difference and design are not the issues here..

    The issue here is that since I am an Information System major, I need to work with WINDOWS OS.. I heard that there are some issues with installing more than 2GB RAM to work in WINDOWS under BOOTCAMP.. Ofcourse, I am aware that I can't use more than 2GB RAM in OS unless it is a 64-bit.. What if I were to install 64-bit Vista Ultimate under boot camp, will the 4GB RAM work??

    Honestly, if there is NO ISSUE about this at all, I might actually purchase the 17' MACBOOK PRO since I really loved it.. Otherwise, it will be the Sony Vaio..

    Hope to hear some answers from you guys soon..

  2. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    Vista 64-bit will be able to access all 4gigs of your ram. :)
  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I have Vista 64 on my 15" MBP and all 4GB are available.
  4. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2008
    how much ram does the 32bit vista access? :confused:
    i read somewhere that said bootcamp only 32bit only.. hmm
  5. jonnos macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    im using vista 64 on my mbp now works fine havent had any probs and reads all 4gb.
  6. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007

    is vista 64 with 4gb ram better for gaming than 32bit windows xp?

  7. ZachPruckowski macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2007
    About 3.3 - 3.5 GB under 32-bit. 4 GB - VRAM - overhead. Assuming you get the cheaper MBP, it'll be about 3.5 GB (less VRAM). You don't really lose that much RAM with Vista32, certainly not half of it.
  8. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008

    As a current IS student I can tell you that 50% of what you do is not OS-specific. 50% of my IT-school stuff has been papers papers papers!

    I have a MBP, with an XP virtual machine via paralllels on it. It does what I need it to, and fast. Also have 4gb of ram.

    So far Ive used stuff like Visual studio 08, various network tools, and mostly office 2004 to write the vast majority of papers. Im sure I will use some SQL software very soon, which also requires windows.

    also inquire at your school about the MSDNAA school agreements. You can get vista32 business free, along with other stuff. I personally have never EVER needed 4GB of ram inside bootcamp/vista. Your wasting money at that point on CIS stuff.
  9. YahonMaizosz thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2007
    I would say 64-bit OS with 4GB of RAM would perform better than 32-bit OS with 3.5GB of RAM.. More RAM = More open and running background applications.

    Not sure if I am correct though..


    32-bit OS can only read a MAXIMUM of 3.5GB RAM..

    Thank you so much for clearing this out for me.. This makes making my choice a WHOLE lot easier..

    1 more thing though, what is the "WINDOWS" key in the MACBOOK PRO keyboard?? I can't seem to find one :D
  10. YahonMaizosz thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2007
    Thx for sharing your experience with me..

    The reason why I said I needed to work with "WINDOWS" is because softwares such as Visual Studio and Access only work there.. I know about Virtual Machine and stuffs, but am afraid that there would be any compatibility issues about Vista 64-bit working under BOOTCAMP. Thus, I needed to clear out my doubt before I can make my purchase..

    Another reason why I would like to get the 4GB is because Vista is VERY RAM UNFRIENDLY. My current desktop has a 8GB of RAM and Vista had consumed 22% of it upon startup. It can gets as high as 75% when I am working.. Thus, I strongly feel that 4GB is the MINIMUM amount of RAM for me to have..

    Again, I really appreciate you sharing ur experience and inputs..

  11. bart rijksen macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    what do you mean the windows key? you mean the flag thing, or the windows symbol? because that's the apple key, or the command key.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    64-bit Vista is more stable OS.
  13. 7031 macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2007
    All I'm going to say is, I don't care what laptop you get, as long as it's not a Sony Vaio. Sure, the design is great, but I owned one for about 5 minutes before replacing it for the Macbook Pro. Why? The build quality. The Sony Vaio is about as durable as sugar glass. Touch it, and it would break. Seriously. I've had it for just a few months now, and the harddrive is already failing, it's the slowest computer I've ever used, and it just feels cheap and quite nasty in general. The Macbook however, with Mac OS or Vista is just plain awesome :D.
  14. mgclayton macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2007
    I am running Vista 32-bit in bootcamp with no issues. It even reports 4GB RAM, though it can't really use it all. You get 4GB - {whatever the other hardware reserves}, which is usually somewhere between 3 and 3.5GB.
    BUT here are some important points on your choice:

    1) I run 64-bit Vista on another machine. Are you sure you have 64-bit drivers for all the hardware you'll use? Will you be running 64-bit software? Otherwise I don't think you'll gain much (if anything) over the 32-bit version.
    The 32-bit code runs in an emulator on 64-bit Vista (WOW64).

    2) You may be able to access all 4GB RAM, but the 64-bit system will take more of it and more of the hard drive.

    3) Don't think that just because Vista uses x of your 8GB when idle that it will use the same total amount in a 4GB (or less) system. Vista is "smart" in that it knows how much RAM you have and preemptively uses it. Not necessarily a bad thing, it should speed up your apps.

    4) The MBP keyboard is different, but there are equivalents to Windows stuff, e.g. two-fingers on the trackpad and click = right click (I actually prefer this now I'm used to it). You should be aware of these things though.

    I love my MBP and I love OS X. I'm a fairly recent convert (2 years) and I think it's the best thing since the proverbial sliced bread.
    I still use Linux for my web/database server, and there's a couple of Windows apps I run on my Dell, but (in lieu of something better coming out) my feeling is that I'll only buy Macs in the future.
  15. James17 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    Is that because you have a lot of applications starting up or is that with none? 22% of your 8Gb is roughly 1.8GB which seems a bit high.
  16. YahonMaizosz thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2007
    Thx for the advice. Really appreciate it..:)

    That is with NOTHING running in the background. I used to have a 2GB RAM system and it uses 39% upon start up with NOTHING running in the background. When I played Hell Gate London, the system would crash since it uses 99% - 100% of ALL my RAM..

    Right now, my 8GB RAM desktop is being helped by my 4GB Flash Voyager as a "Ready Boost" flash drive.

  17. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    \Vista is fine with 2GB of ram. 4 is better, but in no way necessary. 64bit vista is also really unnecessary as a CIS student, totally. Of course if you have the 4GB, then by all means. But other than that, no need.

    You sound like you neeed to do some research of vista ram usage. It works the same way OSX does mostly. It uses a lot, TO CACHE STUFF. free ram is wasted ram. It always has been, and always will be.

    the only reason i have 4GB is because i run the VMs all the time, otherwise, 2gb is just fine.

    You should do this: by the MBP/MB with 2GB ram. use it. See if it suits your needs. If you need the ram, buy it. But dont buy it because you "want" it.

    Like I said, research vista a little bit, it really is happy with 2gb.

    ALSO, save the money, and look into the MSDNAA school stuff, you can get vista free for simply contacting your IT department. Why waste money.
  18. shmutheprophet macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    No, 32-bit XP would be better for gaming than 64-bit vista. Not even a competition. Inherently, XP will get about 10-20% better FPS. The extra 512MB won't be used anyways, if your just running a game. Crysis might use about 1.75gb as a process.

    Vista 64-bit can access all 4gb, vista 32 can access 3.5gb (in the MBP. In a desktop, with PCI slots, it varies but that doesnt matter here).
  19. shmutheprophet macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    The system wouldn't crash because you ran out of RAM. Windows would start using your swap partition/page file (hard drive ram). Sounds like faulty memory if you were BSODing while gaming.

    Windows XP will use about 170-200MB on a clean boot on any machine with 1gb+ RAM. Vista is different. Vista caches programs in RAM that you frequently use. This allows them to start up faster. Vista may be using 1GB of RAM on a clean startup, because of the way it manages memory. It should be ready to swap it out for a game or another process as soon as it is demanded.
  20. James17 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    1.8GB upon startup with no applications running shouts out "Problem" to me. Have you done the usual, disk cleanup, defragmenter etc?

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