Bootcamp... use x86 or x64?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ryans79, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. ryans79 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #1
    Hey there,
    like the subject says, a bit confused as to use the 32 bit version or the 64bit version... any advise appreciated.

    I'm on a 13" unibody MBP with 2 gigs ram.

    Thanks!
    R
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #2
    What apps are you planning on running?

    32 bit would be my usual recommendation for such a system unless there is some other mitigating circumstance. (Note, 2GB is the minimum system requirement for 64 bit 1 GB for 32 bit.).

    B
     
  3. ryans79 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #3
    OIC!
    Thanks for replying!

    Well, mostly visual studio, maybe photoshop/dreamweaver/WAMP.

    I also plan on mounting it using VMWARE fusion from time to time...
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
    Unless you plan on upgrading to 4 GB of RAM stick with the 32 bit. You won't get good performance with both OS X and Windows sharing 2 GB of RAM.

    FWIW a 4 GB upgrade kit is around $100 now, and well worth it if you are planning on running Win 7 in a VM often.

    B
     
  5. ryans79 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2009
    #5
    The last thread (before this one) I actually was asking if this was the right time to buy more RAM (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=840378).

    I will be taking the plunge soon, but not immediately... plus its quite a ways up from $100 this side of the pond :(

    Edit:
    I did try it with VMWare... and was not too happy, thats why am trying it with BC now..
     
  6. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #6
    It's actually not a question anymore: The 64-Bit versions of Vista and Win7 perform better than their 32-Bit siblings on any machine that has a 64-Bit CPU, even when you only have two GB RAM. The difference will only become more dramatic when you add more RAM to your machine. Judging by what I see every day in the server room and on workstations, Microsoft has put all the optimization efforts into the 64-Bit versions and didn't care much for the 32-Bit ones anymore.
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #7
    Definitely true in Boot Camp, but not when you share the 2GB with Mac OS and try to run Win 7 64 bit in a VM shared with Mac OS.

    There are still Windows on Windows problems if most of your apps are 32 bit, why deal with the potential compatibility issues? (EDIT: The two 64 bit related issues I still have are: 1) Any 32 bit EXE's I have compiled with the MATLAB compiler just don't work 2) VMWare Fusion's driverless printer stuff has completely b0rked my print spooler while under Boot Camp. I can only print from Windows in Fusion. Not the end of the world, but still very annoying. I went 32 bit on my MacBook).

    OWC/macsales.com ships internationally as far as I know. What happens if you just order from this side of the pond? RAM is light and cheap to ship.

    B
     
  8. Galileo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    #8
    I just ordered an Imac with 8gb of Ram thinking that would be more than enough to run Vmware or Paralells Win7 in 64-bit.
    Is it, or is it barely enough ?

    Thanks
     
  9. ryans79 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #9
    If they are willing to mark it as "toy" or "gift" it may work, as well as mark down the price... if not, i get screwed on customs..

    I payed 75% customs on a watch i bought on Amazon...
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #10
    I'd say go with the 32bit version of win7. I see little benefit of using the 64bit flavor when you only have 2gig of ram.
     
  11. ryans79 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2009
    #11
    I was considering using my 8gig usbstick as a ReadyBoost RAM?
    Think that woud help out? (never tried it before...)
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #12
    That would help a bit, especially while in Boot Camp, but fundamentally you are stuck with borderline RAM for 64 bit (2 GB in Boot Camp and 1 GB in VMWare).

    ReadyBoost really offsets the slow HDD speed, so for systems with marginal RAM (such as yours) DLLS can be cached on the flash and switched in and out of actual RAM as needed.

    That is the fundamental reason 64 bit is just more RAM hungry as soon as you introduce apps. As soon as you run any 32 bit apps on a 64 bit version of Windows it wants to load up several "Windows on Windows" DLLs to support the 32 bit apps. The 64 bit versions of the same DLLs are still also loaded for the native 64 bit apps, so you end up with bloat.

    B
     
  13. Nighthawk4 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #13
    On a related subject, can I install Win7 directly in Bootcamp, or do I need to install XP and then upgrade within Windows?

    I have a 20" iMac with SnowLeopard and 4Gb of RAM. Planning to use the 64-bit version of Win7 - which AFAIK you cannot install as an upgrade on 32-bit XP, although I suppose a 'delete and install new' will work.
     
  14. ryans79 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2009
    #14
    I just installed Win7 directly in BC..

    @balamw,
    thanks!
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #15
    You can clean install from Windows 7 upgrade media. There is a guide by Paul Thurrott that describes three alternative processes and is essentially guaranteed to work.

    B
     
  16. Nighthawk4 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #16
    Do you have a link to that guide please Balamw?
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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  18. Nighthawk4 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #18
    Well it seems that the 64-bit version of Windows7 is NOT supported on my iMac. :(

    Although I am sure the Apple Support Site said it was, after I had installed Windows7 and booted the Snow Leopard CD, it said i64 is not supported on this machine.

    So I will stick with a VM in Parallels 5, which certainly does support the 64-bit version of Windows7 on the same machine.

    Also, my main disk now has 32GB more space available for Mac stuff, as I deleted the Windows partition. :)
     
  19. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #19
    Unless you're going to be using apps which will break the 4gb barrier or offer better performance in 64 bit stick with 32 bit. I've only ever used up 3.25Gb of resources when I've deliberately tried to on my MBP, in normal use I never get near it. Add to that an easier install, less hassle with drivers, older hardware compatibility and despite claims that 32 bit apps work perfectly with WOW64 they don't.
     
  20. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #20
    You can force it to install the 64 bit drivers by simply installing the 64 bit msi file directly. Look for instructions in this forum.

    B
     

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