Do I install 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows on new Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Zillax0rz, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Zillax0rz macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2007
    I just bought a Mac Pro; quad core 2.66GHz, blah blah. When I do boot camp for Windows XP and Vista, do I install a 64-bit or 32-bit version? Does it matter?
  2. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    I personally stick with the 32bit versions of Windows for compatibility reasons only. I don't think there's any performance gain of using the 64bit version anyway.
  3. damado macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    You might have a lot of problemss with 64, but 32 will run perfectly so I'd stick with that.
  4. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2004
    I use the 32bit version of XP on my brothers MBP. Its just easier as I'm not outside of the ram limits (about 3gb if you want to see all of it).

    Wouldn't run vista as it sort of negates the graphical performance benefits of bootcamp. That and I'd actually have to 'pay' for vista. ;)
  5. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    I think boot camp recommends/only works with 32bit at the moment. (No 64bit drivers yet).
  6. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    I have heard of problems with the 64 bit version ... stick with 32
  7. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    64 bit windows works as well on a Mac Pro as it does on a PC. My friend installed it when he first got his mac pro.

    However, that is not to say it functions well.

    Drivers are a little bit harder to come by and many had to be rewritten from scratch, so a lot of them are still in beta stages (regardless of the apparent version number).

    64bit windows is only necessary for a few things, and you should only use it if you need to do those things. It will not provide a significant speed increase to most tasks, and many programs and hardware will not function properly.

    I'd recommend 32 bit windows XP. Everything works with that, and will until Vista is still out of its 'beta' stages :)

    Also, I'm pretty sure you can dual boot without problems on a mac. You should double-check that though.

    Edit: by "dual boot" I mean you can run 32 bit and 64 bit windows on the same machine (using different partitions).
  8. WizardHunt macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2007
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    32 bit version would work better for you in this case. Don't bother with the 64 bit version.
  9. brasscat macrumors 6502


    Jun 9, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    Same here
  10. cokersa macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Kansas City
    Most folks are in the 32-bit camp, with good reason. Ultimately, however, your hardware and software configuration should be the major deciding factor, IMHO. If you run a fair amount of older and/or non-MS software, or you have and want to use bluetooth keyboard/mouse, then 32 bit is definitely the right choice. If you primarily run newer versions and/or mostly use MS software (Office and the like), then 64 bit may be a good choice for you.

    I started out by running XP on my Mac Pro, and when Vista came out I upgraded to 32 bit Vista. Total disaster. I had to add memory to my Mac Pro to have usable video (for reasons I never understood, you need at least 2GB of main memory). After that was addressed, I found it was completely unstable; it would crash just opening IE. So much for doing an upgrade.

    After much consideration, I did a clean install of Vista 64 bit. Everything except the audio came up right away (note: you can't use the bootcamp drivers at all since they are all 32 bit). The 64-bit audio drivers are available at Realtek's website. Bluetooth doesn't work, since those drivers come on the bootcamp drivers disk (so I reverted to a USB keyboard and an MS USB wireless mouse). 64 bit is both more secure and more stable than the 32 bit version, in my experience. I've been using it ever since (four months now).

    There is one other issue that may be bothersome; the time delta between MacOS and Vista is normally addressed with software loaded on the bootcamp drivers disk. I've never successfully gotten that to work by loading it manually, so I just manually do a time update once I boot into the opposite OS.

    In terms of compatibility, the only issue I ran across was when I recently acquired "Star Wars: The Best of PC", which includes 5 games. Two of the older games (KOTOR and JKII:Jedi Outcast) simply wouldn't run (though I didn't attempt some of the compatibility tricks you can try). Conversely, StarCraft (a very old game) runs just great.

    The only other downside I can think of is that it appears Apple has no intention of supporting 64 bit with bootcamp. Not sure if that's because there are so few people running it, or because they don't want people to see MS has actually built a decent OS. ;-)
  11. pipomolo42 macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    The problem with 32bits windows, is that it only sees 2GB of RAM (although Linux, WinXP64 and Mac OS X all see the 4GB I actually have)

    Drivers are not really an issue for XP64: you don't need the bootcamp CD, you can get the drivers from Intel, Nvidia and Realtek websites.
  12. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2004
    I have this problem too. Is there any plan to fix this? I thought this problem was only for the Mac Pro's...? :confused:
  13. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Nope, it has been a "feature" of Windows since Windows 95. There is a way to get it to see 4GBs of RAM by editing a boot file but I have forgotten how.
  14. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2004
    Just see it, or utilize it too? If it can utilize it...could you please find out for me how to edit the boot file?
  15. emeldahay macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I have three dual boot MAcpros all set to boot directly into windows XP64

    I stayed away from Vista - I do that for my pcs too. Will be a year or so before I go near it.

    I use 64bit windows daily. I use 3D apps and often push the memory usage on a single programme way pas 12 gigs. Its like freedom compared to 32bit.

    Ive even maxed out the 16gb mem a couple times by running photoshop and other things at the same time. I had only had 16gbs for 2 days before that happened. :)

    The install was smooth as long as you collect all the drivers before hand.

    I got the quadrofx4400 gfx card apple offer but bought a quadrofx 5500 seperately - it installed properly although it didnt come with the appropriate mac psu cable - but when I tested it using my first macpros cable for installation the drivers were a breeze - so dont worry about non apple sold hardware - its all out there.

    32bit is for old ladies.:D
  16. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    To see it and utilise it. You should be able to find the correct edit with a quick Google search easily enough.
  17. pipomolo42 macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    here is a link:

    But it does not allows windows to see or use more memory, it just modifies how the virtual address space is split between the kernel and the application. It just allows very hungry apps to use up to 3GB of ram instead of 2GB in the default mode.

    Windows 32bits should support (see and be able to use) up to 4GB of RAM, but it seems that it only sees 2GB on the Mac Pro ...

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