Is Windows 7 64 bit worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TheMaxBat, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. TheMaxBat macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010

    Really, really need some help here. Three months ago (October 2010), I bought a brand new MacBook Pro through my university bookstore. I got the best I could afford. These are the stats:

    - 2.66Ghz Dual Core i7 processor
    - 4GB RAM
    - 500GB ATA Drive @ 7200 RPM
    - 512 mb NVIDIA GT 330M graphics
    - Mac OS 10.6.5

    Imagine my surprise when I installed Bootcamp and Windows XP 32 bit and discovered that only 2.17 GB of the 4 GB of RAM were even recognized. So I came to this forum and I read the post on memory usage and, well, that explained it.

    I installed some programs, including some games, and I discovered the lack of ram was ... disappointing. Today I went by my campus bookstore to get some advice on whether or not to buy Windows XP or 7 64 bit. This is what I as told:

    - Apple doesn't support Windows XP 64 bit. Installing it via bootcamp can be a major hassle because I would have to locate the drivers individually.

    - I can't just upgrade from Windows XP 32 bit to Windows 7 64 bit. I'd have to buy the full Windows 7 Home/Professional/Ultimate program. The bookstore wants to charge me $299.00 for the Professional version.

    - Even if I installed Windows 7 64 bit, I probably wouldn't notice any performance increase. The different in RAM just wouldn't be that great.

    I'm kind of frustrated here. My old MacBook Pro (2007) ran Windows programs better - and recognized more memory - than my new MacBook (2010). Unfortunately, the old one was destroyed in an accident.

    Is it worth it to spend $300 to upgrade to Windows 7? Will I notice any significant performance increase?

    Also, I notice on the Microsoft website, I can download Windows 7 for a trial period. But when I suggested that to the IT tech, he said, "No, you'll have to have a certified Windows 7 dvd to install it via Bootcamp. You can't do a download or USB install." So I can't even test it until I buy it?

    Please help!!

    ~ Dani ~ :)
  2. tjb1 macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2010
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Ill save you some money right now, you dont need Professional or Ultimate unless your doing servers or similar. Dont believe me, look up the differences, none of the differences will benefit the normal user so just get the Home version.

    Its not the Macbook Pro not recognizing ram, its a limitation of 32 bit windows. So no your older Macbook Pro did not recognize more memory.

    Also, the tech is can not install Windows anything from USB or external DVD drive unless its firewire. If you can get an ISO file from Microsoft, you can burn that and use it to do a trial. Also, any Windows 7 cd can be used for 30 days before you need to activate so essentially any copy of Windows 7 can be used as a trial.
  3. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    Buy the OEM version for half the price. Alternatively, Home Premium is only $100.|c:306|&Sort=0&Recs=10

    I'd say buying the OEM version would be well worth the money. Especially if you're planning on playing games, you'll want the full 4 GB of memory recognized.
  4. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
  5. laser71 macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2010
    Get home for 1/3 the price - unless you have a very specialized need, home will be fine.

    Windows 7 is an awesome OS - hard to imagine you paid to purchase XP (a 10 year OS!!).
  6. TheMaxBat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    Thanks to everyone for the help. Replies below.

    Home Premium edition it is. And this is the version, I think you saw. What does "for system builders" mean? Does that have any effect on what I'm getting?

    I didn't. If I gave you that impression, I'm sorry. That CD came with a computer I got when I graduated from high school ... um ... some years ago.

    Edit: I see where you might have been confused. Yes, I was thinking of buying Windows XP 64 bit for like ten bucks. My version of Windows XP is the 32 bit version.

    ~ Dani ~ :)
  7. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    "For system builders" means you don't get support with Windows like you would with the retail version. If you know what you're doing you shouldn't need support anyway. It's cake to install Windows on a Mac, as I sure you already know.
  8. DudeMartin macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2010
    Chicago, Illinois
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Obviously if you want to take the most advantage of what your system has to offer, get the 64-bit, if it works out financially. If you will use XP for simple tasks, like Microsoft Office, then you will not notice any difference. I use 2GB RAM XP on a PC, and it works fine for me.
  9. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    I have Win 7 (32 bit) installed on a virtual machine on my MBP 13. Virtual Box is free.
  10. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Thanks for bringing this up. I'm considering the same. Switched to Mac about 4 years ago and still have a couple pieces of software I need windows for. Before I switched, I bought Vista Pro...the black box with Gates' autograph, etc. I'm such a geek:). When I did the install on my MacPro...I put in 32 bit. Is it possible with the Seven Home Premium upgrade to go straight to 64 bit? Or do you have to be coming from 64 bit to upgrade to 64? It was a really easy install and Vista has worked fine for my needs...but Windows 7 is a much, much better OS. I just got a new desk computer at my job wit W7 installed and it's great. It's not OSX, but a MAJOR improvement over

    Again, just curious if I can go from 32 to 64 bit as easily as my initial XP to Vista bootcamp update was....or do I have to back peddle and install Vista 64bit to get to W7 64 bit

    Apologies to the OP for the highjack, but often there aren't logical Windows discussions on MR! So again, thanks for bringing it up!

  11. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    This isn't the case. You cannot do an in-place upgrade from XP to Windows 7, but you can buy Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade and do a fresh install with it. Since XP can't be upgraded to 7 in place, you have to start with a fresh partition. Since you have to start with a fresh partition, the upgrade install has to have a way to install on a clean drive. When I had this issue, I called M$ and was told by their tech to simply do the install without putting in a key code (my upgrade key wouldn't work), then run the install again 'upgrading' the existing Windows 7 install.

    I feel that Windows 7 runs better on the same hardware than XP, given proper specs, which it sounds like your MBP has.

    Google 'Windows 7 student upgrade'. $64.95 for Windows 7 Pro. IIRC, Windows 7 isn't licensed as 32 or 64 bit, you simply choose which to install when the install starts.

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