Should I get 32-bit or 64-bit Vista for my new MBP?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by kingofkolt, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. kingofkolt macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm getting the new MBP tomorrow, and I was wondering if I should get 32-bit or 64-bit Vista for it (which I need for gaming/web development). I'm getting the OEM version of Vista Ultimate. I'll definitely be using Parallels, and I know the previous version of Parallels didn't support 64-bit OSes. But does 3.0 support 64-bit? The Parallels FAQ page says it does not; however, the FAQ's also say it doesn't support 3D graphics acceleration, which 3.0 does, so I assume the FAQ's are somewhat outdated. So does anyone know if the new version supports 64-bit? And if not, how soon do you think they will come out with a 64-bit-supporting version of Parallels (i.e., is it worth getting x64 Vista and waiting to get Parallels until they support it)?

    Also, I just don't completely understand the pros and cons of using 64-bit vs. 32-bit. In fact, I don't even know what those numbers are referring to. Could someone explain the advantages and disadvantages of getting the 64-bit version? I've heard there's somewhat of a performance hit when running 32-bit programs on a 64-bit OS (I can imagine that would be multiplied when gaming, which I will be doing). Is that true? On the other hand, would there be a performance hit running 32-bit Vista on a 64-bit MBP?

    Tons of questions, I know. But I'm not very familiar with all this stuff. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks! :eek:
     
  2. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #2
    I haven't been following closely, but I don't think Bootcamp supports 64bit Vista yet. Or didn't. Or I might have just plum forgot about it.

    Though if it IS supported - go for it. Get what will work best on your system. Though I don't exactly recommend Vista if you're after a flavour of Windows. Unless you want like tainted flavour.
     
  3. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    #3
    32 bit.

    More compatible for the moment.

    Leopard purportedly allows 32 bit and 64 bit apps to run side by side. Can anyone shed any light on how this is possible and why MS can't do the same with Vista?
     
  4. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #4
    I installed a beta 64-bit Vista on my iMac and it ran fine.
    No 64-bit apps for Vista but it ran fine :p
     
  5. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    The thing is, I would ideally like this computer to be as future-proof as possible (hence getting Vista instead of XP, even though XP probably runs games better). Are 32-bit programs actually incompatible with 64-bit Vista, or are they just slower or something?
     
  6. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Can you run 32-bit programs on it with little to no speed problems, though?
     
  7. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #7
    Sure..But imho it's not worth it.Why do it if there's no 64-bit apps out.
     
  8. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #8
    On the x64 architecture, 32-bit programs run with very little to no performance penalty on 64-bit Windows. They actually run on the actual hardware, and the only "performance hit" is when making a call to the operating system (the CPU has to change back to 64-bit mode, execute the system call, and then switch back to 32-bit mode). The mode change is very fast, though. And any potential hit is offset by the improved architecture of the current CPUs (Core Duos, in this case).

    Regarding program compatibility, most 32-bit programs SHOULD work fine. Microsoft includes a subsystem in 64-bit Windows called "Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit", or WOW64, that ensures that 32-bit programs execute correctly. The only issues are with 16-bit programs, that are no longer supported, and drivers, that need to be 64-bit native. Some installers still execute a small 16-bit stub when starting up, but most recent programs (which use either the Microsoft Installer (MSI) or later versions of InstallShield) don't have that problem.

    That being said, every once in a while you may run into programs that use certain APIs or handle data structures in some obscure way, and they will crash on 64-bit Windows. Fortunately, they are not that common.
     
  9. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #9
    I'm running Vista 64 bit at home and Vista 32bit at work. Although my home machine is a master machine (core 2 2.4Ghz vs 1.86) , I will say that Vista64 seems to be considerably faster - at least for me. The 32 bit applications are pretty much the same speed or a tad slower but the OS itself feels more responsive.

    The only issue with the 64bit OS's from MS is that not all hardware have drivers that are compatible yet and some older apps may not work.
     
  10. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    What about Parallels? Does anyone know for sure whether it's compatible with 64-bit Vista?
     
  11. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I'll be buying my MBP tonight and installing Vista on it tonight or tomorrow... So could someone please let me know whether Parallels 3.0 supports 64-bit Vista? And if not, will it support 64-bit soon?
     
  12. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #12
    Leopard uses an ingenious trick to make this possible. Essentially, the system kernel runs as a 32-bit process (thus allowing all 32-bit drivers and programs to still work) while providing a 64-bit interface and 64-bit libraries for 64-bit programs to hook into and work.
     
  13. emaja macrumors 68000

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    #13
    I tried V64 on my gaming machine and had all sorts of little issues with basic programs that you would never think there would be a problem with.

    My suggestion is to make a list of all the apps that you need - or want - to use and make sure they work with V64. If not, then you have your answer.

    As far as making it as future-proof as possible, no one is dropping support for 32-bit Windows just yet, so even if you went with just the 32-bit version you would be fine for quite a while.

    The main advantage of the 64-bit OSs is their ability to address more RAM.
     
  14. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I didn't realize this. If I eventually upgrade my MBP to 4GB RAM, will Vista 32-bit recognize it?
     
  15. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #15
    I know Windows XP has an annoying 2GB user RAM limitation. I know Windows Vista 64-bit removed this restriction, but I don't know about the 32-bit version. :confused:
     
  16. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #16
    You can add an instruction in the boot.ini to allow more memory than 2Gb to be given to the user... just add /3Gb to the end of it.

    Anyway 32bit XP and Vista will likely never let you see more than 3-3.5Gb RAM so you'll never get all 4Gb unless you go with a 64bit OS.
     

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