Should install Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Mr D, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Mr D macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #1
    I'm wondering which version I should install on UMBP w/4GB of RAM. Will the 64-bit be faster?

    I've read that there are driver issues with the 64 bit?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    64-bit is the way to go. That way you can fully utilize more than 4GB RAM and much more stable OS...

    if that is possible in Windows:rolleyes:
     
  3. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    Feb 9, 2005
    #3
    64-bit Vista (nevermind Windows 7) is only officially supported on Mac Pro, not on MacBook, MacBook Pro or iMac. It says so in PCMag's recent review of the Mac Pro. I'm guessing that's why a lot of people with the 64-bit version are reporting weird problems with drivers, fan control, overheating, video artifacts, crashes when using the touchpad... BootCamp isn't ready for 64-bit Windows as far as the UMBP machines are concerned.
     
  4. Mr D thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #4
    So you're saying to install 32-bit W7?
     
  5. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    Feb 9, 2005
    #5
    I don't have a UMBP so I'm only going by what I've read around the web. Maybe 32-bit has similar problems. Of course, BootCamp predates Win7 (and Win7 is only in beta), but it's very similar to Vista in terms of the hardware driver model etc. so whatever is true for Vista on UMBP is true for Win7.
     
  6. sosaysiburke macrumors member

    sosaysiburke

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    Mar 30, 2009
    #6
    windows vista 64bit runs better on my unibody macbook than it does on my pc but drivers might be a bit of a pain on windows 7 but im sure you could do it and it would run fine
     
  7. polaris20 macrumors 68020

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #7
    I had better luck with 32 bit on my MBP......64-bit just acted squirrly, and I couldm't get all the drivers to work.
     
  8. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #8
    Microsoft has said that they are pushing 64-bit as the primary on Windows 7; and that they expect some large percentage of Windows 7 installs to be 64-bit. (I don't remember the exact number, but it was something like 75+%.) Essentially, they expect that the only systems running the 32-bit version are system that aren't 64-bit capable. (Like my first-generation MacBook Pro, with its 32-bit "Yonah" Core Duo processor; or like some of the 32-bit Atom-based netbooks.)

    I'd go with 64-bit. Even if all of your applications are 32-bit, you will see a slight performance boost from the OS running in 64-bit mode. And if you have more than 3 GB of RAM, the 64-bit version of the OS will be able to assign up to a full 4 GB per 32-bit process, and as much as the app asks for for 64-bit apps. (Well, within the limits of 64-bit memory addressing, anyway.)

    Microsoft is essentially going to force drivers to be fully supported on the 64-bit version. Already, in order to pass Vista WHQL (the qualification that lets companies put "Made for Vista" on their hardware,) they have to have both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers. It was Windows XP that had very lackluster 64-bit support.
     
  9. sosaysiburke macrumors member

    sosaysiburke

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    Mar 30, 2009
    #9
    you shouldnt have any driver problems if you use the osx disk everything work great for me from the trackpad to dual monitors
     
  10. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    Mar 24, 2003
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    California
    #10
    The 64-bit version hands down would be the best option, but Apple not providing drivers on "older" machines (even though they're very capable) is a good reason not to go 64-bit.

    Hopefully Boot Camp 3.0 (if it even exists) will have (new) 64-bit drivers for more Macs.
     
  11. Aniki macrumors regular

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    Oct 17, 2008
  12. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #12
    64-bit if your CPU supports it.

    32-bit if it doesnt.

    Even if you dont have 4GB of RAM.
     
  13. jons macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2008
    #13
    64bit won't be faster. Either version should run fine, but yes drivers from Apple have not been released yet, so you may have to do some tweaking.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #14
    It's Windows 7. Apple hasn't released *ANY* drivers, for *ANY* version.

    As for 64 vs. 32 for speed, "AMD64", aka "Intel64", aka "Intel EM64T", aka "x64", aka "x86-64", aka "the AMD-created 64-bit extensions for the Intel 32-bit instruction set" is the only instruction set for which the 64-bit variant is inherently faster than the 32-bit variant. This is because the x86-32/IA32 instruction set was resource limited (not enough registers, slow x87 FPU,) and when AMD made their extensions, they doubled the number of registers, and made it so that in 64-bit mode, you *HAVE* to use the much faster SSE FPU. This means that in 64-bit mode, *EVERYTHING* is faster, by about 10-15%. Because the OS is 64-bit native, even if all of your applications are 32-bit, you benefit from all of the background tasks running faster. There is also no speed *HIT* for switching between 32-bit and 64-bit modes to run a 32-bit application.

    For most architectures (such as PowerPC,) there is no inherent speed hit for 64-bit, however because you need to transfer twice as much data in 64-bit mode, even when running 32-bit applications (the 32-bit data is 'padded' to be 64-bit,) you do take a minor speed hit. That is one of the reasons the G5's massively faster front side bus was so welcome. It more than made up for this 'side-effect' speed reduction, although running in native 32-bit mode was still a smidgen faster. On the other hand, x86-64's inherent speed boost from the improved running environment means that is *MORE* than makes up for the increased data traffic flow, making 64-bit mode always faster than 32-bit mode.
     

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