Windows 7 - 32 or 64 bit?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Cole Slaw, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Cole Slaw macrumors 6502a

    Cole Slaw

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    #1
    Was thinking of installing Windows 7 on my MBP.
    I just wondered which version (32 or 64 bit) would be the better (less problematic) choice to install?
    Thanks.
     
  2. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

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    #2
    you have a 64 bit processor - you might as well install the 64 bit os
     
  3. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #3
    There is very little reason not to go 64-bit. What specific apps are running? Some older (READ: poorly written) apps might not work with 64-bit, but they're a handful at best.
     
  4. amt2002 macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2008
    #4
    I've read that the Unibody Macbook 2.0Ghz isn't supported by the 64-bit version of Vista without a little registry hacking.

    Anyone successfully installed Win 7 64-bit on an alu Macbook???
     
  5. gumbyx84 macrumors 6502

    gumbyx84

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    #5
    I never really understood the use of 64-bit OS unless you are running 64-bit apps. Is the speed difference really that useful when running 32-bit apps? I ask because I have 4GB in my MBP and am wondering if installing Win7 x64 would give me a significant performance boost for my games (only run a few of them in BootCamp). 32-bit Windows reads up to 3GB right? So will that extra 1GB of RAM really make a difference?
     
  6. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #6
    Vista should work fine without any registry tweaks. These tweaks might have been because Apple's drivers don't offically support x64.

    X86 processors run faster in full 64bit mode than in 32bit mode due to extra registers.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    I'm never buying a 32-bit operating system again.
     
  8. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #8
    Isn't the iPhone 32bit? :p
     
  9. gumbyx84 macrumors 6502

    gumbyx84

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    #9
    I know that, but it doesn't answer my question. Will there be a significant gain from running a 64-bit OS if you are just gaming? I assume I am not the only one who would like to know.
     
  10. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #10
    Well if the processor runs faster then the game will run faster. Also some games now come with x64 executables and there are comparisons online regarding the speed increase from 64-bit.

    To answer your question though, at the moment 32bit is better because drivers are still more mature. However 64bit has come a long way since Windows XP x64 was released and the drivers and system are almost as mature. Also you have to remember than in Windows x64 they have dumped a lot of legacy 16bit code. By the end of the year I think we'll see the advantages of 64-bit more and more.

    So short term 32bit is the winner, long term 64bit is better.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #11
    I don't own one? :p
     
  12. Cole Slaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cole Slaw

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    #12
    Thanks for the replies.
    The reason I was asking is that I heard that the with Windows 7 I might have to use some Vista drivers from my Leopard DVD. I read that that the Bootcamp drivers on my late 2007 MBP SR were 32 bit only.
    Not sure if that's true or not, so while I'd rather get the 64 bit version of Windows 7, I was wondering if I'd be limited to the 32 bit version because of the version of Bootcamp included with my MBP.
     
  13. Cole Slaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cole Slaw

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    #13
    OK, I see it shouldn't really matter what version of Boot Camp I have on my Leopard DVD, because you can just download the later version from Apple anyways.
     
  14. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #14
    Boot camp has nothing to do with the ability of your mac to run windows. It just includes drivers to make the experience better. However nearly all of these drivers are available by the manufacturers because apple uses mostly off the shelf parts.

    I've read that most Vista drivers work in 7 so your best bet would to find some how-to's on how to install x64 vista onto your MBP and hopefully they will link to any drivers you'd need.
     
  15. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #15
    Actually, it doesn't even have drivers anymore. Boot Camp with Leopard is just a partitioning tool that does the exact same thing as Disk Utility.

    Your drivers would be on Install Disk 1 that came with the computer.

    But, yes, you'll have to look for third-party drivers because the Apple ones for speakers don't work with Windows 7.
     
  16. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #16
    Well if you want to get all technical then bootcamp is actually just a front end for a command line partitioning tool already built into OSX.

    Thanks for the update regarding the drivers though. I haven't installed windows on my new MBP yet :)
     
  17. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #17

    Listen to TBi, this man speaks the truth (every post so far in this thread).
     
  18. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #18
    What reason do you have not to use 64bit? Leopard is 64bit even though almost everything available for it is 32bit, the 32bit apps are not hindered because of that. It doesnt make any sense to use a 32bit OS when you have a 64bit capable computer, its like the people who use fat32 instead of NTFS because of some weird superstition about which is best for a small partition.
     
  19. gumbyx84 macrumors 6502

    gumbyx84

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    #19
    I use FAT32 for compatibility sake (ntfs-3g drivers aren't perfect for mac yet).

    Anyway, sometimes there are issues with 32bit software in 64bit systems. I have had software outright refuse to install in 64bit WinXP. That is the reason why I don't really see the reasoning behind it. It doesn't do anything to make the software run any better then it would in a 32bit OS, what is the point?
     
  20. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a

    wyatt23

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    #20
    stay away from 64-bit right now on the al macbook. i installed it and there's no drivers!

    the video card displays ugly large resolution andt he track pad doesnt work. i don't think wireless worked either.
     
  21. limo79 macrumors regular

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  22. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #22
    You can install it correctly if you get the right drivers. People have already done it and i'm sure google is full of the success stories.


    Chicken and the Egg... the more people use 64 bit then the more companies that will have to support it and the better it will get.
     
  23. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #23
    if you have less than 4gb of ram use 32bit if you have 4gb or more and use 64bit. Pretty simple imo.
     
  24. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    You realise Leopard is actually a 32/64 bit hybrid?

    Cocoa is 64 bit but the Unix kernel is 32 bit, it will be full 64 bit in 10.6.

    I'd also like to point out that this is the main reason many found Leopard to be slower than Tiger, you should see a nice speed gain in Snow Leopard for this reason alone.
     
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #25
    Your point being?
     

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