windows 7 pro 64 or 32 bit

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Sossity, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I would like to run windows on my macbook pro i7 with 4gb of ram. I was advised to get windows 7 professional 64, but what would be best? 64 or 32 bit?

    Also, does anybody know of a place I can get a good deal on windows 7 that is the full version, not an upgrade or OEM? or is OEM ok?
     
  2. iGuardian macrumors 6502a

    iGuardian

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    Aug 26, 2008
    #2
    I'd recommend 64bit, it would allow you to take full advantage of your computer's speed. Also, I think an OEM version should be fine, but I'd do some more research on that one.
     
  3. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    #3
    Definitely 64-bit, 32 can only use 3.5GB of RAM, that includes VRAM so you'll have 1GB going to waste if you used it.
     
  4. aki macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    As above, there's no real reason to go 32 bit, especially if there is the possibility you will add more ram later on.

    Very very veeeeeery occasionally you may still come up against some software that has issues with 64 bit Windows, but in my experience it's extremely rare (in my case one app in what I don't know, when did win7 64 come out? a good while anyway).
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    You're not providing two key pieces of information.

    1) How do you plan on installing Windows (Boot Camp, VMWare/Parallels/Virtualbox or both).

    2) What do you plan to do with Windows once you install it.

    At 4 GB you are right on the edge where either could make sense depending on what the answers to both of those questions are....

    As to OEM, it will work, but you should understand that as an end user you would be using it outside the license and that OEM has several limitations not present in retail editions. (e.g. your OEM license would be bound to this iMac and not transferable to another machine down the line).

    B
     
  6. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    1) I plan on installing it with parallels 5.0. maybe boot camp, although I like the idea of not having to reboot for windows or mac OS. So likely parallels.

    2). I will be using windows, mostly for Microsoft office, dBpoweramp- a CD ripper and batch converter,(& so far have not found an equal mac equivalent),mp3tag, a windows only editor for alot of music file types, downloader pro for downloading photos, & maybe roxio easy media creator.
     
  7. Brosef macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #7
    You should obviously be getting the 64-bit version of Windows 7. I still really can't believe they still sell 32-bit OS(s) on the market.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    IMHO with those requirements stay away from 64 bit and stick with 32 bit.

    You'll be able to dedicate 2 GB of RAM to the VM and get decent performance out of it for all of those applications. With 64 you'd start to get marginal performance running a few of those at once just due to RAM.

    B
     
  9. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Honestly, find a cheap xp install, 32 bit, install in a virtual box. That should more than take care of your needs. 64 bit can go funky with drivers and support.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #10
    I should also have mentioned that none of those require a Pro/Buisness version of Windows. W7 Home Premium (or XP Home) would be absolutely fine.

    Personally, I would stick with W7. You never know what new application comes along you want to run that will actually make use of it and won't run as nicely on XP.

    B
     
  11. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I talked with someone on the apple discussions forum & they told me;

    Windows 7 for several reasons including improved security, improved stability, and supported. I installed the 64 bit version but it is up to you. If you install in Bootcamp and you have more than 4 GB of RAM you will need the 64 bit version in order to use all your RAM.

    Well from my replies from here & on Apple support forum, I should go with windows 7.

    My macbook pro has the capacity to upgrade to 8gb of RAM. right now I have the standard stock 4 gb.

    If I find a program that I like, & it turns out to be windows only, do you think future windows programs will require 64 bit systems? would this future proof my computer? I dont want to be outdated, this computer needs to last me a while.

    I am not trying to argue, I see what you mean by possible conflicts with 64 drivers. So I am torn between 64 or 32 bit.
     
  12. aki macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Well it's your choice obviously.

    I'd install Win7 64 bit.

    Your hardware can take 8GB ram and ram is cheap so it's next to certain you will end up upgrading sooner or later. It's true running Win7 64 in parallels with only 4GB is more on the tight end of the scale but I did it for ages on an iMac, it's not like it's unusable or anything. Especially if your main usage is non-FPS-type apps.

    As regards Win64 compatability issues, I really think this is a molehill. Such issues are quite rare these days. Unless you know for a fact you will want to use funky old hardware (and so the drivers might not be available) or do retrogaming (some apps choke on newer versions of Win), there's really no reason to go for an older OS or for 32 bit.

    In addition to which I might say one of the whole points of Parallels is you can have as many "PCs" as you want - if you discover down the road you absolutely have to have an app that only runs under win 32 or XP or something, you always have the option to just get and install another version of windows on another virtual machine.

    Good luck!
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    You really shouldn't be. It is not one or the other unless you make it so by buying OEM. All retail versions come with both and you can switch between them with a simple re-install.

    EDIT: I've said it many times before, the "savings" from OEM just aren't worth the hassle. If you are looking to "future proof" buy retail (even a retail upgrade if you have to) and have a portable Windows license that you won't have some many possible issues in activation down the line.

    EDIT 2: Should the day come that you find a Windows application that is optimized for 64 bit and benefits from it you won't want to be running it in Parallels, and when you try to move your OEM license from Parallels to Boot Camp you may run into activation issues that may even force you to buy a new license. Is that what you mean by future proof?

    B
     
  14. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    By future proof I meant if I come across software that I like & it happens to be windows only, & for 64 bit windows systems, but I realize as you said, retail versions come with both 32 & 64 bit versions.

    another note about ram usage, if I install 64 bit, of all those programs I listed that I would be using, I probably will not be running them all at once, most likely, the CD ripper, batch converter & mp3tag, maybe I might run at the same time, but the video editor, if I use it at all, I would be running alone without other windows apps running.

    I see your point about OEM, I have been wary of it myself, I dont like the idea of it being tied to only one computer, & no tech support.

    can you suggest any good places to get the retail version that is not too expensive? the mac I just bought has cleaned me out a bit.
     
  15. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 12, 2010
    #15
    Pardon my ignorance but what is non FES type apps? & if I go 64 bit & parallels, I would probably run my windows software of dBpowreamp cd ripper, maybe a batch flac converter, & mp3tag an mp3 editor. If I run a windows video editor, I would run it alone without other windows apps running.

    will it work for my windows apps activities I described?
     
  16. aki macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I meant "applications which aren't First-Person Shooters", by which I really meant, 3d graphics gaming.

    Presuming you go Parallels:

    Cd-ripping is trivial, as is mp3 tagging. Audio transcoding likes CPU and ram but again it's no Crysis, provided you aren't bulk transcoding 24/7 I don't think the somewhat slower speeds you'd get would be a concern.

    Video editing, now that might be a problem. It depends what you are doing of course but even basic editing let alone any sort of serious post-production (effects etc) loves ram.

    Is there a particular reason why you'd want to edit video under Windows? There are some excellent OSX apps, iMovie is "good enough" at the low end and Final Cut Pro/Express is excellent at the other. Maybe you already own a high-end Windows video app, but otherwise I would strongly suggest you go for an OSX solution.

    If you absolutely have to edit video, I think small ram and virtualization are going to be a major irritant, and you should go the bootcamp option.

    Parallels is an amazing product, but you'll just frustrate yourself if you try to do too much with it.

    Just my opinion.
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #17
    FPS = first person shooter 3D games.

    I have both 32 bit on my MB and 64 bit on my MBP as shared Boot Camp/VMWare installs and 64 bit is usable with 2GB dedicated to the VM but the 32 bit loads faster and runs better.

    B
     

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