Windows on Mac: 32 or 64 bit?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by DanK104, May 25, 2010.

  1. DanK104 macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2006
    I want to get Windows 7 to run on Parallels on my 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac (4 GB RAM). But I need to pick between the 32 and 64 bit versions. Huh??? Help! Which one should I get? Pros and Cons of each???

  2. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    My understanding is that 64 bit requires more RAM. It can also address more RAM than 4 GB. I run 64 bit with 2 GB on VMWare and it works fine.

    I believe you could get by with a smaller RAM footprint on 32 bit.

    I probably would have been fine with 32 bit because I don't do a lot of heavy lifting in Windows.
  3. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    You'd be better off asking this in the "Windows on the Mac" forum.

    My answer: it depends....what do you want to do in windows and what hardware (peripherals) do you want to use? There aren't as many 64 bit hardware drivers out there if you have some esoteric hardware add-ons you'd like to use.
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    i take it you are using it for light weight stuff. 32-bit will be fine unless you REALLY want to address >4GB RAM (which you cant).
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you're running windows in a VM, then I'd say go with the 32bit version. The extra overhead needed for the 64bit version offsets any increase in accessible ram and running it in a VM offsets any possible performance gains from using the 64bit version.
  6. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    The 32 bit version is better, and certainly faster for 4 gb of ram or less. It's also takes a small install size and has 1 program files folder instead of 2.

    The 64 bit version will be better for 6 gb ram or greater.

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