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General Question on 32- and 64- bit systems

  1. Aug 11, 2017 #1

    WWGD

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    Hi All,
    Just curious on pros/cons of installing software designed for 32- bit systems in a 64-bit machine
    (Windows 8.1*)?

    * I have never been able to tell the difference, if any, between Win 8 and Win 8.1 .
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2017 #2

    phinds

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    Some software runs faster if you are using the 64 bit version and I believe the O.S. itself is more robust in the 64 bit version, with probably the biggest advantage being the amount of memory it can handle. Modern computers are pretty limited if you can only have the 4Gigs of RAM that are available with the 32 bit version.
     
  4. Aug 11, 2017 #3

    WWGD

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    Ah, yes, thanks, I forgot, I have 6 Gigs . EDIT: Just in case, the software I am think of installing is SQL Server Express, which I believe is always a local machine..
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  5. Aug 11, 2017 #4
    The difference isn't so much in how much RAM you can have (big-mem kernels have been available in 32-bit versions of Windows and Linux for a long time), but rather in how much RAM each user-process can use, which is limited to 2GB in 32-bit kernels.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2017 #5

    WWGD

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    Thanks, what is the RAM limit for 64-bit kernels?
     
  7. Aug 11, 2017 #6
  8. Aug 11, 2017 #7

    WWGD

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  9. Aug 11, 2017 #8
  10. Aug 12, 2017 #9

    fluidistic

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    I feel none of the answers really answered the original question. I lack the knowledge to give an accurate answer, however, I had read that some programs run faster when 32 bits, others run faster when 64 bits so my guess is that it depends on how the program was coded (apparently top chess engines really benefit from 64 bits compared to 32 bits. About 40% speedup if I remember well). But it isn't just about speed.
    I've read that firefox web browser is less secure in its 32 bits version than in its 64 bits version and also that it crashes left often.
    In the end my rule of thumb is to always pick the 64 bits version of a program, but I'm not knowledgeable on the topic. Waiting for the gurus to reply.
     
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