32 vs 64 bit, Home vs Pro, & dual booting w/XP?


D

D

I'm considering building a new PC, the 2nd I have built (last one is
about 5 years old). Although I have copies of XP Prom & Home & like the
OS, I guess it's time to move on, since MS will not support XP much
longer. The PC will be used mostly for internet & HTPC (have an HDMI
connection to a remote plasma TV, with a wireless keyboard in that
room), with occasional word processing. My concerns:

1) My current OS is 32 bit XP (dual boot, 1 home, 1 pro) but I am
wondering if I should get 64 bit for the new build. My main concern is
software compatibility.

2) For the uses described, is there much difference between Win 7 Home &
Pro?

3) Is it possible to dual boot Win 7 w/XP? I see Win 7 Pro offers "XP
Mode". Is this to run software only configured for XP?

My build will be around a ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 MOBO
with 8 gig of ram.

Comments/input?

TIA

Dan
 
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S

Stan Brown

I'm considering building a new PC, the 2nd I have built (last one is
about 5 years old). Although I have copies of XP Prom & Home & like the
OS, I guess it's time to move on, since MS will not support XP much
longer. The PC will be used mostly for internet & HTPC (have an HDMI
connection to a remote plasma TV, with a wireless keyboard in that
room), with occasional word processing. My concerns:

1) My current OS is 32 bit XP (dual boot, 1 home, 1 pro) but I am
wondering if I should get 64 bit for the new build. My main concern is
software compatibility.
That's a concern, for older applications and especially for drivers
for older hardware.

Based on the uses you mention, I don't see 64-bit offering you any
advantage. However, most new PCs today are 64-bit, so I think if you
have a 32-bit OS it will begin to limit your ability to get software
upgrades within the next couple of years.
2) For the uses described, is there much difference between Win 7 Home &
Pro?
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/compare

Listed there in Pro but not Home: XP Mode, connectivity to business
networks, backup to networks.
3) Is it possible to dual boot Win 7 w/XP? I see Win 7 Pro offers "XP
Mode". Is this to run software only configured for XP?
It is possible to dual-boot, but XP Mode (available in Pro but not
Home) is more convenient. XP Mode is in effect a tightly integrated
virtual machine that runs inside Windows 7.

If you have a license for Windows XP (which you'd have to have anyway
if you're thinking about dual boot), then you can just install free
virtual machine software(*) and create a Win XP machine to run within
your Windows 7. It's not as tightly integrated as XP Mode, but you
have things like drag-and-drop and file sharing, so I think it's
quite good enough. I have Home and don't see anything in Pro that I
need.

(*) VMPlayer or VirtualBox. I've tried both and they're a snap to
set up.
 
S

Stewart

I have a 6 year old desktop and decided to upgrade it to Windows 7 32 bit.
I installed a second hard drive, not expensive and now have windows 7 on one
hard drive and xp on the other. Works perfectly and i can transfer folders,
files etc. quite easily from one to the other.
I mainly use the xp for video production as my copy of pinnacle studio works
well on it
 
B

Brian Cryer

D said:
I'm considering building a new PC, the 2nd I have built (last one is about
5 years old). Although I have copies of XP Prom & Home & like the OS, I
guess it's time to move on, since MS will not support XP much longer. The
PC will be used mostly for internet & HTPC (have an HDMI connection to a
remote plasma TV, with a wireless keyboard in that room), with occasional
word processing. My concerns:

1) My current OS is 32 bit XP (dual boot, 1 home, 1 pro) but I am
wondering if I should get 64 bit for the new build. My main concern is
software compatibility.
What drivers/software do you want to carry forward to your new PC?

If you go 64 bit (and I'd advise you do, I run 64bit windows 7 at home and
haven't had any issues), then you might have problems if you have old bits
of hardware you want to use for which there are no drivers. Otherwise, 64
bit gives you access to more than 4GB of RAM which is quite advantageous.
2) For the uses described, is there much difference between Win 7 Home &
Pro?
Pro lets you connect to a domain, it also lets you run XP mode (which is a
free download). If you don't have a domain (which is unlikely at home,
although I know people who do), or you don't need XP mode (which sounds
great in theory but I've never needed to use it), then Home Premium should
be fine. You've presumably seen the summary of differences provided by
Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/compare/default.aspx
3) Is it possible to dual boot Win 7 w/XP? I see Win 7 Pro offers "XP
Mode". Is this to run software only configured for XP?
I don't see why you can't dual boot it, but I have no experience with this.

The "XP Mode" is a virtual PC, so you run a virtual XP pc ontop of Windows
7. I've used it, but never needed it. In theory it gives you a route to run
software which doesn't work in Windows 7, but most software works without
problem.
My build will be around a ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 MOBO with
8 gig of ram.
With 8GB of RAM you need to go 64bit - but 8GB is good!

Hope this helps.
 
L

Lewis

In message said:
I'm considering building a new PC, the 2nd I have built (last one is
about 5 years old). Although I have copies of XP Prom & Home & like the
OS, I guess it's time to move on, since MS will not support XP much
longer. The PC will be used mostly for internet & HTPC (have an HDMI
connection to a remote plasma TV, with a wireless keyboard in that
room), with occasional word processing. My concerns:
1) My current OS is 32 bit XP (dual boot, 1 home, 1 pro) but I am
wondering if I should get 64 bit for the new build. My main concern is
software compatibility.
Software doesn't care, it's drivers that care.

I had to install the 32bit Windows 7 to get my Dlink Skype-> POTS bridge
to work, and now skype has auto-updated itself and the bridge no longer
works. But there are only 32 bit drivers for that hardware, so I can't
run 64 bit.
3) Is it possible to dual boot Win 7 w/XP? I see Win 7 Pro offers "XP
Mode". Is this to run software only configured for XP?
In Pro and Ultimate you can setup an XP virtual machine.
 
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T

Tim Slattery

D said:
1) My current OS is 32 bit XP (dual boot, 1 home, 1 pro) but I am
wondering if I should get 64 bit for the new build. My main concern is
software compatibility.
Anything that runs in 32bit XP should run in 32 bit Win7. Any 32-bit
software that runs in XP should run in 64-bit Win7. 64-bit Win7 won't
run 16-bit software. If you need to do that, you'll need Win7's XP
mode, or DOSBox or something like that.

Before you commit to 64-bit, make sure you can find 64-bit drivers for
your printers/scanners/whatever-you-have.
2) For the uses described, is there much difference between Win 7 Home &
Pro?
The only difference (AFAIK) is that Win7 will connect to a
domain.That's also the only difference between XP Home and XP Pro, so
I don't understand why you need both.
3) Is it possible to dual boot Win 7 w/XP? I see Win 7 Pro offers "XP
Mode". Is this to run software only configured for XP?
XP Mode is a virtual machine running XP. It will run old 16-bit
software, which 64-bit Win 7 won't.
My build will be around a ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 MOBO
with 8 gig of ram.
The only way your computer will use all 8GB of RAM is if you use a
64-bit operating system. Otherwise you'll only see about 3.5GB.
 
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