Is a 64-bit Windows 7 quicker than 32-bit in itself, as an OS?


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1) Would Windows 7 64-bit work faster, slower or exactly the same compared to 32-bit version on a computer with AMD Quad-Core A6-3420 64-bit CPU and 4 GB RAM (1333 MHz DDR3). I am mostly interested in its performance as an operating system, like opening My Computer, opening folders, staring the Windows, and using just "light" software like internet browsers, audio players? I mean, not playing any games, not using any Photoshops.

I ask this because with only 4 GBs of RAM there is theoretically no need for a 64-bit OS (if not using any 64-bit software), and, in addition, a 64-bit OS uses a little more computer resourses, so less resourses left for other software -- but does that mean that those used up resource are in this case "wasted" (used only to make Windows work), or is it that the resourses 64-bit OS uses are used more efficiently, so that the OS functions more quickly?

In other words, I'll use this analogy: 64-bit Windows 7 is a more powerful engine, which uses up more fuel than 32-bit - but do I get any benefit of that when not having more than 4 GB RAM and not using any specific "heavy" 64-bit software --- like does it load an internet browser faster, does it open My Computer faster?
Why I ask this is because I noticed that as good as WinXP might be, it just never was as quick as Win98 in just using the computer back in the days. I have always been disappointed by WinXP not holding up to my expectations in performance - but that's understandable, because WinXP is much more complicated OS than Win98. And I noticed WinXP is quicker before you install all the drivers. So regarding Windows 7, I wish to know which version with given hardware limitations would be quicker.


2) Also, a little "off-topic" question: is there a difference in efficiency between Win7 Home Premium and Ultimate? I mean, which one would be quicker? In regards to Windows XP, I noticed XP Professional was faster than Home, but of course that could have just been my wrong impression or I could have missed some important factors (like software installed).
 
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Core

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The tricky thing about performance is that much of its perception is affected by our expectations. If I offered you two computers, both identical but for one difference: one runs Windows Home, the other Windows Ultimate, the odds are that most people would choose the latter because it sounds more powerful and feature-rich.

The Ultimate edition has various additional features, but they are not designed to improve the performance of the system. Sometimes you hear people say "this guy had Windows Ultimate and it was faster than my Windows Home", but comments like these are usually based on the fact that only computers with high-end specs are sold with Ultimate already on them, and most often Ultimate retail is purchased by techies who have built their own system with great specs and don't want to run anything with the word "Home" in it.

Whether a x64 edition would benefit you, performance-wise, is dependent on your hardware and type of use. Judging by the average usage you have described and the fact that it's a laptop computer, I would say you would not notice any performance improvement with a 64-bit Windows as opposed to 32-bit. It has been my experience that you ARE likely to see a considerable speed improvement on applications that have been coded using the architecture properly and take advantage of the hardware; I've found that file compression tools and media encoders in particular perform faster in a 64-bit environment, provided you are running 64-bit software.

In your case, you won't get any performance boost from going 64-bit, in my opinion. But as a general rule I don't recommend 32-bit to people who can run x64, simply because it's dated architecture and the world is moving on...
 

yodap

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If it's possible for you upgrade your ram to 8gig from 4 and installed the 64bit, I think you would see marked improvement in snappiness, as far as opening programs and such. And of course 32bit can't even utilize all of the 4gig that you have.
 

TrainableMan

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I immediately disagree with
I ask this because with only 4 GBs of RAM there is theoretically no need for a 64-bit OS
The 32-bit OS can only use 3.3GB of the 4GB of RAM whereas the 64-bit OS can utilize all 4GB.

A 64-bit OS runs 64-bit programs faster than a 32-bit OS can, because a 32-bit OS can not run 64-bit programs AT ALL. As for running programs optimized for 32-bit, most will run the same on either bitsize but some may run a a bit slower on 64, so if you have a 64-bit OS buy the 64-bit program to run on it.
 
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I immediately disagree with The 32-bit OS can only use 3.3GB of the 4GB of RAM whereas the 64-bit OS can utilize all 4GB.
Train, i have a 32bit OS, 3gb of ram, 25% of the 3gb is used for system, 75% 2.75gb is for my use. i can upgrade to 4gb.
i have both DVD's 32bit/64bit of the OEM System Builder Pack. the 64bit booted slower, the 32bit boots up faster. my processor is a 64 bit capable. its a AMD Athlon 64.
the windows experience index with the 64bit was rated at 1.0, the 32bit is rated at 3.5...
the 1.0 rating on the 64bit showed on processor, graphics, gaming graphics, and primary hard drive. the 32bit, show 3.5 on processor, graphics, and gaming graphics, 5.0 on ram and 5.4 on primary hard drive.
 
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TrainableMan

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Train, i have a 32bit OS, 3gb of ram, 25% of the 3gb is used for system, 75% 2.75gb is for my use. i can upgrade to 4gb.
I don't care if your MOBO can upgrade to 16GB of RAM, the 32bit OS will only be able to use the first 3.3GB
i have both DVD's 32bit/64bit of the OEM System Builder Pack. the 64bit booted slower, the 32bit boots up faster. my processor is a 64 bit capable. its a AMD Athlon 64
The fact is there are still many programs written for 32-bit and those may not run quite as fast under 64bit but it is rarely significant. Your boot time is hardly the end all be all of what is faster. And since a 32-bit system doesn't boot the exact same programs as a 64-bit you are comparing apples to oranges. I reboot my machine maybe once a week so I don't give much care whether it takes 120 seconds to boot or 145 seconds; I want to be able to use programs optimized for 64-bit and I want to actually use (not just have) 4+ GB of RAM.
the windows experience index with the 64bit was rated at 1.0, the 32bit is rated at 3.5...
the 1.0 rating on the 64bit showed on processor, graphics, gaming graphics, and primary hard drive. the 32bit, show 3.5 on processor, graphics, and gaming graphics, 5.0 on ram and 5.4 on primary hard drive.
In other words you have an older slower machine and if the index was an actual indication of performance then your computer should do better with 32-bit.
 
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i have the 32bit installed. it does perform better with the 32bit. i had people say to install the 64bit get the benifit of using 4gb of ram. my nieghbor has a HP AMD A6 processor with 32bit home premium, 6gb of ram, his shows to be using 25% of the 6gb 75% is left for his use. i keep asking him if he wants to trade, it has the ATI Radeon 5870 graphics. plus its a 17.3 inch widescreen, mine is a 15.4.
 
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TrainableMan

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You don't seem to get this. W7 OS 32bit cannot use more than 3.3GB no matter how much you can see in the BIOS (See Note1). Get screenshots to show what you are talking about and then I'll find someone to explain the limit and what a waste it is to have 6GB in 32bit W7 because your neighbor can NEVER use it. Please stop trying to tell people things that are absolutely not true.

Note 1: Technically, somebody found a way to break the limit and then "some" programs can use more but other programs go nuts and the thing bsods or locks up so it isn't real practical. I know of no one that uses it and Microsoft doesn't recommend or support its use.
 
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TrainableMan

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That's fine, it says "installed", but you can't use it all if it's over 3.3GB.

This info actually quoted by Microsoft says 4GB (though you never even see it hit 4).
Microsoft quoting Bruce Sanderson said:
All processes (for example, application executables) that are running under 32-bit versions of Windows are assigned virtual memory addresses (a virtual address space), ranging from 0 to 4,294,967,295 (2*32-1 = 4 GB), regardless of how much RAM is actually installed on the computer.
Source
 
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clifford_cooley

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not looking in the bios. its in system properties.
It's simple, 32 bits are used to address 4,294,967,296 (thats 2 to 32nd power for max value) memory locations. Each location will store 1 byte of data. This gives you a total of 4GB max memory on a 32-bit system, anything more will be ignored for lack of addresses.
 

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