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Vista 64 bit?


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#1
Reddoug

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Hi all

I am in the market for a laptop computer. Stopped at Best Buy today and was checking them out. Any computer that had over 4 GB of ram had 64 bit version on them. Told me that the 32 bit version would not use over 3 GB. I have not heard of this. Is it true? I have it in my craw to get Vista Ultimate. I will also install Linux on it also. I do not have alot of experiance with Vista yet and wanting to learn. Best Buy also to me that they could upgrade Home Premium to Ultimate. Is that possible? Sounded like it would be like going from 98 to XP, not a fresh install. Which laptop would you all recommend. Thinking about Asus or Lenovo.

Thanks, Doug
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#2
stettybet0

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A 32-bit operating system can only utilize 2^32 bytes of RAM. That is, 4,294,967,296 bytes, or exactly 4GB. Even if you have 4GB in a 32-bit system, you will not be able to utilize it all. This is because all memory in the system needs to be addressed. This includes memory found on things such as video cards, as well as memory reserved for things like the PCI bus. When all is said and done, you will usually end up with 2.5-3.5GB of usable RAM out of your 4GB with a 32-bit operating system.

A 64-bit operating system can utilize 2^64 bytes of RAM. That is, 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes, 17,179,869,184GB, or exactly 16EB (exabytes). However, 64-bit Vista is artificially limited to 8GB with the Home Basic version, 16GB with the Home Premium version, or 128GB with all other versions.

We typically recommend 64-bit Vista. When it was first released, there were some issues with compatibility, but now it's gotten to the point where basically anything that will work on 32-bit Vista will also work on 64-bit Vista. The exception to this is 16-bit software. However, with Windows going 32-bit with Windows 95, you will have to look at programs over 10 years old in order to find a 16-bit one.

We also typically recommend Vista Home Premium over Vista Ultimate. Unless "they" are after you and you really need hard drive encryption, Vista Ultimate doesn't really offer much over Vista Home Premium. If you are really enamored with the Vista Ultimate Extra, DreamScapes, which allows moving backgrounds, Stardock's DeskScapes allows for the same thing on any version of Vista.
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#3
statictech

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I just bought a 4 GB Vista 64-bit laptop. Vista works great on it compared to my dad's 1 GB 32-bit desktop (it takes many seconds to delete an empty folder on that piece of crap...), but I have noticed compatibility issues...

stettybet are you sure most 32-bit programs will work on 64-bit? I've tried one freeware program that I didn't realize was for 32-bit only and it didn't work, and since then I've been missing out on a lot of great freeware products, add-ons, and themes that say they only work with 32-bit. Like Dexpot, I couldn't believe that worked on everything BUT Vista 64-bit...
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