Implenting new Server, use 32bit or 64bit? Adv, disadv?

So I am upgrading our current domain controller running window 2000 to a new Windows 2003 domain controller. We bought a new server including the Dual Xeon 3.2ghz processor. The question is, should I go for the 64bit or stick with the 32bit version of 2003 server standard R2? What is the advantages and disadvantages? If this is a simple file server, domain controller, 64bit won't be any different than 32bit right? We don't have any 64 bit applications

Any input greatly appreciated
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Hi shankshank,

then i wouldnt bother with 64 bit.... there are a lot of programs so far that do not have support for 64 bit yes everything has 32bit support, i will be waiting quite some time before even looking at using 64bit purely due to the lack of supprted SW

i cant see any advantages of using it as yet...

mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
If you are only going to run Windows on this server I would go for the 64 bit version.  While there isn't a ton of applications that support 64bit OS it appears you only want to share files and run AD, well 64bit hardware with a 64bit OS is going to make for better performance.

One thing you want to check is that 64bit drivers are available for all of your hardware.
mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
Oh, and yes...the 64 bit version of Windows has the same functionality as the 32bit.
Actually, there are two versions of x64:

1) Windows 2003 x64 bit- Can run X32 bit programs as well as X64 bit compiled programs
2) Windows 2003 Itanium - Pure x64 bit platform -  can only run x64 compiled programs
More info:

Very few environment are using Itanium.  This is mainly for extremely high end server that demand a high level of performance and a high level of specific drivers and applications.  I would stay away from this version unless you have a direct need.

However, Windows 2003 x64 bit is a great operating system that can be used today.  No need to wait... check to make sure your server hardware is compatible with x64 but if this is a newer server (less then two years old), it probably has the extensions needed to run x64.    This version of windows can run all of your windows programs...  here is a compatibility list:  Note: some manufacturers have upgraded the program and created a 64bit compiled version of the software.  Other programs have been tested in 32 bit mode on the Windows 2003 x64 platform.

You might as well start using x64, in my opinion, it is the future.  The next version of Exchange, for example, will only be available as a x64 version.

advantages of 64 bit os :

some faq:

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Windows Server 2003

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