PC Configuration recommendations for multiple VMware machines

Hello experts,

I want to buy a new PC for my home so I can both work with multiple VMWare machines and also play games, watch movies, etc. I know a few facts about what I should and shouldnt do; like I know that Windows XP supports 3 GB of RAM max (when documentation says it's 4) and I know I should get as much RAM as possible to easily work with VMWare. Also, I don't want to use Vista.

Should I go for Windows x64 edition? Can I get everything done in the way I did in XP 32 bit? What should I be careful about when buying and configurating that system?

Thank you in advance
bozerAsked:
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Jeff BrownGlobal Helpdesk SupervisorCommented:
none really  64 bit eddition will give you access to more ram however it will limit  the machine in other forms of genaric use.  Workstation/server boards for opteron and xeon class processors do remap memory to get around the 32 bit addressing  of ram problem however it can still cause issues with some programs and games who simply do not know how to recognise and adress that much memory.
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Jeff BrownGlobal Helpdesk SupervisorCommented:
i would steer away from x64 edditions for multiple purpose use computers  as there are still a ton of driver related issues with it.   Mass storage space and memory are your biggest concerns for the vm wares. depending on how much memory you want to allocate to your virtual machines. to give you an example of a vmware running configurations about 2 years ago i build a box for testing and demonstration purposes.  with a 3ghz intel processor (non dual core)  2gig of ram  500gig of storage.
i would allocate between 256 and 512 to the individual machines (which ranged the whole gambit win95-server 2003-linux) and would be able to have 3-5 virtual machines running conncurently with vmware workstation 5.5 relatively stable   each vmware machine was allocated 10- 50 gig (using the dynamic growth method) and was over all more than pleased with it.   the use of the computer as a gaming machine and vista machine really have no bearing on its spec's as a vmware running powerhouse just about everything good for gaming will increase its usability for vmware and vmware has a vista version available so should be no additional concerns there except for the fact that vista uses conciderably more memory for the host os leaving less available for guest os's.

hope this helps
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bozerAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for your comments. To give more details, the VMware machines that I want to use requires lots of memory, and I want to use about (or more than) 4GB RAM since the prices are reasonable these days but my limit is XP. Maybe my question should be how I could override the 3 GB RAM limit on XP OS. Any ideas about that?  
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