Should I get Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit, instead of 32 bit?

Is it worth getting Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
instead of Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit?

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How much memory will you have in the target system?  If it's >3GB then 64-bit will definitely be useful.  OTOH I can't think of any reason to not get x64 even if you don't have >3GB.  It's very well supported now.  Most new PCs, including inexpensive ones, are coming with x64 installed now.
Regardless of architecture, I would personally get Professional. And if RAM is not a factor as suggested above, double check your printers to make sure they have 64bit driver support....
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If you have old applications that require 16 bit compatibility, then you should get 32 bit.  Otherwise, TEST YOUR APPS FIRST.  If all your apps work on the 64 bit version, I would suggest you use the 64 bit version.  

XP Mode is  GOOD substitute if you need 16 bit compatibility on 64 bit windows and DOSBOX CAN work, but neither is a GREAT solution.

NOTE: Adobe doesn't seem to think 64 bit will catch on... it's been available for 6 years or more and adobe hasn't decided to port flash to 64 bit.  (It runs on 32 bit browsers under a 64 bit OS, but the 64 bit IE does NOT have flash available for it).  I know Adobe is poor and can only afford 2 programmers - and they have to be in India and China, but you'd think by now, they'd consider Flash x64.   (Do I sound just a little impressed by Adobe?)

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It all depends on what your needs are. i.e. depending on your use and whether you would need additional memory down the line etc.

If you really must have flash in 64 bit, you can have the beta version from

You have to make sure that the applications you have and want to run on the system work under windows 7 (compatibility mode option) can go a long way in letting you work with older apps.

A 64-bit preview release of Flash Player is available for download from Adobe.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
compatibility mode is OK.  I've tried running some old somewhat common apps and they WILL NOT run - things like games that run fine on XP simply won't run on 7 and some apps, including Adobe PageMaker won't run either (XP Mode it works, but again, that's not a great solution).  Again, TEST your apps first.

(Wow... Adobe finally came up with a Beta!!?!?! amazing... sorry, but they infuriate me for taking so long... it's still beta... BETA.  6 years after the first x64 version of windows debuted.  Amazing speed).
It only took most software/hardware vendors about the same four or five years to include 64bit support and only in new products.
It is rather hard to complain about a free product.

Well to be fair, Adobe isn't exactly the only one that's been slow to offer x64 support.  Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera.  Just sayin'.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
> It only took most software/hardware vendors about the same four or
> five years to include 64bit support and only in new products.
> It is rather hard to complain about a free product.
I disagree.  Many products from major and minor producers have 64 bit versions.  That doesn't mean ALL, but MANY.

> Well to be fair, Adobe isn't exactly the only one that's been slow to offer
> x64 support.  Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera.  Just sayin'.
Google has the resources... Mozilla?  Opera?  Do they have Adobe's resources?

My point is flash is a MAJOR product and Adobe is a MAJOR company and Windows is a MAJOR product that has been clearly going in the x64 direction since vista was released.  To me, that's unacceptable.

If you want to continue the debate, let's start a new question and stop hijacking this one.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I do think mentioning it in the beginning was on topic because it illustrates that you can THINK that because a company is big and a product is popular it'll have an x64 version - the moral is be careful - that's not true.
You wanted to bash Adobe.  A couple people spoke up.  Not sure why that causes you distress.

I've had ~70 very demanding users on Windows 7 Prof. x64 now for nearly a year and we've had almost no issues.  I'm running some ancient 32-bit apps on x64 at home and they work ok.  I'm not claiming everything you might try is guaranteed to work (QuickBooks 2006 comes to mind - It won't run on Windows 7 period, x86 or x64) but by and large problems seem to be few.  There are exceptions though.

@MikeMCSD, If I've earned any points that might be awarded in this discussion (not saying I have), please reallocate my share to leew.  :)
If you have the computer which can handle Windows 7 64 bit, I recommend it.

Some key advantages:
1. no 4GB memory limit.  With 64-bit, 4GB of RAM is the new minimum standard, and with 4GB, you can run tons of applications with zero slowdown
2. You get WIndows XP for FREE (XP Mode)
3. XP Mode allows backward compatibility with all of your current software
4. It gives you 64 bit processing power.

It's true that 64-bit Windows used to be dicey on the driver and compatibility front, but it's typically nothing you have to worry about. Most new hardware has 64-bit drivers, and even though most applications aren't 64-bit native yet, 32-bit ones usually run just fine.

Still, the biggest issue is hardware. If a gadget doesn't have 64-bit drivers, it won't work with your 64-bit OS, since 32-bit drivers aren't supported. Most non-crusty gadgets should be okay. But if you run legacy goods, it might be kinda sticky, and you should still double check your gear just to be safe.

There are a few software issues to look out for, too. Google's Chrome, for instance, doesn't play nice with Windows 7 64-bit for some people (like me). Adobe Flash doesn't run in 64-bit browsers, but that's not really a problem—you can just run the regular 32-bit browser instead. iTunes had problems with 64-bit versions of Windows in the past, too (granted, Apple's not the most fastidious Windows app developer out there). Most of these issues have been or will be resolved, but if you use specialized mission-critical software, definitely read up on its 64-bit compatibility.

The benefits of oodles of RAM, given all the crap you're running simultaneously, are just too good to pass up, especially once more apps are 64-bit native. Besides, the more people that jump on the 64-bit Express, the faster developers will transition their apps to 64-bit, and any bumps in the road will be smoothed out. So don't just do it for yourself, do it for everyone. :)

Thumbs Up, You be glad you did!
MikeMCSDAuthor Commented:
thanks all . .  the new compute will have 4GB ram.
My main issue would be the older programs. The main ones I need are :
Visual Studio 2005
SQL Server 2005

Some others are :
Adobe Photoshop CS
Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8.0
Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10.0
Sound Forge 9.0
Nero 7

I have an older Microsoft Inteli-Mouse that I program the buttons for
and really need. Will the software work on 64 bit?

I have a HP P1006 printer. It says it works on
"Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)" but I'm getting Window 7 ?
I can vouch for VS2005 and Vegas 10 on x64. I think VS requires a special patch for W7 like "Patch for VS 2005 for Windows 7". I predict the printer will be fine.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Nero 7 will not work on ANY version of Win7.

You'll need to upgrade to at least Nero 9 I believe.  No idea about the others - I would check the manufacturer's web site to be certain and google the product version.

The printer can probably work, but HP has been horrible with printer support, especially if you had need of sharing printers and I've heard other recent horror stories (who really thinks a driver that takes an hour to install is a good idea?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:

I'm sorry - I didn't realize you were an Adobe Fan and object to my opinion that a company like Adobe should support emerging technologies... quicker than 6 years after they emerge.
Now there are major and minor software producers that have x64 version.
Windows XP x64 came out April 25, 2005
X64 capable hardware was released at least a year earlier.
Only when the user base is present, only then software vendors release versions (paid)
Free ones take longer.
When did MS as the dominant PC OS release the first office suite for X64 systems?
2007 was not 64bit.
LOL, I'm neither an Adobe fan nor do I object to anyone's opinion.  There are many other worthy examples to call out on x64 delays besides Adobe and that's all anyone was trying to point out.  I wonder if there's some technical hurdle to making Flash x64 work reliably or if it's just Adobe being slow.  But anyway they're not alone.

Re VS2005 + Windows 7:
To use Visual Studio 2005 on Windows 7 you will need to install both Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 and the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista.
 I didn't have it spelled out quite right.

Here is a tool to help you decide about your applicatoins and compatibility with Windows 7

Windows 7 Application Compatibility List

The Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals is a Microsoft Office Excel-based spreadsheet listing software applications and respective 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 compatibility information. Compatibility information has been verified by either the software publisher or by the Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements.
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