Does a 64 bit OS generate more heat than a 32 bit OS on the same machine?

frabus used Ask the Experts™
Hi All,

My friend’s Acer Aspire 5100 LT failed not long after I set it up with a fresh 64 bit Win7 install. It ran fine for years with 32 bit Vista on it. Coincidence, or does a 64 bit OS run hotter than 32 bit on the same CPU, therefore over-taxing the older MB and\or other components?Thanks,

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Well, a 64-bit OS does support more memory and hence can contribute to heat, but I don't think that 64-bit vs. 32-bit should raise any problems with heat.  I would look more towards possible hardware incompatibility between the 32/64-bit architecture.


Hmmm. I bet you're on to something. Do you see that as something that would cause a catastrophic failure?  Why would Acer put a 64 bit processor in something that can't support it otherwise?
If Windows does not have ACPI drivers for the laptop, it may fail to turn on the fans when required. Make sure that laptop is supported on Windows 7 and you have downloaded all thel latest drivers from Acer's website.

If the fans aren't turning on like they should, that can certainly impact the heat generated by the laptop and even ruin components.
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Well it may not be the processor.  It might be another component that doesn't like either Windows 7 or a 64-bit or both...but if you want to check the temperatures, download this program:

And watch the temperatures as you work on the computer.  And listen for or feel if the fan is working.

Also, to answer your question, Acer is a company that makes hundreds of consumer goods and sells it across the globe.  They may list Windows 7 compatibility but may not have the means to fully test their claims.  Anyways, it doesn't mean that 7 wont work with your computer, lets first conclude what's causing the problem.


The problem is, i doesn't even get to the POST.  Terminally hosed?
frabus: At this point, probably. You may try disconnecting power and pulling the battery for 60 seconds, but if that doesn't make it POST, it's dead, Jim.
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Top Expert 2009
"... Does a 64 bit OS generate more heat than a 32 bit OS on the same machine? "  ==> NO !!

Same CPU, running at the same clock speed, and (I assume) running the same set of programs.    64-bit instructions are not more power-intensive than 32-bit instructions ... if anything, they tend to be MORE efficient, not less.

I'd say the system simply failed -- since it doesn't even POST there's really nothing you can do unless the power adapter has failed.     I'd measure it's output with a voltmeter to be sure ... and also try using JUST the power adapter without a battery installed, in case the battery has failed in a catastrophic way that's shorting the supply (this is not all that unusual).

There ARE a couple of things that you may have done with Windows 7 that could have resulted in a bit more power consumption ...

=> Did you install more memory?    That fact the x64 supports more memory has no bearing on the heat ... but if you actually installed another module THAT would have generated more heat (regardless of whether the system was still running Vista or upgraded to '7)

=>  Did you alter the power settings?    By default, when installed on a laptop, Windows 7 uses a conservative power setting for the CPU ... but if you changed this you could have forced the CPU to run at a higher power state (which would use more power & thus generated more heat).    Note this was also true with Vista.

=>  If you were running different applications that were very CPU intensive, they would have caused more heat generation.

... but NONE of those seem likely.    I suspect the system simply failed -- something that would have happened with or without the Windows 7 upgrade.   But with no POST, I'd definitely check the power adapter -- the laptop may simply not be getting any power.
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>It ran fine for years with 32 bit Vista on it.

All of which means nothing, because parts fail as time goes on, and the probability increases with age.  What you saw was just a concidence - past history is no indication of it continuing to work normally.

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