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Windows 7 Premium - 32 or 64 bit

Posted on 2014-09-07
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Last Modified: 2014-09-07
1.  How can I tell if I have Windows 7 64 bit or 32 bit?
2.  If I have 64 bit should I always install 32 bit apps or only 64 bit apps?  HOW DO I DECIDE?

I know I have Home Premium.  But that's all I know.
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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Andrea Antonangeli earned 100 total points
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1) Go to control panel, click on System. The System panel will tell if you are using a 32 or a 64 bit version
2) Windows 64 bit has a nice feature called WoW64 that lets you run 32 application without problems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WoW64
If you have a 64 bit Windows it is better to run 64 bit application, obviously, but you will have no problems running 32 bt applications.
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by:John Hurst
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You want to make sure you have a 64-bit operating system because 32-bit can only support 3Gb of memory. Have more memory than that is useful indeed (4Gb minimum, 8Gb preferable). Looking the above panel will tell you as noted above.
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by:trinitrotoluene
trinitrotoluene earned 200 total points
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It is not imperative that you use a 64 bit version of the OS. If your processor is a 64 bit processor it can still run a 32 bit version of the OS and also run 32 bit programs.
It ultimately comes down to your requirements.

I would recommend reading the official literature posted on Microsoft's website. Please follow these guidelines while making a decision.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/32-bit-and-64-bit-windows#1TC=windows-7
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 200 total points
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Most 32-bit applications work fine in a 64-bit operating system. I have been doing that for about 7 years now. But I have had 8Gb of memory along the way. So 64-bit operating systems are better. Not imperative to your point, just superior.
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by:trinitrotoluene
trinitrotoluene earned 200 total points
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8GB of RAM isn't the standard everywhere.  Most folks especially casual users of a PC or laptop still make do with much less RAM.
It needs to be mentioned that with 4GB of RAM there is little to no difference between a 32 bit and 64 bit OS.

As I've already mentioned a 32 bit OS and 32 bit apps can run on a 64 bit processor. There's no doubt about that.

@brothertruffle : Take a decision based on your current and future requirements and constraints.
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by:John Hurst
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@brothertruffle880  - Thank you, and I was happy to help.
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