I'm planning on buying a laptop, so I was just checking out laptop ads in the newspaper. I noticed one laptop I liked with Windows Vista Business edition on it with 4 GB RAM. What I'm wondering is should I automatically assume that it's a 64-bit version of the OS? And what's wrong with running a 32-bit version on laptops with more than 3 GB of RAM?

8 Years
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Last Post by OlyComputers

It won't be the 64 bit OS unless they specifically say so in their description.

There's lots of stuff on this forum about the merits of 3GB vs 4GB, the nub of which is this with regard to 32 bit OS:

3GB is vastly better than 2GB.

This is the contentious bit - 4GB is better than 3GB. It's contentious because you'll end up with ½GB unuseable after your Vide RAM etc. has been mapped in. On the other hand, you'll be 1¼GB better off than 2GB.

You might ask, then, whether or not you should move to a 64 bt OS. Here is very solid advice. Check first that there are 64 bit drivers for the specific laptop you're thinking of buying. This may well be tricky. For example, who'd have thought that the reknowned Toshiba didn't have 64 bit drivers for their current laptops? So be very careful there.

Hope that deals with your question.


The 3/4GB discussion is tricky suspisho handled it pretty well. As far as 32 vs. 64, I've been running Vista Ultimate X64 since very shortly after the release (I don't recall when vista came out) and managed fine. There were some issues with drivers, and a lot of problems with software compatability. The software Issues seem to have smoothed over, but drivers can still be tricky especially with legacy hardware.

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