Weekend Poll: Are you running 32- or 64-bit Windows?

It's that time of the week again, the glorious and much loved weekend, and that means that we have a weekend poll for everyone. This weekend we're asking whether you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows as your main installation; despite the benefits of 64-bit Windows such as increased RAM allowance and performance improvements for 64-bit-specific applications, we suspect that a number of people here still use the 32-bit version of Windows.

Also, with the release of Windows 8 most likely happening later this year with the (possible) inclusion of a 32-bit version of the operating system, it's interesting to gauge just how many people use 32-bit Windows and whether it's worth still including a separate 32-bit version.

Place your votes in the poll below, leave your comments and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Poll

Do you use a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?

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4 laptops - 2 of them are 64bit. 2 are 32bit.

4 desktops, all 32 bit.

Thusly, without the option for choosing both, I did not vote.

Microsoft has a different version/edition for everything. Gotta love Apple's way of rolling out everything into a single installation.

I'm still using the x86 version of Windows 7, but later this year as Windows 8 comes, I would finally make the switch. But as I saw guys running my favourite old games on Win7 x64 without much hassle and programs like Lightroom run faster, so I think it's worth it.

I'm surprised that so many people are running x64
I had first tried out x64 with Windows XP for x64 and I wasn't happy with it because I had felt something was missing. Of course, Vista was too terrible to even consider what x64 was like.
So, I starting using x64 just last year with Windows 7 and found that there is no difference compared to 32-bit, in fact you get the added benefit of being able to run 64-bit programs as well.

Since the arrival of my current laptop, the two machines I frequent are both running 64-bit versions of Windows. Not for performance reasons, but simply since both machines I'm using had at least 4 gigabytes of memory.

There is my previous laptop that will remain on 32-bit copies of Windows, mainly due to the lack of proper 64-bit drivers. Its hardware technically dates from right before Windows Vista's release.

x64 12GB of RAM, Will get 16GB of RAM next time I decide to upgrade my computer won't be for awhile still.

I have 4 32bit based PC's and 1 32bit based Laptop. I have no desire or need for a 64bit system and personally I don't like the 32bit emulation that some apps are placed in on a 64bit system, the performance suffers

Robbie Ride said,
I have 4 32bit based PC's and 1 32bit based Laptop. I have no desire or need for a 64bit system and personally I don't like the 32bit emulation that some apps are placed in on a 64bit system, the performance suffers
enjoy your slow x86 slow apps and limited ram usage.

The performance overhead incurred on 32-bit processes is quite minimal. Even so, you're more likely to notice slow performance caused by excessive swapping (as a result of low free memory).

I've been using Windows x64 since windows XP which was basically Win2k3 x64. Ives always found the x64 versions to be more responsive especially XP-x64. However Windows 7 has been the most compatible x64 version of windows to date, i mostly forget it's x64 where in XP it used to come up a lot with compatibility issues with software and drivers.

Ive been impressed with both Windows and Mac OSX and the way they have migrated to x64 without really causing any upset.

dotf said,
64 bit is great until you realize you want to play that decades old 16 bit game......

DOSBox is here for a reason... I wonder what that reason is!!!

Installing 32 bit OS is reasonable on a 1gb system or a 2gb (with no plan to upgrade). 64 bits instructions are bigger then take more memory than 32 bits one, on a limited in ram system this can save up to 10% of ram usage I think so.

The only other reason is old hardware not having 64 bits driver.

The downside is that poor adoption don't encourage developper to switch.

64-bit. There really isn't any reason not to run x64 if your computer can do so. I still use 32-bit on my netbook though. I could install x64 on it, but I'm too lazy to bother to do a reinstall.

I have servers, laptops, desktops, WMC - all in 64-bit glory! It's a long time ago since I used 32-bit at home.

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 2GB ram, there really is no reason to use 32bit vista/7 outside of some weird hardware that is still not 64-bit compliant.

I do find it sad that most of the time laptops and such are still running 32bit though, even when they are at 4GB.

Just recently went x64 on my desktop after I added 2GB to make it 4GB total. My Dell E1505 laptop still runs x86, though.

You can really see who uses a PC and who uses a MAC in these posts. The MAC users don't have a GD clue what 64Bit and 32Bit means.

I really hope Apple brands something 128bit so the iSheep will bahbahbahbuy it. lol

64-bit.
The transition is gonna take forever if Microsoft doesn't crack down on it. If you open up taskmanager, a quarter of the Windows userspace programs (Most noticably Media Player and IE) are still 32 bit

Vincent Lee said,
64-bit.
The transition is gonna take forever if Microsoft doesn't crack down on it. If you open up taskmanager, a quarter of the Windows userspace programs (Most noticably Media Player and IE) are still 32 bit

Why aren't you using IE9 x64? Both Java and Flash are supported!

Nexus69 said,

Why aren't you using IE9 x64? Both Java and Flash are supported!

You can't set it as default yet though!!

32bit is only good for XP, netbooks and arm processors, everything else should be running 64bit. I hope Win9 is 64bit edition is the only version, they can still retain compatability with 32bit and 16bit apps like they currently do. MS would likely save money doing this as it will be 3yrs ish until win9 comes out, by that time the number of people with 32bit processors will be tiny so they won't lose many customers.

Having said that I still compile my applications to 32-bit.

64-bit applications consume so much more RAM for nothing and are generally slower. Even Visual Studio 2010 is still compiled to 32-bit. I still can't find a good enough reason to compile my applications to 64-bit. IE 64-bit is slower too. So why should applications go for 64- bit ?

I've been using a 64-bit OS since I bought my gaming PC in 2007. Fortunately, a lot of companies are shipping their computers with the 64-bit version of Windows 7. Also, Steam's hardware & software survey show that the most-used OS is Windows 7 64-bit (43.02% of Steam users). With all the other 64-bit OSes added up, the number is 63.07%.

Unfortunately, there aren't nearly as many 64-bit apps as 32-bit apps. The largest benefit for apps would be using more than 3 GB of RAM. This can help a lot for games or resource-intensive apps like Photoshop. I also use a 64-bit version of Firefox called Waterfox.

The Dark Knight said,
Actually Photoshop does have an x64 version. I think it started with CS4.
I know. I guess I made it sound like I thought Photoshop didn't have a 64-bit version.

He he, yeah, but they are all used extensively!

The 2 desktops and 2 laptops are shared between me and my wife. The server takes care of backups and serving media to all the computers and the televisions. And the netbook is used for household stuff like address book, notes, expense tracking, etc.

there is no real reason for most average users to use 32bit anymore since pretty much everything runs fine on 64bit OS nowadays.

Im using 32-bit and will remain using 32-but until Microsoft FINALLY decides to set it in stone and release a 64-bit only version of their operating system.

The majority of things still come in a 32-bit flavor only and I find it moronic to have 2 Program Files folder. The driver signing is also stupid. Most software cracks are also only 32 bit still. The ONLY plus I currently see to upgrading to 64-bit is the full usage of RAM., although I am well aware there are plenty more advantages.

htcz said,
Im using 32-bit and will remain using 32-but until Microsoft FINALLY decides to set it in stone and release a 64-bit only version of their operating system.

You'll be waiting a long time. There are too many 32-bit applications to create a strictly 64-bit environment. But by all means, deprive yourself of higher than 4GB RAM as well as the other benefits of applications already converted to 64-bit. What do we care? I find it hilarious people dig their heels in about something as silly as this when their hardware is capable utilizing 64-bit. Why bother wasting money on new hardware if you're going to half-assed use it?

htcz said,
The majority of things still come in a 32-bit flavor only and I find it moronic to have 2 Program Files folder. The driver signing is also stupid. Most software cracks are also only 32 bit still. The ONLY plus I currently see to upgrading to 64-bit is the full usage of RAM., although I am well aware there are plenty more advantages.

Ohhhh ok. So you're just holding out cause of the "moronic" 2 Program Files folder. Hahaha...best...excuse...evar.

nekkidtruth said,

You'll be waiting a long time. There are too many 32-bit applications to create a strictly 64-bit environment.

They said the same thing with 16-bit...

nekkidtruth said,
Ohhhh ok. So you're just holding out cause of the "moronic" 2 Program Files folder. Hahaha...best...excuse...evar.

I said more reasons as well.

htcz said,

They said the same thing with 16-bit...I said more reasons as well.

Have fun waiting....this situation is quite a bit different. The transition from 16-bit to 32-bit was a little easier due to the fact that every computer shipped with XP and it was at a time when personal computers were being bought in full swing. People didn't HAVE a computer and had to get one. Now people hold on to their computer's like it's an heir loom and refuse to update/upgrade until it's nearly impossible to be productive on them (I'm obviously referring to the general public).

As for your other reasons aside from the silly Program Files folder reason, they're just as silly. What exactly is stupid with driver signing? Also, wtf are you on about software cracks? There probably isn't ever going to be a strictly 64-bit OS. It's not necessary and it's certainly not feasible anytime soon. Current 64-bit operating systems give you the benefit of 64-bit utilization AND the ADDED benefit of 32-bit utilization. You get the best of both worlds....wtf is wrong with people. There is no valid reason that I'm aware of that requires you to stick to 32-bit operating systems, aside from the ridiculous need to run 16-bit applications.

By your own silly reasons, you should still be running a 16-bit operating system as there is no such thing as a strictly 32-bit Windows.

I using 64-bit would be nice to only do a 64-bit version of w8 since that will get ppl to switch to 64-bit the new technology.

moby008 said,
64-bit Win7 Ultimate on an i7 with 8Gb RAM. Ligtning fast

ditto, and with boot on a SATA3 SSD whoosh

32bit because my laptop came with Vista 32bit and had no option for a 64bit version (hence why I only got 3GB of RAM as well, didn't see the point of having most of the additional gigabyte not being usable). Got an upgrade to 7 Pro 32bit with the 7 Upgrade Deal, and haven't bothered to change since then.

I'll definitely be getting a 64bit version on my next machine... I'm looking at an i7 beast with 8GB RAM and a 1GB nVidia Quadro GPU so it will pretty much be a requirement.

Douglas_C said,
32bit because my laptop came with Vista 32bit and had no option for a 64bit version (hence why I only got 3GB of RAM as well, didn't see the point of having most of the additional gigabyte not being usable). Got an upgrade to 7 Pro 32bit with the 7 Upgrade Deal, and haven't bothered to change since then.

I'll definitely be getting a 64bit version on my next machine... I'm looking at an i7 beast with 8GB RAM and a 1GB nVidia Quadro GPU so it will pretty much be a requirement.

You do know that the ability to use more than 4GB RAM isn't the only benefit, don't you?

A Quadro doesn't REQUIRE 64-bit either.

neo158 said,

You do know that the ability to use more than 4GB RAM isn't the only benefit, don't you?

I know, however at the time I had no choice: 32bit Vista Premium, 32bit Vista Business or 32bit Vista Ultimate. I picked 32bit Business and since then went to 7 Pro 32bit, and don't have 64bit media so haven't bothered switching.

neo158 said,

A Quadro doesn't REQUIRE 64-bit either.

I am well aware of that, however 8GB of system memory + 1GB video memory = 9GB total memory. 9GB > 4GB.

Experience has shown that, in this case, I would have maybe 2.8GB of usable system memory if I were to use a 32bit version of Windows. Needless to say, I'm not throwing down almost $2000 on a laptop and only getting a 32bit OS for no apparent reason and locking myself out of about 4.5+GB of RAM. That would be silly.

Douglas_C said,

I am well aware of that, however 8GB of system memory + 1GB video memory = 9GB total memory. 9GB > 4GB.

You can't just add up memory (unless they are in the same address space, which is not the case, if you are using addin cards)…

Douglas_C said,

I know, however at the time I had no choice: 32bit Vista Premium, 32bit Vista Business or 32bit Vista Ultimate. I picked 32bit Business and since then went to 7 Pro 32bit, and don't have 64bit media so haven't bothered switching.

I am well aware of that, however 8GB of system memory + 1GB video memory = 9GB total memory. 9GB > 4GB.

Experience has shown that, in this case, I would have maybe 2.8GB of usable system memory if I were to use a 32bit version of Windows. Needless to say, I'm not throwing down almost $2000 on a laptop and only getting a 32bit OS for no apparent reason and locking myself out of about 4.5+GB of RAM. That would be silly.

Well, if you didn't have the media then that's fine.

As MFH said you don't add system and video memory together unless the memory is reserved by an on board graphics adapter, in this case it wouldn't be, so it becomes 8GB system memory with a 1GB graphics adapter and not 8GB + 1GB.

neo158 said,

As MFH said you don't add system and video memory together unless the memory is reserved by an on board graphics adapter, in this case it wouldn't be, so it becomes 8GB system memory with a 1GB graphics adapter and not 8GB + 1GB.

Fair point. That said though, it is still silly to get a 32bit OS with that much RAM because I wouldn't be able to use half of it at the very least/

sanke1 said,
64 bit here. Cannot see a reason why to stick to 32 bit. I have even installed 64 bit OS on systems with 2 GB RAM.
The only reason to stick with 32-bit is driver support. If you're one of those poor unfortunate people stuck with a vendor that doesn't release or plan on releasing 64-bit drivers then you're pretty much stuck. Obviously this doesn't happen with any new or recent hardware but I've seen it happen with other expensive allegedly high end machines only a few years old (**cough)** **Sony Vaio** **(cough)**)...

I switched to 64-bit as soon as I switched from XP to Vista. I haven't found a reason to use the 32-bit version on my own machines since. (the only significant feature missing from 64-bit is support for 16-bit apps since WoW32 is gone, so is support for DOS apps). Both of these can be overcome through virtualisation.

I'm running 32 bit at home but both of my machines at work are 64 bit. In hindsight I would have made this 64 bit, but didn't think to at the time.

drazgoosh said,
My PC is running 32 bit and the main laptop is 64 bit.
Also can someone explain why 32 bit can be written as x86?

No Google is your friend.

drazgoosh said,
My PC is running 32 bit and the main laptop is 64 bit.
Also can someone explain why 32 bit can be written as x86?

Because people think that all x86 was 32-bit but are wrong because 80286 was 16-bit.

drazgoosh said,
My PC is running 32 bit and the main laptop is 64 bit.
Also can someone explain why 32 bit can be written as x86?

All x86 processors were based on the 8086 processor. (80186, 80286, 80386, 80486, 80586 [Pentium], 80686 [Pentium Pro]) "x86" is considered 32-bit because the 16-bit x86 processors haven't been used for decades. The 80386 was the first one that had a 32-bit instruction set.

GreyWolf said,
...

This.

And since current x64 processors are all based on AMD's extension of the 32 bit architecture, we use that.

IA-64 is Intel's entirely 64 bit architecture used in servers.

GreyWolf said,

All x86 processors were based on the 8086 processor. (80186, 80286, 80386, 80486, 80586 [Pentium], 80686 [Pentium Pro]) "x86" is considered 32-bit because the 16-bit x86 processors haven't been used for decades. The 80386 was the first one that had a 32-bit instruction set.

Hey now, my first PC was an 80286 (unless you count the Radioshack Color Basic I had before that a "PC"). Respect.

drazgoosh said,
My PC is running 32 bit and the main laptop is 64 bit.
Also can someone explain why 32 bit can be written as x86?

Technically the 64bit version should be x86-64 and the 32bit version being x86 - the problem is that the big names have standardised on a vendor neutral x64. IMHO they should have stuck with x86-64 but then again it isn't a sexy marketable term lol.

jorden25 said,
Where is 128-Bit? OS X Mountain Lion gonna bring this feature ??

Joking right? 64bit and all it's memory resources not even close to being used.

Billmaster said,

Joking right? 64bit and all it's memory resources not even close to being used.


I am not agree at one point, there are only very few 64 bit "values". Most values are still 32 bit and cryptography use 128 or 256-bit values.

jorden25 said,
Where is 128-Bit? OS X Mountain Lion gonna bring this feature ??

CAN U OVERCLOCK UR BITS AND MAKE THEM HIGHER?????

jorden25 said,
Where is 128-Bit? OS X Mountain Lion gonna bring this feature ??

That's unlikely to come along until we need to address more than 2TB of RAM (I think). That's memory addressing. As for 128 and 256-bit values, x86 CPUs that support the original SSE instructions have 128-bit registers, and Core i5s and i7s have instructions for AES encryption.

jorden25 said,
Where is 128-Bit? OS X Mountain Lion gonna bring this feature ??

I don't see there being much value in an 128-bit OS.

jorden25 said,
Where is 128-Bit? OS X Mountain Lion gonna bring this feature ??

Joking aside, there was discussion early on at MS as to whether or not a version of Win8 would have full support for IA-128. I have no idea if they are going through with it or are saving it for Win9.

jorden25 said,
Where is 128-Bit? OS X Mountain Lion gonna bring this feature ??

I guess you can't even read the question nor the article. The poll's about Windows.

philcruicks said,
I only use 32-bit on my little netbook that doesn't have a 64-bit CPU...everything else runs 64-bit

Same here with my 4-5yr old laptop, it's only 32-bit but everything else runs 64-bit.

BumbleBritches57 said,
I can't wait until MS drops the Wow64 from Windows x64.

That would be a very bad idea since the majority of Windows applications are still 32-bit (including Microsoft's own apps) and some parts of 64-bit Windows itself.

Not going to happen... ever. As long as the hardware supports running 32-bit apps, WoW64 will remain. Unlike Apple (i.e. dropping Rosetta in Mac OS X 10.7), Microsoft is pretty committed to providing backwards compatibility when practical.

16-bit is not supported on 64-bit Windows because 64-bit CPUs cannot execute 16-bit code directly while operating in 64-bit mode.

Aaron44126 said,
16-bit is not supported on 64-bit Windows because 64-bit CPUs cannot execute 16-bit code directly while operating in 64-bit mode.

Actually, 32-bit applications do run in compatibility mode, which does support 16-bit applications (most 64-bit processors indeed can execute 16-bit code directly). The real reason is that window handles take 32 significant bits, which can't be truncated for legacy applications as per the following MSDN entry:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u.../aa384249%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Of course this depends on the particular CPU architecture, but for the x86-64 variants of Windows, 32-bit code runs under compatibility mode, and not under 64-bit mode; you can contrast this with the Itanium builds of Windows, which translate the machine code dynamically.

TL,DR: The CPU can execute 16-bit code, the operating system doesn't support it.

htcz said,

People like you said the same thing when we went from 16 to 32.

Yeah and look how long 16bit support has lasted for, and then when you consider that there are far more 32bit applications than there were 16bit, I would say 32bit support will be around for a very long time.

BumbleBritches57 said,
I can't wait until MS drops the Wow64 from Windows x64.

Why?? First, that means that almost NOTHING would work on your computer at all. Vertually EVERYTHING (including games) run as 32-bit. MS Office and Adobe Photoshop are the two biggest 64-bit software I can think of.

MS just dropped 16-bit support, I can't say I really minded, but it was not something I was looking forward to or feel any better about my computer now that it has happened.

Martin5000 said,

Yeah and look how long 16bit support has lasted for, and then when you consider that there are far more 32bit applications than there were 16bit, I would say 32bit support will be around for a very long time.

Nobody's arguing that 32-bit support will be around for a long time but that's a lot different than saying it's "never" going to be retired.

Aaron44126 said,
Not going to happen... ever. As long as the hardware supports running 32-bit apps, WoW64 will remain. Unlike Apple (i.e. dropping Rosetta in Mac OS X 10.7), Microsoft is pretty committed to providing backwards compatibility when practical.

16-bit is not supported on 64-bit Windows because 64-bit CPUs cannot execute 16-bit code directly while operating in 64-bit mode.

I highly doubt you'll see 32bit code being removed since nothing is lossed/gained out of removing the code since large chunks of a programme are shared whether it is running in 32bit or 64bit mode. Regarding the future of Mac OS X, you're more likely to see the continued replacement of Carbon components with Cocoa with the eventual move to make Carbon support become optional rather than something installed by default.

As for Windows - there is no need to remove 32bit support given that its existence doesn't cause any problems and it helps provide backwards compatibility. With that being said the move from win32 to win64 allowed Microsoft to drop many deprecated parts of win32 so if vendors do move from win32 to win64 there will be need to be some code clean up rather than it being a straight recompile.

Fubar said,
I use both, so would be nice for both option

I agree. Very short-sighted poll. I have 4 computers in our house right now, two are running 32-bit and the other two are running 64-bit. The two 32-bit machines are older ones that don't support 64-bit. One is for my son to play games on, the other is a file server for the house. Neither particularly NEED to be 64-bit either.

dodgetigger said,
But you all have one "main" PC you use most, don't you?
Thank you! I'm glad someone can read the article and question without jumping to comment first.

dodgetigger said,
But you all have one "main" PC you use most, don't you?

I also have a 32bit MCE computer sitting here, but that is not the one I "use".


Actually, I use all of them about equally (other than my son's). And the article doesn't say "main PC" it says "main installation". That is two different things really (some people have both 32-bit and 64-bit installed on the same machine.

roadwarrior said,

Actually, I use all of them about equally (other than my son's). And the article doesn't say "main PC" it says "main installation". That is two different things really (some people have both 32-bit and 64-bit installed on the same machine.

In that instance it would be which installation they use the most.

I found the question pretty easy to understand. If you don't know what your main installation is then you shouldn't be answering the question.

Cboy said,

In that instance it would be which installation they use the most.

I found the question pretty easy to understand. If you don't know what your main installation is then you shouldn't be answering the question.

I use an x86 and x64 exactly the same amount on both, so your comment is actually quite abrupt and short sighted, as there are a number of people who use both equally.

JustinN said,

I use an x86 and x64 exactly the same amount on both, so your comment is actually quite abrupt and short sighted, as there are a number of people who use both equally.

In that instance I would pick the first priority in the boot manager.

roadwarrior said,

I agree. Very short-sighted poll. I have 4 computers in our house right now, two are running 32-bit and the other two are running 64-bit. The two 32-bit machines are older ones that don't support 64-bit. One is for my son to play games on, the other is a file server for the house. Neither particularly NEED to be 64-bit either.

Similar situation:

HP Z210 - Windows 7 64 bit
HP XW4600 - Windows 7 64 bit
Acer 5000 - Windows 7 64 bit
Dell Dimension 8300 - Windows 7 32 bit (running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview 32 bit very well too).