Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Vista OS


Can anyone here talk about the difference between the 32 & 64 bit Vista OS , from end user's perspective?

Any help would be appreciated.


  • mahul
    Here's a quick answer,
    A 64 bit vista os will not run on an 32 bit processor
    A 32 bit os will run on both a 32 and a 64 bit processor
    A 32 bit os running on an 64 bit processor will give the same performance on a 32 bit processor.
    A 64 bit os running on a 64 bit processor will give better performance than a 32 bit os on the same machine.

    There might be errors, i'm not 100% sure. Any corrections are welcome.
  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare
    Thanks a ton, Mahul.

    When you say 'better performance', is it related to the 'speed of operation'? Are there any other advantages?
  • Prasad Ajinkya
    Prasad Ajinkya
    I want to throw in one more variable in this melange. 64-bit software.

    These days you hear a lot of 64 bit computing. Recently, I am in the process of procuring a strong server for my firms SAP environment. And believe me the sheer amount of choices you have to make is mind numbing ... dual quad core xeons vs itaniums vs p5s ... now if I were to apply the same concept to my predicament, a quad core xeon which is a 32 bit, how do I compare it to an itanium a 64-bit proc?

    Any takers?
  • pradeep_agrawal
    Apart from the performance difference described above some others are:

    - Less numbers of softwares (including drivers) are available for 64-bit Vista. Also, other 64-bit systems runs 32-bit application very well, but thats not the case with 64-bit Vista. It does not support 32-bit drivers at all. And, unlike 32-bit Vista where it just gives a warning for unsigned drivers, 64-bit Vista does not load unsigned drivers. Also, 16-bit application are not supported by 64-bit Vista.

    - Vista 64-bit include a new secret security feature called Address Space Layout Randmonizer (ASLR) that helps eliminate remote system attacks for the first time on the Windows platform and is not available for 32-bit Vista.

    - Vista 64-bit provide support for hardware-backed Data Execution Protection (DEP), which helps to prevent the buffer overflows that are commonly used in electronic attacks, whereas 32-bit Vista utilize a less effective, software-based version of DEP.

    - 64-bit Vista has a feature called Kernel Patch Protection (also known as PatchGuard) which prevents malicious software from patching Vista Kernel. It prevents kernel-mode drivers from extending or replacing other kernel services and prevents third-party software from patching any part of the kernel.

    - 32-bit Vista support up to 4 GB of RAM where as different 64-bit version of Vista support different size RAM as
    Vista Home Basic - 8 GB of RAM
    Vista Home Premium - 16 GB
    Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate - 128 GB

    - You can upgrade from XP 64-bit to Vista 64-bit, but not from Vista 32-bit to Vista 64-bit.

    The above details are briefs from some of the articles:
    Vista x64 vs. Vista x86 – 32 bit or 64 bit Vista edition? – 4sysops

    If you want to compare the performance of both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista, check link #-Link-Snipped-#

  • MaRo
    The difference from software prespective is the word length, from hardware prespective it's the bus wide which can transfer the word length 64-bit that make double transfer rate in computer buses, but the system have to be all in 64-bit CPU, MB & OS to achieve the best of 64-bit machine.
  • friendster7
    The 64-bit version of Windows Vista operating system is for about 10.9 percent faster than 32-bit Vista, according to the GeekBench benchmark for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows platforms.
    they have proven it also..

    source check this out:::#-Link-Snipped-#
  • Valentine Wind
    Valentine Wind
    Will a Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit serial number work with the 32bit version of the same OS?I bought my laptop online from HP preinstalled with Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 (64bit) and now i want to downgrade to the 32bit version of the same OS, Can i do that using the same serial number? as i mentioned i didn't buy the OS by itself I bought it preinstalled on the laptop so i think i cant ask microsoft to send me the 32bit version with the nominal fee they are talking about.
  • Kathy Ibrahim
    Kathy Ibrahim
    64Bit Vista wont run to 32bit base processor, it should be 64bit processor also. 32bit are made for older model of processor. Cheers, Kathy
  • ShrinkDWorld
  • Dzeer Jime
    Dzeer Jime
    If not mistaken, if you have 32bit kind of processor you don't need to upgrade your processor but you need to upgrade you memory and video card. For 64bit you should upgrade you processor that support 64bit as well us memory and video card. - Regards, Dzeer
  • Janel Himberley
    Janel Himberley
    If you have 32bit vista OS your 32 bit processor can support it but you need to upgrade your memory from 512MB or higher and for video card from 128MB or higher. But if your OS is 64Bit you should upgrade you processor (64bit processor), memory, and video card also check if your motherboard can support a 64bit processor, if not you also need to change it. Regards, Janel, #-Link-Snipped-#
  • lal
    So can i say 64bit has increased performance than 32bit?

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