I don't think its that black and white.
Depending on what use it gets, the machine described below probably is OK
with 32 bit.
But high spec machines are much more debateable.
I disagree with the "higher" than 4Gb.
2 Gb or less will be used optimally on any machine and 32 bit, but not 4Gb.
Due to hardware allocation of memory addresses combined with the 4Gb adress
space limit then 4 Gb of physical memory will NOT all be available on a 32
Now, people with 4Gb of memory are probably power users (I hate that term
but what else can I put) with powerful machines and an expectation of using
all that lovely memory in ways that suit their particular needs.
The irony is that more powerful hardware will grab more of that address
space than a weaker system leaving even less available.
(So the people with greatest need will feel the biggest hit !)
For instance an 8800GTX will steal 768Mb of that 4Gb on its own.
That memory will be unavailable to any application because it has been
On a 64 bit system that allocation occurs at a memory address above the
physical memory so has no impact at all.
Programs are evolving rapidly to make greater use of memory so you will need
to make full use of it.
Another way of looking at it is: if Vista itself virtually needs 1Gb to run
efficiently and you have 4 cores, how much memory does each core have to
Over the next year you are going to need every bit of that memory.
(Photoshop CS3 takes 1.8Gb to itself on a 4Gb 64 bit system !)
The other factor, often ignored, is that 64 bit is far more secure.
Many site this as a problem.
A lot complain about the security aspects impacting on their experience with
32 bit let alone 64 bit.
If you think turning off UAC is good idea please don't even think of going
to 64 bit.
But users with 4Gb and powerful machines and computer savvy have a different
I see 64 bit drivers everywhere I look.
It seems that manufacturers are waking up to the fact that with Vista, 64
bit is here for real this time.
OK its not perfect, but in my opinion its a damn good start and its only
going to get better.
Sure, sticking an extra 2Gb into a not so new machine and upgrading to 64
bit without checking whether your (probably obsolete) hardware is supported
isn't going to be a pleasant experience. But what do you expect?
So just because "most" people are going to be quite OK with 32 bit doesn't
make 64 bit an automatic no no.
Current need is not an acceptable excuse.
Multithreaded applications are appearing already (I have at least 4 that can
run flat out with all 4 cores)
All those cores need memory.
Gamers can't have enough memory. Plus directx10 games developers must
surely have an eye on 64 bit.
How long before 64 bit programs start to appear ? Whatever you think, it
will be sooner.
So if you are about to get a reasonably high spec new machine then make sure
it has 4Gb of memory and Ultimate 64 bit.
(by definition the hardware will have all the appropriate drivers)
On that sort of machine, with the usage that its going to get, and the
expectations and mindset of the user then going with 64 bit is the only
"Richard G. Harper" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> Unless you need to support more than 4gb of memory, or a program you need
> only comes in a 64-bit version, there is no reason for anyone to run the
> 64-bit version of Vista.
> Richard G. Harper [MVP Shell/User] firstname.lastname@example.org
> * NEW! Catch my blog ... http://msmvps.com/blogs/rgharper/
> * PLEASE post all messages and replies in the newsgroups
> * The Website - http://rgharper.mvps.org/
> * HELP us help YOU ... http://www.dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
> "umo" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> news:firstname.lastname@example.org oups.com...
>> I'm running Vistax32 and it works fine. I've got a Core2Duo CPU, 2GB
>> RAM and 256MB Nvidia. No problem finding all the drivers for my
>> hardware and software. I'm scratching my head trying to find any
>> reason why a home user should even consider switching to the 64bit
>> version? What say you guys?