x86 vs x64


Beta member

My computer is coming today (well, most of it) and I'm going to be using 4gb of ram. I read on this site that Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit does support 4gb of ram. Will it actually utilize it all or only 3.3gb of it?

Should I install x64 Windows 7 to take full advantage of my 4gb?

If it matters I'll be using this motherboard.

Oh yes I'm using a AMD Phenom II Quad Core.


Fully Optimized
The 32 bit address space can only fit 4GB of addressable RAM - but in practice this number is vastly reduced due to some of that addressing space being taken up by various system resources. Don't expect to see much more than 3.3GB (between 3.1-3.3GB is a likely figure.)

So yes, if you want to fully utilise your 4GB you'll need a 64 bit OS. If on the other hand you don't really mind about the last few hundred MB because you're not running anything that really requires it, it's no big deal.


Daemon Poster
Yes, I think that blowing $200 for Win7 x64 just for 924 MB more RAM isn't worth it. If your processor is fast enough (which it probably is) and you have more than 2 GB RAM in your system, you should be OK. There are other alternatives like adjusting your page file size and using Windows Ready Boost (which only seems to create a cache on your flash drive to extend the HD's built-in one). You should be good for 18 months, according to Moore's Law:)