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  1. #1

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    Default Windows 7 x86 or x64 - What's the difference?

    I'm at uni doing a course that gives me access to (free) legal versions of windows software (bonza!), but I'm a little confused by these two listings:

    Windows 7 Professional (x64)
    Windows 7 Professional (x86)

    What is the difference? And which version would be best to run on boot camp on my (2009) iMac 24"?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Use the x64 version

    The x86 version is the 32-bit version, designed for 32-bit CPUs. The x64 version is for newer, 64-bit CPUs, with the 32-bit legacy stuff removed. The 32-bit version will work on a 64-bit CPU, but not vice-versa. I'm not too sure of the actual benefits, but I would presume that the 64-bit version will work best on a 64-bit CPU

  3. #3

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    Jesus christ man you are fast! Thanks again - perhaps I should just get your phone number and call you next time hahaha...

  4. #4

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    The main benefit of x64 is that it can use more RAM than x86.

    x86 will typically only see 4GB of RAM whereas x64 will see up to 192GB in Windows 7 (depending on the version).

    Memory Limits for Windows Releases (Windows)

  5. #5

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wullieb1 View Post
    x86 will typically only see 4GB of RAM whereas x64 will see up to 192GB in Windows 7 (depending on the version).
    Exactly true and very typically 'extra confusing' as per normal Microsoft.

    The x86 refers to legacy xxx86 processors that haven't been used for almost a decade but the x64 refers to the number of bits that the OS uses.

    But making the 2 names so similar is confusing
    iPad Mini 4 128Gb 4G | iPhone 6 64GB | MacBook Pro 13" i5 2.4GHz Retina | Mac Mini i5 | Apple TV 3 |

  6. #6

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by muzzray View Post
    What is the difference? And which version would be best to run on boot camp on my (2009) iMac 24"?
    Your iMac doesn't have 64-bit EFI, so won't be able to boot the Windows 7 64-bit install disc.

    You'll need to burn a new disc that is bootable on your iMac. This is a fairly simple guide for Windows Server 2008 which also works for Win 7, you'll need acces to a Windows machine. There are a few methods for creating a bootable disc, this one is the easiest.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the Heads Up MightyAtom. I was not aware of that.

  8. #8

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    Both versions are x86.

    x86 refers to the instruction set architecture based on the Intel 8086.

    What should be in the description is 32bit & 64bit.

    You should read the following info from the Win7 Forums to make your decision on what version would be best for you, as just because you can run a 64bit operating system, doesn't mean you should.

    Windows 7: 64 bit vs 32 bit? - Windows 7

  9. #9

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by muzzray View Post
    I'm at uni doing a course that gives me access to (free) legal versions of windows software (bonza!), but I'm a little confused by these two listings:

    Windows 7 Professional (x64)
    Windows 7 Professional (x86)

    What is the difference? And which version would be best to run on boot camp on my (2009) iMac 24"?

    Thanks
    Honestly? If your iMac doesn't have significantly more than 4GB of RAM it's going to make no difference at all. The major benefit to 64-bit is the ability to address more than 4GB of RAM (although, really, that's actually around 3GB for various technical reasons).

    There are some other differences but for most people, in most situations, this is the only difference that'll matter.

  10. #10

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    Apple's 64-bit Boot Camp drivers won't install on your iMac.

    You should get the 32-bit version of Windows 7 and the 32-bit Boot Camp 3.1 drivers from Apple's website.

    (source: Boot Camp: Macs that work with 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bahamut View Post
    Apple's 64-bit Boot Camp drivers won't install on your iMac.
    Which is an artificial limitation imposed by Apple. There's an easy solution, just run the installer in compatibility mode.

    On the BootCamp CD open “Drivers/Apple”. Right click on “BootCamp64.msi” -> Properties. Go To “Compability” Tab, under “Compability Mode” check the box and select “Previous Versions of Windows”. Now doubleclick on the “BootCamp64.msi” and install normally.

    You could even extract the individual drivers from the installer. The Boot Camp drivers aren't really essential anyway, when I installed 64-bit Win 7 the only one Windows couldn't find itself was the iSight driver.

  12. #12

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    Technically x86 simply refers to a family of processors and the instruction set they all use. It doesn't actually say anything specific about data sizes. The term x86 started out as a 16-bit instruction set for 16-bit processors (the 8086 and 8088 processors), then was extended to a 32-bit instruction set for 32-bit processors (80386 and 80486), and now has been extended to a 64-bit instruction set for 64-bit processors. It used to be written as 80x86 to reflect the changing value in the middle of the chip model numbers, but somewhere along the line the 80 in the front was dropped, leaving just x86. More about...Windows 7 x86 or x64

    Riyan

  13. #13

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    Dead thread RESERRECT!!!!
    7 years, there should be some sort of internet bonus for that.

  14. #14

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    Maybe the differences including the RAM and the CPU. For the CPU I think you can do something like checkmyspeed in your 2 different Windows. If you choose one of them, in RAM I think you can take the methods of defrag cleaning or take an advanced systemcare pro key to detect the updates of Windows programs.
    Last edited by Rossaly; 20th September 2017 at 11:17 AM.

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