For the last few years I’ve been using a Windows Vista Media Center machine to record television shows, stream media to my Xbox 360, and perform backups of other computers in the house. When I made the switch from XP to Vista I contemplated installing the 64-bit version of the operating system, but I didn’t feel like hassling with any driver issues. After all, a 32-bit Vista serial number will also activate on a 64-bit install meaning you can make the switch at any point.
Almost two weeks ago I had a hard drive crash on me, and had to order a new one. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to install 64-bit Vista on my 4-year old Pentium D computer. Beforehand I made sure that drivers were available for my ATI graphics card and other devices that I knew would need them. Things looked good so I proceeded with the install.
The setup was a breeze, and I can’t really say that it felt any different than installing the 32-bit version of Vista. Some of the applications I use have versions specifically for 64-bit Windows, but all my other 32-bit programs still run fine. Although by running 32-bit programs you don’t necessarily get all of the advantages the operating system has to offer.
One of the big reasons that I wanted to make the switch is that using the 32-bit version of Vista meant that I couldn’t take advantage of all 4GB of memory in the computer. Before Vista was only able to access about 3.2GB of the memory.
So now I’m wondering how many of you are already running a 64-bit version of Windows, or are you holding out despite having a processor capable of handling it?
P.S. Here’s Microsoft’s guide comparing 32-bit & 64-bit versions of Vista