Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


32 bit vs 64 bit performance with same RAM

  1. #11


    A 64 bit OS was never about performance.
    I totally disagree. 64-bit is all about performance!

    Think of 32 lane highways vs. a 64 lane highways. Clearly the 64 lane highways will move significantly more traffic (data) in the same amount of time. And I say highways instead of just one highway because there are many highways (buses) across a motherboard. So a 64-bit OS accommodates the transfer of 64-bit chunks of data to move in 1 clock cycle across those buses, instead just 32-bit chunks for a significant increase in performance.

    There is a physical limit to the amount of RAM an OS can address and with a 32-bit OS, that is 4Gb. But because of how hardware addressing is done, less than 4Gb is usable - typically ~3.2Gb with a 32-bit OS.

    But hardware addressing is done a bit differently with a 64-bit OS so with 4Gb of RAM, the full 4Gb is available so you do indeed, get a performance boost with 4Gb and a 64-bit OS.

    However, Windows loves RAM so with 8Gb and a 64-bit OS, performance is even more improved. Note that 8Gb is often considered the sweetspot. That is, less than 8Gb and performance takes noticeable hit. More than 8Gb and noticeable performance gains are marginal, at best.

    I agree to disregard the WEI scores. They don't really mean much and are confusing and because of that, it is no longer available in later versions of Windows.

    If I have...4GB of RAM, 32-bit...And if I upgrade my RAM to 8GB, will it boost performance of my 64-bit system a lot?

    So in this situation does upgrade to 8GB will boost performance?
    To answer your questions, upgrading from 4Gb of RAM and 32-bit OS to 8Gb of RAM and 64-bit OS will provide a very significant performance boost. Also, because your CPU and Windows have so much more room to play in with 8Gb of RAM, Windows will not have to bang on the slow hard drive to access the Page File near as often. That also increases performance and saves wear and tear on the drive and a bit of energy too.

    And after upgrading to 8Gb of RAM, changing your boot drive to a SSD will also provide a nice performance bump with disk access tasks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 156
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit, Windows 10 64-bit


    Thank you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    64 bit operating systems were designed for the much larger virtual address space they can provide. For a 32 bit OS that is 2 GB by default, 3 GB (for compatible applications) with a boot option that has enough issues that makes it unsuitable for general use. A 64 bit OS provides a virtual address space of 8 TB (8192 GB) for native 64 bit applications, 4 GB for compatible 32 bit applications. In Windows 8,1 and later this becomes 128 TB. This could be further increased in future systems. These address spaces are private to each process and totally independent of RAM size.

    Only a programmer can fully appreciate the implications of the larger address space.

    Everything else is minor in comparison.

    When a 32 bit application runs on a 64 bit OS for all practical purposes it is using a 32 bit processor. The OS provides an emulation layer that faithfully provides the 32 bit environment that 32 bit applications expect and require.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Keep in mind that a 32 bit version of Windows can only address a 4 GB address space. That doesn't necessarily mean you get to use your full 4 gigs of RAM. If you have 4 gigs of RAM and a video card with say 1 gig of RAM, that 1 gig is going to subtract from your 4 gig usable space. You'll only be using 3 gigs of your RAM. Even though its dedicated onboard RAM it still has to be mapped by Windows into that 4 gig space. Go 64 bit and its not an issue. it can then be mapped in the space above the 4 gig limit freeing up your full 4 gigs of RAM. Check your usable RAM and its likely 3 or 3.5 gigs not 4.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 8
    SLTos ROS - Blue Spring Game (Win8.1)


    U can always enable up to 128gb support on 32bit windows
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by ch3mn3y View Post
    U can always enable up to 128gb support on 32bit windows
    I wouldn't recommend it. Your hacking system files to do it and bypassing the license restrictions of memory capacity. Why not just install 64 bit windows and avoid messing up your system with unsupported modes? Just my 2 cents.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    While a 32 bit OS can theoretically use up to about 32 GB RAM it is unlikely to be useful. This is supported in some server editions but the situation there is quite different. With many active users a server can use such large amounts of memory. But with 32 bit applications the most each can use is about 2 GB unless it uses special methods and few do. Most users would be hard pressed to use even 8 GB RAM.

    In a 64 bit OS a single native application could theoretically use terabytes of RAM if it were available.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7
    64 bit operating systems were designed for the much larger virtual address space they can provide.
    Right - which allows for much more work to be accomplished in the same amount of time - that is, much better performance.

    Only a programmer can fully appreciate the implications of the larger address space.
    ??? Yeah right! 'Cuss us stupid hardware types can't "appreciate the implications" moving bigger chunks of data in the same amount of time between the CPU, RAM, GPU and the various data storage I/Os has on performance.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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32 bit vs 64 bit performance with same RAM
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