Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Memory usage 64 vs 32bit

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    win 7 8 10

    Memory usage 64 vs 32bit


    How much MORE memory (than x86) does Win8 x64 actually use? MS recommends minimum 2GB for x64 and only 1GB for x86. Surely the OS itself does not use 1GB more? I want to install on a 2GB PC and just wondering which would run more efficiently.

    Thanks

    Edit to add: Just found a memory map comparing 7 and 8 but not 8 x64 vs x86
    February, 2015 | The Experience Blog

    Maybe someone with x86 installed could report their usage under similar conditions?

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  2. #2


    A 64 bit OS does use more memory but in general terms quantifying how much more is very difficult. The amount is highly variable and depends on many factors. The specifications are rounded up to the nearest GB, probably because RAM modules smaller than 1 GB are virtually obsolete. 2 GB is specified as the minimum RAM for a 64 bit OS but you really need 4 GB for decent performance. A 64 bit OS has some serious advantages but most are lost with only 2 GB RAM. It will work with 2 GB but not well. With 2 GB RAM you would need a compelling reason to use a 64 bit OS.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    With 2 GB RAM you would need a compelling reason to use a 64 bit OS.
    Yeah... Install x86
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  4. #4


    It's kinda been solved anyway. 32 bit (x86) system can't see more than 3.5 GB of RAM so for 4 GB or more you need to use 64 bit (x64) windows.
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  5. #5


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I made a few snips of the Process Monitors on 3 systems. In all cases the only application running was Chrome.

    1. Windows 8.1 32bit with 2GB of RAM - 767MB in use
    2. Windows 8.1 64bit with 6 GB of RAM - 1205MB in use
    3. Windows 7 64bit with 8GB of RAM - 1740MB in use


    Click image for larger versionClick image for larger versionClick image for larger version
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  6. #6


    It is reasonable that 64 bit system/programs would make more use of more free RAM and memory as whole.
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  7. #7


    Trnava
    Posts : 683
    Win 8.1.1 Pro x64


    Basically there is no difference, but x64 native software is a little more memory hungry by design.
    It all comes down to the amount of RAM you have, x86 nor x64 will not run smoothly on 2GB and less.
    I have a notebook with 2GB (1,7 GB usable), it is running x64 just fine, but no games, just an average use.
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  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by TairikuOkami View Post
    Basically there is no difference, but x64 native software is a little more memory hungry by design.
    It all comes down to the amount of RAM you have, x86 nor x64 will not run smoothly on 2GB and less.
    I have a notebook with 2GB (1,7 GB usable), it is running x64 just fine, but no games, just an average use.
    There's always PF to take up the slack but influences overall speed. An SSD can help there a bit.
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  9. #9


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I think for systems with such a small RAM an SSD is a must. Then it will run smoothly. I run x86 (the first picture above) in 1.5GB when I have my Linux virtual partition running that takes the remaining 500MBs. And that is no real problem. That laptop has an eMMC which is not quite as good as an SSD but a lot faster than a HDD.
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  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I think for systems with such a small RAM an SSD is a must.
    Very true. In any modern OS almost all of RAM is used as some form of cache for data in mass storage, the HD or SSD. Most documentation will not call it that but in practice that is what it is. The more RAM you have the more data that can be cached. But with fast mass storage there is less need for caching and you can get by with less RAM.
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