June 27, 2008
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! I hope this newsletter finds everyone well. This week we got an abundance of great answers from our members to Jack's question about buying a new computer and whether he should buy a 32-bit or 64-bit processor and also whether he should go with Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit version.
Well Jack, I'm with you on this confusion. As if picking out the right computer isn't already difficult enough, there are so many choices, and so many specifications that it can easily make a grown man cry! But never fear, once you've established and recognized your computer needs, it becomes a much simpler task to decide what is best for you and whether it is wise to buy a 32-bit or a 64-bit system. One of your questions that we can immediately address is the 32-bit or 64-bit processor. The good news is the decision is already made for you, as most current computers today are already 64-bit and will run a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system. So now that that's settled, let's move forward on whether to go with the 32-bit or the 64-bit version of the Windows Vista operating system.
After reading our members' answers, whether you need a 32-bit or a 64-bit operation system really boils down to your computing needs. If you're the average Joe whose computing needs don't require a lot of RAM (less than 4GB), a 32-bit OS will do just fine. It's not only compatible with almost all software applications, but you'll also have almost no issues finding compatible hardware drivers for your system. Now for going to the 64-bit OS, while this is the way of the future, unless the programs you are running now require a 64-bit OS or a whole heap of RAM (4GB or more), or you are doing a lot of 3D rendering, intense graphics, and so on, many of our members said there are probably more drawbacks to running a 64-bit system than there are advantages. While more programs are written for 64-bit systems, the majority of everyday software programs and drivers are incompatible with 64-bit operating systems. 64-bit systems are great for the folks who require it, but for the most part, we the typical computer users are unlikely to notice any gain in performance. I just quickly described the 32-bit and 64-bit disadvantages and advantages, but there are a whole lot of details I left out. I'm going to turn you to our members' answers for many great details, some simple, some extravagant, to give you the whole 32-bit versus 64-bit system scoop. Below in the answer area, I have selected a few answers to get you started. Be sure to read on, as there is so much more to learn. I truly believe that if you go through the answers, in the end you'll be in great shape to understand the whole bit thing! Have a great weekend folks and thanks to all of you who participated!
(Note: There will be no Community Newsletter delivered next week as it time for me celebrate Independence Day! The newsletter will resume the following week. Have a great July Fourth!)
Member Question of the Week
Hi! I hope you can help me out. I'm in the process of buying
a new computer and it's already pretty difficult to figure
out what's what with specs and all, but the two bit (pun
intended) is figuring out the differences between 32-bit
versus 64-bit processors. I can only assume the 64-bit
processor is faster, or am I wrong? I'm not very tech savvy,
but I would like to know if it's something I need to consider
when making my new system purchase. The other one bit (pun
intended again) has to do with Windows Vista, do I go 32-bit
or 64-bit version? Are there any advantages of going with
Vista 64-bit? Please help me out, I'm really confused here and
I would love if you could give some simple explanations to
clear up this whole bit between the processor and Vista. One
more thing, will buying a 64-bit PC be somewhat future
proofing my new desktop purchase? Thank you all for your
Just some member contributions to get you started, but please read through the all answers!
--Submitted by: Zouch
32 vs. 64 bit...
--Submitted by: Wolfie2k5
32-bit vs. 64-bit Processors
--Submitted by: Watzman
I run 64 bit XP
--Submitted by:by pixelsmith
Read all member contributions
Thanks to all who contributed!
Previous week's Q&A
Hi, I recently bought a new laptop with Windows Vista and I
would like to improve the speed of it. Someone mentioned to
me that using Windows ReadyBoost using a USB flash drive to boost
performance. But left with many questions unanswered in hopes
that you can help me. What exactly is ReadyBoost and what
does it do exactly to help boost performance? Does it really
work that well? I know it requires a USB flash drive or card,
but does it make a difference what kind of drive I should use
or does it require something that is fast? How much memory
should I consider for the flash drive? I've gone through the
Internet and read a few articles that mentioned that
ReadyBoost does initially help performance in the beginning,
but over time the performance gains starts to deteriorate. Is
this true? If that's the case, is it even worth getting into?
Any help and explanations will be helpful. Thank you in
Thanks to all who contributed!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
Please help. I'm taking off on road trip across the country soon for about a month and I'm lugging my laptop along for the ride to check e-mail, get maps and directions, and everything in between to make the best out of my trip. I will be using a wireless connection to access the Internet at hotels, Starbucks, and other hot spots that are available, but my concern is always security in these public areas. At home I know my wireless connection only allows me to be connected to it, but when I'm out there in the open, how vulnerable am I? I see people using Wi-Fi all the time at coffee shops and airports, but I always wonder how do they make their system safe from intrusions or threats?! Maybe they don't. Regardless, I'm not willing to take any chances. So is there like a list of public Wi-Fi do's and don'ts when using it to ensure my laptop's safety? I would love to get a check list of items I will need to do to ensure my information on my laptop is not compromised. Can you please help me out here?
We feature a new question every Friday, and if you have the answer for our member, you can submit it above. If your submission is picked by our members as the most helpful answer, you'll receive some cool CNET branded gear.
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