Can a HP Pavilion dv6780se notebook handle windows 7 x64 edition?
June 28, 2010 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently running Windows 7 x86 fine and everything runs great. I did however run a routine pc audit with Belarc Advisor and noticed my PC was "64-bit ready". Here are the details of my dv6700 (dv6780se as stated on the bottom sticker) --1.67 gigahertz Intel Core2 Duo-- --64 kilobyte primary memory cache-- --2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache-- --3072 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory-- System info does state I'm running a 32-bit OS. I have access to a win 7 x64 and would assume a performance increase. Also HP dropped all support of windows 7 drivers on older machines.
posted by isopropyl to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
 
There will be no noticeable improvement on performance.
posted by axismundi at 4:26 PM on June 28, 2010


Would their be any benefits period?
posted by isopropyl at 4:27 PM on June 28, 2010


Don't assume a performance increase. The perfomance increases in 64-bit OSes are largely due to two things: larger amounts of addressable memory (4 gigs in a 32-bit OS, some ridiculous number in 64-bit machines, but 9-12 gigs are becoming common) and greater throughput on certain tasks. If you're encoding video, you'll notice a performance increase. If you're surfing the web and doing light word processing, you largely won't notice a difference.
posted by Oktober at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2010


I do some gaming with a Geforce 8400gs but mostly video conversions/encoding and editing.
posted by isopropyl at 4:38 PM on June 28, 2010


Unless you have more the 4GB of physical memory in the machine there won't be a performance increase.
posted by GuyZero at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2010


"3072 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory"

But how much physical memory? If you have more than 3GB physical RAM, the switch to x64 is worthwhile. Otherwise not.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:43 PM on June 28, 2010


With your system specs, I don't see any reason to upgrade to a 64-bit operating system. In fact, you might see an overall performance decline since many applications don't run as efficiently or reliably in 64-bit environments. All in all, I basically consider 64-bit operating systems to still be in beta. They're nowhere near as refined or reliable as 32-bit OSes, mostly because they're a real bitch to code for.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 6:05 PM on June 28, 2010


You will not notice any increase (or decrease) in speed, but 64-bit Windows is more stable 32-bit. I've been running Vista x64 for two years, and have never had a crash that Windows couldn't recover from. Windows 64-bit is also built from the ground-up with additional security than 32-bit Windows (I forget the specifics, though). I'm betting that the next version of Windows will only come in 64-bit.

Is it worth reinstalling for? Probably not. But next time you wipe your system and install an OS, go 64-bit.
posted by Simon Barclay at 6:20 PM on June 28, 2010


Simon, I never had a crash after Vista SP1 that I couldn't recover from, and I haven't had one yet running Windows 7 (32-bit). I'd be interested to find out if you have evidence beyond your personal experience to support that 64-bit systems are more stable. My own experience seeing dozens of systems a week is that 64-bit and 32-bit Windows are fairly similar in OS stability but that there are many more application issues on 64-bit systems.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 6:32 PM on June 28, 2010


Yeah, most of the OMG, Vistaz is teh suk people were the ones trying to run x64, in my experience. Like, old or cheap hardware.

I wouldn't change over unless there is some compelling reason to do so.
posted by gjc at 7:24 PM on June 28, 2010


64-bit may make better use of more than 2GB of memory. Generally, if you have more tha 2GB, I'd say go 64-bit, but you can certainly run 32-bit on 3GB. Your machine claims 3GB of "usable" memory; if you actually have 4gb, going to 64-bit will be of advantage.

For older hardware, it's common that there are 32-bit drivers for your platform, but not 64-bit drivers. I have a older Compaq (64-bit capable AMD Turon, 2GB Ram) that will stay 32-bit if only because a complete, workable set of drivers are 32-bit only.

As far as stability, in our non-trivial experience (think 5-figures of endpoints) I'd say the opposite of Simon Barclay...64-bit is significantly less reliable due to immaturity of 64-bit drivers, especially on older hardware. 64-bit is clearly the future, but only after everything in your environment has been updated to 64-bit everywhere drivers.

"Windows 64-bit is also built from the ground-up with additional security than 32-bit Windows" is rubbish; it's the same code base. Now, there are features (e.g. DX bits) that are only available on processors that also happen to be 64-bit capable, but if these features are present, they will be used in 32- or 64-bit Windows 7 if possible.
posted by kjs3 at 7:32 PM on June 28, 2010


Stay on 32-bit. 64-bit drivers (instructions for Windows on how to use your parts of you computer like the video chips or audio system) are less mature/stable/speedy, and 64-bit mode makes running the same programs take more memory. Unless you have memory beyond what 32-bit Windows can see (and you don't) to make up for that, 64-bit windows will effectively have less memory, and therefore run slower. There are other details working in favor of 64 bits but they are unlikely to outweigh the factors I've cited above.

P.S. You really have 3.0 GB of RAM. If you had more, Windows would report a number above 3 GB but below 4 GB. Yours reports exactly 3 GB, so that's what you really have.
posted by NortonDC at 7:44 PM on June 28, 2010


"Windows 64-bit is also built from the ground-up with additional security than 32-bit Windows" is rubbish; it's the same code base.

Microsoft's KB946765 disagrees with you, at least where Vista is concerned. I couldn't find a similar article for Windows 7, but I expect it would be similar.

That being said, I admit that my PC is quite new (less than 2 years old)... on older computers, a 64-bit OS may have trouble. I'm not sure how new the OP's computer is. As for applications, I have yet to find something that won't run perfectly.
posted by Simon Barclay at 7:03 PM on June 29, 2010


Vista != Windows 7 and I suspect there's a good reason you can't find a similar article for Windows 7. At least, in my conversations with Microsoft technical resources, they consider the 32- and 64-bit products equivalent for security on Windows 7 and 2008, given equivalent processor features. I guess you could say PatchGuard is a difference, but if that's the difference, I don't consider it something to loose sleep about.

And, for reference, PCs over 2 years old, which my clients have tens of thousands because of 3-5 year depreciation and/or lease/renew cycles, have significant problems with 64-bit upgrades. If it's not memory capability (most max at 2GB), it's driver issues. I would advise not to make sweeping generalizations about "reliability" and "security" based on your one, newish, PC.
posted by kjs3 at 7:53 PM on July 1, 2010


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