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Installing Vista on 4gb computer


Village Idiot
My computer came installed with 4gb ram and windows Vista ultimate oem installed. I have been given as a present Vista Ultimate sp1 dvdrom. Due to windows Vista's 32bit issue with 4gb of RAM, do I need to remove 2GB of RAM before I install this upto date version?

I play a few games and was also wandering if 64bit would be OK for me?

Many thanks


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
There is no issue with installing Vista on your system as it currently is, with 4GB.

And you can also go 64-bit if you want but there are some quirks with certain games. Safer to stay with 32-bit.


OSNN Senior Addict
Your system will most likely not utilize the 4GB of RAM if you install 32bit Windows Vista (even if it is reporting 4GB is detected). It will need to use some of that address space for other components in your system.

If you can go 64bit, I would say it is worth a try. At least you will get full utilization of the RAM in your system. If you run into problems you can always downgrade to 32, but it does not hurt to start at the top and work your way down. I am running Vista 64 with 4GB of RAM and have had no problems gaming (I run a 8800GT).

You can find more information on how & why the 4GB is not utilized here: http://www.vistaclues.com/reader-question-maximum-memory-in-32-bit-windows-vista/

As far as problems with having 4GB of RAM, you should only run into problems if you are trying to install a non sp1 version of vista 64 on a rig with 4GB+ of RAM. The SP1 install has a fix applied that will keep it from crashing on you. This should not affect the 32 bit version of Vista.


Village Idiot
Many thanks for your prompt replies.

If I go for 64bit and after a while find my software and games don't work on it, do I need to pay for anther licence to downgrade to 32 bit?


OSNN Junior Addict
I am running vista64 bit ultimate, with 4 gigs of ram, and so far i havent had any issues with any application, or games.

Any 32 bit apps install on the 32 bit program folder directory and work and behave like they do on a 32 bit OS, those apps that are made for 64bit OS's install on the default program directory and work a bit faster than their counter parts.

Go for 64 bit if you have a new computer, its worth it.


OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
I love x64, I don't have any compatability problems with any games or indeed anything else.

As Luna said, you can always go back to 32 bit if it doesn't work out.

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