Computer Upgrade Question

Dell 745 4 gig ram, up-gradable To 8 gig, IF I’m running 64 bit. Belarc says the processor is 64 bit ready.
Question: Where do I begin to start the process to upgrade to 64 bit?

You would of course begin by buying the 64-bit version of Windows. Run the installation routine and hope that it has drivers for all of your hardware, or at least enough to be able to connect to the internet and download what isn’t already in the package.

That’s step 1 and 2. But how about step 0–determining if any of the programs that you use will see any performance benefit in going from 4 GB of RAM to 8 GB of RAM?

Do you have a license for a 64 bit version of Windows?

If not, then you can’t.

A 32 bit OS can only address less than 3.5 gig of memory no matter how much you put in the slots. A 64 bit removes that restriction and can address 32 gigs of memory.

Which OS?

64-bit versions of Windows after 7 are pretty straightforward to acquire, but not free.

I don’t think any of those can be done as an upgrade-in-place, though. To my (admittedly unreliable) recollection, the last time I tried it I had to do a wipe-and-install, not an upgrade. But I could be remembering wrong.

Likewise, 64-bit versions of Linux are easy, and every bit as cheap (i.e., no cost) as the 32-bit versions. In fact, I think many distributions are either not available in 32-bit, or much harder to come by.

Yes, I’m well aware of that. Which in no way effects the fact that individual programs may or may not gain any noticeable increases in performance in going from 4 GB to 8 GB. He may go through the expense and effort for a 2 percent speed increase if memory isn’t the bottleneck for the program’s performance.

Well if his drive is the bottleneck then he can use the extra memory to cache the drive.

There’s many ways to improve performance if you have the memory for it.

32 gigs? It can handle a lot more than that.

2[sup]32[/sup] bytes = 4 gigabytes

2[sup]64[/sup] bytes = 16.8 million terabytes

Of course the Windows operating system can’t manage that but it is still more than 32GB. Windows Home can handle 128GB and the other versions can handle 2TB of RAM.

That’s true but most motherboards won’t handle more than 32 gigs of memory.

I agree in that I don’t think you can do an in-place upgrade, but I do believe if you have a valid product key for your 32-bit Windows 7, you can use it to install the 64-bit version in its place. At least that was legally in the clear for retail versions of Windows, might want to double-check for an OEM pre-install.

assuming OP is talking about an Optiplex 745, then Dell has 64-bit drivers on their site for Windows Vista. the chance is pretty good that 7 has at least some of the drivers built in, and more often than not the Vista driver works fine for 7.

I’m of the mindset that you should always buy as much RAM as you can afford and your system will physically take. not so much that any particular program needs a ton, but to reduce the chance you’ll run out and start thrashing the page file. I have Chrome open and with only two tabs (this one plus another) it’s vacuumed up 550 MB according to task manager.

Upping memory is very seldomly about improving performance in a single app, but rather, by allowing a more responsive overall OS experience when multi-tasking.

64-bit is also a bit more secure since it has a larger pool of memory addresses to use for address space layout randomization (ASLR.)

I’ve always done in-place OS upgrades going back to MS-DOS 3.3.

I even worked out how to upgrade from XP to 7 (32-bit) even though officially you aren’t supposed to be able to do that.

So I’ve looked and looked for a way to go from 32-bit to 64-bit without having to re-install tons of stuff. Nope.


IIRC you upgraded to Vista and then upgraded to 7. Piece of cake, if lengthy.

Correctomundo. But that’s not “official”.

Thanks all, for your replies.