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buzz

32 or 64 bit Win 7, which is better for Astro?

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HI folks,

I have a choice whether to install 32 or 64 bit Win 7 on a notebook. I'm running EQMOD/Focusmax/MaximDL/SNP.

I think that Perecorder doesn't install in 64 bit - but does anyone know of other restrictions either way?

regards

Chris

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swings and roundabouts. 64bit will allow you to access more ram, assuming the machine has more than 4gb. downside is that some software isn't supported under 64bit due to driver builds.

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If u don't have more than 4 GB of ram go 32 bit, or dual boot so u can do either ;-)

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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I use Win7 32 bit home premium inside virtualbox. The mac itself has 16GB of ram, but I gave the windows VM 4GB (although it will only use 3.5GB max as it's 32bit) with 2 CPU cores assigned. This is fine for capture as I process on the mac side.

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I take it you have a 512mb graphics card then nick? :-)

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

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I take it you have a 512mb graphics card then nick? :-)

Virtualbox has a limit of 256MB of graphics ram unfortunately. However windows only needs 128MB for aero under virtualbox.

The mac is a laptop and can switch between:

Chipset Model: AMD Radeon HD 6750M VRAM (Total):1024 MB

Chipset Model:Intel HD Graphics 3000 VRAM (Total):512 MB

Edited by NickK

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I would twist it around a bit. Is there a good reason not to install the 64-bit version? With 64-bit version, you don't have to worry about ram limits, and for applications coded to support it, processing with 64-bit code can offer nice performance improvements too.

I've got 7-64 on my laptop, which I use for astro control, and haven't found any issue yet... although I'm not finished testing by a long shot. Likewise I do processing on a desktop also running 7-64.

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Hi folks - I installed Win 7 32-bit on a bootcamp partition and then came unstuck. The bootcamp utilities installer for my 2012 macbook appears to only be 64 bit and wouldn't run. I guess I could have manually loaded all the drivers into windows but at the end of the day, I couldn't be bothered. I loaded the 64 bit version and it works just fine. I just have to remember that all my ini files which referred to a path of c:/Program Files/ now have to point to C:/Program Files (x86)/.

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I've hit the RAM limit problem with some image processing applications. 16Mp RAW image processing ocassionally gives me an 'out of memory' error. Next PC I build will be 64 bit.

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I've hit the RAM limit problem with some image processing applications. 16Mp RAW image processing ocassionally gives me an 'out of memory' error. Next PC I build will be 64 bit.

I fell in to that trap.... I was using DSS to stack images and my old PC gave the same "out of memory" error, so I replaced the mobo,installed a 6 core processor and upgraded to 16GB of DDR 1600 RAM - and still got the same issue - Turns out that whilst DSS will run on an 64 bit OS, it's not a true 64bit app and can't access Ram above the 4GB limit (well 3.something) of a 32bit OS and once I checked the website it seems that there is little chance of a true 64bit version being written that will address the full amount of RAM installed on the mobo

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There's no disadvantage to 64bit windows if everything works, and 64bit Win will happily install 32bit apps. Only some drivers need to be 64bit and that shouldn't be an issue if you have a fairly modern PC. The performance improvements are only really significant if you're working with massive files.

The DSS thing is strange. I thought as long as the OS is 64bit then '32bit programs' can still use the extra OS memory. Might be wrong though! In any case DSS seems like the perfect software to benefit from the extra RAM so it seems crazy they won't support it. Pretty much every new PC now is 64bit as well..

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From the developers website

The current version of DeepSkyStacker is a 32 bit application. It runs great on 64 bit versions of Windows (Vista and Windows 7, perhaps XP x64) but you only get marginal benefits from switching from a 32 to a 64 bit operating system. Because DSS is a 32 bit application it can allocate a limited amount of RAM. For most normal stacking operations this is sufficient due to the disk caching it uses. Combining 100 flat or bias frames from a QHY8 (6 MP color camera) is no problem. Memory consumption can increase quite dramatically when using drizzle stacking. Until DSS becomes a 64 bit application you won't be able to drizzle stack entire, large images. You may have to experiment to find the limit of your particular system.

A 64 bit OS with a fast processor and lots of memory will still benefit DSS. It can allocate the most memory possible for a 32 bit application, possibly more than on a 32b OS which has to share limited memory with other processes. I therefore still recommend using W7-64 with lots of RAM and a fast multi core CPU with DSS.

IMO this is a cop out.... these days nearly every PC / Laptop sold comes with a 64bit OS. For something that is so widely used in the imaging circles it seems strange that the developers have yet to re-compile this as a true 64bit application

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Update on 64-bit vs 32bit - I decided to install a 500MB SSD in my laptop and re-install OSX and Win 7. I wondered about 32 bit again - I checked my current 64 bit installation and not a single astro program was in the 64-bit program folder, they were all in the 32-bit.

I then researched 32-bit vs 64-bit - to cut to the chase - 64-bit can access >4Gb RAM, 32 Bit, about 3.5GB . The wisdom on the various forums was that on a 4Gb Laptop there wasn't much point in loading 64-bit - there was no speed benefit and in fact, in some cases, might be slightly worse-off.

Which brings me back to Bootcamp only loading 64-bit drivers for my Macbook Pro - well - I fixed that too the Bootcamp assistant loads Bootcamp 5 drivers, but Bootcamp 5 is 64-bit only. There is still however Bootcamp 4, downloadable off Apple's support site which supports 32-bit Win 7 for quite a few machines running Mountain Lion. I downloaded this onto a CD and my 2012 Macbook Pro is running really fast with its SSD and I can use PErecorder once more with no apparent downside.

It's that quick now that I loaded both OS's and a full suite of programs in both, in 4 hours.

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I simply use PI on OSX allowing a full 16GB of ram.. for capture anything will do hence only requiring a 32bit windows install :)

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Hi Nick, What is PI, - Parallel's? I found that it would only give up 1Gb ram to windows, so I always boot up in bootcamp instead.

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The limitations of 64 bit are that they can't run programs designed for Windows 16 bit operating systems. Fortunately there are very few of these around now, but some Windows 32 bit programs still come with a 16 bit installation routine and therefore won't install.

You can only install Windows 64 bit to hardware that is capable of supporting it and if it is, the laptop will run faster as it will be more efficient.

BTW there is a work around for 16 bit programs if you have Win7 Pro, install the MS virtual machine and run a true 32 bit XP session in a window, that then gives you the best of both worlds, Win7 64bit for speed, WinXP 32 bit for legacy.

Robin

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I have win 8 64bit and 16gb ram, all my processing is done on PI and it loves the extra ram and cores. (it has a dedicated 64 bit version).

Now I like to play civilization 2 its a classic, but with the removal or virtual machine on Windows 8 I now have to teamview onto my laptop with xp on it, as I aint playing it on a laptop keyboard.

Petty I agree, but an example of the workarounds needed to do stuffs you wanna do !

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Sorry for taking so long to respond- as James has indicated PI is PixInsight.

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Thanks guys - I have Win 7 pro - Robin, the XP option may well come in handy, thanks!. With the 500M SSD in my Macbook Pro, the 32-bit installation is running cool and very fast. I can afford to be more aggressive on the power saving options and get even more out of the battery when I'm out in the field.

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Go for 64 bit. Absolutely 100% without question!!!!! It'll run every program not from the dark ages nowadays. 64 bit accounts for over half of all Win7 sales.

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Kirk, You are right on that level - all sales are 64 bit apart from Netbooks. I have the option to load either. I had previously loaded 64 bit and ran it for a year and noticed that not one single program was working in 64 bit. (Maxim, ASCOM, SNP, CDC, C2A, EQMOD, Microtouch, Nebulosity, PHD - you name it.)

I did notice however I lost PERecorder in 64 bit environment but it works in 32 bit - I have since found out that it might have worked if I loaded the XP utility in Win 7 Professional (which this thread has alerted me to)

I normally have a clear-out and re-load of Windows each year anyway - I use 64 bit for processing on an iMacand 32 bit for acquisition on a laptop, which seems for the moment to be OK. I'll probably upgrade with more RAM in the laptop and switch to 64-bit next time round to make the most of it.

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The latest releases of Pixinsight throw up errors these days on 32bit systems - and they've said they're not supporting 32bit in future - so I went for 64bit. Everything works fine for me.

Steve

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Just for information, I could not get PERecorder to work in XP Mode / Virtual PC. I loaded these onto my 64-bit Win 7 disk and did the PERecorder installation within the XP window. When I tried to run the program, it failed.

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Most amateur astronomy programs will probably run under WOW32 subsystem so, the only way 64bit will really be helpful to you is post processing in Photoshop, I use 16gtb ram and 8 cores in my laptop on 64bit but trust me, you will never have a large or fast enough computer.

Makes no difference reallyp until you are using large media processing, and what matters there is RAM and Horsepower.

Talking of which, anybody know FPGA versions software useful for astronomy? FPGA farms could speed up stacking and very low power.

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