XP Pro maximum allowed hardware question

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DJ 2501
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XP Pro maximum allowed hardware question

Post by DJ 2501 »

Im planning a new pc build for video editing and 3d modeling so as you can imagine I'm going to need it to be fast. I have XP Pro 32bit that I am planning on installing as the os but I have some questions about it first.

Can I run a quad core cpu on pro 32bit? If so I have another question, can I run 2 quad cores (8 total cores)?

Also what is the max amount of ram that pro 32bit will accept? I'm planning on running 8gb to help speed up renders and editing.

Any info on the maxium that XP Pro can take would be awesome. I know that this is a noobish question but Iv never build a computer that would max out xp so this is new to me and before I pay for things I cant use Id like to know the limits.

Thanks in advance everyone Im sure this is an easy on for you guys.

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Post by XDude »

Yes, it should support quad core processors, the maximum is 2 physical cpus.

XP 32bit theorically supports 4GB, build because of assressing and all the stuff, it appears only to use 3.2GB, so GB of ram is a waste on XP/Vista 32bit. You'll need 64bit or Server 2003/2008 for more ram support.

XP without any services would have a 137.4 GB HDD limit, but that is sloved with updates.

Everything else should work, unless you don't have a supported driver.
Just remember RAM! (3GB is what most computer sells with now)

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Post by Andy »

A quad core will be fine, since its one physical cpu with 4 cores. As said above, XP's limit is 2 physical CPU's.

The RAM limit for 32bit XP is 3GB or 3.5GB depending on the motherboard. You will need to run a 64bit OS to be able to use more. I was recommended Vista Ultimate 64bit but as of yet I have not tried it.

Before you go for a quad core, ask yourself if you really need it. Will the software you run definitely use all 4 cores properly? If not, you're wasting that processing power and you'd be better off with a higher clock speed core2duo. The higher end core2duo's when overclocked can be faster than a high end core2quad running stock.

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Post by DJ 2501 »

hmm only 3gb that sucks. I had a feeling that was going to happen. As for cpus it looks like I'll be running only 1 quad core due to motherboard and cpu prices but Ill save money not having to run 8gb of memory.

I would use 64 bit but Iv heard drivers are a nightmare and alot of apps dont work with 64 bit versions of windows. we'll see. Vista isnt an option, I'm sticking with xp until its no longer supported by ms.

Thanks for the reply it was very helpful.

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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

DJ 2501 wrote:I would use 64 bit but Iv heard drivers are a nightmare and alot of apps dont work with 64 bit versions of windows. we'll see. Vista isnt an option, I'm sticking with xp until its no longer supported by ms.
Not true any more, this was only when 64-bit first came out a few years ago - I have a desktop and a laptop both running Vista Business x64 and have had not one problem with drivers or software (which includes all my older games that were never even meant for Vista at all, let alone x64). I can't see any reason why you would install a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit machine really. The other issue with memory is that individual programs are only able to each use a certain amount of the total ~3.2 GB under 32-bit, I think the limit is about 2 GB, which may limit performance if running particularly heavy-duty applications.
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Post by DJ 2501 »

Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:
DJ 2501 wrote:I would use 64 bit but Iv heard drivers are a nightmare and alot of apps dont work with 64 bit versions of windows. we'll see. Vista isnt an option, I'm sticking with xp until its no longer supported by ms.
Not true any more, this was only when 64-bit first came out a few years ago - I have a desktop and a laptop both running Vista Business x64 and have had not one problem with drivers or software (which includes all my older games that were never even meant for Vista at all, let alone x64). I can't see any reason why you would install a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit machine really. The other issue with memory is that individual programs are only able to each use a certain amount of the total ~3.2 GB under 32-bit, I think the limit is about 2 GB, which may limit performance if running particularly heavy-duty applications.
Thanks for the info. I have another question, can I use my XP Pro 32bit cd key on a 64bit xp install?

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Post by Rob Jansen »

DJ 2501 wrote:
Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:
DJ 2501 wrote:I would use 64 bit but Iv heard drivers are a nightmare and alot of apps dont work with 64 bit versions of windows. we'll see. Vista isnt an option, I'm sticking with xp until its no longer supported by ms.
Not true any more, this was only when 64-bit first came out a few years ago - I have a desktop and a laptop both running Vista Business x64 and have had not one problem with drivers or software (which includes all my older games that were never even meant for Vista at all, let alone x64). I can't see any reason why you would install a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit machine really. The other issue with memory is that individual programs are only able to each use a certain amount of the total ~3.2 GB under 32-bit, I think the limit is about 2 GB, which may limit performance if running particularly heavy-duty applications.
Thanks for the info. I have another question, can I use my XP Pro 32bit cd key on a 64bit xp install?
No, (at least i think) XP 64-bit is a different version from 32-bit.
Like XP Professional and XP Home.

DJ 2501
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Post by DJ 2501 »

Anyone want to trade a 32bit key for a 64bit key haha

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Post by DJ 2501 »

I might give the 64bit version a shot. What are the limits of XP Pro 64bit?

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Post by XDude »

DJ 2501 wrote:I might give the 64bit version a shot. What are the limits of XP Pro 64bit?
limits that you will never reach withing years. and of courlse the 2 physical cpu limit stated in the EULA.

I actually wonder if the OS will work if you put in 3 cpus as a test, not the intention of breaking the EULA.

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Post by thenico »

DJ 2501 wrote:I might give the 64bit version a shot. What are the limits of XP Pro 64bit?
XP Pro 64bits lacks many drivers.
And you have strange bugs with microsoft & 3rd party software ...

And XP Pro 64bit == win 2k3's kernel.
Some program doesn't want to run thinking you are running a server OS ...

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Post by Rob Jansen »

Try a x64 XP Pro Trial in VMWare to see if you like it.

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Post by Kenneth »

Some program doesn't want to run thinking you are running a server OS ..
That way of OS Detection is outdated. They look in HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\ProductOptions now

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Post by hounsell »

thenico wrote:
DJ 2501 wrote:I might give the 64bit version a shot. What are the limits of XP Pro 64bit?
XP Pro 64bits lacks many drivers.
And you have strange bugs with microsoft & 3rd party software ...
I have to disagree, for the most part, drivers for XP x64 is no worse than the Vista situation, with only very small hardware vendors not providing drivers. I used XP x64 for a period of time, and it was definitely better than the x86 version.

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Post by Andy »

DanielC also used X64 XP and he had little if no issues.

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Post by Daniel »

DJ 2501 wrote:I might give the 64bit version a shot. What are the limits of XP Pro 64bit?
128 GB of physical memory and 16 TiB (16384 GB) of virtual memory
Last edited by Daniel on Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

XP 32 and 64 bit product keys are not interchangeable, but Vista keys can be used and activated with either edition (both retail and OEM keys).
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Post by expert01 »

I'd recommend searching ewiz for a processor and RAM - Q6600 is about $235 and 8GB of DDR2 would be $140. Newegg has a Core 2 motherboard that supports 8GB of RAM for under $60. Throw in an 8800 or 9650 series nVidia and misc components, you'll be all set.

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Post by Andy »

Make sure the motherboard can support the cpu's maximum fsb or your wasting performance. Often people make the mistake of simply buying a compatible motherboard and not looking at the specs. Cheaper boards won't run at the higher fsb's that a more expensive board will. Thats why my pc's board was $160 and not some $50 cheapo board. Same for the memory speed. If the board supports 800MHz, buy 800MHz, and vice versa, if you want 800 get a board that supports 800.

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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

Andy wrote:Make sure the motherboard can support the cpu's maximum fsb or your wasting performance. Often people make the mistake of simply buying a compatible motherboard and not looking at the specs.
You looking at me? I bought a board that claims to support 1333 MHz FSB through overclocking, but in fact it doesn't work, rip-off! Strangely enough, when I bought it last summer I was aware that the E6750 I was getting was 1333 MHz FSB but all the boards I could find had 1066 MHz as the maximum rated (non-overclocked) FSB - weird No-one told me about the issue of a lot of boards not supporting 4 GB memory either (the specs of the board said "maximum memory supported 4 GB", but in fact the 32-bit chipset means Windows can only get at 3.3 GB of that - rip-off again!). I'm thinking about getting one of these new P35 boards now instead.
Last edited by Vista Ultimate R2 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Andy »

Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:
Andy wrote:Make sure the motherboard can support the cpu's maximum fsb or your wasting performance. Often people make the mistake of simply buying a compatible motherboard and not looking at the specs.
You looking at me? I bought a board that claims to support 1333 MHz FSB through overclocking, but in fact it doesn't work! Strangely enough, when I bought it last summer I was aware that the E6750 I was getting was 1333 MHz FSB but all the boards I could find had 1066 MHz as the maximum rated (non-overclocked) FSB - weird
No, I didn't even think of you when I said it, lol. I thought of myself when I nearly made the same mistake, and other people I have spoken to who I have had to correct (e.g. toshua in a conversation the other night about him buying a new pc).

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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

Well I guess I'm not quite so stupid then, if other people have made this mistake too! It does seem less of a problem now though, most of the boards available today seem to support the full 4 GB (or even and the 1333 MHz FSB.
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Post by Andy »

Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:Well I guess I'm not quite so stupid then, if other people have made this mistake too! It does seem less of a problem now though, most of the boards available today seem to support the full 4 GB and the 1333 MHz FSB.
I guess its quite easy with todays technology changing so quickly. I mean, you see a nice motherboard today with xxxxMhz FSB and tomorrow a new cpu comes out with a higher FSB and you totally forget that the motherboard you liked the look of probably won't support that FSB, and you end up buying it because you've had your eye on it for so long.

In todays day and age, once someone has their eye set on something, its difficult to change their mind, hence the mistakes that can be made.

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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

It was the first time I'd built a PC too so I didn't actually realise that the FSB determines the clock speed (ie if the FSB is lowered then the multipliers mean that the CPU is also underclocked). I did also just look for a cheap board as I had assumed they were pretty much all the same

Someone I know that was building a machine around the same time also ran into the 3.3 GB problem though, it really is such a rip-off that those boards were sold as supporting 4 GB of memory.
Last edited by Vista Ultimate R2 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Andy »

Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:It was the first time I'd built a PC too so I didn't actually realise that the FSB determines the clock speed (ie if the FSB is lowered then the multipliers mean that the CPU is also underclocked). I did also just look for a cheap board as I had assumed they were pretty much all the same
Well at least you do know for next time. Everyone has to learn somewhere, and mistakes can be expensive as you know. This is one reason I asked somebody with a lot of knowledge, significantly more than me in fact to help me build my PC (thanks Dan ), and I ended up with a PC I'd always dreamed off. I'd recommend the specs to anyone.

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