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What are the differences between the 32-bit versions and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista?
Architecture 32-bit versions of Windows Vista 64-bit versions of Windows Vista
System requirements
  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) processor or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 1 GHz 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
Memory access A 32-bit version of Windows Vista can access up to 4 GB of RAM. A 64-bit version of Windows Vista can access from 1 GB of RAM to more than 128 GB of RAM.
Memory access per edition All 32-bit versions of Windows Vista can access up to 4 GB of RAM. Windows Vista Home Basic - 8 GB of RAM
Windows Vista Home Premium - 16 GB of RAM
Windows Vista Business - 128 GB of RAM or more
Windows Vista Enterprise - 128 GB of RAM or more
Windows Vista Ultimate - 128 GB of RAM or more
DEP 32-bit versions of Windows Vista use a software-based version of DEP. 64-bit versions of Windows Vista support hardware-backed DEP.
Kernel Patch Protection (Patch Guard)

N/A

Kernel Patch Protection helps prevent a malicious program from updating the Windows Vista kernel. This feature works by helping to prevent a kernel-mode driver from extending or replacing other kernel services. Also, this feature helps prevent third-party programs from updating (patching) any part of the kernel.
Driver signing Unsigned drivers may be used with 32-bit versions of Windows Vista. 64-bit versions of Windows Vista require that all device drivers be digitally signed by the developer.
32-bit driver support 32-bit versions of Windows Vista support 32-bit drivers that are designed for Windows Vista. 64-bit versions of Windows Vista do not support 32-bit device drivers.
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