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Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit


Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit

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balasach82
balasach82
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What is the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit? What would be their impact while installing SQL 2008 and after?
jeff.mason
jeff.mason
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Main difference I see in a practical sense is memory caps. 32 bit is limited to the old 2 GB threshhold without AWE and you have to use AWE (which to me is like loading device drivers high) to access physical memory greater than the OS limit. Whereas in 64bit SQL, you can pretty much add memory in the current environment limitlessly (they aren't making Windows servers that can hit the 64 bit max for memory) and SQL will use it natively.

Be warned, though, that 64 bit will make SSIS problematic at times. Many drivers that SSIS uses (most obviously the Jet ones, i.e. Excel and Access) only come in 32 bit forms and you have to go through a few hoops to use them (i.e. running SSIS in 32 bit mode).
jvanderberg
jvanderberg
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The biggest benefit is more RAM. 32-bit caps out at 4G of RAM (but there are ways of getting around that, kind of). 64-bit caps out much higher. Extra RAM can have a tremendous impact on SQL Server performance.

As far as processing goes, the benefit of 64-bit versus 32-bit processing in nominal, and will usually go unnoticed.
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