32-bit Office vs. 64-bit Office

Discussion in 'Software for Windows' started by Turbonium, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's the difference, practically speaking? I'm assuming the 64-bit version runs a bit faster, but is it noticeable?

    The reason I ask is that I recently installed the 32-bit version of Office 2010 on my dad's new PC (it's the only legitimate copy I had access to), and I'm wondering if it comes with any particular disadvantages when compared to its 64-bit alternative.
     
  2. seepy83

    seepy83 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    You actually might find, as of right now, that the opposite is true...that the 64-bit version has some disadvantages when compared to 32-bit.

    I can't speak for speed or performance, but we're talking about Office applications here...and they aren't terribly demanding of memory resources.

    But as far as compatibility is concerned, if you're trying to use any 3rd party add-ins, you'll find that most of them are only compatible with the 32-bit version.

    I don't recall the exact text, but the 64-bit installer actually throws up a warning before installation saying something along the lines of "Are you sure you want to install 64-bit office? Because it's really new and not compatible with a lot of stuff, and we really recommend you install 32-bit unless you require 64-bit for some reason."
     
  3. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,321
    Likes Received:
    1
    The 64-bit version of Office can open files larger than 2GB.
     
  4. postmortemIA

    postmortemIA Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,513
    Likes Received:
    2
    But it cannot use any 32-bit extensions, as 64-bit binaries must use exclusively 64-bit DLLs.
     
  5. cl-scott

    cl-scott ASUS Support

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0
    Basically unless you have some truly massive Excel spreadsheets or especially large Access databases, there is no real benefit to a 64-bit version of Office. Probably very little in the way of drawbacks as well, unless you use third party extensions.
     
  6. Chiefcrowe

    Chiefcrowe Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    4,328
    Likes Received:
    4
    I've had one problem with an addon not working right, so I decided to go with 32bit.
     
  7. xSauronx

    xSauronx Lifer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    19,591
    Likes Received:
    0
    64 bit may not be supported by add ons or plugins or, if youre in an enterprise environment, all of your software (even other ms software, depending on the update level of other apps)

    my uni wont even support the 64 bit version for students.
     
  8. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seriously? Either way, that's funny!
     
  9. postmortemIA

    postmortemIA Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,513
    Likes Received:
    2
    2003 and older Excel had limitation of 65536 rows and 256 columns ...
     
  10. ImDonly1

    ImDonly1 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Valid question. I thought the same thing when installing the new office.

    Even microsoft on their office website states you should install 32-bit office, unless you know what you are doing and are sure you need 64-bit office. This is mostly because of the plugin support for 64-bit office.

    Stay with the 32-bit, you installed the right version.
     
  11. GrumpyMan

    GrumpyMan Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    5,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    We tried 64bit Excel at the office but had to go with 32bit due to ASAP utilities not working with it. It's a collection of 300 macros for Excel which we use extensively everyday. Even MS recommends going to 32bit unless of course working with huge databases.
     
  12. mark.stewart

    mark.stewart Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    This post is somewhat dated (we are on to Office Cloud 2013), but this post is middle of Google's first page for the Microsoft inspired question of the century: "32-bit or 64-bit version of Office?"

    First up, you did not mention if your father was using 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, Mac or Linux (all or which are Office 2013 friendly). Assume your father is running a 64-bit OS.

    For every 64-bit system, 64-bit Office will run much faster.

    Memory-hog Office 32-bit apps latch onto the breast of the OS and attempt to force out contenders for a rigidly fixed mere 2.37 GB memory limit. 32-bit circus apps even squabble with each other! As everyone knows, be careful you work one app at a time running old 32-bit Suites of anything, especially of Microsoft Office. Expect daily system crashes.

    64-bit apps are not hog-nipple suckers. Microsoft Office 64-bit apps on today's standard 16 GB to 32 GB laptops and desktops have plenty of memory that they interactively cache. Say no more there!

    Now comes the REAL PROBLEM: MICROSOFT (no comment on grunt camp D.O.D. "anti-terror interventions" here). Microsoft Corporation has invested billions of dollars of revenue stream in a now outdated and increasingly finite 32-bit fish puddle. To the effect that brazen programmers in TechNet boasted of 64-bit Office release, that they have no problem writing SharePoint apps to intercept 64-bit transactions and "nail them down, ha-ha-ha" with force-fed 32-bit Access and Excel runtimes. While you are enjoying your 64-bit efficiency, NEVER ENJOY clicking on one of those COM popups that insist you click to continue. Task Manager is always awake on my home desktop!

    Microsoft has no intention to contain the delinquents it harbors, for now. Microsoft wants to "save money". For large corporations, this is really no problem. For example, our Region 3 Health Care node enables state and provincial Health Authorities to run backbone background Microsoft ("Thug") supported 32-bit mainframes to host 64-bit user terminals. This is critical! Nobody wants their father to die because a nursing station terminal was in crash mode again, so doctors guessed at the wrong medication...

    For kids setting up Office on father's home computer, the 32-bit vs 64-bit question is easily answered, and its answer depends on your father's computer sophistication. "Thug" is the term shared with me by a Senior Systems Administrator round Node 3 healthcare: Microsoft will seriously be "working" through various billion dollar reservoirs of redundancy, be working hard to Thug you out on Office 64-bit platforms. No problems, if you know how to dodge redundant popups, including WINDOWS UPDATE popups! Otherwise, okay 'safe': do what the Thug says, and install 32-bit Office... until the lost cow (pig, or whatever you want to call it, as it struggles to remain competitive and ...) makes its way home.

    :whiste: ...I run 64-bit Office Cloud 2013 at home. Microsoft is "using" my "experience": popup interventions get steadily more creative, weekdays. Chew on that! We luv u Microsoft. LOL
     
    #12 mark.stewart, May 24, 2013
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  13. sad_guy

    sad_guy Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. smakme7757

    smakme7757 Golden Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use 64bit as i don't use addons. So if i for some reason get a malicious addon it won't install as it's most likely written for the 32bit version.
     
  15. luv2liv

    luv2liv Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,684
    Likes Received:
    5
    i havent installed office 2010.

    but i can tell you my office 97 is ridiculous fast. any word or excel doc open almost instantly. i dont even see any splash screen/logo. i believe office 97 is only available in 32bit flavor)
     
  16. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,321
    Likes Received:
    1
    64-bit Office can open larger files. That's all. There is no appreciable speed difference between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. There is a speed difference between 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, but that's not Office's doing.

    There is no 2.37GB memory limit. That may be an upper limit on the usable physical memory on certain PCs running a 32-bit version of Windows, but that has nothing to do with Office.

    I don't even know what to make of this statement.

    What? If you're claiming that you can't run multiple 32-bit applications, you're out of your mind.

    Caching is controlled by the operating system, not the application. If you're running a 64-bit OS, it will use all available physical memory as a cache for all applications, including 32-bit applications.

    Microsoft provides 32-bit and 64-bit builds for almost all of their products. They do so (even when it's not strictly necessary) because it costs them practically nothing. Very few commercial software developers developers do the same. I've worked with vertical applications that still have some dependencies on DOS and other 16-bit libraries. Compared to the rest of the ISV landscape, Microsoft does pretty damn well.

    And don't even get me started with the garbage applications I've had to support in the healthcare IT field...

    The rest of your comments are completely out in left field.
     
  17. sad_guy

    sad_guy Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    dont bother with the spambot..
     
  18. infoiltrator

    infoiltrator Senior member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Um, in my limited experience, most people do not notice any difference.
    IF you use 32 bit add on programs on a 64 bit install, googling specific programs should define usability.
    For a home user a 32 bit install on even a modestly modern computer should accomplish all that is required and is certainly compatible with most applications, if not all.
    If Dad is willing to use Office 2010 32 bit (no reason why not, we still use the 32 bit version in work) free from you, he is happy, you should be.
    His new computer will be enough faster he will never know any difference if there is one.
    fwiw, I cheap out at home with OfficeLibre, though there are occasional glitches. Which are usually my fumbling with compressed emailed docs.
    Now if someone would could upgrade our work clients and servers..
     
    #18 infoiltrator, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  19. ringtail

    ringtail Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    0
    For Office 365 (2013 in cloud) I use 64-bit.

    As for add-on compatibility, the only add-on I use is MySQL for Excel,and it works just fine on 64-bit Excel.
     
    #19 ringtail, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  20. Thierry

    Thierry Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I have to disagree: 64bit is the way to go... BUT maybe not now and surely not now for everyone.

    Remember when windows turned 64bit ? Same situation: at first It was strongly recommended NOT to make the switch, but look where we are now ? Who does hesitate when it come to choose between 32bit or 64bit win 7 due to driver compatibility issues.

    I am quite probably a special case in this but I made the transition to office 2013 64bits and I am really happy I did.

    I run a really HUGE Access database (for an personal user at least) 1.5 Gb of data in accdb files, and some more data in MySQL db (I'm a amateur naturalist and taxonomic database get really big).

    Yes I had to rewrite part of my VBA to accommodate the way 64bit changes the game, especially those functions that I use to call external programs through shell commands.

    But in exchange I have blazing speed (yes I do see a difference, a big one, maybe it is because I'm one of those few that are in a position to get the benefit, with big files and lots of ram, but I sure do feel the speed difference) and I feel I'm future proof (at least for the next few years).

    This second argument is probably the most important to me: future proofing.
    Stay 32bit if you will, but when 32bit disappear, and it will eventually, think how hard it will be to catch up.

    I prefer to ride with the crest of the wave: bit risky, you can get splashed once in a while, but my: what a ride ! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
     
  21. PliotronX

    PliotronX Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    8,279
    Likes Received:
    8
    Windows 64-bit still doesn't make a compelling difference, let alone Office. Remember when the original Far Cry came out with a 64-bit patch and enabled new eyecandy that supposedly wasn't possible with 32-bit or would affect performance too much to enable? Ran better in 32-bit. The only real reason for the adoption of 64-bit is addressable RAM, don't kid yourself about performance. It is all marketing.
     
  22. mechBgon

    mechBgon Super Moderator<br>Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1999
    Messages:
    30,699
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a lot more ASLR entropy available in 64-bit address space. Whether that's being leveraged completely depends on the version of Windows too. Microsoft has some info on the subject here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/srd/arch...itigating-common-exploitation-techniques.aspx Best-case scenario, ASLR gets 2048 times as much entropy. Likewise, an attempt to heap-spray the 64-bit address space is not going to get anywhere.

    So for myself, since I've had no compatibility problems in the 64-bit version, that's what I'm using since there are some security advantages (which I hope remain purely hypothetical, but that's defense in depth for ya).
     
  23. Remobz

    Remobz Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, but does a small business or home user with a 64-bit OS that does not have any demanding tasks for office still need the office 64-bit version?
     
  24. Agamar

    Agamar Golden Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    0
    We moved to x64 Office with 2010, and have continued with our 2013 rollout. Over 600 machines without issues. Of course, we have very few Office plugins, except for the Mitel and Panasonic PBX additions for the UCA function of our phone systems. All of those were upgraded to work with x64 Office about 4 months after the first release.
     
  25. mechBgon

    mechBgon Super Moderator<br>Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1999
    Messages:
    30,699
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, but if either version (32 or 64) does what they need, and 64-bit has better ASLR to offer, that's a perk. As I recall, one of the high-profile Office vulnerabilities from the last year did not work whatsoever on 64-bit Office.
     
Loading...