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I have a netbook with 4Gb RAM Should I choose 32 or 64 bit? What is the speed difference? How is the compatibility with 32bit applications?

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    What's the machine? Not all CPUs can support 64bit and that would make the decision a lot more simple for you.
    – Oli
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:24
  • could you please mention which laptop you are using or cpu??
    – Sukupa91
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:37

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To answer my own comment: Given they're shipping 4GB of RAM in this, it's almost certainly already running a 64bit operating system which suggests its CPU is almost certainly capable of running a 64bit operating system.

I'd go for 64bit.

There is the occasional complication but that's usually all it is, a complication. They're usually all solved by installing ia32-libs. The biggest problem I think I've ever had (in half a decade of running 64bit) was getting Adobe Air to run and even that didn't keep me down for long (that's what Ask Ubuntu is for!). Some people hit weird edge cases with some drivers but we're talking really rare stuff.

As for a benchmark between the two... I can't give you that. It's really going to vary between CPUs, as these things do. There is a speed improvement though. Phoronix did some testing on 13.04. Use that illustratively.

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