pszilard
Contributor
Contributor

Recommended Windows host & other questions

Hi,

I would like to set up a Home Office environment and need some advice please:

H/W:[/b] Intel Core 2 Duo on Intel mobo with 1 TB disks in RAID 5

I would like to use a Windows based host OS as I my understanding of Linux admin is nil. I like XP Pro best, and plan to buy VMW Workstation 6 when it comes out.

Q1:[/b] What are the RAM limitations if using 32 bit XP as host? Can it use >4GB? Up to 4GB? What is best?

Q2:[/b] Is it better to use VMW Server for now and then move to Workstation 6, or should I buy Workstation 5.5 now and move. (I know that cost wise it's the same as 5.5 to 6 upgrade is free from now on).

Q3:[/b] With the Core 2 Duo, is it better for me to use 64 bit XP Pro rather than 32 bit? (I have both licenses)? - Reliability, power. flexibility, compatibility are questions for VMW Workstation 6 (when available).

Q4:[/b] Presumably XP64 will allow me to install and utalize much more ram? Is this true?

Q5:[/b] Does the same VMW Workstation for Windows license work on both XP 32 and 64 bit platform? Thus moving up to 64 bit can I use the same license?

I am new to virtualization but it is really exciting as potentially I can now have all my test machines on one physical box. Including a Linux learning virtual PC. Hurrah.

Paul

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9 Replies
KevinG
Immortal
Immortal

Hi Paul,

Hi,

I would like to set up a Home Office environment and

need some advice please:

H/W:[/b] Intel Core 2 Duo on Intel mobo with 1 TB

disks in RAID 5

I would like to use a Windows based host OS as I my

understanding of Linux admin is nil. I like XP Pro

best, and plan to buy VMW Workstation 6 when it comes

out.

Q1:[/b] What are the RAM limitations if using 32

bit XP as host? Can it use >4GB? Up to 4GB? What is

best?

Need to use Windows XP 64 bit or Windows Enterprise Edition for > 4GB support

Q2:[/b] Is it better to use VMW Server for now and

then move to Workstation 6, or should I buy

Workstation 5.5 now and move. (I know that cost wise

it's the same as 5.5 to 6 upgrade is free from now

on).

Buy WS 5.5 now so you get a free upgrade to WS 6

Please be sure to read details fof the offer here

http://www.vmware.com/products/ws/tgp.html

Q3:[/b] With the Core 2 Duo, is it better for me

to use 64 bit XP Pro rather than 32 bit? (I have both

licenses)? - Reliability, power. flexibility,

compatibility are questions for VMW Workstation 6

(when available).

See Q1

Q4:[/b] Presumably XP64 will allow me to install

and utalize much more ram? Is this true?

See Q1

Q5:[/b] Does the same VMW Workstation for Windows

license work on both XP 32 and 64 bit platform? Thus

moving up to 64 bit can I use the same license?

Yes

I am new to virtualization but it is really exciting

as potentially I can now have all my test machines on

one physical box. Including a Linux learning virtual

PC. Hurrah.

Paul

pszilard
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for quick reply.

If I have 4 GB ram installed, is there an advantage to XP64 over XP32?

Currently I have XP32 on the machine, so it would be a chore to go to 64 bit, but if the advantage is worth it, I would do it. I have a spare 64 bit license.

Would VMW Workstation run any faster on 64 bit XP compared to 32 bit?

Thanks.

-paul

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pszilard
Contributor
Contributor

Should I use 64 bit XP if I am running with only 4GB ram?

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KevinG
Immortal
Immortal

You can run Windows XP 32 bit with 4GB of RAM

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pszilard
Contributor
Contributor

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I know I can run 32 bit XP with 4GB. My question was "are there any advantages to running 64 bit XP instead of 32 bit if I have only 4GB?"

In other words if I have the same h/w would there be any differences between 64 versus 32 bit host XP.

Thanks in advance,

-paul

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KevinG
Immortal
Immortal

Hi Paul,

The only advantage that I can think of is if you has > 4GB of RAM.

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pszilard
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks. Then I'll stick with 32 bit as at least all my drivers are working.

-paul

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pszilard
Contributor
Contributor

Well, based on your reply, I purchased another 2GB to bring my total physical ram to 4GB. Guess what? Windows XP Pro (32bit) can not use all 4 GB of ram! Please be aware of this for future advices.

Google has revealed that PCI devices need to be memory mapped and thus occupy some of the 4GB memory space that XP32 can address. Thus, some real memory can not be used. With one video card, I loose 1/2 gig. Not very satisfactory.

So now I am forced to hunt down XP 64 raid drivers and switch my host os to 64.

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saxa
Expert
Expert

Well, based on your reply, I purchased another 2GB to

bring my total physical ram to 4GB. Guess what?

Windows XP Pro (32bit) can not use all 4 GB of

ram! Please be aware of this for future advices.

Now, you need to purchase a motherboard having a chipset which is able to provide the correct memory addressing.

Google has revealed that PCI devices need to be

memory mapped and thus occupy some of the 4GB memory

space that XP32 can address. Thus, some real memory

can not be used. With one video card, I loose 1/2

gig. Not very satisfactory.

Agree, but let's search further...

So now I am forced to hunt down XP 64 raid drivers

and switch my host os to 64.

Even if you'll switch to 64bit, you'll be able to see only 3.6 or so GB of RAM. As I already said, you need a chipset supporting big memory.

I know definitively that the Intel 3000 MCH will recognize your 4 GB. It's a server chipset, but your Core2Duo will run fine on it.

Rumours say, Intel's 965 and 975 chipset will work, too. But I didn't test it myself.

Anyway, happy patching Smiley Wink

Alex

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