I get a lot of people coming to this blog – usually from search-engines such as Google – asking that question. – So I thought it deserved an article of its own.
There is good news and there is not-so-good news on this topic: -
I say “not-so-good” because it’s not “bad” news as such.
First the good news: All Athlon 64 CPUs should run both Windows 7 32-bit and Windows 7 64-bit without many if any problems.> Don’t stop reading: There is more…
BUT – yes there is a but – whether or not they actually will depends on the motherboard that the Athlon 64 is seated on: If it’s an old motherboard – and by “old” I’m talking about a board designed and built before 2007 – you might run into problems.
Why?: Because that “old” board may very well have an Athlon 64 on it; but it possibly won’t have hardware of a type suitable for running Windows 7. By all means – if you can take the frustration of having installed an operating system that doesn’t work properly with your existing hardware – give it a try; you might be lucky. – There is also a chance that you might not be so lucky.
Why will a board built before 2007 not run Windows 7?
The reason for this is because; before 2007, nearly everyone was using Windows XP. XP required hardware with lesser capability than its successor, Windows Vista. The problem was that, although the tech industry knew full well that Vista was coming, they knew very little about it, because Microsoft developed it in almost total secrecy. – So when Vista finally did arrive all the manufacturers (Other than Intel) suddenly discovered that the hardware they were producing and selling wouldn’t support Vista and was only fit to run XP. Microsoft, at the same time, threw a load of data at them and said “Build for this specification.”.
By 2008 almost all manufacturers were building hardware that was compatible with Windows Vista – which has the same hardware requirements as Windows 7 and Windows 8. Before 2007 there was no hardware, outside of Microsoft’s secret labs, that could run Vista. – So anything built before 2007, whether it includes an Athlon 64 or not, definitely will not run Windows 7 or 8. (I didn’t mention Vista this time because – well who the heck wants to run Vista anyway? – It’s a nightmare!)
Ok so you have a board built after 2007 with an Athlon 64 on it. It should almost definitely run Windows 7 or 8 then. Having said that though, is the Athlon 64 single-cored or dual-cored? Both will run Windows 7 and 8 but a single-cored Athlon 64 seems such a waste of good operating-system capabilities.
You see; Windows 7 and Windows 8, unlike XP, were both written with multi-core processors in mind. Yes XP works fine on any number of cores; but it doesn’t utilise them efficiently. (Vista just sucks anyway – so I fart in its general direction and ignore it for the rest of this article.) Windows 7 and 8 are written to utilise multi-core processors to maximum efficiency. If you only have a single-cored Athlon 64 running either operating system then you’re basically losing out and wasting a facet of the advanced o/s. – BUT these operating systems will run on a single-core; just not so efficiently. See this article for more.
If you have a dual-cored Athlon 64 on a board built after 2007 then you’re in clover with Windows 7 and/or 8 – 32 or 64-bit. Enjoy your computing.
Lastly; just in case you want to know what I think of Windows XP, 7 and 8: -
- Well Windows XP was awesome; but it’s starting to really show its age now.
- Windows 7 is even more awesome, and I’ve loved it from the first beta.
- Windows 8… …sucky in too many ways. – I’m staying with Windows 7.
What do you think? Please comment on anything above if you like.
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