When moving to SQL 2005 from 2000, some customers are asking what real benefit 64 bit brings. The short answer is :
- 64 bit is the future - rumours are abound that future releases of SQL Server might not even have a 32 bit sku (except developer editions, etc).
- Virtually No OEM is making servers which are not 64 bit capable.
- 64 bit gives performance and headroom benefits, especially with RAM.
- 32 bit is soooo nineties, it just doesn't look nice in your server room.
Here is a great blog diving into some of the technical benefits:
I always recommend 64 bit, unless a SQL Server is a "jack of all trades" box with lots of other applications or components installed that might not play nice.