I have a program where I need to create a few buffers to run in different shader programs. The total size of the buffers's data is 0.7GB. I have a 16 GB cpu RAM and 1.5GB GDDR5 graphics card RAM.

Since I am using a 32 bit Visual Studio 2008, I seem to be running out of space on the cpu side.

I have a couple of questions:-
1. Does changing to a different version of Visual Studio,say 2012 32/64 redistributable, help? I have read that they are still 32 bit in nature.
2.Once I send the data onto the gpu using glBufferData(...,data), can i then clear the data on the cpu side? I tried doing data.clear() since data was a vector, and it didn't seem to clear up any memory on the cpu side ( I was looking at the Task Manager memory usage).
3.I have two different shaders and their buffers are totally different. So lets say, I am done the first program, can I clear the buffer's footprint "on the gpu side" without deleting the program?

Any links/pointers to good clean up practices will help.