Technology

32-Bit -vs- 64-Bit OS

I’m sure you’ve come across these two terminologies: 32-bit and 64-bit. Bits in a processor refers to the size of the data types that it handles and the size of its registry. When it comes to bit systems, it refers to how a CPU or processor handles information.

The 64-bit system handles large amounts of RAM more effectively as compared to the 32-bit system. A 64-bit processor is capable of storing 264 computational values, including memory addresses, which means it’s able to access over four billion times as much physical memory than a 32-bit processor.

cpu

There is no much difference between 32-bit and 64-bit processors. The key difference is that 32-bit processors are perfectly capable of handling a limited amount of RAM, and 64-bit processors are capable of utilizing much more.

Determining the Version:

It is pretty easy to tell what version of Windows is installed on your PC. Right-click on Computer or This PC (depending on which OS of Windows you have) and then click on Properties. You will view the system type under System

32bitvs64bit

Which One to Choose:

Basically, a processor that will be able to handle complex programs is the best choice to go for. However, you need to confirm whether the processor can handle it. The next thing to confirm is your memory size. A 64-bit CPU will require a minimum of 4GB of RAM. These complex programs take a huge amount of memory and anything less than 4GB will just freeze your PC.

Image and video editing software, 3D rendering utilities, and video games, make better use of a 64-bit architecture and operating system. Most of these complex programs are designed with a 64-bit architecture mindset. Also, their high performance demands a processor and memory that can be able to store a lot of information for immediate access. Deny them either of the two and all you will endure is a lagging screen and very rough operations.

Most software is backwards compatible, meaning although 64-bit programs cannot run on a 32-bit processor, 32-bit programs can run on a 64-bit processor.

cpu

Today, most computers are being created to accommodate the 64-bit operations, plus a higher amount of RAM. Companies that produce these programs are also discontinuing support for 32-bit processor, for example Adobe, who ended support for 32-bit processors in their Lightroom updates.

Bottom Line:

  • A 64-bit processor performs best with 64-bit software;
  • A 64-bit processor has backward compatibility and will handle (most) 32-bit software; and
  • A 32-bit processor is incompatible with 64-bit software and they therefore will not work.
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