32-bit vs. 64-bit what’s the difference (explained 2021)

You’ve probably seen 32-bit and 64-bit options available whenever you download an app or install windows 10 or ms office. Your PC might even have a sticker that says it has a 64-bit processor. So what is the real difference between 32-bit and 64-bit? Let's take a look.

difference between 32-bit and 64-bit

Before go ahead lets first understand the difference between 32 bit and 64-bit architecture (Processor)

In terms of Computer processors, the number of bits refers to the size of the data types that it handles and the size of its registry. And the 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer’s processor (also called a CPU), handles information. Where 64-bit processors are exponentially more powerful than their 32-bit counterparts because they can hold and process so much more information.

64-bit processor is more capable than a 32-bit processor because it can handle more data at once. A 64-bit processor can store more computational values, including memory addresses, which means it can access over 4 billion times the physical memory of a 32-bit processor. That’s just as big as it sounds.

32-bit processors are perfectly capable of handling a limited amount of RAM (in Windows, 4GB or less), and 64-bit processors can utilize much more. Of course, to achieve this, your operating system also needs to be designed to take advantage of the greater access to memory.

Difference between 32-bit vs 64-bit processor?

In computer architecture, 64-bit is the use of processors that have datapath widths, integer size, and memory address widths of 64 bits.

  • 64-bit hardware and software is often referred to as x64 or x86–64 and 32-bit hardware and software are often referred to as x86 or x86–32.
  • 64-bit computer architecture provides higher performance than 32-bit architecture by handling twice as many bits of information in the same clock cycle.
  • A computer with a 32-bit processor can only run a 32-bit operating system and 32-bit software. But a computer with 64-bit processor can run both 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems and software.

Note: if you have installed 32-bit operating system on a 64-bit computer, then it can run 32-bit software only.

  • One more big difference between 32 bit processors and 64 bit processors is the maximum amount of memory (RAM) that is supported.

32bit operating systems can allocate only 4GB of memory (2³² = 4294967296), whereas 64bit ones can allocate a lot more (2⁶⁴ = 18446744073709551616). So if you have under 4 GB of RAM in your computer, you don’t need a 64-bit CPU, but if you have 4 GB or more, Then you must have 64 Bit CPU and operating system. Continue reading.

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