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Difference Between 32bit And 64bit (X86 Vs X64)

Difference between 32bit and 64bit (x86 vs x64)

You might have heard people using the word 32bit vs 64bit, or you went to an online software store, and there you had been asked whether you want a 64bit or a 32bit software. Your PC or Laptop might have a sticker that says this PC has a 64bit or a 32bit processor. What does that really mean? Is 64bit better than 32bit? Here we will tell you what are the main differences in 32bit vs 64bit, so keep reading till the end.

What does x86 and x64 mean?

In order to understand the main difference between 32-bit and 64-bit you should know that what does windows x86 and x64 mean. They both basically refer to the Operating System(OS) and the type of CPU you are using.

x86 is the most successful Processor’s line of Intel. Technically x86 refers to the family of instructions ending with 86. The changing value in it is 80*86 that’s why it was written as 80 X 86 in order to reflect the changing value. After dropping the line 80 it is now written as x86.

In order to differentiate these terms the processors compatible with x86 architecture x86-64(for 64bit versions) and x86-32(for 32 or 16 bit versions).

“Now, term x64 refers to 64 bit CPU and operating system for 64bit processors, while the term x86 refers to a 32bit CPU and operating system for 32bit processors (80386 and 80486)”

Difference Between 32bit and 64bit:

The key difference between 32-bit and 64-bit processors is that the 64-bit processor is faster than the 32bit processor. Yes! That is it; there you have it. But let us dive deeper; why the 64bit is faster than the 32-bit processor?

The CPU with a 32-bit processor is able to handle just 4GB of RAM, whereas the 64bit processor can handle up to 4GB of RAM precisely put, it can handle a maximum of 18 EB of the memory. That’s a lot, right?

To take advantage of the 64bit processor, the operating system must have the capability to take advantage of the processor. In the early 2000s, most computers had 32bit processors, but now almost every laptop and the computer has a 64bit processor. 64bit processors come in dual-core, quad-core, six-core, and eight-core versions. The more the cores of the processor, the faster it will do the job. For example, Softwares like Android studio and Photoshop requires more processor speed so, to have these softwares running smoothly, you need to a processor with more cores.

Important Note:

  • A computer with a 64bit processor can run both 32-bit and 64-bit operating system. However, with 32bit OS installed, you can not take full advantage of your 64bit processor.
  • On a 64bit processor, 16bit applications will not work at all, and some older 32bit applications can have issues while running on a 64bit processor.

Suwaid Aslam

Suwaid Aslam is a Software Engineer by profession. He loves to write articles about technology and innovation. He also gives some useful tips about programming in his blogs.

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