Question of the Month

Question of the Month

Dennis Snider

170 Posts



Question: How Are 32-bit and 64-bit CPUs Different?

32-Bit Processors: This type of processor was used in practically all computers until the early 1990s. This means that the operating systems and software on those machines worked using data units that were 32-bits wide. This is why Windows 95, 98, and XP were all 32-bit operating systems.
64-Bit Processors: These types of processes have existed since 1961. The first was used in the IBM 7030 Stretch supercomputer. This type of processor only hit commercial audiences in the early 2000s, though, with the release of Microsoft’s 64-bit version of Windows XP. This marked the beginning of the 64-bit operating system, and subsequent OS offerings are 64-bit.
The Differences
There are a few key differences between the two:
Calculations per second
64-bit processors are capable of performing more calculations each second, which makes them faster when conducting some tasks. The number of calculations can also be improved by the number of cores the processors has.
RAM capacity
64-bit processors can have a higher maximum amount of memory. The practical limit to the amount of RAM is 8 TB, while the maximum for a 32-bit computer is a much lower 4 GB.
64-bit processors are becoming the standard. Home computers are cheaper and more powerful, meaning that 32-bit processors are being phased out almost entirely.

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