Sunday, May 22, 2011

Difference between x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) architecture

Difference Between 64 and 32 bit processors:

HISTORY:
 Both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture setups have been around for decades, but were mostly used in complicated enterprise computers like the IBM 7030 Stretch, built in 1961. 32-bit architecture was available to consumers in the 1980s, and the Intel 386 was one example.
 
ARCHITECTURE:
A 32 bit processor can represent numbers from 0 to 4,294,967,295  (32-bits wide) while a 64-bit processor can represent numbers from 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 (64-bits wide). Obviously this means your computer can do math with larger numbers, and be more efficient with smaller numbers. A 64-bit processor is made with more advanced silicon processes, have more transistors, and faster speeds. This is currently where the true benefit of switching to a 64-bit processor lays. 
  
Difference Between 32-bit and 64-bit OS:

In order to create a platform that is capable of running in 32 bit processors, 32 bit based operating systems and softwares were developed and similarly for 64-bit processors, 64-bit based operating systems were developed.
However, Windows did not become a 32-bit operating system until Windows 95. Windows XP was the first consumer version of Windows to receive a 32-bit edition and now in 64-bit edition.

RAM:
A 32-bit version of windows can access upto 4GB of RAM when paired with a 32-bit or 64-bit processor.
A 64-bit version of windows can access larger than 128GB of RAM when paired with a 64-bit processor.

File size:
A 32-bit version of windows can make use of Hard Drive upto 8TB and a single file size of upto 4GB.
A 64-bit version of windows can make use of Hard Drive larger than 8TB and a file size larger than 4GB.
 
Compatibility:
A 32-bit version of windows can be installed in computers having either 32-bit or 64-bit processor.
A 64-bit version of windows can only be installed in computers having 64-bit processor.
 
Compatibility Issues in Installing software:
Attempting to run a software program that was built for 32-bit version on a 64-bit version of windows may sometimes cause the program to crash and compatibility error occurs.
A program that was built for 64-bit version cannot be installed on 32-bit versions of windows.
 
 
As you can see, a sound argument can be made for both the cases and you'll have to determine if the differences will benefit your situation and computing future and I'll leave the ultimate decision up to you.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment...

Livefyre