What’s The Difference Between 32 Bit And 64 Bit Windows & How To Choose Between Them

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What's the difference between 32 bit OS and 64 bit 32 bit software support on 64 bit windows 7 difference Can a 32 bit OS run in a 64 bit processor?

Your question is architecture specific. It supports a 64 bit address space. It provides some new instructions and new registers. You can run bit x86 Windows on an x64 machine. Note that you can't do this on Itanium bit systems. A 64 bit processor can run both 32 and 64 OS at least an x64 can.

A 32 bit processor can run only 32 natively. Now if you look at current computers it is obvious why the world is moving to 64 bit: The CPU has more registers and thus allows more efficient code. On other architectures the differences between 64 and 32 bit are less obvious. For example the Nintendo 64 remember that? So in that case 64 bit served more as a marketing trick. The currently-accepted answer is generally correct but not specifically so.

In particular, it references the number of address selection lines between the CPU and the memory, i. In the days of yore when the CPU when people used to sit down and weave wrap the wires between a processor and the memory, you would have had to use either 32 or theoretically, because it didn't exist at the time 64 wires between the CPU and the memory controller that would be used to specify which memory address you wanted to access.

For example, let's say we have a 2-bit memory architecture: If you take a bit CPU and you add on 32 more wires between the CPU and the memory controller so that you're magically able to support more memory, you now have a "bit CPU" that can run bit code or bit code. What does this mean and how does this happen? Existing "2-byte" code will run, setting the values of the last 2 wires like indicated above We'll wire the extra connection to be zero by default, so actually when the 2-byte code runs, when it selects 00, it's actually selecting and when it selects 11 it's actually selecting Now a programmer wants to write "native" 3-byte code and writes her software to take advantage of the extra address space.

She tells the CPU that she knows what she's doing and that she'll take manual control of the new, extra wires. Her software knows about the extra wire s and correctly sends outgiving her full access to the range of memory supported by the this new CPU architecture. But that's not how it has to happen. In fact, that's normally not how things happen. That was the story of the Intel Itanium, now famously known as the "Itanic" because of how massively it sank.

It was supposed to herald in the new bit era, and it was something to behold. Variable length instructions, huge caches, bit address space, tons of registers, super exciting, super cool, and super hard to convince everyone to recompile or rewrite 20 years of legacy code for. 32 bit software support on 64 bit windows 7 difference came up with a winning strategy to get everyone to switch over to the bit world while preserving compatibility with bit applications, in a way that a bit OS could run on bit hardware or even bit applications could run on a bit OS on bit hardware.

Both a 32 and 64 bit OS can run on a 64 bit processor, but the 64 bit OS can use full-power of the 64bit processor larger registers, more instructions - in short it can do more work in same time.

A 32 bit processor supports only 32 bit Windows OS. Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site the association bonus does not count.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead? Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered. Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute: Here's how it works: Anybody can ask a question Anybody can 32 bit software support on 64 bit windows 7 difference The best answers are voted up and rise to the top.

The question 32 bit software support on 64 bit windows 7 difference more whether you can install say Win Vista x86 onto a box that have a bits processor, rather than whether x86 apps run on say Win Vista x Mehrdad Afshari 2, 4 20 Mahmoud Al-Qudsi 2, 3 20 You have a few factual errors: This is incorrect generally, though correct for x64 specifically.

A 32 bit processor will run any operating system designed to run on such a processor architecture. However you use false logic in your argument. Using your logic means, it is generally not correct that a 32 bit OS can run on a 32 bit processor.

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The terms "bit" and "bit" are commonly seen in system requirements and other technical literature, but few people actually know what these terms mean. Do they refer to hardware or software specifications? What makes a system bit and what is the difference between a bit computer and a bit model? In most cases, you simply need to know if your operating system is bit or bit in order to run a certain program.

However, when determining what software to install on your computer, it is helpful to understand what the terms actually mean. A bit processor includes a bit register , which can store 2 32 or 4,,, values. A bit processor includes a bit register, which can store 2 64 or 18,,,,,, values.

Therefore, a bit register is not twice as large as a bit register, but is 4,,, times larger. That's a big difference, but how does it affect computing performance? One bit in the register can reference an individual byte in memory, so a bit system can address a maximum of 4 gigabytes 4,,, bytes of RAM. The actual limit is often less — around 3. A bit register can theoretically reference 18,,,,,, bytes, or 17,,, gigabytes 16 exabytes of memory. This is several million times more than an average workstation would need to access.

What's important is that a bit computer which means it has a bit processor can access more than 4 GB of RAM. While 64 bits is far more storage than what modern computers require, it removes all bottlenecks associated with bit systems. For example, bit systems run more efficiently since memory blocks are more easily allocated. They also support bit instructions and have bit data paths, which enables them to process more data at once than bit systems can.

So how does bit or bit hardware affect software? Generally speaking, bit programs can run on a bit system, but bit programs will not run on a bit system.

This is because bit applications include bit instructions that will not be recognized by a bit processor. In order to run a bit program, your operating system must be bit. Around , bit versions of Windows and OS X became standard, though bit versions were still available. Therefore, if you bought your computer in or later, there is a good chance you are running a bit operating system.

In Windows, you can check your OS version by right-clicking My Computer , selecting Properties, and clicking System to view the system type. If you have a Mac and you are running OS X While it is possible to install a bit operating system on a bit system, it is best to install a bit version if possible.

The bit OS will allow your computer to access more RAM, run applications more efficiently, and, in most cases, run both bit and bit programs. Exceptions to this rule include system utilities and antivirus programs that are written specifically for a 32 or bit operating system. In these cases, you will need to install the version of the software that corresponds to your OS which may be different than your hardware.

Additionally, device drivers are often written for specific operating systems, so it is important to install bit drivers if you are running a bit OS and bit drivers if your operating system is bit.

Hopefully the above explanation has given you a better understanding of what bit and bit mean in reference to hardware and software. If you're installing an operating system, it's important to know what type of processor your computer has so you can install the right one. If you are installing software, it's important to know what type of operating system your computer is running, so you can install the correct version.

Most PCs today are bit. However, if you have a bit computer, you have no choice but to install a bit OS. If you have a bit system but have some mission critical peripherals that do not have bit drivers, installing a bit OS might be your best option. In all other cases, it is best to buy bit hardware, install a bit operating system, and run bit applications.

This combination will provide the best possible performance. Answers What is the difference between a bit and bit system? Hardware bit and bit are commonly used to describe processor architecture or design.

Software So how does bit or bit hardware affect software? Summary Hopefully the above explanation has given you a better understanding of what bit and bit mean in reference to hardware and software. Browse Terms Browse Quizzes.