32-Bit Operating Systems Vs. 64-Bit Operating Systems

The terms, 32-bit and 64-bit are commonly used to describe computer's processor (also called a CPU) architecture or design.

What is a Bit?

A bit is atomic: the smallest unit of storage. The bit-depth generally refers to memory addressing, or how many locations of memory a CPU can address. One address is a Byte which is made up of 8-bits. One bit is either a "1" or a "0". In simple terms, it takes one byte to represent one letter in the English alphabet. For example, the letter A is 01100001 in lower case and 01000001 in upper case.

Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems

32-bit and 64-bit Processors

The bit of a processor tells you how much information it can process and send at a time. There are two types of processors existing, i.e., 32-bit and 64-bit processors. These types of processors tell you how much memory a processor can access from a CPU register.

A 32-bit processor includes a 32-bit register, which can store 232 or 4,294,967,296 values. A 64-bit processor includes a 64-bit register, which can store 264 or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 values. This allows your computer to access up to 16 Exabytes of memory, as opposed to 32 bit operating systems that can only use 4GB of memory.

Higher the number , larger is the range of numbers which the processor can manipulate. Also higher the number , higher the memory which that processor can access and how many different possible instructions the CPU can have.

Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems

  1. A big difference between 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors is the number of calculations per second they can perform, which affects the speed at which they can complete tasks.
  2. Another big difference between 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors is the maximum amount of memory(RAM) that is supported. 32-bit computers support a maximum of 3-4GB of memory, whereas a 64-bit computer can support memory amounts over 4 GB.
  3. A 32-bit processor system could properly run a 32-bit Operating Systems, but it cannot run the 64-bit Operating Systems at its full capability. While a 64-bit processor system can run either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of an installed Operating Systems (OS).
  4. 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.

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