Choosing Between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows

If the different types of RAM, video cards and CPUs weren’t confusing enough for you, you are now seeing CPUs that tout 64-bit processing. You never really heard about the more common 32-bit until a few years ago when these 64-bit computers began showing up on store shelves. So what are the major differences between 32 and 64-bit processors? If you buy a 64-bit processor, is it going to be compatible with your current hardware? The truth is, there are a few significant differences between the 64-bit models, but speed isn’t really one of them.

  1. 64-bit Processors can handle alot more RAM than 32-bit CPUs. If you’re interested in having more than 4GBs of memory, 64-bit is your choice.
  2. Most programs are made for 32-bit processors and they will run fine on a 64-bit machine unless otherwise specified by the developer.
  3. You might already be running a 64-bit computer, as manufacturers have been selling them for the past couple of years. Right-click My Computer and select Properties. If you are running a 64-bit CPU, it will specify it here.
  4. If you are considering upgrading your machine to a 64-bit processor, you will need 64-bit drivers for all of your hardware. Make sure those drivers are available before you begin.
  5. You should consider getting a 64-bit CPU when you purchase a new computer. Upgrading is certainly possible, but you might run into driver and software issues you weren’t expecting.

To recap, unless you are running more than 4GB of RAM, there is no compelling reason to spend the money on upgrading your existing 32-bit machine to 64-bit. If you purchase a computer with a 64-bit processor installed, you will have a better experience and experience less problems.