Choosing Between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows is not always a cut and dry decision. 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.
Major Differences Between 64-bit and 32-bit
- A 64-bit Operating System can address a lot more RAM than s 32-bit OS. If you’re interested in having more than 4GBs of memory, 64-bit is your choice.
- Most programs are made for 32-bit processors and they will run fine on a 64-bit machine unless otherwise specified by the developer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Choosing Between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows
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. Most modern computers will already have a 64-bit processor with a 64-bit Operating System installed. So unless you need to downgrade to 32-bit for software compatibility, just stick with 64-bit and you will be future-proofing your computer. Read more on computer hardware here or read more on 64 bit computing.