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Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems



The majority of computers developed during the 1990s and early 2000s were 32-bit machines. Memory addresses are stored by the CPU register, which is how the processor accesses data from RAM. Each bit in the register can reference a single byte in memory, so a 32-bit machine can handle a maximum of 4 GB (4.294.967.296 bytes) of RAM.The actual limit is often less than about 3.5 GB, because part of the register is used to store other temporary values in addition to memory addresses. Most computers released over the past two decades have been built on a 32-bit architecture, therefore most operating systems have been designed to run on a 32-bit processor.



Two types of processor exist in computing, i.e., 32-bit and 64-bit. This processor tells us how much memory a processor has from a CPU register to access. For example,

"A 32-bit device has 232 memory addresses, i.e. 4 GB of RAM or physical memory, to access."


"A 64-bit device can access 264 memory addresses, i.e. 18-Quintillion GB of RAM, currently. In short, it can easily handle any amount of memory greater than 4 GB."

A 64-bit register may lead pot


entially to memory of 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes, or 17,179,869,184 GB (16 exabytes). This is several million times more than the access a typical workstation would need. What is important is that more than 4 GB of RAM can be accessed by a 64-bit computer (which means it has a 64-bit processor). If a computer has 8 GB of RAM, a 64-bit processor is better for that.



A major difference between 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors is the amount of calculations they can run per second, which influences the speed they can perform tasks at. 64-bit processors for home computing will come in dual core, quad core, six core and eight core models.Multiple cores make it possible to perform an increased number of calculations per second, which can boost the processing power and help make a computer run faster. For the most part, software programs which require many calculations to work smoothly can operate faster and more efficiently on 64-bit multi-core processors.






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