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What is the difference between 32 bit and 64 bit OS?


Date: 26 Sep 2011   Posted By: Paresh Gujarati     Group: Science and Technology    Category: Science   

What is the difference between 32 bit and 64 bit OS? How both are different from each other by comparison with respect to speed and performance. When it is required to use 32 bit and when it is required to use 64 bit OS? What if we want to install 64 bit OS on existing 32 bit, can it possible or we also have to see the RAM and processor category? Can you explain me this in brief?



Author: Gagan Thakur    26 Sep 2011      Member Level: Gold     Points : 4  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

Hello friend,
The basic difference that i can provide between two type of operating systems is the number of memory addresses it can access. A 32-bit system can access only 2^32 memory addresses whereas a 64-bit OS can access far more.

In other words we can say that a 32-bit OS can process 4GB of RAM only whereas a 64-bit OS has a far more capability.
You can make an image in your mind that each data value is stored at a location specified by a bit value, so two have more memory storage locations nunber of bits must be incresed. The same concept is here as 64-bit has more number of bits so it will provide access to much more memory locations.
If we talk about the performance in case of processor a 32-bit processor is faster than 64-bit as it has less memory locations to operate on, but when it comes to overall performance a 64-bit is more advantageous.


Author: Ataul Haque    26 Sep 2011      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 2

Actually this 32bit and 64 bit refers to the way in which the computers or systems processor handles your information. The 64 bit processors can effectively handle much more random access memory(RAM) than a 32 bit processor.
I have given you the link below, for much more detailed description about these two terms.


Reference: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946765#

Author: suhailbmss    03 Oct 2011      Member Level: Silver     Points : 7  (Rs 5)    Voting Score: 0

Hi,

This may be a confusing question for many PC and laptop buyers. I assume you already know processor and other hardware basics.
There many types of processor and each processor is assigned to a family this family determines what features a processor may possess. As in Intel the x86 family( it specifies the architecture of the processor) is a prominent one. The processor manufactures throw in some complex instruction set like SSE2, SSE3 etc which allow processor to handle multithreaded programs. But these instructions are effective when the OS on the machine works well with the instructions. The older Intel processors worked on 32bit platform where the processor restricted the users with a maximum of 4GB of physical memory or RAM which was kind of a overhead for many programs. Therefore for larger program to fit in the RAM and run without and difficulty the new processors were designed with 64bit which can access a physical memory of 32GB. Although we have not fully mastered the 32bit processor and still continue to add new features in them. But due to advent of 64bit processors the software manufacturers were confused. So they designed a OS which can work on 64bit machines and can have compatibility for 32bit programs as well ( this is in case of Microsoft).

As for your question both the 32bit and 64bit operating system are same but the core part or kernel of the OS and its routines are written in such a way that the processor can handle those routines.

As they have said above 32bit machines are faster than 64bit i may not agree with them because when you have more memory space and a latest instruction set and a faster processor you may not end up using a 32bit OS.

It is not possible to install a 64bit OS on a 32bit machine as the processor is unable to handle kernel routines optimized for 64bit OS.

The hardware factor plays a major role in judging the performance and OS to be selected.

You may see the performance difference when you run a large program greater than 4GB or more like loading a game with heavy graphics. Although reverse can happen you can run a high level 32bit application easily on a 64bit machine.

I hope you got the difference. If not clarified post a message to me.

Regards.


Author: subhajit mukherjee    12 Oct 2011      Member Level: Silver     Points : 5    Voting Score: 0

The main difference between 32 bit and 64 is that in case of a 32 bit system it has 4gb(gigabytes) of space for addressing means that the 32 bit system has a limit of 4GB RAM to process data where as in case of the 64 bit operating system has 2^64 bits of space to address and supports 16 hexabytes of RAM to process data.

If we compare 64 bit with 32 bit OS, 64 bit is faster and performs more upgraded silicon processes and have more number of transistors which proves it to be more advantageous than 32 bit.

The 'data buss' is used to move the data around inside your computer. In case of a 32-bit computer, the width (or size) of the data buss is 32-bits wide. A 64-bit buss is twice as wide so the system and so can move twice as much data around. Being able to process more data suggests a faster system -- but only for specific things. Normal office operations and web surfing will show no advantages at all, whereas graphics processing and scientific calculations will be performed much faster.

Nowadays processor manufacturers are working out ways to provide 64-bit processors that are faster and cooler running temperatures so you may hear about multi-core processors and other highly technical terms that are related to 64-bit computing.





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