Difference Between 32 Bit & 64 Bit Windows & How To Choose

Difference Between 32 Bit & 64 Bit Windows & How To Choose

A computer’s processer’s handling of information on RAM depends on the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. The 64-bit version can handle more RAM and apps compared to the 32-bit version.

To simplify, the 64-bit version can deal with physical memory (RAM) above 4 GB, up to 128 GB, while the 32-bit version can only address RAM up to 4 GB. Therefore, installing RAM above 4 GB on a computer with a 32-bit version of Windows doesn’t make sense.

The 64-bit version’s ability to handle large memory makes it more efficient in dealing with processes, thereby increasing the overall performance of your PC. In short, the 64-bit version is more powerful. Now let’s explore some more aspects of these two technologies.

How to check your current version of Windows In Vista and Windows 7

To check the current version, press Start.

Difference Between 32 Bit & 64 Bit Windows & How To Choose

Right click on Computer and select Properties. Under “System” check “System type”. The screenshot below indicates that my computer has 32-bit operating system.

How to check if your computer can run 64 bit of Windows

To check if your computer has a 64-bit capable processor, follow these steps:

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1. Click on the start button.

2. Type “Performance information and tool” in the search box and click on the result.

3. Click on “View and print details.”

4. The details of your computer will be displayed. Under the system field, you can see the currently running version and whether your system is capable of 64-bit or not (in my case, it is capable).

Note: If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows, you cannot upgrade to a 64-bit version. If you want to install a 64-bit version of the operating system, you must backup your Windows files before installing the new version.

Advantages of 64 bit computer

The main advantage of using a 64-bit version of Windows is better memory accessibility and management.

Enhanced security features include Kernel Patch Protection, support for hardware-backed data execution protection, mandatory driver signing, removal of support for 32-bit drivers, and removal of the 16-bit subsystem.

Performance of programs specifically designed for 64-bit operating systems is great.

There is no disadvantage to using this version, but there are things to consider beforehand.

You should check device driver availability because 32-bit drivers don’t work on the 64-bit version.

Many hardware devices are not compatible with 64-bit computers.

Device drivers must be digitally signed by the developer.

Some 32-bit programs aren’t compatible with 64-bit.

How to Choose a correct version of Windows

64 bit version

Selecting the correct Windows version depends on your priority and need. If you require more than 4 GB of memory, opt for the 64-bit version. However, ensure that the tools and programs you use daily have 64-bit versions before making the switch.

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The 64-bit version supports most new software and hardware. Check the compatibility status of your software and devices here.

32 bit version

32-bit versions are cheaper than 64-bit versions. If you are using old software and hardware, you can go with the 32-bit version because it can support all your programs and devices. Note that most programs designed for the 32-bit version can also support the 64-bit version (except some antivirus programs). However, if a program is designed specifically for the 64-bit version, it won’t work on the 32-bit version. So, which version of Windows do you use? 32-bit or 64-bit? Share your experience in the comments.

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