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

United States
December 17, 2009 7:11pm CST
So, my Dell desktop is 64 - bit operating system with Windows Vista, I just check on the system profile. And I just want to upgrade to Windows 7, which I have a choice of 32 - bit or 64 - bit. I just want to know the difference of these reading. And what 32 bit and 64 bit really means?
1 person likes this
3 responses
• India
19 Dec 09
A bit means a binary digit - either 0 or 1. In the old days there was 8 bit, meaning the processor could process 8 bits at a time, so bigger numbers will be split 8 - 8 and processed in a sequence. Then came 16, 32 and now we're entering 64 bit. The processor can handle 64 bits at a time, so the math is faster, more memory can be accessed with even more addressing space etc. Basically 64 bit is fast. But remember 64 bit is backward compatible, so an OS with 64 bit does not guarantee speed. The software or app you run should be 64 bit to get the juice out of CPU!
• United States
19 Dec 09
wow, good to know. I was confusing before, now everything is clear with your explanation. Thanks again here.
@Zaphan (711)
• Philippines
20 Dec 09
a good point, 32 bit can handle 2gb of ram while 64 bit can handle 4gb of ram. I guess most of computers now a days are 64 bit.
@VANILLAREY (1473)
• India
18 Dec 09
I did an internet search for it. In brief a 64 bit Operating System can handle more memory, applications etc. Here is the link which will be useful to you. Its a microsoft support link. It should answer all of your doubts. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/32-bit-and-64-bit-Windows-frequently-asked-questions
• India
18 Dec 09
In your case below link will also be useful. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-vista-to-windows-7-custom
• United States
18 Dec 09
thanks for it. I ready appreciate your help, and I will definitely look into it. Sincerely thanks!
@albert2412 (1782)
• United States
19 Dec 09
These refer to memory. You can probably buy a small memory card for a few dollars and put into your computer to add additional radome memory and probably increase your computer speed.