What does 32-bit and 64-bit mean?

Malaysia
August 21, 2011 10:07am CST
I keep wondering for already a long time? What does it means and how does it affect our system or program or software or internet?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@owlwings (39767)
• Cambridge, England
21 Aug 11
If you mean in terms of the processor or operating system, it refers to the number of bits which can be transferred from one place to another or processed at once. A bit is the smallest unit of data and can be either 1 or 0. 8 bits make a byte and so a byte can store 256 different numbers (the number 11111111 in binary represents 255 in decimal). Larger numbers are represented by more than one byte of data. All instructions (such as 'add these two numbers' or 'move this data to this address') are also represented by bits and bytes, so a great deal depends on how much information can be transmitted and processed in one go. Although many processors and operating systems now use 64-bit processing, much software is still written to use only 32-bit processing (in order to be compatible with 32-bit operating systems), so, in many cases, there is no real advantage in terms of speed. Over networks and the Internet, each bit is effectively transmitted one after the other in a long stream of 1's and 0's, so it doesn't matter whether a processor or operating system is 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit or 64-bit: the data can only get there to be processed at the same speed.
@owlwings (39767)
• Cambridge, England
21 Aug 11
The most important difference between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems is that the 64-bit operating system can handle twice the amount of memory or disk addresses and so can access much larger hard-disks and more RAM.
@amkiller (533)
21 Aug 11
Even I don't know so I will look at this discussion. any way I think it is about colour I really have no idea.
@amkiller (533)
21 Aug 11
Just asked my friends he said it makes your computes much faster. so twice the speed.
21 Aug 11
It's the number of bits the processor can handle at once. 32-bit means 4 bytes of info per processing hit, 64-bit means 8 bytes per hit. Consequently, more is processed (and certain functions, such as mathematical things with big numbers, are easier for the processor to handle without breaking them down into smaller and smaller pieces). In practical terms, you won't notice a significant difference in two similar processors where one's 32-bit and one's 64 - unless you do a lot of serious processing.
@santhuqr (107)
• India
21 Aug 11
The 32 Bit systems can process upto 4GB memory at a time. This is a very popular thing almost all the OS applications run on this. But nowadays the applications prepared require more than this so the introduction of 64 Bit took place. These things doesn't effect the system or software, these are just different versions. One 32Bit is old version and 64Bit new version.