Compare 32 and 64 bit processor | 32 bit vs 64 bit processor
Today’s computer comes with either 32 bit or 64 bit processors. The difference between the two is the amount of information it can handle at any particular time. While a 64 bit processor can handle more data, it requires changes in the design of software to utilize it full capability.
A bit is a short form for ‘binary digit’. This is how a computer stores, processes, computes and accesses the data. A single bit can have a value of either 1 or 0. Data in a computer is a stream of 1’s and 0’s like this random number 100100100101110. A 32-bit processor can process 32 digits at a time whereas a 64 bit can theoretically process 64 bits. This means the processor can easily handle large data (numbers) and can be more efficient and faster while handling smaller data. But it is commonly confused with memory, it is the amount of information that can be stored without accessing the disk.
Software for a 64 bit processor has to be specifically designed to match that processor. This is why; software designed for 32 bit processor will not work properly in a 64 bit environment.
There are also significant mathematical limits between the two. A 64-bit processor could theoretically work with 1 terabyte (1000GB) of memory. On the other hand, 32-bit processor can handle a maximum of 4GB of memory, depending on how much your motherboard can support.
So, what does it mean for the average Joe?
Even though a 64 bit processor is capable of doing computation at a faster rate, there are not many software’s available to utilize its capability. But memory limitation of 32 bit processor is being exposed by high definition games. For this reason 64 bit processors are likely to become more popular.
Windows vista and windows 7 comes with both 32 and 64 bit versions. 64 bit version of windows can run some software designed for 32 bit version in compatibility mode, not always producing the same result. For now, 64 bit versions are used by large corporations requiring high computational capability. It will take some time before it penetrates every household and that time is not long.
Difference between 32 bit and 64 bit processor
- 64 bit processor can handle twice the amount of data compared to 32 bit processor.
- 32 bit processor can process 32 digits at a time whereas 64 bit can handle 64 digits.
- 32 bit processor can handle maximum of 4 gb of memory, 64 bit can handle up to 1 terabyte.
- A software made for 32 bit processor may not work properly in 64 bit environment.