Differentiate between 32-Bit vs. 64-Bit Operating System.

Operating SystemHardwareSoftware & Coding

Generally, PCs are in two varieties: some are running a 32-bit operating system and some are running a 64-bit operating system.

Here, the difference is the amount of information the PC’s processor can handle at any precise moment and a computer designed for a 64-bit operating system has vastly more potential computing, this requires fundamental changes to the way its software is designed.

The Bit refers to the way computers deal with information in binary, where all data is listed as a string of digits which can either be 0 or 1. The 32-bit processors can process 32 digits at once whereas 64-bit processors can process 64 digits at once.

It is advised not to get confused with memory. It measures the total amount of information a computer can remember without needing to use a storage device such as a disk.

The memory's figure will be much bigger, a computer can’t process all of that information at once and Software for a computer with a32-bit processor, including operating systems such as Windows, the same applies to 64-bit processors.

The Microsoft Company produced 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP and Vista, and will do the same for Windows7. Some significant mathematical limits to the two different types of processor are present.

A 32-bit can only works with a maximum of 4 GB of memory, and this is usually limited to 2GB for any one program. Processor with 64-bit can could theoretically work with 17 billion GB of memory. And it can also carry out some tasks twice as quickly.

The Memory limitations of a 32-bit processor started to become clear with Vista, which uses a large amount of memory and can make it difficult to run multiple programs at once even without the usage of 4GB of memory. Because of these reasons, 64-bit processors will likely start to become much more popular, which will increase the number of consumers interested in buying a 64-bit operating system.

Editions of 64-bit in Windows can run some software designed for the32-bit edition through a special compatibility mode, but the results can be very varied. Using a 64-bit operating system can also lead to problems with drivers.

So, these are small pieces of software that coordinate each hardware device with an operating system such as Windows.


Let us look at the tabular form to get a clear idea. The major differences between 32.Bit and 64.Bit are as follows −

Architecture and SoftwareAllow 32 bits of data processing simultaneously.Allow 64 bits of data processing simultaneously.
Compatibility32 bit applications require 32-bit OS and CPUs64 bit applications require 64-bit OS and CPU.
Systems AvailableAll versions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Linux etc.Windows XP, Professional, Vista, 7, Mac OS X and Linux.
Memory Limits32 bit systems are limited to 3.2 GB of RAM.64-bit systems allow a maximum 17 Billion GB of RAM.
Updated on 26-Nov-2021 10:07:29