December 07, 2018

Difference between 32 bit vs 64 bit Processor/OS : Explained

A lot of us still remain confused when it comes to choose between a 32-bit and a 64-bit Processor/OS. AMD launched first 64-bit processor for computers in 2003. Ten years hence Apple brought 64-bit processor in its Apple iPhone 5S. Following which till date you will see that all phones are built with processes either coming with 32 bit or 64 bit. Thus it becomes necessary for a customer to know the difference between 32bit and 64bit devices. In this article I have discussed some facts and figures which will provide you a crystal clear idea about them.

Difference between 32 bit vs 64 bit Processor/OS : Explained

To understand 32bit and 64bit properly we must know what is a bit in the first place?

The bit is a basic unit of information used in computing and digital communications. In short fundamental unit of Data. 

Ex: Every single character on your keyboard is a bit each. 

Now that we know what a bit is, we will classify them into three broad characteristics.

1. Memory Compatibility (i.e., max size of RAM support provided)

In case of 32-bit processors, they support a maximum of 4GB of RAM. This implies any device containing a 32-bit processor is capable of breeding a RAM of 4GB or less, but not excess. Based on your requirements if you need a higher RAM then you'll have to opt for a 64-bit processor plugged device. 

In case of 64-bit processors, it can support RAM upto 15GB with it. Now until today, a 10GB powered PC or 8GB powered Android Smartphones are an absolute bliss when gaming or high end graphic tasks are concerned. This implies, if you are doing such tasks that needs a decent RAM, 64-bit device is what you should invest in.

2. Calculation Speed

A 32-bit processor can calculate two integers each of size 32 bits (i.e., integer of length 32 digits)
Whereas when it comes to a 64-bit processor, it can calculate square the total calculation possible by former. A 64-bit processor can calculate two integers each of size 64 bits. I hope you can picture the scenario easily as to which processor is more efficient. 

3. Operating Systems

After all the debates about their characteristics the most fundamental role is played by the OS which is installed on PC/Android. 

Talking about PC, I hope you have already heard about x86 and x64 variants of Operating Systems. Well if you have a 64 bit device and you have installed a 32 bit OS then you can use softwares and apps limited to 32 bit architecture. 

Interestingly, most programs designed for the 32-bit version of Windows will work on the 64-bit version of Windows. Notable exceptions are many antivirus programs. However If the program is specifically designed for the 64-bit version of Windows, it won’t work on the 32-bit version of Windows.

But when Android is concerned, any phones having android version Lollipop and above contains a 64bit processor in the device. Lower variants upto Kitkat were usually placed for 32 bit smartphones. So if you have any such device in your drawer and wanna flash a Pie ROM on it you'll fail to do so, until you have a 64 bit architecture in that device.

To sum up:

Characteristics 32 bit 64 bit
Upto 4GB Upto 15GB
32 bit integers 64 bit integers
Can execute only
32 bit apps
Can execute both
32 and 64 bit apps

I hope you've no more doubts or confusions regarding these 32-bit and 64-bit processor/OS. See you around. 


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