Tuesday, September 24, 2013

32 bit or 64 bit Computer? How does it affect you?


If you go on your Windows OS Computer….Right Click on Computer…Select Properties you see something similar to the one below on the screen that opens:
 
 
 
 
Under System, on System Type, it indicates 32-bit Operating system or 64 Bit Operating System (highlighted in red above). What does this mean and how does it affect you?
Ok, one moment. We need to clarify something...In Computing can't does not mean not possible, it just means no one has found a way yet or just it's too difficult to do it directly. 
Time has really passed since the onset of 64 bit computers to offset 32bit computers, but a lot of computer users still do not quite understand the difference and how it affects them. By 32 bit or 64 bit, it means your computer has a 32 bit Instruction set or a 64 bit Instruction set.  A 32 bit computer can address up to 4 GB Memory at one go, whilst a 64 bit architecture can support up to 17.2 Billion GB of memory at a time. Since some programs now require more than 4GB RAM, there was a need for something bigger, the 64 bit architecture.
Computer programs are either 32 bit or 64 bit programs. Windows XP was released as 32 bit software. With the onset of Windows Vista Microsoft set the 64 bit architecture on fire. Windows 7 also comes as a 64bit OS though some 32bit variants exist. 32 bit software can run on a 64 bit computer but the opposite is not true.  Since a 32Bit Computer can utilise up to 4GB RAM, it effectively means that if you have a 32bit computer and install more than 4GB of memory cards on your computer, the extra will simply lie idle. In some instances some 32bit computer architectures refuse to accept anything above the maximum usable 4GB RAM.
All newer computer models now ship with a 64 bit processor. The need to migrate from 32bit to 64bit has been necessitated by the increasing demand for computer memory by computer programs. As computer software grows bigger, it requires more memory or a larger instruction set to execute faster. It is thus advisable to purchase a 64-bit computer if you are looking for a new computer. You can have guarantee that any software can run on your machine now or in the future.

At the present moment there are still a limited number of 64bit Applications or programs, but this is likely to increase in the future as more memory hungry software are developed. A 64bit computer supports both 32bit applications and 64 bit applications. Check your C: Drive. You find that there are 2 Program Files Folders if your computer is a 64-bit computer. The Program Files Folder supports 64 bit software whilst the (Program Files (x86)) folder is reserved for your 32 bit applications.
Key Benefits of 64 Bit Architecture

Speed-This was the reason for the adoption of the 64 bit architecture. Applications can execute much faster.

Security-64 Bit systems are more secure since all drivers are mandated to be digitally signed.




Here are some reasons why you may need to stick to your 32 bit Computer

·         If you have old 16 bit software. This is not supported by 64 bit architecture.

·         You use some old computer peripherals like scanners or printers. Such devices may have 32bit drivers but these are not supported by Windows7 64 bit computers. Sorry if the vendors have not continued developing newer versions of software drivers for them.

·         You don’t are too lazy or you don't have money to upgrade!

As a general guideline in Computing: The earlier you upgrade your systems usually the better.
You will be caught up sooner or later one day.
 

 

 

 

1 comment :

  1. is it possible to upgrade a 32 bit laptop to a 64 bit just as the way you upgrade ram

    ReplyDelete

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