32 Bit vs 64 Bit

Basic – Computing

Reading Time – 1 minute, 26 seconds

The terms 32 bit vs 64 bit refer to the amount of memory a computer processor can address. The computer processors are manufactured as 32-bit or 64-bit circuits. The 32-bit processor can address 4 gigabytes of memory while a 64-bit processor can address about 16 billion gigabytes, which is 4 billion times more memory than a 32-bit processor can address.

Why are 64-bit computers faster than 32-bit computers?

A 64-bit processor or a central processing unit (CPU) is known to be faster than a 32 bit CPU.

In a computer system for data or programs to be run, they need to be first loaded into the computer memory or the random access memory (RAM) from the hard drive. Once the program or data is loaded to the RAM, the CPU accesses data or runs the program.

As a 32-bit processor can address only 4 gigabytes of memory, the CPU will not have the capacity to handle larger applications that require more than 4 gigabytes of memory such as video rendering applications, image editing tools, and video games. When this happens, instead of accessing data directly from the RAM, the CPU has to perform extra work to bring the excess data from the hard drive to the RAM to access them. This slows down the performance of the computer system.

In a 64-bit system, the CPU can access memory upto 16 billion gigabytes. Hence, more data can be stored into the RAM and be processed by the CPU. Therefore, a 64-bit computer system can run faster than a 32-bit computer system.

Hence, most servers that require more processing power come with 64-bit processors whereas most personal computers such as desktops and laptops which do not consume high processing power consist of 32-bit processors.

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