What is the Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating System?

32-Bit vs 64-Bit

Many times it happens as new computer or phone launch in the market, it comes with the fancy label of 64-Bit support. We easily get attracted toward them without giving the second thoughts. So, what exactly is a difference between a 32-bit and 64-bit computing? This question is a topic of interest since AMD (one of major chip manufacturer on earth) launched its first 64-bit enabled AMD Athlon 64 CPU in 2003.

Apple has also launched iPhone 5S it’s first ever smartphone with the 64-bit processor a few years back. Now we can see almost every smartphone and computer comes with 64-bit support. But what do this really mean for an average person? Let’s start by taking a look at a bit.

What Is Bit?

A single bit is nothing but a single character which is in binary. It represents only two values either 0 or 1. So a single bit can only represent two values. Move over to 2 Bits, it can represent 4 values (00,01,10,11), moving further to 3 bits, it can represent 8 values. So as we add up bits, so does the number of different values which we can represent.

We know that we use this bits for almost everything in the computer, from data communication, data transmission to data processing.

Bit In Terms Of CPU

We all see that in most of the computers today, we found either 32-bit or 64-bit CPU. Bits in terms of CPU is nothing but an amount of memory (RAM) a CPU can address. So, a 32-bit processor can only address memory up to 4 GB’s. But a 64-bit CPU supports memory (RAM) up to 16 Billions of GB’s. This is good, isn’t it? Yes! More RAM is always better for performance, but only if you need it. Installing more RAM on old devices isn’t going to make a difference in performance.

Also, a standard 32-bit processor can process only 4 bytes (32-bit) of data in a single cycle. On the other side, 64 processor can process up to 8-bits of data per cycle.


There are many advantages of the 64-bit processor over 32-bit.

  • Instruction set extension
  • Re-designed hardware engineering
  • Specific drivers
  • Backward compatibility
  • More memory bandwidth
  • Robust design
  • More registers

Also Read: How much RAM do we really need for our phones?


Most of the things I mentioned above tells us that if you use the 64-bit processor, you will get much more performance improvements. Well, not really! Most of the software today still runs in 32-bit mode. Microsoft is still supporting 32-bit of Windows OS.

If you really think 64-bit processor performs better than 32-bit, then I am afraid because you fall into advertisement trick. Yes, it does perform well, but only for certain works. So until you need more than 4GB of RAM for your phone or Computer, there is no need of upgrading.

On the last note, most of the manufacturers build 64-bit support for their devices. It is becoming more and more common now in the market. I hope that you liked this post. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below. Ideas and feedback are welcome. Stay tuned for more updates.

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