Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Operating System

There are two types of OS i.e., 32-bit and 64-bit Operating systems, processors and software.

The memory that the processor can access using the CPU register is specified by this processor’s nature.

The 32-bit system has 232 memory and can handle up to 4 GB of RAM or physical memory.

The 64-bit machine has 264 memories or 18 quadrillion bytes of RAM that is capable of handling memory sizes up to 4 GB.

Bit processing describes how data is handled, and a byte is the unit of data.

What’s the Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit OS?

Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Operating System

What is 32-Bit Operating System?

The architectural type 32-bit refers to a CPU that can transport data in 32 bits.

It refers to how much data and information your CPU can process in a small period when it is functioning.

In the early 2000s and 1990s, most computers were built on 32-bit platforms.

The 32-bit system can handle 4,294,967,296 bytes (4GB) of RAM as one bit in the register can refer to one byte in most cases.

The real limit is usually less than 3.5 GB since the register’s components contain various temporary variables other than memory addresses.

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What is 64-Bit Operating System?

The systems with 64-bit CPUs can handle 64-bit information, data, and data memory.

This computer has a memory capacity of 16 exabytes (17,179,869,184 GB) or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes.

A 64-bit machine has access to more than 4 GB of memory.

It is essential If a machine has 8 GB RAM, then the CPU will be unable to access at least 4GB RAM.

The 64-bit OS has the following capabilities as a 32-bit operating system as follows:

Addressable memory:

A 32-bit operating system can manage up to 4 GB of RAM.

on the other hand, A 64-bit operating system can handle 17,179,869,184 GB (16 exabytes) of data which is much more than a 32-bit operating system.

Available Resources:

In comparison to a 32-bit operating system, a 64-bit operating system uses the maximum available system resources.

To simplify, adding more RAM to a system running a 32-bit operating system has no impact on performance.

You will notice a modification if you upgrade that PC with extra RAM to the 64-bit version of Windows.

Computer Performance:

A 64-bit processor allows the system to execute more calculations per second, hence the processing power of a computer is boosted, making it run faster.

This is limited to the 32-bit processor.

Software performance:

More software has been developed to maximize the capabilities of a 64-bit operating system.

If you use a 64-bit operating system and install 64-bit software, you will see an immediate performance boost.

This is essential when performing a significant task that requires the system to access more memory.

A boost in overall productivity is a result of better software performance.


Users that use 64-bit can multitask and do multiple things at the same time.

They can effortlessly navigate between different applications without windows hanging.

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Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Operating systems:

1. Data handling and storage:

A 32-bit OS can handle 4 GB (4,294,967,296 bytes) of RAM.

While, the 64-bit operating system can support up to 264 memory, or 18-Quintillion GB of RAM.

2. Compatibility:

When it comes to system compatibility, a 64-bit processor might run both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems at the same time.

However, if the system is equipped with a 32-bit processor, it can run a 32-bit operating system.

3. Performance ability:

Multitasking with heavy apps and software is easier with 64-bit operating systems.

On the other hand, a 32-bit operating system is normally found lacking in similar situations.

4. Calculation speeds:

32-bit operating systems will be unable to calculate at second-level speeds.

Any task performed by a 64-bit operating system will be faster, however, this will vary depending on the number of cores in the system’s processor.

5. Usage:

Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux are 32-bit operating systems.

Windows XP Professional, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Linux, and Mac OS are 64-bit operating systems.

6. Locations used:

A 64-bit operating system can store data in 264 locations, making it easier to refer to memories.

The current limit for 64-bit Windows operating systems is 16 TB.

The 32-bit operating system will be able to process data that are 4 billion times smaller than a 64-bit operating system.

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7. Efficiency:

A 64-bit operating system is substantially more efficient at managing data and instructions.

The 32-bit OS will be restricted in its capabilities owing to addressable space constraints.

8. Virtual memory allocation:

The 64-bit operating system has an increased virtual memory capacity of 8 TB which enhances both its general and specialized functions.

Due to the design of the 32-bit system, such allocations are limited to 2 GB.

9. Security:

A 64-bit operating system has greater security features.

The kernel patch, hardware DEP, device drivers, and other components are secured by these capabilities.

The 32-bit operating system will be unable to ensure that these hardware components are protected while processing data.

10. Driver Compatibility:

When upgrading a device with a 64-bit operating system, there is a chance of driver incompatibility because the operating system is unlikely to support older devices, drivers, or hardware components.

The 32-bit operating system is capable of handling older components in a system.

11. RAM limits:

When you convert your system to a 64-bit operating system, you can have some RAM issues because of the previous motherboard.

Even if addressable space is limited, the 32-bit operating system will not have such restrictions.

12. Legacy problems:

During the transfer from 32-bit to the 64-bit operating system, a new legacy problem may arise and you will need virtualization to fix it.

The 32-bit operating system will not require virtualization which implies that upgrading will be quick.

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Frequently Asked Questions:
Which is better 64-bit or 32?

A 64-bit processor is more capable than a 32-bit processor because it can handle more data at once.

What is a 32-bit operating system?

It is a CPU architectural variant capable of transferring 32 bits of data.

What is a 32-bit operating system?

It is also a CPU architecture type capable of transferring 64-bit data.


A 64-bit operating system differs from a 32-bit operating system in terms of performance and memory control.

As a result, there is a variation in processing speed, which you should choose wisely.

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Hi, I am Meena Patil, the founder of best-laptop.in/, I did my B.E. Computer. This blog provides honest information related to several laptops, laptop equipment, laptop reviews, buyer's guide and much more.

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