32 Bit vs 64 Bit Operating System | Which One Is Better

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If we want a short conclusion about 32bit vs 64bit operating system, It’s very difficult. We have to analyze this from different views. Obviously, 64bit processor can process more bits than a 32-bit processor. But It should also be in the right place on right time. We are going to know about 32bit and 64bit processor individually after that You will decide which one is better.

I have discussed different types of memory devices in an article that CPU (Central Processing Unit) registers works faster than any other memory. It is connected with RAM via Cache memory. CPU registers access bit-parallelly.

32 bit vs 64 bit operating system

Data Transmission Methods-

1. Parallel transmission

2. Serial transmission

  1. Parallel Transmission: Data flows from sender to receiver by sending each bit separately. Each bit flows at the same time through the different line. Parallel transmission is used for internal computing purposes(such as CPU registers, RAM, Cache) so that it can be faster.
parallel data transmission
  1. Serial Transmission: Data flows through only one line bit by bit. so each bit takes individual times to be flown. Mobile phones, telephone etc. uses serial transmission.
series data communication

Parallel transmission takes minimum time because a certain amount of data can be accessed at the same time. All types of processor use parallel transmission. Now, we are going to know 32-bit processor and 64-bit processor.

32 bit processor

A 32 bit processor use register of 32 bits and can handle 2^32 bits at a time to read/write or to address data. 2^32 equals 4294967296 bits which equal to 4GB of memory. So, 32 bit processor can’t address more than 4GB of RAM theoretically. But in practical, 32 bit processor can access only 3.2GB of RAM and rest are useless in 32 bit processor. It also depends on the device and operating system. Even if graphics card of 1GB is present inside your PC then it will be minus from RAM. Then 2.2GB RAM will be taken from RAM.

Read this – Does The RAM size affect the speed of your PC | How much RAM you really need ? 

64 bit processor

A 64 bit processor use register of 64 bits and can handle 2^64 bits at a time to read /write or to address data. 2^64 equals to about 16 billion GB memory. So 64 bit processor can handle 16 EB (exabyte) which is not available still now. Generally, RAM greater than or equal 4GB and less than equal 192GB is used in Windows operating system. It also varies with the different version and license of Windows operating system.

Difference between 32 bit vs 64 bit operating system

The main differences are-

  1. 64 bit operating system can handle more bits at a time than a 32 bit operating system.
  2. 64 bit processor is faster than 32 bit processor if properly combined with RAM.
  3. If RAM is less than required such as 2GB, then 32 bit processor gives better performance than 64 bit processor.

In a Windows operating system drive, we often see two folders named “Program Files” and “Program Files (×86)”. What does it mean? Why two folders needed?

32 bit operating system

If a processor is of either 32 or 64 bits registers, then 32 bit windows operating system can be installed to that machine. It is also familiar with the title “×86 operating system”. But there is no such thing as  86 bit operating system. Actually, 86 is related to its architectural status like 8086 series processor developed by intel. 32 bit (×86) operating system allows software to access 32 bits at a time. 64 bit software can’t be accessed in this system. If 64 bit processor is inside PC but the operating system is of 32 bits, then setup of 64 bit operating system can’t be possible.

64 bit operating system

If a processor is of only 64 bits registers, then 64 bit windows operating system can be installed on that machine. This system allows all types of software without any limitation whether applications are of 32 bits or 64 bits. For 32 bits applications, windows decide them to keep in a folder named “Programs file(×86)” and for 64 bits applications, windows keeps them into “Programs Files”.

Read this – Easy Ways How to Upgrade RAM Size and its speed even without spending money

How to check 32 or 64 bit

Now probably you would think is my computer 32 bit or 64 bit ? So, let’s check it-

Firstly, Right click to file manager or This PC then click “Properties”.

In the body of the windows, find “System type” under system category. The model of both Operating system and Processor can be seen like given below:

how to check 32 or 64 bit

How to change 32 bit to 64 bit

First see your system type described above. If you see “32-bit operating system, x64-based processor”, this means your operating system is of 32 bits and processor is capable of handling 64 bits. Then this up gradation of 32bit to 64bit  would be done otherwise it’s not possible.

Buy 64 bit windows operating system disk and run it from boot options. After completing Windows installation you are ready to use 64 bit OS.
Even some of the x64 bit processor is not capable of running 64 bit operating system due to its internal architecture.
So, you have to check it before installing 64 bit OS. If PAE/NX/SSE2 requirement is fulfilled then windows setup can be done. You can check it via this software: CPU-Z

cpuz software

Windows 8 and Windows 10 (64-bit) requires PAE/NX/SSE2 otherwise setup won’t work.


Now we came to the conclusion on 32 bit vs 64 bit operating system that every type of processor has its own capability and features. A 32-bit processor can do more with sufficient RAM and other helping features and A 64-bit processor can do less without sufficient RAM. So take a decision depending on your budget. The 64-bit processor with at least 4GB RAM is better that any version of 32-bit processor. You may use other OS like Linux, MAC, etc. In case of Linux, You may have to know how to mount in Linux.

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