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64 bit or 32 bit


Cephus 10 2.2k England
23 Oct 2011 8:13PM
What's the difference and how can I tell which ny computer is running??

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chris.maddock 13 3.4k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2011 8:20PM
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System will tell you if it's 64-bit or 32-bit.

64-bit can handle (and use) larger amounts of memory more efficiently. Some 32-bit applications won't work on 64-bit Windows, nor some drivers. The XP Virtual machine can be used to get around this if really necessary, but that needs the Professional version of Windows 7 IIRC.
redsnappa 12 2.0k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2011 8:26PM
the big difference is the amount of RAM that can be recognised by the operating system.
32 bit operating systems are limited to 4GB
64 bit operating system are limited to 192GB (for Win 7)

To check which OS you have click: start>Run then type winver
if the text in the dialog box does not say 64bit you are running 32bit.
Cephus 10 2.2k England
23 Oct 2011 8:26PM
Many thanks I now have the answer.
chris.maddock 13 3.4k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2011 8:52PM

Quote:To check which OS you have click: start>Run then type winver
if the text in the dialog box does not say 64bit you are running 32bit.



My PC is running 64-bit, but the winver dialog box doesn't mention it. Control Panel -> System does.
karl 11 588 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2011 2:54PM

Quote:The big difference is the amount of RAM that can be recognised by the operating system.
32 bit operating systems are limited to 4GB
64 bit operating system are limited to 192GB (for Win 7)

To check which OS you have click: start>Run then type winver
if the text in the dialog box does not say 64bit you are running 32bit.



Just to be pedantic, they aren't limited to 4GB, we've got 32bit systems running more than 4GB RAM. Each process is however limited to 2GB RAM Smile
User_Removed 10 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2011 6:24PM
A big advantage is that some well-written 64 bit versions of software will perform operations a lot quicker than their 32 bit counterparts (on the same hardware). The downside is that 32 bit programs may run slightly slower on 64 bit Windows.
enricopardo 3 5 2 United States
29 Oct 2011 12:32PM

Quote:Just to be pedantic, they aren't limited to 4GB, we've got 32bit systems running more than 4GB RAM. Each process is however limited to 2GB RAM Smile


To try to help Cephus here and not to offend anyone. The answer to the topic is not that simple. It's a little more technical.

I'm sorry but those systems karl mentions must have the Physical Address Extension (PAE) enabled which allows a 32bit windows version to address 64 GB or 128 GB depending on the processor. If PAE not enabled 32bit windows can only allocate 4G of RAM for applications and shared with video if necessary, so you get even less in that case. You could use the rest of your leftover memory as a RAM disk, which is recognized by windows as a drive but not allocated RAM:


From Microsoft's website Microsoft W7 mem limitations
Physical Memory Limits: Windows 7

According to Microsoft, the following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows 7.
Version Limit on X86 Limit on X64
Windows 7 Ultimate 4 GB 192 GB
Windows 7 Enterprise 4 GB 192 GB
Windows 7 Professional 4 GB 192 GB
Windows 7 Home Premium 4 GB 16 GB
Windows 7 Home Basic 4 GB 8 GB
Windows 7 Starter 2 GB --------


How to enable PAE mentioned above: Enabling PAE

It also depends on your hardware.

I really hope this helps and please post any corrections to my comment.

Enrique

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