Computers Windows

Which Version Is Better: Windows 32 Or 64?

Introduction

Before we can begin a discussion on whether Windows 64-bit will suit you better or Windows 32-bit, we should talk of what the difference between the two is – that has to be clear to you before we can go any further. Windows 64-bit and Windows 32-bit differ in how the processor will handle the data supplied to it. Windows-64 is more efficient when it comes to handling large amounts of Random Access Memory (RAM).

History

To take the discussion forward, you need to find out which version of Windows you are running, Windows 64-bit or Windows 32-bit (all of this is pretty pointless, is it not, if you are already running Windows 64-bit?).


If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, do the following:


Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking on Properties. Under System, you can view the system type.


If you are using Windows XP, the steps are as follows:


Click on Start. Right-click on My Computer, and then go to Properties. If you don't see "x64 Edition" listed, then you're running the 32-bit version of Windows XP.

 

Features

The advantages of using Windows 64-bit Operating System are:


The maximum amount of RAM you can have on a Windows 32-bit system is 4 GB. However, Windows 64-bit is very efficient with 4 GB of RAM, and can also be upgraded to more RAM as required.


The 4 GB RAM mentioned above is what the RAM should be, in theory. However, in practice, it is only 3.12GB for Windows 32-bit. The good news is that Windows 64-bit can use all of the 4 GB.


As all the drivers that are used with Windows 64-bit are digitally signed, your system will not crash as often.
When running complex applications, such as games (especially those that we have nowadays with wild graphics and audio), Adobe Photoshop etc., Windows 64-bit is a better choice as it can process more information in a shorter time span, and also supports more RAM, as has been said above.


You can use all 32-bit software on Windows 64-bit Operating System because of good backward compatibility.

However, in some circumstances, it is better to stick with Windows 32-bit:


If you do not currently use much RAM (say, your system runs just fine with 2GB of RAM) and do not want to upgrade it, you should use Windows 32-bit rather than the Windows 64-bit version.


Your hardware like scanners or printers come with 32-bit drivers. These drivers are not supported under Windows 64-bit, so you should not consider upgrading in such a case.

Tips and comments

You need to keep in mind that to upgrade from Windows 32-bit to Windows 64-bit, you will have to back-up all your data and then un-install and re-install Windows, whether it is Windows Vista or Windows 7 that you are using. However, to upgrade from Windows Vista 32-bit to Windows 7 32-bit, or from Windows Vista 64-bit to Windows 7 64-bit, you do not need to do that – there are easy upgradation tools available that will keep all your files and settings intact.

By Smita, published at 03/22/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
Which Version Is Better: Windows 32 Or 64?. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.

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