Tuesday, 25 December 2012

32-Bit vs. 64-bit Windows Operating System

After buying computer system or laptop it is quite often to hear your system is 32 bit or 64 bit. But the question is “what is 32-bit & 64-bit operating system?” What is difference between 32-bit & 64-bit? In this post I discussed about 32-bit & 64-bit Windows OperatingSystem.

 Our computer system is divided into three layers-

First is CPU or Processor, second is operating system and the last is applications we use. First the hardware is designed, then the matching operating system and the applications.
Bits refer the type of data units and 32 bit or 64 bit define the number of bit can be processed in a single time. 32 bit operating system gets a start in 1985 and took 10 years to come in existence. 64 bit operating system got support in 2005 with Windows XP Professional.
32 bit operating system , also known as x86, is more widely known as compared to 64 bit operating system(x64 in term of Microsoft). The major difference between the two is regarding memory accessibility or management.64 bit operating system can access 128 GB of RAM whereas 32 bit operating system can access only 4 GB of RAM. As 64 bit operating system can process 64 bits at a single time, it work’s more faster as compared to 32 bit operating system which can process only 32 words or bits at a single time.

32 bit Operating System

In 32 bit operating system, 4GB of memory is available, which is further divided into two parts:
·         2GB memory for kernel usage and
·         2GB for application usage.
Therefore any application using more than 2GB of memory cannot run on 32 bit operating system. A further limitation of 32 bit operating system is that even getting its own memory application share the memory allocated to kernel due to which it process slowly. 32 bit has limited memory, still it share the memory with input/output devices including graphic card and the other memory mapped devices. But the advantage is that a 32 bit operating system can run on 32 bit or 64 bit processor. Further a 32 bit application also run on both (32 bit and 64 bit operating) without any problem.

64 bit Operating System

The main positive point of 64 bit operating system is the amount of memory it can access and it is theoretically 128GB of RAM. In a 64 bit operating system, there is physical memory limit upto 192GB with 8GB virtual memory and 8GB for kernel usage.Because of a large amount of physical and virtual memory, it is easy to run any application on it without any problem of memory requirement. As it can support 64 bit wide data unit which is helpful in wider processing capabilities, it work smoothly and faster with large chunk of data. Also application’s also showed improved performance. The only disadvantage it carry with itself is that a 64 bit application can run only on 64 bit operating system and a 64 bit operating system can run only on 64 bit processor. Moreover till data there are not that much 64 bit applications available so the population is still working with 32 bit applications. Therefore to run 64 bit operating system 64 bit processor is the first requirement which we usually neglect.

Author Bio –
Rohit Singh is Co-Founder & Author at RoyalYouth.com . I’m a young Entrepreneur, Passionate Blogger and Addicted Reader, currently living in Chandigarh, India.


  1. this is really good it has lot of info

  2. Thanks Tharun Kumar for Providing your valuable feedback.