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3.5k views
asked by Guru (88.1k points)
Shops are selling both versions of windows for the same prize! As a customer, what can make me choose one over the other?

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2 Answers

+3 votes
answered by Contributor (8.2k points)
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Best answer
Layman answer from Google:
Think of your computer as a series of tubes that can either be 32 or 64 bits wide. When you have the smaller 32-bit size, there is more potential for bottlenecks to occur. Bottlenecks slow down your system because one process has to wait for another to finish before it can begin. But if you want to have 64-bit wide tubes, your computer needs to be thinking in 64-bit so your software and hardware all need to support 64-bit.

On a 32-bit operating system, you are restricted to a maximum of 4 gigabytes of RAM. On a 64-bit operating system, you really do not have a limit.

Something like that!!!
commented by Guru (88.1k points)
It makes sense.
commented by Regular (1.6k points)
yea !! great answer hadn't thought of it that way.....
+2 votes
answered by Guru (57.6k points)
in an operational user sense - there is no difference to your experience

the only major differences are:

ability to address more than 4gb of RAM (up to 128TB if i remember correctly)

ability to fully utilise newer CPU's which have 64bit addressing and instruction sets to more fully utilise huge amounts of memory

64bit processes can process calculations with 32bits more data in the same time slot as a 32bit process however the reality is that right now not that many processes actually are written to take that extra register space into account and they still run in 32bit mode

64bit processors and OS are backwards compatible with 32bit programs so all your older programs still work in 32bit on windows you will see 64bit programs install in c:/program files but 32bit install in c:/program files (x86)

you will probably find that most of your programs are still 32bit or you have to download a seperate version that is 64 bit capable

for all those 32 bit programs theres no performance advantage of having a 64bit OS/CPU as you will still be limited to 4GB of ram usage in that program process and in Windows having more than 4GB of ram in 32bit windows wont be seen (actually in 99% of cases you will only see 3GB usable - the other up to 1gb is "stolen" so that the graphics card ram is addressable)

linux has been smarter for some years with PAE and similar by allowing the addressing of more than 4GB of Ram on a system, but its still limited in that single processes still cant use more than 4gb ram

the only way to get the most out of a 64bit OS is to make sure that your programs are also 64bit capable as well which is slowly but surely becoming the case, particularly in performance critical software programs)
commented by Guru (88.1k points)
Cool stuff. Thanx
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