I have been asked by many people about difference between 32-bit and 64-bit operating system / software. People are generally confused when selecting 32-bit or 64-bit windows operating system.
- The main difference between 32-bit and 64-bit software is the size of the numbers on which it can do calculations. So, 64-bits windows OS are faster compared to 32-bits windows OS.
- It refer to the way a computer’s processor handles information / task. The 64-bit software can can handles large amounts RAM more effectively than a 32-bit system. So, a 64-bit windows OS is preferred over 32-bit OS
- You can install 32-bit software on a 64-bit Windows OS. But you cannot run a 64-bit software on a 32-bit Windows OS.
- You cannot install a 32-bit hardware / device driver on a 64-bit OS. Similarly you cannot install a 64-bit hardware / device driver on a 32-bits Windows OS.
If you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you need 64-bit drivers for all devices. Similarly, If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows, you need 32-bit drivers for all devices.
- If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows OS, you can only upgrade to another 32-bit version of Windows OS. Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows OS, you can only upgrade to another 64-bit version of Windows OS.
- Programs running on a 64-bit windows will have better performance compared to 32-bit windows.
- 64-bit windows OS are more secure than 32-bit OS
So, a 64-bit windows is preferred over 32-bit. But old processor may not support 64-bit OS. So, before installing a 64-bit windows, make sure your processor support it.