What does it mean to have a 32 bit processor v.s a 64 bit one?

When someone is shopping around for a new computer nowadays, many people don’t understand the differences between all of the technical meanings on the label, There are various components within a computer that all play their role such as the Processor or CPU, GPU, RAM, Hard Drive etc. However, when it comes to the Processor it is most preferred to use a 64 bit one. Many people do not know the difference between a 32 bit and 64-bit processor.

What are the differences between a 32-bit & 64-bit processor?

Whenever you purchase or download a program from a website, you notice that it asks for you to choose whether you want the 32-bit or the 64-bit one. In a Windows operating system if we go to the local drive C: we notice two things. This is only for the 64-bit operating systems. We see a Program Files folder as well as a Program Files (x86). The regular program files folder stores only 64-bit applications, while the x86 which is also known as 32-bit is for storing the 32-bit applications. In order for someone to install a 64-bit version of windows, their CPU needs to support it. Next one of the benefits is that with a 64-bit CPU you can install more than 4GB of RAM on your computer, while with 32-bit you are restricted to a maximum of 4 GB.

A computer that has a 64-bit CPU will accept either a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system. However, a CPU that is 32-bit will not accept a 64-bit Operating system and will not accept more than 4GB of RAM. Lastly, if someone did decide for whatever reason to install a 32-bit operating system on a 64-bit CPU the CPU would not be running at its full capability. The same goes for applications. a 32-bit application will work on a 64-bit version of Windows, but vice-versa it will not. Overall nowadays it is most common to use a 64-bit processor and most new store or online bought computers that have Windows pre-installed come with a 64-bit CPU. Even though everything from Windows Vista until 10 came in both 32 and 64-bit options.

How can you check whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit CPU & How much RAM is on your Computer?

It is very easy to check this, all you need to do is within windows find the Computer, or MY Computer icon for older versions of windows and click properties. A window will open and will list some information about your computer such as your  CPU, RAM Windows version etc.