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Table of contents
What is 32-bit?
What is 62-bit? 
Advantages of 632-bit4-bit over the 32-bit operating system
Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit OS
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the addressable space available in a 32-bit processor?
What is Multi-tasking?
Which systems are supported by 64-bit Operating System?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Difference Between 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems

Author Jainish Patel
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Anubhav Sinha
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Operating System


You've probably encountered 32-bit and 64-bit options while downloading an app or installing a game. Your computer might also have a sticker indicating that it has a 64-bit processor or 32-bit processor.

Have you ever compared the difference between 32 & 64-bit processors and the number of transistors are there in them? 

This article will cover all the major differences between 32-bit and 64-bit processors:

But let’s first learn more about 32-bit and 64-bit processors, and then we will look at the detailed differences between them.

Also Read About, FCFS Scheduling Algorithm, Multiprogramming vs Multitasking

What is 32-bit?

It is a CPU architectural type capable of transferring 32 bits of data. It refers to the amount of Data and Information that your CPU can easily handle when completing an operation. 

In the early 2000s and 1990s, 32-bit systems were made for most computers sold. 

The 32-bit system can address 2^32 = 4,294,967,296 bytes (4 GB) of RAM. 

Since a section of the register contains various other temporary values and, memory addresses, the actual limit is frequently less than 3.5 GB.


  • The only benefit that can be mentioned is that it is compatible with all older devices that were created between the early 2000s and the late 1990s.


  • The most significant disadvantage is that vendors no longer create software for 32-bit operating systems.
  • A 64-bit operating system is required by many processors.
  • Due to a lack of market demand for their product, manufacturers frequently do not supply 32-Bit driver versions for their hardware.
  • The biggest limitation to using a 32-bit processor is only being able to use 4GB of ram.

What is 62-bit? 

Computer systems can handle information, data, and memory addresses represented by 64 bits using a 64-bit CPU. A system of this size can typically access 2^64 = 16 exabytes (17,179,869,184 GB) of memory, or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes.

It's a million times more than what a typical workstation would need to access. A machine with a 64-bit processor can access more than 4 GB of RAM on a 64-bit system. It means that if a machine has 8 GB of RAM, a 64-bit processor is required. Otherwise, the CPU will be unable to access at least 4 GB of memory. 


  • Improved program performance and the ability to use a 64-bit operating system.
  • Added security protection.
  • With a modern 64-bit processor and Windows 64-bit, you can make use of additional security features not available to 32-bit users.
  • The security features of a 64-bit CPU include, but are not limited to, hardware kernel patch protection.
  • You can build 16TB of virtual memory with a 64-bit processor. Despite the fact that 8 TB is set aside for user processes and another 8 TB is set aside for kernel processes.


  • 64-bit drivers are highly unlikely to be provided for older systems and hardware.
  • Some older 32-bit software has trouble transitioning to 64-bit.


Also see, Spring Boot Architecture

Advantages of 632-bit4-bit over the 32-bit operating system

Advantages of 64 Bit Operating Sysytems

Some Advantages of 64-Bit over the 32-bit Operating System mention below.

Addressable memory: A maximum of 4 GB of RAM can be addressed by 32-bit operating systems. However, a 64-bit operating system can handle up to 17,179,869,184 GB of data (16 exabytes). A 32-bit operating system can only manage 4GB of RAM, so this is a lot more.

Available Resources: In comparison to a 32-bit operating system, a 64-bit operating system can make full use of available system resources. To put it another way, adding more RAM to a system running a 32-bit operating system has no effect on performance. You'll notice a change if you upgrade that PC with extra RAM to the 64-bit version of Windows.

Computer Performance: With a 64-bit system and a 64-bit processor, the system can execute more calculations per second. As a result, the processing capability of a computer is increased, making it run faster. In the case of 32-bit operating systems, this is limited.

Software performance: More software is being built to fully utilize the advantages of a 64-bit operating system. If you use a 64-bit operating system and install 64-bit software, you will see an immediate performance boost. When conducting a large activity that requires the system to access more memory, it becomes even more crucial. An increase in software performance leads to a boost in overall productivity.

Multitasking: With 64-bit, users can multitask at the same time. Users can effortlessly transition between different applications without having to worry about their windows hanging.

Click on the following link to read further: Multitasking Operating System and Open Source Operating System

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Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit OS

Because it can handle more data at once, a 64-bit CPU is more capable than a 32-bit processor. A 64-bit processor can hold more computational data, including memory addresses, than a 32-bit processor, allowing it to access over 4 billion times the physical memory.

The fundamental distinction is that 32-bit processors can only handle a limited amount of RAM (in Windows, 4GB or less), but 64-bit CPUs can handle significantly more. The amount of calculations per second that 32-bit and 64-bit processors can do is a significant distinction that influences the pace with which they can complete jobs. More distinctions between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems are shown below, including:

Parameter 32-Bit OS 64-Bit OS
Data Handling and Storage The 32 bit OS, as its name implies, can store and handle less data than the 64-bit OS. It addresses a maximum of 4,294,967,296 bytes (4 GB) of RAM in more detail. The 64-bit operating system, on the other hand, can process far more data than the 32-bit operating system. It can address 18 quintillion gigabytes of RAM.
System Compatibility  A 32-bit CPU system can run a 32-bit operating system successfully, but it cannot run a 64-bit operating system to its full potential. An installed operating system on a 64-bit CPU system can run in either 32-bit or 64-bit mode (OS).
Application Support The 64-bit applications and programs will not run. 32-bit apps and applications will run flawlessly.
Performance A 32-bit processor's performance factor is less efficient than a 64-bit processor's. It exhibits a higher performance than the 32-bit processor.
Addressable Space It has an addressable space of 4 GB. These have an addressable space of 16 GB.
OS Support A 32-bit operating system is required. This program is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
Multi-Tasking Support For multitasking and stress testing, the 32-bit system is not the best option. The 64-bit CPU is excellent for multitasking and stress testing. It's also suitable for the execution of other resource-intensive applications.
OS and CPU Requirements CPUs with 32-bit architecture are required for 32-bit programs and operating systems. A 64-bit, operating system necessitates a 64-bit processor, and 64-bit programs necessitate a 64-bit processor and operating system.
Systems Available These support Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux and Windows Vista. These support Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Linux and Windows Vista.
Limits in Memory A 32-bit Windows machine is limited to 3.2 GB of RAM. The accessible space restriction prevents you from using the complete physical memory space of 4GB. A 64-bit machine can store up to 17 billion gigabytes of RAM.

You can also read about layered structure of operating system.

 Recommended Topic - Memory hierarchy in computer network

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the addressable space available in a 32-bit processor?

The total addressable space available in a 32-bit processor is 4GB or 4 GigaBytes.

What is Multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking is a feature of several operating systems that allows users to execute many programs at the same time. Although some programs can operate "behind the scenes," only one application is active at a time for user interaction.

Which systems are supported by 64-bit Operating System?

Systems that are supported by a 64-bit Operating system are Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Linux, and Windows Vista.


This article discusses the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Operating systems with the advantages and disadvantages of both processors. 

Recommended Readings: 

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