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Thread: What is the difference between a 64 and 32 bit OS?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


    What exactly is meant by 32 bit and 16 bit (etc) operating systems? Is this the same as calling a "system" 32 bits? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Beefy Guest


    I just cut and pasted this from some website:

    A bit is binary information. It is either 0 (off) or 1 (on). A 64-bit operating system can move 64 bits of data per clock cycle (1 GHz+ moves billions per second). Going from a 16-bit OS (Windows 3.1) to 32-bit (Windows XP) will make a huge difference on the same machine.

    A 64-bit OS is better than 32-bit because:

    - It effectively doubles system capabilities if the system is running a 64-bit processor.
    - More information can be sent at one time on a 64-bit system than on a 32-bit system. It's great for data-intensive programs.
    - You can run a 32-bit app on a 64-bit operating system, much like you can run a 16-bit app on Windows XP.
    - Microsoft is enabling developers to build 64-bit functionality within its 32-bit programs. Read an overview of the next-generation code here.

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