32-bit vs 64-bit (newbish question)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ~NeonFire372~, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. ~NeonFire372~ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    #1
    I'm not that technical so this probably sounds stupid, but can the new unibody Macbooks and Macbook Pros run both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 or just one of them? Are the Macbook/MBPs 32-bit or 64-bit themselves? :|
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
  3. ~NeonFire372~ thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    #3
    So if Macs are 64-bit, how can they run 32-bit Windows?

    And will future Macs/the current unibody be able to run older versions - 95, 98, 2000 or whatever in 32-bit?
     
  4. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
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    Texas, unfortunately.
    #4
    I think most of those you listed were 16/32 bit hybrids, so probably not.
     
  5. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    North Shore, MA
    #5
    The same exact way that the current 32-bit processors can run 16-bit code; The processor switches itself into a compatibility mode which effectively ignores the newer features of the chip. This is because each step (16 -> 32 -> 64) is a superset of the previous operating mode. The main issue is not the processor though; it's all the support drivers. If you are even able to boot the older systems things will either crash or may not work as expected because those older OSs don't have supported drivers.
     
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #6
    Think of it this way, when you are a baby, you have limited functionality (not insulting you or anything) like walking and screaming (again, not insulting you). As you grow older and more mature, you have more functionalities like working a job, driving cars, dating girls, etc. But you still maintain the functionalities you had in the younger ages.

    EDIT: I just read that, and it is really a bad example, but the concept is sound. Sorry if it sounds akward. Mods can remove it if they deem it neccesary.
     

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