Whats the difference? 32 vs. 64-bits

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Josh Kahane, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Josh Kahane macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    Suffolk, UK

    So when the windows 7 beat was launched, i ended up choosing to download the 32-bit version as I knew it would run, and I wasn't sure if I was compatible or not.

    1. I have a 20" iMac 2.4GHz 2GB RAM etc. Is my computer capable of running 64-bit?

    2. Whats the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit? Is 64-bit faster?

    Any help much appreciated, thanks.
  2. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Your 2.4 GHz iMac uses a Core 2 Duo CPU, so yes, it is 64-Bit compatible.

    64-Bit software can use a much larger address space than 32-Bit software, which is very useful when you are working with extremely huge amounts of data and want to use more than 4 GB of RAM in one chunk. Typical candidates would be video editing or working with RAW image files that no camera today is able to shoot (yet). Photoshop CS4 on Windows (and -ONLY- on Windows) comes in a 64-Bit version.

    Is 64-Bit faster? No, not per se. However, I found 64-Bit Vista to perform MUCH better than 32-Bit Vista -- both in VMWare Fusion with only 3 GB of RAM allocated to it -and- in Boot Camp on a Quad Core Mac Pro with 8 GB RAM. But that says more about the optimization levels of the 32-Bit and 64-Bit versions of Windows than about 64-Bit/32-Bit technology in general.

    However, you should go for the 64-Bit versions of Windows on your machine. When you purchase a license for Vista or Windows 7, you are entitled to choose either version (and that includes OEM/Systembuilder versions).

    Update: And it won't hurt to add some more RAM to your box.
  3. Cuckoo macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    The Netherlands - Utrecht
    i fully agree with winni

    For your everyday use, 64bit is totally irrelevant.

    If there were to be a computer with a 32/64 bit switch, it wouldn't make a speed difference.

    but your system is 64 bit... (it's not a bad thing either, but for your everyday run of the mill usage, it doen't make a difference yet)
  4. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    Bear in mind that some software doesn't have 64bit versions yet and while it may still run on 64bit the installer (.msi file) may need to be edited to get it to install. Also some software like the Cisco VPN client will not run on 64bit Windows at all - when I last checked they had no plans to release this either.

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