32 Bit vs 64 Bit Processors

Let's quickly look at the debate of 32 bit vs 64 bit processors, which has been going on ever since 64 bit processors entered the computing market a while ago. I will provide my own personal opinion on the debate to help you choose between buying a 32 bit or 64 bit CPU.

When 64 bit processors were first released, they were at a disadvantage in this war because of the lack of 64 bit compatible software. But now things have changed, and 64 bit software is emerging everywhere.

So what is a bit anyway, and why does it matter how many there are in your CPU? A bit is the smallest form of digital information, and there are 8 bits in a byte. Your computer stores information in bits, and performs operations on these bits.

Anyway, the main point to know is that 32 bit processors can store numbers in the range of 0 2^32 (2 to the power of 32). On the other side of the coin, 64 bit CPUs can store numbers from 0 to 2^64 (2 to the power of 64).

64 bit processors have a wider data bus than 32 bit processors. If you don't know what a data bus is, that's fine. Just think of it as a cable that relays information to and from the computer's internal memory, to the CPU.

This means that 64 bit processors can perform operations on a greater range of numbers, which therefore makes them faster processors. So does this make them better than their 32 bit counterparts? Well, it's not as clear cut as that. The decision to choose 32 bit vs 64 bit all depends on the individual and what you will be doing with your computer.

When it comes to using basic computer applications and programs such as word documents, spreadsheets, surfing the internet, watching videos, you won't notice a difference in speed at all whether you're using a 32 or 64 bit processor.

Only when you use highly advanced software will you see a difference. For example, universities, software development firms, and scientific organizations who all rely on very precise calculations and numbers will see the benefits of a 64 bit processor for their work as it will give you more accurate readings.

64 bit CPUs are also advantageous if you use advanced 3D animation and graphics programs. But for the most part, a 32 bit processor will do you fine. And when you consider the cheaper price tag of 32 bit, then if you're not planning on doing any of the advanced type of work I just mentioned above then you will be fine with 32 bit.

I hope that clears up the argument of 32 bit vs 64 bit a little for you. Your choice all comes down to what you will be using your computer for. The majority of computer users, and that includes all you gamers (which is the type of user this site was made for) won't have a need for 64 bit just yet, unless you want to of course.