Difference between x86 and x64 Processor
Difference between x86 and x64 Processor | The terms x86 and x64 keep popping up when it comes to processors. Often you will be asked on the internet whether you want to download software for x86 or x64. We explain what that means here.
Then came 32-bit and now 64-bit. There are now only a few 32-bit computers left to buy. You still need it if, for example, you have very old software that does not work in a 64-bit environment – but that is the exception.
x86 and x64 are different types of processors
The terms x86 and x64 refer to different processor designs – also known as microprocessor architecture.
- On x64 – processors Windows and programs run as 64-bit version, the significantly more powerful are than the 32-bit versions. However, an x64 processor can also run 32-bit software.
- Windows and programs only run as a 32-bit version on x86 processors – and more slowly than the 64-bit versions.
- Theoretically, x64 processors can use a maximum of 16 exabytes of RAM.
- x86 processors can use a maximum of 4 gigabytes of RAM.
What does this have to do with 32- and 64-bit?
The older x86 processors address a maximum of 32-bit as memory value. Only the 32-bit version of the software, therefore, runs on them. These 32 bits mean as a calculation: 2 to the power of 32 bytes = 4,294,967,296 bytes. This corresponds to 4096 MB, i.e. 4 GB. For this reason, a 32-bit Windows can only use a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. This storage capacity is often shared by the main memory and the graphics card memory, which means that only 3 GB of RAM, for example, remains as the main memory.
x64 processors are more powerful because they can address a memory value of a maximum of 64 bits at a time. The faster 64-bit software and, if necessary, also the older 32-bit software run on them. A 64-bit operating system can theoretically use 16 exabytes of RAM ( 16,000,000,000 GB ). However, Microsoft limits this per operating system. Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate, for example, allowed a maximum of 192 GB RAM, for Windows 7 Home Premium it was only a maximum of 16 GB RAM. Difference between x86 and x64 Processor.
What type of processor do I have x64 or x86?
If you use Windows 11, you have a 64-bit CPU because there is no 32-bit version for the operating system. With other Windows versions, you can check which CPU is installed as follows.
- Push the key with [ Windows ] + [ Pause ].
- This will open a window with the system information.
You can find out exactly if you use the command prompt
- Push the key with [ Windows ] + [ R ] to open the Run window.
- Type in cmd and press the key combination [ Ctrl ] + [ Shift ] + [ Enter ] to start the command prompt with administrator rights .
- Confirm the message with ” Yes “.
- Now type in the command wmic cpu get architecture and press [ Enter ].
Windows gives you a number that reveals the CPU type.
0: You have a 32-bit processor.
6: You have a 64-bit processor from AMD.
9: You have a 64-bit CPU from Intel.
If you have a 64-bit processor on which Windows is installed as a 32-bit version, you can switch from a 32-bit to a 64-bit Windows for free. You can get more processor information with the free tool CPU-Z. By the way, you can also find out with smartphones whether you have a 32- or 64-bit CPU.
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