Should you go for 64-bit?

You all might be familiar with Windows 32-bit versions. However, it seems that 64-bit computing would be dominating the future. You are required to have some knowledge about 64-bit computing prior to getting a jump with respect to destiny.

You would be able to access more memory by switching to 64-bit Windows. Note that 32-bit version-XP and Vista has the capacity to access 4 GB of ‘system memory’ (maximum). However, in practice, some part of system memory has been reserved for various other processes, and, of course, the OS. This would result in less number of applications. It isn’t uncommon for any of the computers which has 4 Gigabytes of memory (installed) to have just 3 GigaBytes available after operating system as well as the other processes pledge their claim towards memory.

3 GigaBytes memory might have seemed to be so much of memory some years back. However, in today’s world, all you are required to ado is to run ‘memory-hungry photo program’, have around 6 big files loaded. As such, you would push limits of installed memory. Windows’ 64-bit version has the capability of accessing much more in comparison with 4 GigaBytes of RAM. Enterprise, Business, and Ultimate can access 128 GigaBytes of RAM. Home Premium is able to access 16 GigaBytes, whereas Home Basic would ‘max out’ at 8 GigaBytes.

Being able to access greater memory in computer would prove to be beneficial to you in two ways. The first advantage would be that you would be entitled to load more files and applications within these applications. The second advantage would be that computing experience on the whole would be smoother, as having swapped from an application to the other would hopefully occur in memory. It wouldn’t rely on having cached data to hard drive that would slow you down.

If thought from theoretical point of view, Windows 64-bit version is supposed to permit your PC to have processed twice the data as 32-bit OS, that too, within the same time-span. Though, in practice, you won’t observe the doubling in terms of performance with respect to 64-bit OS, as there are loads of variables- in hardware, as well as software-which should be optimized to carry out 64-bit computing.

If you, in fact, run Windows 64-bit version with just 4 GB (of system memory), you might find that computer runs a bit slower as compared to 32-bit OS owing to way in which computer instructions get stored in ’64-bit systems’. They, essentially, consume more space. Hence, you need to have > 4 GigaBytes of memory while running Windows 64-bit version. If such a thing is done, a bit of improvement in real-world performance would be observed.

Your basic concerns must be drivers and software compatibility. As 64-bit OS’s aren’t yet made use in broader sense as 32-bit OS’s, not every computer vendor has been ensured that their program would run in a proper manner under ’64-bit Windows’. So, make sure to check main software applications for ensuring their compatibility.

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