Is x86 similar to x64 or x32

Do you have 32 or 64 bit Windows? Find out now!

32 or 64 bit Windows? x86 or x64? You can get confused quickly. Whenever a program has to be installed again, one is often faced with the question: How was that again?

And then you let yourself be unsettled by 32, 64, 86 ... Below you will find the fastest way to find out your operating system architecture.

Differences between x64 / 64 bit / x86 / 32 bit

  • x86 and x64 each stand for the processor architecture of your processor
  • x86 processors only support 32 bit operating systems
  • x64 processors support 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems
  • Whether you have to download 32-bit or 64-bit applications depends on the operating system that is actually installed.
  • Most applications can also be run in the 32-bit version on 64-bit operating systems. However, this may then run slower or more unstable than the 64-bit version of the application.
  • In certain cases, however, it may be more advisable to install the 32-bit application on a 64-bit operating system. For example, to ensure compatibility with certain plug-ins in Microsoft Office. However, these are exceptional cases

How many bits is my PC and do I have 32 or 64 bit Windows 10?

Shortcut: Find out the processor architecture

This keyboard shortcut works on all Windows versions, whether Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10! This is also how you can find out x86 or x64.

Here you can see the answer, next to "System Type" is your edition of Windows 10 and your processor type. In my case a 64 bit processor with a Windows 64 bit.

Administrative menu: Find out Windows 10 bit version

Since Windows 10 there is another way to find out if you have Windows 10 64 bit or 32 bit installed. To do this, right-click the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the taskbar and then click System.

CMD: Find out 32-bit or 64-bit Windows

There is an alternative way that shows via the CMD which Windows bit version is installed. If you're a nerd and want to show off, you've come to the right place 😉

At this prompt, enter the following command:


Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Difference between 32 and 64 bit

32 bit

The 32 bits describe the maximum address area for memory that the operating system can manage. So with a 32-bit operating system it is 2 to the power of 32 bytes, i.e. exactly 4096 megabytes (4GB). These 4096 MB are not only "taken up" by the main memory (= RAM = Random Access Memory), in which currently running programs are stored, but also by the graphics card memory.

Depending on how big this is, there is ultimately less RAM left for Windows. Most of the time, the GPU only uses 256MB of RAM, regardless of how much RAM the GPU has.

Nevertheless, for a typical computer there is only 3.2GB to 3.5GB of RAM left. That is simply not enough for today's applications or computers! Most computers that you can buy today already have 8 GB of RAM or significantly more and have 64-bit Windows preinstalled anyway!

64 bit

With 64 bit everything is a little better, here you can theoretically address a maximum of 16 exabytes of memory (the zeros of the number in MB would fill over a line). So it's an unimaginable amount. Even if this theoretical amount is actually limited by the operating system (see infographic below), a multiple of what would be possible with 32 bit can still be used. In short, 64-bit is future-proof and the right choice for all newer computers.

Requirements for a 64-bit operating system

processor

Your processor must be 64 bit capable. Intel calls this feature Intel 64 or Extended Memory 64 Technology ("EMT64T"). At AMD it is called AMD64 for short. (In the examples above, that was the processor architecture for reading out 32 or 64 bit Windows).

So you can tell whether your hardware is 64-bit capable. Almost all commercially available computers you can buy today are 64-bit capable.

driver

The drivers for 64 bit operating systems differ from the 32 bit drivers. As a result, suitable drivers for the 64-bit system must be available for the device to function properly. This is not always the case, especially with older devices, as market demand no longer makes the creation of 64-bit drivers profitable enough.


Install 32-bit to 64-bit

Before you think now, great: I have to look for all my programs as 64-bit programs. No you don't have to. Just the drivers, not the software.

For example, you can easily install a 32-bit Office on a 64-bit version of Windows, no problem at all :). If this does not work for an application, there is very likely a 64-bit version from the manufacturer.

Should you now install everything in 32 bit on your 64 bit system? No, in order to benefit from the increased memory and computing power, your applications must of course also be 64-bit applications!

And one more remark the other way round is not possible. You can only install 32-bit versions of the applications on a 32-bit operating system!

32 bit vs 64 bit infographic

Which Windows version should I use?

So if you want to use a 64-bit application or more than 4 GB of RAM, you need an appropriate operating system. Since 64-bit operating systems do not cost more than 32-bit systems, it also offers the option of 64-bit Windows.

If you only need 4 GB of RAM on your computer and don't use 64 bit applications, then don't. But honestly, your smartphone will probably have more memory than your computer ... Do you really want that?

Where can I get Windows 10 64-bit cheaply from?

It might surprise you, but on Amazon it's all very cheap. As a license key via email, both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. Why didn't I write 64 bit for it now?

Quite simply: The license keys do not differ from a 64-bit to 32-bit system. You can also use your old key to reinstall if you have already purchased Microsoft Windows 10. All you have to do is download a 64-bit Windows ISO from Microsoft and then copy it to a Windows 10 boot USB stick, for example, and you can start reinstalling.


If you want a data carrier with Windows 10 64-bit or a USB stick with Windows 10 64-bit, these are also available from Amazon.

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