32-Bit vs 64-Bit Windows: What’s the Difference?

Should you choose a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows for your PC? Whether you use your PC for business or leisure (or both), you’ll need to choose the right operating system. The operating system is the software that’s responsible for running your PC’s core processes. For Windows, you’ll have one of two different architectures from which to choose: 32-bit and 64-bit.

The Basics of 32-Bit vs 64-Bit

The terms “32-bit” and “64-bit” refer to the width of a CPU register. Basically, this is the space where the CPU stores data that it needs to quickly read, thus directly impacting the computer’s performance. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that a 64-bit CPU register is larger than a 32-bit CPU register, and with a larger size, it’s able to store more easy-to-access data.

RAM Support

When choosing between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, consider how much random access memory (RAM) your PC has. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 can hold up to 2 TB of RAM, whereas the 32-bit version of Windows 10 can only hold up to 3.2 GB of RAM. If you’re trying to squeeze as much performance out of your PC as possible, there’s no substitution for 64-bit Windows. Using the 64-bit version, you can install and utilize significantly more RAM.

Better Performance

With 64-bit Windows, you’ll notice a direct improvement in your PC’s performance. The 64-bit architecture of Windows allows for more allocated virtual memory for each process. Regardless of what program or app you are running, your PC will run it faster and more smoothly if it uses the 64-bit version of Windows.

Enhanced Security

In addition to more RAM, 64-bit Windows offers enhanced security compared to the 32-bit version. Among other things, 64-bit Windows offers hardware D.E.P. and Kernel Patch Protection, both of which can enhance the security of your PC by lowering the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches.

Can I Upgrade to 64-Bit Windows?

Even if you’re currently running 32-bit Windows on your PC, you may be able to upgrade to the 64-bit version. According to Microsoft, you must reformat your PC’s storage drive, after which you can install 64-bit windows on it. While reformatting isn’t a particularly fast or easy process, it may prove worth the investment of your time and energy.

Not all PCs can support 64-bit Windows. Assuming your PC can handle it, though, upgrading from the 32-bit version will likely result in better performance and security.