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You can't buy a 32bit processor anymore so it's a pointless debate. Without getting technical the best explanation is also inaccurate to the literal truth but good enough: 64bit processors are "smarter" than 32bit processors in that they do more with a given clock cycle than the 32bit does (3.2ghz = 3,200,000,000 cycles per second).


The actual truth is more complicated and involves everything from instruction sets, bandwidth, the address limit, memory remapping holes, and other vagaries of modern computing but as far as anyone not programming ever needs to know (especially now that all processors are 64bit) a 64bit processor is just more efficient than a 32bit processor.




Seriously I'm not kidding, the pentium4 was 64bit. Every processor since roughly 2004 has been 64bit.

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A 32bit operating system has 2^32 addresses available for memory and stuff like that. If you calculate 2^32, that's 4,294,967,296. That's exactly 4GB of addresses. Now everything in your computer takes up these addresses. Your processor, graphics card, etc. That's is why most 32 bit systems with 4GB can only use about 3.5GB of it. The more you have in your computer, the less of your RAM can be utilized.


Now 64bit solved this memory limitation because it has 2^64 addresses. That's 16 EXBAbytes of addresses available. I don't even know what an exabyte is. So with all those addresses available, 4GB, or even 1TB (if possible), of memory is available for full utilization on a computer with a 64bit operating system.


So basically, if you have 4GB of memory or more, you should get a 64bit operating system. From what I've seen, using a 64bit operating system with only 2GB or less memory will actually hinder your performance.


BTW, the 32bit limitation was not the first. If I can recall correctly, this occurred in the 16bit era.

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