When shopping for a new computer or updating an old one, sales will recommend a computer that is a 64-bit version. Many people are unclear on what exactly it means. So, we're going to look at some frequently-asked questions and provide the answers about 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows for your reference.
The main difference between 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors is the speed they operate. 64-bit processors can come in dual core, quad core, and six core versions for home computing (with eight core versions coming soon). Multiple cores allow for increase processing power and faster computer operation.
Another big difference between them is the maximum amount of memory (RAM) that is supported. 32-bit computers support a maximum of 3-4GB of memory, whereas a 64-bit computer can support memory amounts over 4 GB.
First, it depends on the processor that you have on your computer. For instance, if you have a 32 bit processor chip (like Intel's Pentium or Celeron series), you have no option but to install the 32-bit edition of Windows.
However, if your CPU has a 64-bit processor (like Intel's Core i5 & i7 series or AMD's Phenom and Athlon range), you have the option to install both 32-bit x86 and the 64-bit x64 version of Windows. If so, we suggest you use 64-bit because 64-bit supports more RAM (> 4GB) so if you have any of the 'big' software applications (like a video editing software), it should run faster on a 64-bit Windows machine provided the RAM is more.
All software programs written for 32-bit version of Windows should work on the 64-bit version of Windows as well though that's not true for hardware device drivers. Notable exceptions are many antivirus programs.
Device drivers designed for the 32-bit version of Windows don't work on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. So if you have an old printer with a driver for x86 version of Windows, it may or may not be compatible with the 64-bit version of Windows.
If the program is specifically designed for the 64-bit version of Windows, it won't work on the 32-bit version of Windows.
Device drivers designed for the 64-bit version of Windows don't work on computers running a 32-bit version of Windows.