Many consumer computers now run at 64-bit. A few years ago, only the big dogs ran at that level. The rest of us were stuck in a 32-bit world.
We used to die for 64-bit systems. It was the mark of a pro, the big enchilada, the Cadillac super computer.
Our pining for these big, powerful and costly machines has paid off. Many consumer computers now run at 64-bit. A few years ago, only the big dogs ran at that level. The rest of us were stuck in a 32-bit world.
This presents all computer buyers a question. Should you choose 32-bit or pay the extra for 64?
The “bit” refers to the ability to handle data, called integer and addressing processing. The higher the processing, the more data processed at one time, the faster the speed. It’s like an eight-cylinder car engine vs. a four-cylinder one. Speed thrills.
With normal-size files, 32-bit is fine. When you get into huge image processing and massive businesses databases, the 64-bit systems make sense. Still, that rule is changing.
Home users increasingly are dealing with mammoth files. High-end image and movie processing now is common. You may find yourself working on a large business database or a desktop-publishing project at home. You’d benefit from 64-bit if this is your thing.
For average Internet browsing, e-mail and text files, 32-bit still is fine and more economical.
You’ll see the speed when using two or more programs at the same time and switching large files between them. The busy hourglass seems to disappear at 64-bits.
The switch to consumer 64-bit has come fast. Eventually, there will be no option. Sixty-four will be standard. This in itself is a reason to choose 64.
The big change came with Windows 7. It makes the higher power affordable and sensible in its Professional Edition. Still, there are some concerns.
Your new system may come with 64-bit Win 7, but its hardware is not powerful enough. A 64 needs four gigabytes of RAM. Less than that and it brakes to 32.
The system processor must be capable of running 64-bits. Programs, too, must be certified for that speed. Older programs may not be compatible.
Even if you’re not running 64-bit, you must be careful when purchasing software. A 64-bit program most likely will not run on a 32-bit system.
You will need to update drivers when you switch to 64-bit. You need 64-bit drivers for all devices using drivers. The slower ones won’t work. Check the manufacturers’ Web sites for new drivers.
The switch is happening fast. If you’re planning to buy a system, you will need to decide. I’d go to 64-bit to be set for the future.
Contact Jim Hillibish at email@example.com.