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  1. #1
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    whats the difference between 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Mostly their capability differences.

    64 bit..... 32 bit
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    The difference is how many bits they use to access memory. In a 32-bit operating system, each application can access only 4GB of memory (which is the highest you can go with 32 bits). With a 64-bit operating system, you have 64-bit available to access memory and thus can access a much, much larger area.

    By the way, the AMD64 and EM64T processors are really an extension of the old 32-bit processors in that they provide extra operators that enable 64-bit memory addressing. That is why you can easily run the old 32-bit Windows apps on 64-bit Windows. And you have the choice of installing a 32-bit or 64-bit OS. The Intel Itanium processor is a true 64-bit processor with a new instruction set that is incompatible with the old x86 instruction set, which is why on an Itanium system you had to run a 64-bit OS and if you had any old 32-bit apps, they had to run in an emulator, which was slow.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Johnson2191 View Post
    The Intel Itanium processor is a true 64-bit processor with a new instruction set that is incompatible with the old x86 instruction set, which is why on an Itanium system you had to run a 64-bit OS and if you had any old 32-bit apps, they had to run in an emulator, which was slow.
    As time goes on more and more of software developers will be writing 64 Bit capable software. As you may be aware, because 64 bit can utilize for more RAM (32 bit has a maximum limit of 3.1 GB) multitasking or resource intensive programs will be more efficient and hopefully faster. Right now the is a limited number of 64 bit programs, but this number is increasing drastically as time goes on. If your PC is capable of 64 bit, then go for it. You may loose a few of the older programs, especially those 16 bit programs, but there are newer alternatives for most of them. In the long run you will be glad you made the right decision.

    p.s. I have an Intel 64 Bit processor, I do NOT have an emulator on my PC and I run 32 Bit programs on a daily basis.
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    Is there any reasonable way to run 16-Bit programs on a 64-Bit OS?

    I just switched to Win XP 64-Bit and so far I am sorry I bothered. I hardly see a benefit in performance.
    Actually I have noticed that 64 has been faster than 32 in some ways, but slower in others.
    So to me it balances out. I know some people that would really benefit from a 64-bit OS, but the incompatibility issues leaves them with 32-bit.
    And the same goes for me.
    Time can fix anything.....even a broken clock. - Handy Andy

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyAndy View Post
    Is there any reasonable way to run 16-Bit programs on a 64-Bit OS?

    I just switched to Win XP 64-Bit and so far I am sorry I bothered. I hardly see a benefit in performance.
    Actually I have noticed that 64 has been faster than 32 in some ways, but slower in others.
    So to me it balances out. I know some people that would really benefit from a 64-bit OS, but the incompatibility issues leaves them with 32-bit.
    And the same goes for me.
    Because 64 bit OS requires 64 bit apps to see appreciable changes in speed, you will not see a large change when using 32 bit apps. As time goes on you should see more 64 bit apps. However, most of these apps will be written to be compatible with Win 7. I suspect that as time goes on you will see fewer apps available for XP. Changing to 64 bit in XP was probably a bother with few benefits. If you had switched to Win 7, you would have seen a much more appreciable security benefit, and with the proper OS tweaking, I believe a speddier OS. That has been my experience.

    Using 16 bit apps will be hit and miss, probably mostly miss.

    Obviously these are my opinions and experience for what they are worth. Many in this forum do not agree, but many more do.
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    Honestly, do you think that any version of vista, or win7 would run faster than XP? Even switching to XP from previous Windows Oses was a real slow down. Sure a new operating system has a lot of bells and whistles and don't forget the eye candy, but when it comes to computing I want it to simply work and work fast. As for security, to be truly honest I never bother with it! I just stay prepared for the worst just in case...i.e. BACKUP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyAndy View Post
    Honestly, do you think that any version of vista, or win7 would run faster than XP? Even switching to XP from previous Windows Oses was a real slow down. Sure a new operating system has a lot of bells and whistles and don't forget the eye candy, but when it comes to computing I want it to simply work and work fast. As for security, to be truly honest I never bother with it! I just stay prepared for the worst just in case...i.e. BACKUP.
    There are certain functions that will run faster in Win7 that XP. Whether you think it is faster is largely your perception based on how you work. You can do a search in your favorite search engine for "Windows 7 vs XP" and there will be many links to all sorts of tests.

    BTW, 16-bit applications will not run in a 64-bit OS. If you have a version of Windows 7 that supports XP mode and your PC supports hardware virtualization you MAY be able to get a 16-bit application to run in XP mode.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyAndy View Post
    Honestly, do you think that any version of vista, or win7 would run faster than XP? Even switching to XP from previous Windows Oses was a real slow down. Sure a new operating system has a lot of bells and whistles and don't forget the eye candy, but when it comes to computing I want it to simply work and work fast. As for security, to be truly honest I never bother with it! I just stay prepared for the worst just in case...i.e. BACKUP.
    Security is one of those things that everyone should be concerned about. Not only could a malicious person cause you significant problems, but your system could be hijacked and used to cause problems for other people who are concerned and do take steps to protect themselves. Because of the proliferation of problems through systems that are unprotected through apathy or ignorance to the problems, we all have to pay a higher price to have safe and secure use of our PC's.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    HandyAndy, on 2010-02-07 10:41, said:

    Honestly, do you think that any version of vista, or win7 would run faster than XP? Even switching to XP from previous Windows Oses was a real slow down. Sure a new operating system has a lot of bells and whistles and don't forget the eye candy, but when it comes to computing I want it to simply work and work fast. As for security, to be truly honest I never bother with it! I just stay prepared for the worst just in case...i.e. BACKUP.
    [quote]



    XP still rocks! But only 32-bit. 64 was stilborn as far as XP goes. Someday there will be a clear differential between 32-bit and 64-bit and that will be when 64-bit systems come with 8 or 16 cores, hyperthreaded so they appear as 16 or 32 cores, 16-32 gigs of RAM, 1TB SSDs and amazing multi GPU subsystems. Then a 32 bit system which maxes out at 3.25 gigs of usable RAM that can get gobbled by 16 hungry cores like Harry Truman did by Mt.St. Helens, it will become abundantly clear. The question is will more than .01 of the population ever need that kind of power in a home PC? Maybe...maybe some kind of real time holographic interface with instant audio recognition and interpretation/translation will be common or something else that requires massive upscaling of present day systems to accomodate. Maybe when we're all running 3 virtual OSs simultaneously, editing an 11 gig multi layer image and rendering 4k video all at once?? The point is that 64-bit will be capable of such things eventually and 32-bit can never go there. Until that day though, I prefer 32-bit still for ultimate compatibility and the knowledge that for what I do, I still have plenty of overhead (only one virtual OS, 11 megabyte multi-layer images, and 720P video).

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    @Ted Myers@ Sorry, but I can't agree, and here is why:
    I have been using computers since before Windows 3.1, and have only had to deal with a couple of viruses that had slowed me down.

    On the other hand, I have worked on many computers for people whose computers were full of viruses, worms, malware, etc.
    Those people, 8 out of 10 of them, were religiously on top of their virus protection software and kept it up to date.
    They also made sure their systems software was up to date i.e. Windows Update.
    The other 2 out of 10 people had computers that needed some TLC due to the fact that they were "Click Happy" on the internet, did not know how to follow instructions when installing software, downloaded illegal (stolen) software, or used an illegitimate website or program because they were curious on how to speed up their computer.

    It just doesn't add up to me. Why spend so much more time and money with the inconvenience of updates, and virus protection only to have a system that runs slower than one that was backed up and reinstalled?

    @Byron Tarbox@ I completely understand and agree with you, I have only one problem with it........In the future, if and when we have computers with these capabilities, would we also be able to increase the performance of our brains, so that we could keep up technology and use it to its potential?
    One can only dream, although that sort of power could be dangerous in the world.
    Time can fix anything.....even a broken clock. - Handy Andy

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Handy, I'm also sorry, but I respectively disagree. The average user, as you state, does have problems with security, and as such does need protection. Many of these users do not take security seriously or are not knowledgeable enough to keep bad things out. These same people do have their systems hijacked to the detriment of others. When you state that " I never bother with it! ", other less knowledgeable users will take that as a testimonial that they can take their security lightly as well, and the results can be disasterous. Having the latest OS, completly updated is much safer than an older OS that is quickly loosing it's support. Maintaining a good AV and AM app will help these average users keep their systems safe and secure. Running these apps in real time adds to the security. There are apps of this type that have very small resource needs and work very well! Having a good s/w and hardware firewall again adds to this security. I have also used windows since before 3.1, before it was called windows. I firmly believe being proactive on security is the best way to keep your system fast and working the way it was meant to work. Tweaking your system not only helps you to learn the inner workings of the OS, and customize it the way you need it, buts also make your OS much more responsive. Oh, and by the way I have never had a virus either, which I believe is a testimonial to the need for due diligence when it comes to security.

    I'm sorry that this discussion has gotten so far off topic, but I feel strongly that this is a hot issue that need to be addressed!
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    3 Star Lounger
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    Being proactive with security is fine, so long as the total hours spent on keeping a
    computer secure is no where near the amount of hours spent using the computer to be productive.

    I too will agree that there are just some people who will continue to use there computer in an
    unsafe way weather or not they know what they do is unsafe or could cause problems.
    And even with all the security there is, those people will still cause problems for their computers.

    To clear things up though, security helps but don't be obsessed with it or take it for granted.

    I also want to say sorry for getting off topic, and I agree that this is an issue that people need to understand better.
    Time can fix anything.....even a broken clock. - Handy Andy

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    I run systems bare naked and fancy free...well, behind a router and I often leave my browser's scripting and activeX toggled off (but I wouldn't be overly concerned if they were on), and I always perform little checks like right clicking on what I think is a flash window and verifying it before I click to play, etc., and I haven't gotten anything since 2001 when my browser was hijacked twice and I was pretty new to the whole Internet thing.

    The ultimate point is that while security is important, it doesn't hold a candle to the importance of behaviour. Its like the old saying about the 3 keys to a successful business (1. location, 2. location and 3. location) except its behavior, behavior and behavior...somewhere around 6th or 7th comes security.

    If we could only teach behavior at least equal to security...unfortuneately that's a much harder sell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    The ultimate point is that while security is important, it doesn't hold a candle to the importance of behaviour.
    Its like the old saying about the 3 keys to a successful business (1. location, 2. location and 3. location)
    except its behavior, behavior and behavior...somewhere around 6th or 7th comes security.

    If we could only teach behavior at least equal to security...unfortunately that's a much harder sell.

    Exactly!
    These last few posts should also be in the Security section of the Lounge.
    Time can fix anything.....even a broken clock. - Handy Andy

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