64-bit computing

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64-bit computing

CPUs that process 64 bits as a single unit, compared to 8, 16 or 32. Today's fastest computers are 64-bit machines; however, they are not twice as fast as 32-bit computers, because the 64 bit "word size" relates to only one aspect of internal processing. The CPU's clock speed, along with the speed, size and architecture of the disks, memory and peripheral bus all play important roles in a computer's performance (see throughput). In many cases, the perceived difference can be negligible. See word.

More Memory
A major advantage to 64-bit operating systems is that they support more memory than a 32-bit OS, which is typically limited to 4GB. For example, while the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional handles 4GB, the 64-bit version supports up to 192GB. See PAE.

A Lot of 32-Bit Software
Although CPUs migrated to 64-bits years ago, the vast majority of people still run 32-bit operating systems and applications in their 64-bit personal computers.

New versions of Windows come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and Apple upgraded OS X for the Mac entirely to 64 bits in 2009 (see Snow Leopard). The complete migration from 32-bit applications to their 64-bit counterparts may take many years. For example, people still run 16-bit DOS and Windows applications in their PCs that were written more than two decades ago. This is why some users opt to install the 32-bit version of Windows, because 64-bit Windows does not run 16-bit apps natively (see Windows XP Mode). For examples of 64-bit hardware, see Intel 64, AMD64, Opteron and Athlon. See 32-bit computing and bit specifications.

References in periodicals archive ?
Examples of 64-bit processing power include increasing the number of transactions processed per second on database servers and speeding up secure e-commerce transactions.
Taking advantage of 64-bit processing and large addressable memory space, the performance gain is nearly 15% over previous versions.
While Exynos processors are not below the quality of Snapdragon counterparts, it is still better to have a device with eight cores sporting 64-bit processing support.
Bagel RotoOffset, a web printer in Germany is able to work more efficiently thanks to the installation and use of Apogee Suite 8 workflow with automatic imposition and 64-bit processing from Agfa Graphics.
It has twice the CPU and graphic performance of the fourth-gen iPad, and the Air boasts 64-bit processing like the recently launched iPhone5S.
With an inviting interface for users of all levels, PhotoDirector 5 uses the power of 64-bit processing and uniquely integrates the three major tasks related to digital photos: editing, collection management and high-quality adjustments.
MIPS Technologies has a long history in 64-bit processing.
Merge Healthcare's 64-bit processing enables radiologists to overcome limitations on their computer systems' memory usage, to view, compare and manipulate larger studies than with today's most commonly used 32-bit technology.
The PC features a fast AMD Athlon 64 3400+ processor with AMD 64 Technology that supports 64-bit processing.
First we had Cheetah, then Puma, followed by Jaguar, and now Tiger, which Apple claims takes full advantage of 64-bit processing power.
Built on the Linux OS and taking advantage of 64-bit processing, the appliance operates seamlessly with leading enterprise applications, including Peoplesoft, Plumtree, WebSphere Portal Server, IBM Team Workplace, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook Web Access, Domino Web Access, IBM Lotus Workplace and more.
64-bit processing Both Intel & AMD announced 64-bit processors that exponentially increased processing power, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities in business and entertainment.