The debate of 32 bit vs. 64 bit processors has been going on for a long time now, possibly since the advent of the latter, which initially suffered a blow due to the lack of compatible software, but caught on later.
Before we get into this differentiation, you need to understand the definition of bits in the computer architecture. A bit is the short form of a binary digit, i.e., 0 or 1. Computers store and perform operations on these digits. So, it can be very easily concluded that a 32 bit processor can represent numbers from 0 to 232, while 64 bit processors can represent numbers from 0 to 264. Thus, most of us will simply conclude that, since the latter can perform calculations on a greater range of numbers, they might be better. However, each of them have their own pros and cons, which are discussed in the paragraphs below.
In a layman’s language, a data bus is a cable that carries information to and from the computer’s memory to the CPU. A CPU of sixty four bits has a data bus that is 64 bit wide, which can transfer sixty four bits at a time. While a CPU of thirty two bits has a data bus that is thirty two bits wide, which can work with thirty two bits at a time. Thus, the former can carry in more information than the latter. Remember that this is the size of the data bus, not the address bus, which is much more in each case. For instance, the Pentium Pro has a 36 bit address bus even though its data bus is thirty two bits wide.
|32 bit||64 bit|
|It has a thirty two data bus.||It has sixty four bit data bus.|
|It was the primary processor used in all computers until the early 1990s.||It has been around since 1961, but was not put into use in home computers until the early 2000s.|
|It was used in the Windows 95, 98, and XP operating systems.||It is used in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and 8.|
|It supports 3 to 4 GB memory.||It supports memory, which is much more than 4 GB.|
|It works very well for software programs, which need only thirty two bits to process.||It works very well for programs used for graphical design, engineering design, or video editing.|
|It has a good computing speed.||It has double operating speed. It can come in dual core, quad core, and six core versions for home computing, which facilitate increased processing power and faster computer operation.|
|Its manufacturing technology is simple enough.||It is manufactured with advanced silicon technology.|
|It can perform accurate calculations on a decent range of data.||It can perform precise calculations for smaller numbers on a wider range of data. It can be very useful for scientific organizations, universities, major software development firms, and animation or graphic designing projects.|
When 64 bit processors hit the market, the major factors that made them suffer a lot were that there were not many software compatible with them. However, this is not a deciding factor anymore when you are planning to buy a new one. Companies like AMD have developed software, which are compatible with both the components. Another important point that needs to be mentioned is that a multi-core processor resembles in features, more to a 64 bit than a 32 bit. Again, speaking in a layman’s language, one has to use more than one of the latter component to match the performance of the former. One more important factor that needs to be considered is that, if you really need your 64 bit CPU to work well, then you will definitely need a RAM with more storage capacity.
So, we finally conclude that the choice lies entirely on the type of work you need to do. If your work is not related to very heavy calculations and graphics or you are not interested in playing big multimedia games, then of course, the thirty two bit product will solve your purpose. Moreover, you can save some bucks for buying some other component, like an extra RAM, which would definitely prove to be of more use. But with a sixty four bit component, you will definitely not need a better CPU for quite some time. Again, technology never stops advancing, we might have even better products in the years to come.