Some clarification about 32-bit and 64-bit

Discussion in 'Laptop Hardware' started by Lun, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Lun

    Lun

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    I've been pretty confused about these for a while.

    First of all, the CPU. My CPU is a 64-bit according to intel's specs page.
    Secondly, the operating system. My computer came with a 32-bit version of windows.
    Lastly, the motherboard. My motherboard apparently uses x86 architecture (which I suppose is equivalent to 32bit).

    So, since my CPU is 64-bit should the motherboard have architecture that supports it? Also shouldn't my windows version be 64bit? And would I notice any differences if I did install a 64bit OS (if it works in the first place?

    Sorry for the newbie questions but I can't find anything online that doesn't confuse me even more. Also when certain games or software require that you have 64bit OS does that apply to the OS alone? Will CPU and motherboard matter then?

    Thanks.
     
    Lun, Jun 12, 2015
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  2. Lun

    Connie858

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    X86 is indeed 32 bit. (x64 is 64 bit). 64 bit is much more versatile, and I am surprised that your motherboard is only 32 bit in this day and age. How old is the machine? And what motherboard is it?

    I had always been under the belief that you needed a x64 motherboard for an x64 CPU. If you had a x86 motherboard, then your CPU should match.
    Can you tell me what motherboard and processor you have?

    If your system is an x86 (32 bit system) then you can only run a 32 bit OS, end of story.
    If your system is an x64 (64 bit system) then you can run either a 32bit or 64 bit OS. The choice was yours.

    If you are running a x64 (64 bit) OS, you can install both 32bit and 64bit software on it without issue. Most software is 32bit, but there are one or two bits of software that is now 64 bit (MS Office and Corel Paint Shop Pro are 2 that come to mind immediately).
     
    Connie858, Jun 12, 2015
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  3. Lun

    something back

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    Extra to connie858 posting

    Example: If you say you were going to use an intensive graphic package then 64bit would be
    more in keeping with this type of usage.

    The 64 bit platform can utilise more ram.
     
    something back, Jun 12, 2015
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  4. Lun

    Lun

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    I bought this computer back in 2010, and even by that time's standards it was very cheap. I thought it was a good deal for a desktop PC. I even manage to play a lot of the latest games that don't require 64bit OS (with the assistance of a Radeon HD 7750 1 GB), but little did I know that it will be outdated within a few years. I had no idea what 64 bit and 32 bit were back then, sellers didn't flash the 64bit label as often as they do now.

    Anyway it's an ASRock motherboard. Not sure about the exact model, I'll need to restart my PC to see it in the first boot screen.
    [​IMG]

    My CPU is 64-bit according to Intel's specs page: http://ark.intel.com/products/53480/Intel-Pentium-Processor-G620-3M-Cache-2_60-GHz

    So does this mean that installing a 64-bit OS will be fine? Motherboard won't cause a hindrance?
     
    Lun, Jun 13, 2015
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  5. Lun

    Connie858

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    That machine will support a 64 bit version of windows without any issues.
    It is very common for manufacturers to install a 32 bit version on a system that is capable of 64 bit.
    After that your best upgrade will probably be to RAM to make use of getting a 64bit OS in the first place! Plus you will be able to change your page file to make the most of the extra the OS can use as well.
    your processor http://ark.intel.com/products/53480/Intel-Pentium-Processor-G620-3M-Cache-2_60-GHz

    Sellers are only flashing the 64 bit label now because they can sell extra RAM now. Users are catching on that 4Gb is not enough for some games and 64 bit is now the latest 'fashion'. It is just a shame it has been around for decades!
     
    Connie858, Jun 13, 2015
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  6. Lun

    Lun

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    I see. Your responses were very informative, thanks a lot.

    Also, why is it that installing 32bit on a 64bit capable machine common? Is there a certain advantage to it?

    My CPU is powerful enough with the assistance of the GPU to run some demanding games, maybe I'll install the 64-bit of windows and see if I can add some extra RAM too boost their performance. Even though when I bought it I was told it was only capable of holding 4GB of RAM, I suppose he was referring to the 32bit limitation, but I'm afraid the motherboard also doesn't support more, I'll have to look it up.
     
    Lun, Jun 14, 2015
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  7. Lun

    Connie858

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    The main advantage is that sorting out drivers for devices is easier because manufacturers of components tended to only write 32 bit drivers and software for components such as graphics card and sound cards and all the other extra's that consumers tend to install at a later date (think about gaming machine). Nowadays, these same manufacturers tend to be more savvy because they know consumers what more RAM etc and the only way that can happen is with 64bit software, so they now write 64 bit drivers as well and make them much more easily obtainable.

    He will have ben referring to the software restriction. There is no sensible reason as to why the motherboard would have this restriction but sadly there are few ways of finding out without know what your motherboard is in the first place.
     
    Connie858, Jun 15, 2015
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  8. Lun

    Lun

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    Makes a lot of sense.

    Oh and I found out what my motherboard is from the boot screen, it's an ASRock H61m-HVS. I checked it out online and it can hold up to 16 GB (2x 8GB), sweet. It seems my computer isn't as outdated as I thought. The CPU socket is LGA1155, I'm sure I'll be able to find much better replacements than my current one. I'm so excited right now, knowing I don't necessarily need a completely new build.
     
    Lun, Jun 16, 2015
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  9. Lun

    Connie858

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    I would start by looking at the BIOS versions for your motherboard. I'm guessing you have never updated the BIOS? You might like to do it before you make any major changes to your system (like a new CPU) because just every now and again you get a few nice surprises along the way - and it may well save you from a few nasty ones and a few issues with upgrades not working because sometimes new programming happens with BIOS upgrades.

    If the system is a branded system, such as Dell, Toshiba start there for the BIOS updates. Dell are stunningly good at them, otherwise you will want the ASRock website for the motherboard BIOS. (just been off to their website) Mind you given that they stopped updating that system in 2012, and the latest update is 2.5, there is a pretty good chance you are already (accidentally) on it. http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/H61M-HVS/?cat=Download&os=BIOS is the link to their site. Ignore the warning about not updating if things are running smoothly if you are gong to replace the CPU... life will run much more smoothly if your new CPU can talk to the motherboard which there is a pretty good chance that if you take the CPU to the absolute max the motherboard can talk to, it won't if you are on a something like BIOS version 2.0 instead of 2.5... hope that makes sense.
     
    Connie858, Jun 16, 2015
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  10. Lun

    Lun

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    My computer is custom built indeed so I checked the ASRock site. I actually stumbled upon that exact page while looking for my motherboard's specs. I never updated the BIOS and I bought this in 2010 so it definitely doesn't have the latest updates. I'm still confused about why it's better but I'll go by your advice when eventually deciding to upgrade. Is updating the BIOS something that takes no time and I can do seamlessly? Is it like a software update or something that requires me to stop everything and wait for it to finish and might take even longer on first boot, or something? I'm just speculating because I'm not really familiar with the process.
     
    Lun, Jun 17, 2015
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  11. Lun

    something back

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    It's a very small piece of software.

    I must add a WARNING

    After downloading the program will need to disconnect from the internet firstly,
    stop any antivirus programs from running, and keep it powered on from the mains.

    Don't interrupt the program after you have started it.

    It's will only take the program much less than five minutes to compete.
    It will restart the computer itself.
     
    something back, Jun 17, 2015
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  12. Lun

    Connie858

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    Just every now and again you actually get to see what a different updating the BIOS does make and on one occasion on a home built machine like your own, I saw the difference. My motherboard was able to accept faster speed RAM after a BIOS update. Given that it was RAM I was updating at the time this was rather useful. The change was quite significant because like yourself I had not bothered keeping it up to date. But I will add mostly, you never get to see what changes the updates actually make. But there is a chance that if you were to purchase the absolute fastest CPU that your motherboard could theoretically take, and then be on one of the oldest BIOS updates (so not up to date at all) the new CPU could fail to be seen by the motherboard simply because you have not updated the BIOS. So I never take the chance now. That's all.
     
    Connie858, Jun 17, 2015
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  13. Lun

    Lun

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    Good to know it's small but why all these precautions? How do they impact the update process? :S

    I see, makes sense now. Thanks for all the informative answers guys :)
     
    Lun, Jun 17, 2015
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  14. Lun

    something back

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    The BIOS update is not without it's problems.

    If it does not complete then you run the risk of your computer never starting again,without you having to change a chip on the motherboard.
     
    something back, Jun 17, 2015
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  15. Lun

    Lun

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    Wow, now I'm scared all over again haha. But I guess I should be fine if I follow your advice. Thanks a lot.
     
    Lun, Jun 18, 2015
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  16. Lun

    Connie858

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    I have done hundred and hundreds of them over the years and never ever had a single one fail on me and 'ruin' a computer.
    Follow the instructions it gives you carefully and don't do the update during a thunderstorm when there is a chance of losing electricity and you will be fine.
    You may find that you have to do it in steps if you are loads of BIOS updates out of date because sometimes you are simply too far out of date to jump from A01 to A15 for example, but it will tell you this.
     
    Connie858, Jun 18, 2015
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  17. Lun

    Marlena13

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    i think that 64bit is better
     
    Marlena13, Jun 24, 2015
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