Is this some kind of thinking when it comes to computers?

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I've always believed the CPU was neither 32-Bit nor 64-Bit since we only look at it from its clock-speed and see if it will runatleast the minimum requirments of that OS.

I never knew there was a thinking people had where they will auomatically know there is a 32-bit and a 640bit CPU since I thought it only

I've always believed the CPU was neither 32-Bit nor 64-Bit since we only look at it from its clock-speed and see if it will runatleast the minimum requirments of that OS.

I never knew there was a thinking people had where they will auomatically know there is a 32-bit and a 640bit CPU since I thought it only referred to operating systems.

Best Answer:

Yousuf Khan: The OS needs support from the processor to be able to do things. You cannot install a 64-bit OS on a CPU that is not also 64-bit. Processors have had to evolve to get the 64-bit capability over the years.

From 1986 to 2003 was the era of the 32-bit processor. Starting with the Intel i386 processor in 86, and up until the first couple of generations of Pentium 4 processors in 2003, were all pure 32-bit processors, no 64-bit capabilities. Prior to 1986, Intel produced 16-bit processors from 1978 through to 1986. And before that, there were 8-bit processors. As you can see processors have had to evolve over the years, they didn't all just start out at 64-bit. Each generation added not only speed, but also more memory access capabilities, and the ability to access the data in bigger chunks.

Then 2003, Intel's archrival, AMD, created the first 64-bit consumer-grade chips. AMD and Intel have a cross-licensing agreement with each other, so AMD gets to use Intel's instruction sets, and Intel gets to use AMD's. So Intel copied the AMD 64-bit instruction set (legally), and they now both have the exact same 64-bit instruction set. AMD's first 64-bit processor was the Athlon 64, and Intel's was a latter generation Pentium 4. The 32-bit Intel instruction set was called x86, and the 64-bit version was called x86-64, or just shortened to x64.

Meanwhile while these hardware manufacturers were competing against each other to build 64-bit processors. The operating system makers had to build 64-bit OS's to take advantage of these newer chips. SUSE Linux was out almost immediately, followed in a few months by Sun Solaris, but the most important OS of all, Windows, didn't have a 64-bit OS till at least 2-3 years after the first 64-bit chips were out! That was a 64-bit version of Windows XP, which was not really all that popular compared to 32-bit XP. Anyhow, the 64-bit Windows didn't start becoming popular until Windows Vista (if you can call Vista popular), and it really came into its own when Windows 7 was released.

Other answer:

Yousuf Khan:
It's the "Register size" of the CPU architecture.

That's how big a data value (or possibly address range) can be, to be handled as a single item.

Years ago, all common CPUs were 8 bit – each data register was eight bits wide and the address register 16 bit.
That's things like the Commodore 64, Sinclair Spectrum, Apple II etc.

16 Bit came in around the time the IBM PC came out.

Then 32 bit & now 64 bit is common.

With PCs, a 64 Bit system can run 32 bit code as well, but a 32 bit machine cannot run 64 bit code.

(Any can still work with larger data values, but they have to do it in several stages, like doing long arithmetic a digit at a time).

Richard:
CPUs designed for running current Windows operating system use either 32 bit or 64 bit internal architectures. When AMD introduced the first 64 bit machines, it introduced some extra instructions into the CPU instruction set, just as extra features were added in the move from 16 bit to 32 bit versions. 64 bit systems can handle for memory and can perform certain types of processing faster than 32 bit systems running at the same clock rate.

A 64 bit machine can run either 32 or 64 operating systems, and 32 or 64 bit applications. In Windows, a 64 bit system can run a 32 version of Windows, which in turn can run 16 bit applications with the NTVDM feature enabled. (64 bit Windows does not support 16 bit applications).

Not sure how this fits in exactly with your question, but it might help.

dallenmarket:
The CPU being able to recognize 32 bits and 64 bits is one thing,, but in order to process software that utilizes 64 bit technology requires that all circuits on the motherboard can also use 64 bit coding. Many older computers are only 32 bit capable (even though the CPU may be 64 bit capable) and thus can not use 64 bit software. (Notice the 32 vs 64 bit windows installers.)

32, or 64 is how many bits of data can be processed at any one cycle of a processor core. If a CPU has more than 1 core, it can process that many bits of data per core each cycle.

IE: I have dual 6 core CPUs in a fully 64 bit compatible computer, so I can process 6 (cores) x 64 (Bits) x 2 (CPUs), or 768 bits per CPU cycle.My CPUs are 3.42 GHZ, so they can process 768 bits of data 3,420,000,000 (3 billion, 420 million) times per second for a total of 2,626,560,000,000( 2 trillion, 626 billion, 560 million) bits of data per second.

In comparison: My old Mac Plus (vintage 1986) had an 8 MHZm 32 bit CPU, but was limited to only processing in 16 bit data blocks. Thus it could process 16 bits x 8,000,000 cycles per second for a total of 128,000,000 (128 million) bits of data per second. (sounded impressive back then!)

That makes my newer Mac roughly 20,520 times faster than my Plus. (Clock speeds, Hyper-threading and many other factors must be considered that limit the actual totals, but this was just a theoretical example.)

ari:
It's pretty easy to look in control panel system and see if a system has 3 gig or less ram its likely 32 bit systems 4 gig or more a64 bit
Squeemy Jeemy:
32 bit and 64 bit cpus are very closely related, the only difference is that 64 bit cpus can handle more RAM and can address it much faster
doctormcgoveran:
well the 32 or 64 is the word size.computers don't do continuous processes, they constantly cut things into managebale pieces.

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