64-bit or 32-bit ? Know Your Windows 7 Version and The Difference Between 64-bit and 32-bit


Did you ever wonder what 64-bit and 32-bit version of Windows 7 means ?

The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer’s processor (also called a CPU), handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system.

First of all, how to check the version of Windows 7 are you using.

  1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. The operating system appears as follows:
    • For a 64-bit version operating system, “64-bit Operating System” appears for the system type under System.
    • For a 32-bit version operating system, “32-bit Operating System” appears for the system type under System.

The main differences between the 32-bit versions of Windows 7 and the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 relate to memory accessibility, memory management, and enhanced security features. The security features that are available in the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 include the following:

  • Kernel Patch Protection
  • Mandatory driver signing
  • Support for hardware-backed Data Execution Protection (DEP)
  • Removal of support for 32-bit drivers
  • Removal of the 16-bit subsystem

One of the greatest advantages of using a 64-bit version of Windows 7 is the ability to access physical memory (RAM) that is above the 4-gigabyte (GB) range. This physical memory is not addressable by 32-bit versions of Windows 7.

Depending on the version of Windows 7 that is installed, a 64-bit version of Windows 7 supports from 1 GB of RAM to more than 128 GB of RAM. The ability to address more physical memory lets Windows 7 minimize the time that is required to swap processes in and out of physical memory. Therefore, Windows 7 can manage processes more efficiently. This memory management feature helps improve the overall performance of Windows 7.


Advantages when you install 64-bit version of Windows 7.

  • Increased memory support beyond that of the 4-GB addressable memory space that is available in a 32-bit operating system
  • Increased program performance for programs that are written to take advantage of a 64-bit operating system
  • Enhanced security features

Before installing 64-bit version of Windows 7, you must consider these few things.

  • 64-bit device drivers may not be available for one or more devices in the computer.
  • Device drivers must be digitally signed.
  • 32-bit device drivers are not supported.
  • 32-bit programs may not be fully compatible with a 64-bit operating system.
  • It may be difficult to locate programs that are written specifically for a 64-bit operating system.
  • Not all hardware devices may be compatible with a 64-bit version of Windows 7.


Edited from Microsoft

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