I received a reader’s comment today asking what the difference was between a 64 bit and 32 bit processor and how it will affect computing? In its simplest form, the basic difference between 32 bit and 64 bit is the way that memory is handled. Back in the day when 32 bit was chosen as the standard, it was assumed that 4G of memory would be sufficient for future use. As we are fast approaching the 4G memory limit, 16G of memory may be in our future. Thus the 64 bit processor can handle this load.

Now here is the 64 thousand dollar question: Should you buy a 64 bit processor today for future use? It depends. If you are planning on using more than 4G of memory you may wish to consider the purchase of a 64 bit processor. Just remember that the operating system you choose must have 64 bit capabilities. Most of today’s do, so that shouldn’t be a major problem.

What is a major problem is finding 64 bit drivers for some hardware. Before even taking the plunge, make sure your hardware is supported.

Another thought is that Intel core 2 duo chips do support the 64 bit function. Also AMD offers their 64 bit version as well. So it does appear that some day, some time, some where 64 bit processing may become the standard. When that may happen is anyone’s guess.

Any thoughts? Is 64 bit ready for prime time? Your comments as always are welcome.

[tags]intel, amd, 32, 64, bit, processors, memory[/tags]