64-Bit Computing is here to Stay. Are You Ready?

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm by Donna Warren

Are you using 64-bit computing yet? More and more people are adopting it mostly because as they need to upgrade their computers, 64-bit are pretty much all that are available. It took many years to go from 116-bit to 32-bit computing because of both hardware and device driver support. When you throw in the fact that most operating systems upgrade every two to three years, compatibility issues can be pretty serious.

As more and more hardware devices and the newer operating systems supporting 64-bits, there is a lot more interest to switching from businesses. You see, unlike home computers where a bad decision will only set you back a few hundred dollars, a wrong decision on upgrading can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a business. So, they have every right to be skeptical and slow about adopting new technology. Larger businesses will not even consider new technology for the desktop until it has been tried, tested and proven to work.

However, there some compelling reasons to adopt 64-bit technology. The [primary one is memory addressing capability. The number of bits used to address memory location determines how much memory a machine can access. Since 232 translate to 4.3 billion bytes, a 32-bit processor can only address 4GB of memory. That also means that there is less than 3GB for application programs to use even though most motherboards can hold upto16 GB.

Meanwhile 264 provides 16.8 Exabytes (which is a 16 followed by 18 zeros) of addressable memory which is considerably more than any hardware or operating system can currently use which leaves plenty of room for growth as the hardware and software catches up.

Another reason for switching is improved performance. Most applications are compiled as 32-bit code for hardware compatibility. However, once everything is switched to 64-bit, users will see a substantial improvement in performance.

64-bit is the future. Are you ready?

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