Reply To: Splain me 32 bit vs 64 bit

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#2716

HotDawg
Participant

But, that 6 gigs of memory is 6 gigabytes. A byte is 8 bits — and is what most computers use to store a character. When we talk of 32 bit or 64 bit, that would be word length.

I guess with a 64 bit system, the number of words in memory would be half of what it would be in 32 bit system. But the number of bytes of storage is still the same.

In a 64 bit system, where the addressing and data busses are that wide, then you can move twice as much information at a time, cutting the number of machine cycles in half. And, a 64 bit processor has more instructions (that can be more powerful) and that makes programs more efficient.

IIRC, computers of the IBM 360 era were mostly 32 bit. The desktop computers of today are big jump ahead of what the commercial mainframes of yesterday were.