Check if your computer is 32 bit or 64 bit compatible

by • On Dec 8, 11 13:52pm, Updated: Nov 16, 14 16:51pm • 2696 Views

Now-a-days it would not be necessary to check whether your computer system is 64 bit compatible or not. Because most of the latest hardware are capable of operating in 64 bit mode and of course those hardware also compatible with 32 bit mode too.

For those who don’t know about these and the difference between 32 bit and 64 bit modes, this refers to the size of the memory included in the processor to handle data in a single operation. That means with more memory the processor can handle more data in a single operation and that rise up the rate of performance.

There are two types of Operating Systems (OS) and software available in the market, one for 32 bit and another for 64 bit compatible systems. So if your hardware is capable of 64 bit mode then I prefer to use the 64 bit version of OS and software. So when downloading or purchasing any software you should check whether it is for 32 bit or 64 bit OS.

OS for 32 bit systems can also be installed on 64 bit compatible systems. But it would work on 32 bit mode only and won’t utilise the full capacity of the processor. And software for 64 bit cannot be install on this as OS runs in 32 bit mode.

It is very necessary that user should know about the processor and other hardware & software that are included in his/her computer system.. So Go ahead if you want to know more.

On GNU/Linux

Its very easy on a GNU/Linux distribution.

  1. Open terminal.
  2. Type this command ‘grep –color=always -iw lm /proc/cpuinfo’and hit Enter.

    Terminal in Pinguy OS returns lm (Long Mode)

    Terminal in Pinguy OS returns lm (Long Mode)

  3. If you get lm (Long Mode) in flags as shown above, the processor in your system supports 64 bit mode. (In above image, the processor has 4 cores. So the command returns with 4 flags. This may different in your system.)

On Mac

If your Mac has Intel processor:

  1. Select ‘About this Mac’ from the Apple Menu.
  2. Click on ‘More Info’.
  3. Under ‘Hardware Overview’locate Processor’s name (as shown in Figure 2).

    Hardware Overview of a Macbook

    Hardware Overview of a Macbook

  4. Now from the following list check your processor’s supportive mode.

Processor Name

32- or 64-bit

  • Intel Core Solo
32 bit
  • Intel Core Duo
32 bit
  • Intel Core 2 Duo
64 bit
  • Intel Quad-Core Xeon
64 bit
  • Dual-Core Intel Xeon
64 bit
  • Quad-Core Intel Xeon
64 bit
  • Core i3
64 bit
  • Core i5
64 bit
  • Core i7
64 bit

On Windows

On Windows it is needed to download and install third party software. There are lots of third software which provide all detailed information on both hardware and software.

  • Piriform Speccy and CPU-Z are the bests of these. Just install and run any of them.
  • Under CPU section, the processor’s supportive modes will appear as in ‘Instructions’.

    Piriform Speccy in Windows 7

    Piriform Speccy in Windows 7

  • If it is Intel processor in your system you may see ‘Intel 64′ or ‘EM64T’.
  • Or, if is AMD it may contain ‘x86-64′.
  • If you cannot find any of these, the processor supports only 32 bit mode.

Now it is all upon you. You can now decide which type of Operating System you should use. At last I would like to add one more thing, there are more ways to install 32 bit applications/software on 64 bit OS. But I would recommend go for such tricky ways only if you have no other choice.  Otherwise first know your processor and go with it’s supportive mode. Happy computing… :) :)

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