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what is x86 and x64..and their difference


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#1 marko_23

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:00 AM

hello 2 all...just wondering...what's the difference between x64 and x86?

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#2 whoabuddy

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:23 AM

They are both reference the processor, with x86 being advertised as 32-bit, and x64 advertised as 64-bit. Microsoft has a website dedicated to explaining the difference.

Excerpt:

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. For more details, go to A description of the differences between 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista online.


A more in-depth and less Windows biased analysis can be found at Wikipedia.

Excerpt:

A change from a 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture is a fundamental alteration, as most operating systems must be extensively modified to take advantage of the new architecture, because that software has to manage the actual memory addressing hardware.


Now if you want to get technical, x86 refers "to a family of instruction set architectures[2] based on the Intel 8086 CPU" according to Wikipedia, and can be 16, 32, or 64-bit. From what I can tell, x64 is a reference to x86-64, but I'm not sure past the simple differences. I'm sure another member will have much more information than I do, but hopefully that answers your question!
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#3 xXAlphaXx

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:58 AM

whoabuddy handled it pretty in-depth there.

"What does it mean too me?"

Not a whole lot. Some programs are less compatible with 64bit as they may have been engineered for 32bit specifically. Their have been big strides since 64bit became commercial so program compatibility is almost that of 32bit systems. The biggest reason why 64bit systems are in use now is so users can use more than 3.5GB of RAM as 32bit operating systems will only recognize about 3.5GB. The limit on 64bit operating systems are at 8TB (8192 GB)

"Is their any difference with using a x86 based processor or a x64 based?"

Yes, if you are running a x86 based processor, you are using one built for a 32bit operating system. If you use it on a 64bit operating system you will run into limitations such as the processor not being able to access all 4GB+ of ram. The same goes for using a x64 on a 32bit. It will function fine but it is not being used up too it's full potential.



Basically, x86 = 32bit(>3.5GB RAM), x64 = 64bit(4GB RAM+).
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#4 marko_23

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 05:29 PM

ahh..i get it..aww. . my laptop has only 3 gb ram...64 bit version:((,,,

#5 whoabuddy

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

That's not necessarily a bad thing, what is the make and model of your laptop? 3gb of ram with a nice processor should run fast! What do you use the laptop for? Is it slow?

Since your laptop is 64-bit you have the option of upgrading your memory as well, depending on the limits of your particular model.
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#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:12 AM

Basically, x86 = 32bit(>3.5GB RAM), x64 = 64bit(4GB RAM+).


Mark Russinovich has a great article on physical memory in Windows systems: https://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx

One difference between x86 and X64 Windows systems that I find significant is that x64 Windows has some extra security features, like Kernel Patch Protection (PatchGuard): https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Kernel_Patch_Protection

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#7 balmerhevi

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 12:41 AM

Technically x86 simply refers to a family of processors and the instruction set they all use. It doesn't actually say anything specific about data sizes. The term x86 started out as a 16-bit instruction set for 16-bit processors (the 8086 and 8088 processors), then was extended to a 32-bit instruction set for 32-bit processors (80386 and 80486), and now has been extended to a 64-bit instruction set for 64-bit processors. It used to be written as 80x86 to reflect the changing value in the middle of the chip model numbers, but somewhere along the line the 80 in the front was dropped, leaving just x86. More about....difference between x86 and x64

 

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