Friday, May 4, 2012

X86 / X64 processors - 32 bit /64 bit windows

X86 processor - a term used for processors belonging to the Instruction set Architectures(ISA) of Intel 8080 CPU(first 8 bit processor). The later versions of processors like 16 bit(8086) and 32  bit(80386) processors were also named on with '86' suffix, and hence the term X86

X64 - 32 bit processors may sometime be denoted as X86-32 or x32 while 16 bit can be x16 or x86-16 and 64 will be x86-64 or simply X64.

Only computers that have a 64bit processor have the capability of running 64 bit OS.

Steps to identify 32 bit/ 64 bit OS and processors

  1. In Windows 7 / Vista, open the system properties and under the System tab, you will find whether the OS is 32 bit or 64 bit
  2. For windows XP, if you have a 64 bit OS, then Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Version < Year> will appear under System, else it will 32 bit OS and Windows XP Professional Version < Year> will be displayed.
  3. For a 64-bit processor : x64-based PC appears for the System type under Item
  4. For a 32-bit  processor : x86-based PC appears for the System type under Item.

P.S: The reason for this write up is not to substitute windows reference or wikipedia, but just to serve as a quick reference.

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