32-bit vs 64-bit Computing

The ‘data buss’ in any PC is used to move data around inside the computer. It connects memory to the rest of the system including the processor, which does all the thinking in your computer.

In a 32-bit computer, the width (or size) of the data buss is 32-bits wide. A 64-bit buss is twice as wide so the system can move twice as much data around. Being able to process more data means a faster system — but only for specific things. Normal office productivity and web surfing will show no advantages at all, whereas graphics processing and scientific calculations will go much faster.

So does it make sense to buy a 64-bit computer?

The most common problem with 64-bit is the general lack of stable software to run on these Ferrari of the computer world. The entire system has to be designed and built for the wider data buss, too, so the system will cost more. On the contrary, most 32-bit software will run on a 64-bit system, but that causes one to wonder why one spent the money in the first place. The prices of 32-bit computers are also a lot cheaper.

So why do we need 64-bit computers?

The answer: mostly businesses, universities, scientific groups, and government. If you produce videos, computer art, or develop programs, 64-bit systems will be helpful. But for the home user, 64-bit is currently a bit overkill.