Skip to content
Related Articles

Related Articles

Explain Why Windows 32-bit called Windows x86 and not Windows x32

View Discussion
Improve Article
Save Article
  • Last Updated : 14 Jun, 2021

Before diving further into it, 

Let’s start with a quick definition of a bit :
In binary – a bit is a single character that can be either 1 or 0.We can represent up to four values using two bits, with 3 bits that go up to 8 values. The amount of different values we can express in binary grows exponentially with each bit we add.
Now, we’ll understand what 32-bit and 64-bit mean
Your computer’s overall performance and the software it can run are both influenced by the processor it utilizes.

What is a processor?

The logic circuitry that reacts to and processes the basic instructions that operate a computer is known as a processor.

Most computers from the 1990s to the early 2000s had a 32-bit system that could access 2^32 (or 4,294,967,296) bytes of RAM (random access memory). A  64-bit Processor, on the other hand, can hold 2^64 (or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616) bytes of RAM. 

A 64-bit CPU, in other words, can process more data than 4 billion 32-bit processors combined. As a result, a 64-bit version of Windows is better than a 32-bit system at handling large amounts of random access memory (RAM). The processing power of a 64-bit CPU is greater than that of a 32-bit CPU.

Let’s get into the topic now. 

In technical terms, x86 and x64 refer to a processor family and the instruction set that they all utilize. It doesn’t say anything about data sizes in particular.

The term x86 refers to any instruction set derived from the Intel 8086 processor’s instruction set. The Intel 8086 Microprocessor is an improved version of the Intel 8085 Microprocessor, which was introduced in 1976. It’s a 16-bit microprocessor with 20 address lines and 16 data lines, and it contains a sophisticated instruction set. It has two modes of operation, which are Maximum and Minimum. Maximum mode is appropriate for systems with several processors, whereas Minimum mode is appropriate for systems with only one processor.

Its successors, 80186, 80286, 80386, and 80486, were all compatible with the original 8086 and could run code written for it. It was originally written as 80×86 to reflect the altered value in the centre of the chip model numbers, but somewhere along the line, the 80 was omitted, leaving only x86. 

x86 began as a 16-bit instruction set for 16-bit processors (the 8086 and 8088), and was later expanded to a 32-bit instruction set for 32-bit processors (80386 and 80486). But the term x86 had already been consistent with all processors that used the instruction set family.

Newer CPUs that utilize Intel’s x86 instruction set are still called x86, i386, or i686 compatible (which means they all use extensions of the original 8086 instruction set).

x64 is the odd man out in this situation. x86-64 was the original term for the 64-bit extension to the x86 set. It was renamed AMD64 later on (because AMD were the ones to come up with the 64-bit extension originally). The 64-bit instruction set was licensed by Intel, and their version was called EM64T.

x86 refers to both the instruction sets and the processors that use them.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Recommended Articles
Page :

Start Your Coding Journey Now!