Up until this point you might not have wondered to check if your processor is x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) as almost no one used 64-bit in Windows XP and when Vista came, most were cautious about the drivers and compatibility with 64-bit processor including me but I think its time everybody moves to 64-bit processing for Windows 7.
Windows 7 is here and you have to make a decision to go for 32-bit or 64-bit before you upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7 and I recommend you going for 64-bit.
But why? First let’s see what exactly these numbers 32 and 64 represent. These numbers 32-bit and 64-bit represent the Data Bus width that are between the Memory (RAM) and the Processor. Obviously you can see that 64-bit has the capability of carrying data twice the width of 32-bit. If you were using 32-bit Vista so far, you would have seen the maximum memory it can realize is 3 GB (though you have 4GB) but with 64-bit Windows you can realize much higher (It was 128 GB with 64-bit Vista). Also, in days to come having more than 4 GB will become a standard and developers and service providers will have to give support and drivers for 64-bit processors. So it’s wise to invest in 64-bit processor and OS at this point in time!
So you have an old Windows XP or Vista computer and now how do you find if your processor is 64-bit capable?
There are different ways to find if your computer processor is 64-bit capable:
Method 1: Easy Method!
Go to Start -> Right click on Computer -> Click Properties. Click on Windows Experience Index.
Now click on View and Print detailed performance and system information.
Here you will be able to see the current system type, number of processor core and if it is 64-bit capable. Note: If you are already running 64-bit processor, it will show in the current system type and you will not see if it is 64-bit capable or not.
If you feel a bit geeky then you can use the following methods to find if your processor is 64-bit:
Method 2: Using Regedit
Go to Start -> Type regedit
Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\CentralProcessor\0
From ProcessorNameString you will be able to see the name of your processor and from Identifier you will see the family of the processor and if it has 64 then it is 64-bit capable.
Method 3: Using MSINFO32
Go to Start -> Type msinfo32.exe
From the System Information page under System Type you will find as x64-based PC.
Method 4: Using CPUZ
CPUZ is a small utility which gives all information about your CPU (Processor), Cache, Mainboard, Memory, SPD etc.
Under Instructions from CPU tab, if you see EM64T (if its Intel) or AMD64 (if its AMD) then your processor is 64-bit capable.
So are you using 32-bit or 64-bit processor and which OS are you using. If you are having 32-bit Windows, will you consider going for 64-bit OS, let us know in the comments.