32 or 64-bit: Which should I get?
A Good Rule of Thumb
If in doubt, always get the 32-bit version.
32-bit and 64-bit are a technical shorthand for describing how much memory can be accessed by a computer processor (CPU) or program.
64-bit operating systems and programs can access more memory than their 32-bit counterparts, which can improve performance.
We can say that:
- 32-bit programs (i.e. Microsoft Office) and operating systems (i.e., Windows) will work on any processor
- 64-bit operating systems require a 64-bit processor
- 64-bit programs require a 64-bit operating system
To find out if you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows:
- Click the Start button.
- Right-click on Computer and select Properties
- The bitness will be indicated by the System Type, as highlighted in green here: