The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer’s processor (also called a CPU), handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system. For more details, go to A description of the differences between 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista online.
To find out if your computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, do the following:
- Open System by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking System.
- Under System, you can view the system type.
To install a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, you need a processor that’s capable of running a 64-bit version of Windows. The benefits of using a 64-bit operating system are most apparent when you have a large amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer (typically 4 GB of RAM or more). In such cases, because a 64-bit operating system can handle large amounts of memory more efficiently than a 32-bit operating system, a 64-bit operating system can be more responsive when running several programs at the same time and switching between them frequently.