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What is the difference between Windows 7 Professional (x86) - DVD (English) and Windows 7 Professional (x64) - DVD (English)? Are there 86 bit computers now? Did I somehow miss that announcement?

asked Jan 12 '11 at 14:27

Lestat611's gravatar image


edited Jan 12 '11 at 14:37

Interesting question – x86 is a historical thing that's stuck, some of the first Intel 32-bit processors were the 80286 and 80386 (aka i386)... the architecture was called x86 to show that they all ended in the number 86, even though it's 32-bit (definitely not 86 bit!). x64 is a contraction of x86-64... 64-bit processors as used in, for example, Core 2 Duo processors actually use a 64-bit version of the older x86 architecture (and they are backwards compatible - notice how Windows 64-bit can run 32-bit programs without any problem? The processors support this natively!). x64 is just where people are too lazy to write x86-64. If you want to go even deeper, you could say that x86 isn't the official name and it should be called IA-32 (Intel Architecture, 32-bit) now... but that new name doesn't seem to have stuck!

Hope that's not too confusing/geeky for you :) - Javawag

answered Jan 12 '11 at 14:54

javawag's gravatar image


x86 is the architecture name for the prossesors we use in computers. x64 is actualy x86_64 meaning that its in the x86 architecture but 64-bit system.

answered Jan 12 '11 at 14:55

Thanassis's gravatar image


x86 is a reference to the x86 series of Intel processors from which modern processors have evolved, e.g. 80286, 80386. x86 processors all use the same instruction set and registers.

x64 is really a misnomer. The proper name should be x86-64, because its instruction set is derived from, though not compatible with (primarily due to register size) 32-bit x86. "x64" is also often called AMD64, which was its original name given by AMD, who invented the 64-bit instruction set that is modeled after x86.

answered Jan 12 '11 at 14:56

mjonson's gravatar image


edited Jan 12 '11 at 14:57

One Difference is that 64-bit is Designed to use in a good way more then 4GB's of RAM where as 32-bit will take an amount of RAM over 4GB and just simply ignore it. In my opinion your better off with 64-bit.

answered Jan 12 '11 at 14:52

AdamDuce's gravatar image



Yup, officially 32-bit OSes can use up to 4GB but in reality it can drop to around 3GB as the system needs to "use up" memory to address peripherals (including graphics card - if you have 4GB of RAM and a super 2GB graphics card on a 32-bit system, you'll half the amount of RAM available!)

  • Javawag
(Jan 12 '11 at 15:01) javawag javawag's gravatar image

Yes I know the benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit.

(Jan 16 '11 at 06:13) Lestat611 Lestat611's gravatar image

x86 is 32-Bit and x64 is 64-bit. I'm not sure why its not just x32. Its odd. Still, its confusing.

answered Jan 12 '11 at 14:36

Mattophobia's gravatar image

Mattophobia ♦♦

Yes it's very confusing.

(Jan 12 '11 at 14:37) Lestat611 Lestat611's gravatar image
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Asked: Jan 12 '11 at 14:27

Seen: 20,513 times

Last updated: Jan 16 '11 at 06:13