We show you how to upgrade to a 64-bit operating system for free. But more importantly, we tell you who should and who shouldn’t make the switch.
While 64-bit computers are commonplace today, 64-bit operating systems are only just becoming mainstream. Your 32-bit operating system could also be limiting performance if your PC has a 64-bit CPU, which it probably does. A 64-bit operating system offers several key advantages over its 32-bit counterpart. First and foremost is the ability to take advantage of more than 4 GB of memory. A 32-bit operating system is inherently limited to 4,096 MB of memory, meaning after video memory and other peripheral memory, your computer may only be able to use 3 GB of RAM or less. Because of this 4,096 MB limit, files larger than this can take longer to load because they are constantly called from the hard drive instead of the much faster page file memory or RAM. A 64-bit operating system, on the other hand, can boost this limit to 16,000 petabytes (although, in common practice, your software generally limits it to 128 GB).