Windows 7 – enter the 64-bit world

Windows 7 – enter the 64-bit world

The New Year is traditionally a good time to find bargains in the PC market. There is a huge variety of laptops and desktop computers, but you’ll quickly spot that they all come with Windows 7 64-bit installed.This move to 64-bit Windows is common across all the major PC manufacturers, including Hewlett Packard, Dell, Acer and Toshiba. New computers with traditional, 32-bit Windows 7 are fast disappearing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 32-BIT AND 64-BIT VERSIONS OF WINDOWS?

A. 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.

You can expect to see new computers with 4Gb or 8Gb of RAM as standard in the near future.

Q. CAN I RUN 32-BIT PROGRAMS ON A 64-BIT COMPUTER?

A. Most programs designed for the 32-bit version of Windows will work on the 64-bit version of Windows.

Notable exceptions are many anti-virus programs and some accounts software, including versions of Sage Line 50, Sage 100, Sage 200, MMS and ACT.

Device drivers designed for the 32-bit version of Windows don’t work on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. If you’re trying to install a printer or other device that only has 32-bit drivers available, it won’t work correctly on a 64-bit version of Windows.

Q. HOW CAN I FIND PROGRAMS AND DEVICES THAT WORK WITH THE 64-BIT VERSION OF WINDOWS 7?

A. To find programs and devices that work with Windows 7, look for products that display the “Compatible with Windows 7” logo. They’ve been tested to be compatible with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

Q. IF I’M RUNNING A 64-BIT VERSION OF WINDOWS, DO I NEED 64-BIT DRIVERS FOR MY DEVICES?

A. Yes. All hardware devices need 64-bit drivers to work on a 64-bit version of Windows.

Drivers designed for 32-bit versions of Windows don’t work on computers running 64-bit versions of Windows.

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