Windows 11 32-bit or 64-bit: know your PC compatibility

Microsoft has been blunt with Windows 11 , and many PCs may be left in the lurch by their decision with the 32-bit and 64-bit versions . We delve into this topic and tell you if it is possible to install this OS in 32 bits.

From Windows Vista, the famous 64-bit and 32-bit versions were introduced, which responded to the specifications of the equipment that each user had. Not all had powerful equipment, and the price of RAM was not very cheap, 4 GB of RAM was popular, although who had 8 GB was crazy. With Windows 11 this has changed and we are going to tell you how it affects you.

Index of contents

  • In Windows 11 there will be no 32-bit versions
  • What are the differences between 32 and 64 bits?
  • So why is there no Windows 11 32-bit?
  • Even if you have less than 4 GB, you can install Windows 11

In Windows 11 there will be no 32-bit versions

Microsoft cuts the supply of 32-bit versions in the bud because it understands that technological reality has evolved and most computers have 4 GB or more of RAM , among other things. That said, this decision is not only focused on this reason, but also on the power that is required in Windows 11 for a good experience.

If we go to the requirements of Windows 11 , you will see that Microsoft’s first requirement is that the processor or chip be 64-bit , regardless of whether it is a CPU or SoC. Later, Microsoft makes its list of compatible processors, but that is “the least” because they have already started with that limit. Look at the Windows 10 requirements :

Processor: 1 GHz or faster processor or system on a chip ( SoC )
RAM: 1GB for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit

First, there is no mention of a 64-bit processor, and second, the difference is made between 32-bit and 64-bit systems in RAM. Returning to the requirements of Windows 11, the minimum of RAM is 4 GB (and few seem to me), so we start from a 64-bit system yes or yes.

Does a good Windows always come with a bad one? This has always been said, but you have to be cautious and less “salty” because it is still too early to say that.

What are the differences between 32 and 64 bits?

The main difference is in processing power, with 32-bit computers being older , slower, and less secure . Getting more technical, a 32-bit system can access 2 32 memory addresses -> 4 GB of physical RAM or less; conversely, a 64-bit system can access 2 64 , which is equivalent to handling 4 GB or more of RAM without problems.

Years ago, people opted for 32-bit Windows because their RAM was less than 3.5 GB , while those who chose 64-bit were because they had 4 GB or more. While Microsoft offered solutions for everyone, Apple released the Mac OS X Snow Leopard with 64 bits and the iPhone 5s, which had the first 64-bit chip in smartphones.

It makes little sense to develop an operating system for 2021 that is 32 bits because it is a thing of the past; Come on, from the first decade of the 21st century. It is possible that many of you who read us have a 64-bit CPU installed, but your OS is 32-bit for RAM memory reasons, something that limits your CPU.

The 32 – bit programs run on a CPU and 64 – bit operating system, and is why Windows has 2 folders “Program Files” (remember the mythical x86 folder ). There is this differentiation between folders because 32-bit programs are installed on the x86 folder, since x86 refers to a 32-bit system.

Think that the x86 family comes from far back, specifically refers to the CPUs compatible with the instructions of the Intel 8086 microprocessor (see processors that made history at Intel ). Basically, it’s a family of instruction set architectures that were developed by Intel in the 1970s.

So why is there no Windows 11 32-bit?

Having explained all of the above, it makes no sense to launch a 32-bit version operating system in 2021 because, today, most people have a 64-bit processor and 4 GB or more of RAM. In fact, every time we are going to have more RAM, even more so when the DDR5 RAM memory standard is installed with modules that will start from 8 GB.

Even phones often have 4GB or more of RAM, so an 8GB laptop is the most common thing in the world. Think long term: Windows 10 was released in 2015 and has happened in 2021. This means that you don’t have to think about today, but in the next 5 years, and I am sure that DDR5 will be normal, processors with cores mixed too and the 16 GB will be the new minimum.

Given this scenario, it is useless to have a 32-bit system when it is something typical of the first decade of the 2000s . In addition, simply by navigating with several tabs and having Word or Excel open … we will already be consuming 4 GB or even more.

Personally, I am a user of a 4 GB laptop and on my work computer I have 16 GB. The difference in experience is abysmal, especially when it comes to multitasking, and my laptop has Windows 10 64-bit! The 4 GB that Microsoft sets as a minimum seems very benevolent by today’s standards.

Another discussion is the list of supported Windows 11 processors , as there are many 64-bit CPUs that are left out of that list. That fact is more reprehensible than the 32-bit version debate.

Even if you have less than 4 GB, you can install Windows 11

Is there no choice but to upgrade my computer to Windows 11? We have seen many users with 2GB RAM powered computers who have been able to install Windows 11 . In theory this is not possible based on requirements, but we have found that Microsoft’s requirements are not as imperative as they seem.

The possible is not the desirable, since your experience in Windows 11 will be very limited with only 2 GB of RAM. So why try? You may want to upgrade your RAM memory with more capacity in the future, so when the time comes it would be interesting to have Windows 11 installed.

If you plan to update your RAM memory in the future, except for urgency, my recommendation is to wait for the DDR5 memory to come out in 2022 because, in this way, we will buy avant-garde and not DDR4, which will become the new DDR3. Still, if you don’t have significant hardware needs, upgrading with DDR4 isn’t a bad idea because it still gives great performance.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, you can comment below and we will answer you shortly.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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