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What Does x64 and x86 Mean?

Discussion in 'Site & Server Administration' started by gobbly2100, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Ann-on-a-moose

    Ann-on-a-moose Peon

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    #41
    This thread is ancient, but I feel this may be a relevant answer to some :) 32 bit OS programs needed to be seemlessly run on a newer and more RAM 64 bit OS. Microsoft uses DLLs to run programs on its OS's. Rather than having massive amounts of programming data using up all the memory for each program they have sections of commonly used programming which run many different programs called Dynamic Link Libraries or DLLs. So several 32 bit programs will use the same 32 bit DLL to run. When the 64 bit OS was developed MS needed it to be backwards compatable with the 32 bit programs in order for them to run on the new OS (since the programs were still in use and the issue was mostly the amount of available RAM (random access memory)). The problem being the new 64 bit programs also needed their own DLLs to run. So to stop the 32 bit DLLs trying to run the 64 bit programs and vice versa, causing critical run errors, they created a file x86 to contain the 64 bit DLLs. This allowed the System to easily match the correct bit DLL to run with the specific bit program. So in conclusion a 32 bit OS x86 (with 32 bit programs) doesn't have x86 files because these folders contain the DLLs required to run 64 bit programs on a 64 bit OS. Whereas a 64 bit OS x64 will contain all 3, 64 bit programs; x86, 64 bit DLLs (separated from 32 bit) and the (still useful) 32 bit programs with the original 32 bit DLLs to run them. Phew! hth ;)
    SEMrush
     
    Ann-on-a-moose, Jul 29, 2017 IP
    mmerlinn and alwaysforGod like this.
    SEMrush
  2. alwaysforGod

    alwaysforGod Active Member

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    #42
    Solid answer ^, and yes it can be a bit confusing but remember that (oftentimes) randomly assigned numbers can get sort of wonky when it comes to the actual filing and categorizing of different programs and software, but for this, 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, 32 being represented by the x86, and round we go, right? Lol, hope everyone is doing well,

    -John Y.
     
    alwaysforGod, Apr 20, 2018 IP
  3. sobuj ali

    sobuj ali Member

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    #43
    its old
     
    sobuj ali, Jun 4, 2018 IP
  4. dess71

    dess71 Well-Known Member

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    #44
    But why say x86 for 32. It is ambiguous. The other day I went to buy some software and bought the wrong type for my operating system type. I went back to change it.
     
    dess71, Nov 10, 2019 IP
  5. Harry H

    Harry H Greenhorn

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    #45
    Because originally the microprocessors were labelled 8086, 80286, 80386, 80486, 80586 etc. 8086 & 80286 were actually 16-bit though. x86 was the standard way to describe what would be a normal desktop processor for a long time. Then came 64-bit as a set of extensions to it and it was called x86-64. x86 is more to distinguish it from ARM or Itanium processors etc which are completely incompatible.
     
    Harry H, Nov 10, 2019 IP
  6. GoMummy-GM

    GoMummy-GM Peon

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    #46
    x86 and x64 simply refer to a family of processors and the instruction set they use. In general, x86 is 32-bit, and x64 is 64-bit. All modern processors are 64-bit and thus can allocate additional memory and perform faster operations.
     
    GoMummy-GM, Feb 18, 2020 IP
  7. Funkworks

    Funkworks Peon

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    #47
    At the time the Intel 80386 processors came out, they became so mainstream, people referred to the as 386s. Then came the 486 which everyone got instead. Then came the pentium, which was essentially a 586. These were all 32-bit systems, and collectively they became a benchmark known informally as the x86 series. "86" refers to a model name, not a number of bits.

    Later, they decided the number should represent the number of bits instead, so x64 now refers to a number of 64 bits.

    It's like comparing a Porsche 911 with a BMW 328. The "911" is only a name, not specs, while the 328 refers to frame size 3, and a 2.8 liter engine (not accurate days but it used to be at first).

    x86 and 911 refer to a model number.
    x64 and 328 refer to actual specs.
     
    Funkworks, May 11, 2020 IP