When you update your Windows Operating System from Windows XP or completely install a new Windows 7, you have to choose an option of 64-bit or 32-bit system, this depends on your CPU, if your CPU supports 64-bit, you can choose either Windows 7 64-bit or 32-bit; if your CPU only supports 32-bit, then you can ONLY choose 32-bit other than 64-bit system.
Then the question is how I can know my CPU type ? How do I know my CPU support 64-bit or 32-bit ?
There are different ways, Here we provides several ways on Windows OS, If your computer has Windows XP or other Windows OS installed, you can go ahead to check following content, otherwise, please go to other place to find help:
First of all, we have to know: If we want to check our CPU supports 64-bit or 32-bit, we can NOT rely on our Windows system actually, the reason is just like we have mentioned above, for example: If your Windows system is 32-bit currently, you can not say your CPU support 32-bit only, because it possible support 64-bit too.
1: The most reliable way is using 3rd party tool, but you have to find the tool and install the tool first.Here we introduce a popular hardware checking tool: CPU-Z, we have already talked about it in previous article: Check Your Computer CPU, Motherboard, Graphics Devices…
However, some people do not like installing too many tool, so let us talk the ways using Windows System, but you have to know it might not be reliable:
2: If your CPU is AMD, the thing might be simple:
In Windows XP, Go to** My Computer**, select Properties:
On System Properties windows, you can see the information about CPU, AMD CPU by default has already provided 64-bit or 32-bit in General tab:
3: If your CPU is Intel style, it is not simple to get the information. Because most of time you can not read the 64-bit or 32-bit information from property “General” page directly:
Go to Hardware tab and click Device Manger button:
Expand Processors node, right click one of CPU item and choose Properties:
(Note: Because we do not have a Windows XP system with an intel CPU, so the picture shown below is from a Windows XP with AMD cpu, but the step and screen shot is similar)
In the properties window, click Details tab page, make sure you have chosen “Hardware Ids” from dropdown list, The following screen shot showing a list which include "x86 Family" information, that means current Windows Operating System is 32-bit (Note: Windows system is 32-bit, means the CPU support 32-bit, but you don’t know whether it support 64-bit)
We provide another sample from an Intel CPU pc with Windows 7 64-bit system installed:
The 64-bit or 32-bit information from Windows system normally indicate the Windows system, not means CPU style. unless you can see the information explicitly indicated for CPU, like the AMD cpu we mentioned
The most reliable ways is using some specified tools.