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September 3, 2013, 10:20 am
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Re: 32bit and 64bit hardware?
Motherboards are not concerned with the instruction set of
the processor, as such. You need drivers written for a 64 bit
OS, to work on the motherboard. So you'd check that both
32 bit and 64 bit drivers were available. This information
can be obtained from the motherboard maker site, in their
For processors, you can look on sites like ark.intel.com
or products.amd.com .
The AMD site is unambiguous.
Operating Mode 32 Bit Yes
Operating Mode 64 Bit Yes
The Intel site leaves more to the imagination.
Instruction Set 64-bit <--- means 64 and 32 possible
Instruction Set 32-bit
In the case of the first Intel one, an entry of "64-bit", means
both 32 bit and 64 bit are supported. Whereas the second
one, won't run a 64 bit OS.
"x86-64 (also known as x64, x86_64 and amd64) is the 64-bit version
of the x86 instruction set.
The original specification was created by AMD, and has been implemented
by AMD, Intel, VIA, and others. It is fully backwards compatible with
16-bit and 32-bit x86 code. Because the full x86 16-bit and 32-bit
instruction sets remain implemented in hardware without any intervening
emulation, existing x86 executables run with no compatibility or
performance penalties, whereas existing applications that are recoded
to take advantage of new features of the processor design may achieve
That article also has a table called "Operating modes", further
down the page, listing how a 64 bit processor can be operated
to support 64 bit OS plus 32 bit executables, as well as 32 bit
OS limited to things a 32 bit processor might have done.