No One Uses 32-bit Anymore... Right?
The 64-bit computer architecture has been around much longer than most laypersons think. In fact, its history goes all the way back to the 1970's. But for most personal computer users it became available affordably around 2003. Over eight years later most people have left 32-bit behind, right?
The results of the latest poll at Tuxmachines.org give us a possible answer. While the advantages are clear for many people, the number of people still using 32-bit might surprise you. Among other advantages, 64-bit processors with their larger register size can keep and use more data than the smaller 32-bit counterparts, allowing the use of more physical memory. These factors speed up the works by cutting down the back and forth referencing and cycling in and out of data. The performance boost is quite noticeable with multimedia and graphic applications, games, and databases.
While this is almost a criminal oversimplification, one can get the gist of why many users moved on to 64-bit as soon as software caught-up. Linux distributions usually offer both 32-bit and 64-bit version these days, but there are some that still don't. So, just how many people are still using 32-bit? According to the poll, 44% of the visitors who responded are using 32-bit versions of Linux.
Judging by some of the discussions I've seen on the subject, some users aren't convinced there's a significant advantage. Where ever you land in the discussion, it appears you are not alone. A 44 to 56 split could almost be a statistical tie. Did you know it was still pretty much half and half? I expected lots more 64-bit users.