What is 64-bit?

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64-bit is a common measure of computer information and an attribute of computer systems.

Each bit can have two values so 64 bits can have 264 values. This is equivalent to over 18 quintillion (billion times billion) values.

 

How 64-bit values compare with others
Number of bits Decimal
Base-10
Hexadecimal
Base-16
8 256 100
16 65,536 10,000
32 4,294,967,296 100,000,000
64 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 10,000,000,000,000,000

 

Common uses of 64-bits
Category Description
CPU

64-bit CPUs process information 64-bits at a time. This was the most common computer processor through most of the 1990s until the late 2000s.

CPU support

64-bit graphics cards are common.

Software

All Microsoft Windows desktop versions from Windows XP  have 64-bit options. Windows Server versions are increasingly 64-bit only.

Communications and networking

IPv6 has a 64-bit routing prefix and a 64-bit interface suffix which will replace older 48-bit identifiers (MAC addresses are 48-bit).

Displays

64-bit displays don't exist.

Imaging

64-bit imaging, if it exists, is overkill.

Audio

64-bit audio, if it exists, is overkill.

Cryptography

64-bit cryptography such as WEP and DES have been too easy to crack and has been replaced by 128-bit products.

 

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