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Inside the Machine by Jon Stokes

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Why 64 Bits?

The question of why we need 64-bit computing is often asked but rarely answered in a satisfactory manner. There are good reasons for the confusion surrounding the question, the first of which is the rarely acknowledged fact that “the 64-bit question” is actually two questions:

  1. How does the existing 64-bit server and workstation market use 64-bit computing?

  2. What use does the consumer market have for 64-bit computing?

People who ask the 64-bit question are usually asking for the answer to question 1 in order to deduce the answer to question 2. This being the case, let’s first look at question 1 before tackling question 2.

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