If you have ever bought a computer or a smartphone, you might have come across the term x64. But what does it mean and why does it matter In this article, we will explain what x64 is, how it differs from other architectures, and what benefits it offers to users and developers.
What is x64
x64 is a name for a family of 64-bit instruction set architectures (ISAs) that are based on the original Intel 64 design. An ISA is a set of rules that defines how a processor can execute instructions and manipulate data. A 64-bit ISA means that the processor can handle data in chunks of 64 bits (or 8 bytes) at a time, as opposed to 32 bits (or 4 bytes) in a 32-bit ISA.
x64 is also known as AMD64, Intel 64, or x86-64, depending on the vendor. AMD was the first to introduce a 64-bit extension to the existing 32-bit x86 ISA in 2000, and Intel followed suit in 2004. Since then, x64 has become the dominant ISA for desktops, laptops, servers, and most smartphones.
How does x64 differ from other architectures
x64 is backward compatible with the 32-bit x86 ISA, which means that it can run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications and operating systems. However, x64 also introduces some new features and improvements over x86, such as:
A larger number of general-purpose registers (GPRs), which are temporary storage locations for data and instructions. x64 has 16 GPRs, compared to 8 in x86. This allows for more efficient use of processor resources and faster performance.
A larger address space, which is the range of memory locations that a processor can access. x64 can address up to 16 exabytes (EB) of memory, compared to 4 gigabytes (GB) in x86. This enables applications to use more memory and handle larger data sets.
New instructions and extensions, such as SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, AVX, AVX2, AVX-512, BMI1, BMI2, FMA3, FMA4, XOP, AES-NI, SHA-NI, and more. These instructions provide enhanced functionality and performance for various tasks such as multimedia processing, encryption, hashing, compression, decompression, etc.
What are the benefits of x64
x64 offers several benefits to users and developers who want to take advantage of its features and capabilities. Some of these benefits are:
Better performance: x64 applications can run faster and more efficiently than their 32-bit counterparts, thanks to the larger number of registers, larger address space, and new instructions. For example, a benchmark test showed that an x64 version of Photoshop CS6 was about 10% faster than a 32-bit version on the same hardware.
More memory: x64 applications can access more memory than 32-bit applications, which are limited by the 4 GB address space. This allows for more complex and demanding applications that require large amounts of memory, such as video editing, gaming, scientific computing, etc.
More security: x64 operating systems can implement security features such as address space layout randomization (ASLR) and data execution prevention (DEP) more effectively than 32-bit operating systems. These features help prevent malicious attacks by making it harder for hackers to exploit memory vulnerabilities.
x64 is a family of 64-bit instruction set architectures that are based on the original Intel 64 design. It is backward compatible with the 32-bit x86 ISA but also introduces new features and improvements that enhance performance, memory usage, and security. x64 is widely used in desktops, laptops, servers, and most smartphones today. 061ffe29dd