In the world of computing, the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit anything can be quite confusing. The following article helps to clarify the differences between 32 and 64-bit operating systems as well as between 32 and 64-bit programs. It also explains the reasons for choosing one way or the other and walks through the steps to determine if your current operating system and/or DAW is 32-bit or 64-bit.
There are a number of reasons a user would want 64-bit operating systems and programs. While 64-bit does not add 'power', 'speed', or 'features', it does allow the ability access much more RAM, and therefore a 64-bit program and operating system would have the ability to run more memory-intensive programs that depend on things such as samples, patches, and RAM.
Below you will find more information on 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and programs.
The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to how much of your computer's memory (RAM) can be used by the installed operating system and the applications that run within that operating system.
Although both 32-bit and 64-bit programs can be installed on a 64-bit operating system, a 32-bit program will only be able to access up to about the first 4 gigabytes of memory (RAM).
By contrast, a native 64-bit program installed on a 64-bit operating system will be able to utilize a much higher amount of memory (RAM), allowing for much larger projects and more memory-intensive operations.
Although this fact is always true, some 64-bit hosts allow for a "bridge" program enabling the abilty to run a 32-bit plugin in a 64-bit host.
For any potential information on "bridge" programs that may work in the host of your choice, refer to the host program documentation or support.
There are two things to know about a Mac in the context of determing if the OS is 64-bit. First, is the processor 64-bit capable? Second, is the OS running in 32-bit or 64-bit mode?
NOTE: Mac Mountain Lion 10.8 and later do not support running in 32-bit mode.
In the window that opens, choose More Info...
NOTE: Your Mac will revert to the default mode the next time you reboot it.
All versions of Pro Tools prior to Pro Tools 11 are 32-bit. AVID has announced that Pro Tools 11 will be released as a 64-bit native software progam.
For further information on Pro Tools 11, please visit http://apps.avid.com/protools11/
NOTE: All versions of Ableton Live prior to version 8.4 are 32-bit.
To determine what version of Ableton Live is currently installed and whether or not it is a 32-bit or 64-bit installation, follow the steps suggested below:
Steinberg's Cubase DAW began to offer native 64-bit installation begining with Cubase 4. Most LE versions of the software are 32-bit only. To determine whether the currently installed version is 32-bit or 64-bit, follow the steps below:
PreSonus Studio One allows for the installation of either the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the DAW. To determine which one is currently installed, follow the steps below:
Cockos' Reaper offers the choice to install either the 32-bit or the 64-bit version of the DAW. To determine which version is currently installed, follow the steps suggested below:
When Logic is installed, both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version of the DAW is included in the installation. Prior to opening the program, the user can indicate which version should be opened.
To first determine which mode Logic is currently opened in, follow the steps suggested below:
To change which version of Logic opens, follow the steps suggested below:
Finally, open Logic and go to Logic > About Logic Pro to ensure the correct version of Logic Pro has opened.
SONAR X2 offers both the 32-bit and the 64-bit installation option. To determine which version is currently installed, follow the steps suggested below: