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32-bit Compatibility Mode

An operational mode in Intel 64 and AMD64 CPUs that enables 32-bit applications to each use up to 4GB of RAM. Contrast with 32-bit Legacy Mode, in which all 32-bit apps share the same 4GB. See 32-bit computing.

32-bit computing

CPUs that process 32 bits as a single unit, compared to 8, 16 or 64. Although 32-bit CPUs were used in mainframes as early as the 1960s, personal computers began to migrate from 16 to 32 bits in the 1980s. Starting with the first 32-bit 386 chips in 1985, Intel x86 CPUs were built with a 16-bit mode for compatibility with 16-bit applications (see 386).

The 32-bit mode does not result in two times as much real work getting done as in 16-bit mode, because it relates to only one aspect of internal processing. The CPU's clock speed, along with the speed, size and architecture of the disks, memory and peripheral bus all play important roles in a computer's performance (see throughput). See 64-bit computing and bit specifications.

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Before/After Your Search Term
3.5mm connector32-bit computer
3.5mm jack32-bit computing
30-bit color32-bit CPU
30-pin connector32-bit disk access
303x32-bit driver
308x32-bit file access
309032-bit Legacy Mode
32-bit32-bit processing
32-bit audio32-bit version
32-bit color32-bit Windows

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