Should I choose 32 or 64 bit?

Hi guys,

my laptop comes with Intel Celeron processor B820 1.70 supporting 64bit architecture.

As the download guide says:

PC (Intel x86) For almost all PCs. This includes most machines with Intel/AMD/etc type processors and almost all computers that run Microsoft Windows, as well as newer Apple Macintosh systems based on Intel processors. Choose this if you are at all unsure.

64-bit PC (AMD64) Choose this to take full advantage of computers based on the AMD64 or EM64T architecture (e.g., Athlon64, Opteron, EM64T Xeon, Core 2). If you have a non-64-bit processor made by AMD, or if you need full support for 32-bit code, use the Intel x86 images instead.

I guess I have to choose the 64bit version, but the guide says suggest 32bit for Intel processors. I want to be sure before installing. Could you help me, please?

Thank you!

Welcome to the community!

I'm still awaiting for my pull request to be merged, which should improve these descriptions on the website.

32-bit (i386): For PCs with less than 2 GB of RAM with an Intel or AMD processor. Ageing PCs, low-RAM systems and older Intel-based Apple Macintosh systems should choose this.

64-bit (amd64): For 64-bit capable Intel and AMD processors. Best for machines with more than 3 GB of RAM. This is required for modern Intel-based Apple Macs as well as UEFI PCs booting in CSM mode.


If you don't have much RAM, 32-bit will be more efficient, but if you would like to (or must) run 64-bit applications or have plenty of RAM, then 64-bit would be the one to go for. The amd64 and Intel x86 naming is to do with who released what first, there's no incompatibility between processor brands.

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I’ve forgot to say, my laptop comes with 4 GB of RAM

Given your RAM does not exceed 4 GB I would probably go for 32 bit. But, it doesn’t really matter either way, probably.

It all depends on what kind of program you intend to run, you see, and what the RAM demands of those programs might be. If I remember correctly, both 32 bit and 64 bit Linux OS’s can utilise all of the RAM, no matter how big. However, the 32 bit OS can only use it at a rate of a maximum of 4 gigs per program. Thus, if you have a program that is likely to want more than 4 GB at any given moment (CGI/video processing?), then 64 bit is the way to go. However, for anything 4GB and below (and, by definition, this will be all of the programs on your machine since you only have 4 GBs), there is nothing to be gained by installing the 64 bit version.

Hi guys

My personal experience is a bit different. I run all my 64bit virtual machines with two gig of ram and would call it the minimum needed for 64bit. With 4G of ram, I would say your good to go with 64bit. Thats what my laptop has (4G ram) and been running 64bit on it for years without issue.

Thank you Lah7, Steve and v3xx!

I don’t usually use programs that require much ram, Gimp is the most “heavy” software I use, so I guess it won’t need more than 4 GB. Not interested in video-editing.

I am going to try the 32 bit, if I’ll get trouble I will upgrade to 64.

Good evening!

You’re welcome! :slight_smile:

Just to add, 64-bit also utilises a lot more RAM in general then 32-bit. From my experience, a 2 GB RAM netbook and even a 1 GB RAM desktop tower ran low on memory quite quickly.

32-bit can access more than 4 GB of RAM too with PXE.

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I use 32 bit versions on 64 bit PC’S/Laptops with no problems, as long as you only have a max of 4GB RAM, stick with 32 bit and you can’t go wrong!. :smiley:

I am toying with an old laptop with 1GB RAM using Ubuntu 12.04 base with Mate DE installed, it runs like a rocket!. :smiley: