Does a 64 bit processor consume more memory (RAM) than a 32 bit one?
closed as not a real question by Linker3000, ChrisF, Wuffers, Sathya♦ Jul 6 '11 at 6:56
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A processor doesn't consume memory. It accesses memory and can access more memory than a classic 32 bit processor.
If you meant "Does a 64bit application consume more memory than a 32bit application?", I'd say yes. Since pointers are twice bigger. However it will not decrease performance as 64bit processors have 64bits registers.
32 bits is not a solution for internet facing servers as you just need to add more memory if you're application is using more memory.
However, people can't code in proper 64bit and GNU/Linux is tweaked to support these failure. So in the end, 64 bit applications run like 32 bit ones (mmap tweak): http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=130683944229077&w=2. So programs may be slower in 64bit, it just means programmers suck ass.
32 bits CPU may consume less power, since they are older and less sophisticated. But power affects the electricity bill, that's all. On the other hand, newer CPU are better in many ways, more optimized and suited for today's world.
But I have to type more to submit... Sigh..
Program A compiled as a 32 bit application has a smaller memory footprint than the same program, B, which was compiled as a 64 bit one. This is because each memory block has a larger address..
Example: suppose your phone book was all very local phone numbers, they'd probably just print the numbers without the area codes.. But to fit in more numbers/addresses, printing the area codes takes up more space/ink/mass, etc.
64-bit programs have somewhat higher memory usages because of optimization issues, but the effect is not significant in practice. The benefits of a 64-bit architecture with 64-bit software, such as a far higher memory addressing capacity, far outweigh the increase in memory usage in almost all situations.