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I am using C2D processor which supports EM64T instructions. Is that all what is required for running 64 bit OS and applications?

Or what actually is required for running x64?

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ok. let us be specific - what is the difference in 64-bit and 32-bit processors HARDWAREwise ? – xenon Dec 2 '09 at 20:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Primarily all you need is a processor that claims AMD64 or EM64T compatability in order to run a 64-bit OS. There are a number of newer functions available on newer 64 bit processors like AMD-V or similar for virtualisation (running another OS within your current OS) but they are not needed to run a 64-bit OS.

I am running Windows 7 64-bit on an early generation AMD X2 64-bit processor and it works fine, you should have no problem with a C2D.

64-bit simply allows a much larger address space so that the computer can use more RAM effectively. Ignoring the fact that a 32-bit computer could in theory see more than 4GB of RAM it will not be as effective as using it as a full 64-bit OS.

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Yes, any CPU that supports Intel EM64T or AMD64 (such as your Core 2 Duo) is capable of running 64-bit Windows, Linux, and other "x64" 64-bit operating systems. EM64T and AMD64 are specific implementations of the x86-64 instruction set originally specified by AMD as a 64-bit extension to the x86 instruction set. This expanded instruction set includes additional 64-bit registers and uses a 64-bit memory address space. The term x86-64 has since been shortened to x64 for simplicity.

There are also other competing 64-bit architectures, such as Sun's SPARC platform and Intel's Itanium platform, but these are incompatible with EM64T/AMD64, and have only been used for server- or workstation-grade computers, rather than consumer-targeted PCs.

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Yes,a 64-bit processor is what's required for running an 64-bit OS,the other requirements differ according to the OS itself

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If you want to use a 64-bit Windows OS, run the Windows 7 Upgrade advisor; it will tell you whether your computer meets the requirements for 64-bit or not.

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As for your new question:

The difference between 64 and 32 bit processors

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No i dont want to know about upgradation, i just want to know the hardware requirements of 64 OS in detail. thanks – xenon Dec 2 '09 at 19:59
the hardware requirements are different for each OS, since you don't tell which 64-bit OS you have in mind, the is no general answer. – Molly7244 Dec 2 '09 at 20:04
question updated. please see comment. – xenon Dec 2 '09 at 20:16

In short: 64-bit processor got registers to store and operate on 64bit data and addresses.

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