Is the Intel i5 a 64-bit processor? Let’s find out.
Updated: 21 February 2023 at 10.11
The Intel Core i5 processor family is the company’s mid-range offering, optimized to deliver powerful and practical performance for most consumer-level applications, while being relatively affordable. Today, an Intel i5 processor is a top option for you if you want to build your first PC.
Read now: Best CPU for gaming 2023
That said, Intel i5 processors have been around for quite some time now; the first generation was released in 2009. If you’re looking to get an older Core i5 processor, you might be wondering whether to get a 32-bit or a 64-bit CPU. Today we find out: Is the Intel i5 a 64-bit processor?
What does it mean for a processor to be 64-bit?
A bit is a binary digit that can only be 2 values, either 0 or 1. Bits are the building blocks of computer languages. Two bits sequentially can have 4 (2^2) possible values, 00, 01, 10 or 11.
3 bits can have 8 (2^3) possible combinations, 4 bits can have 16 (2^4), 5 bits can have 32 (2^5), and so on.
The two most popular CPU bit configurations today are either 32-bit or 62-bit, with the latter being by far the more popular of the two.
32-bit processors can only use and address (2^32) memory addresses. To calculate and explain in a simpler way, 32-bit processors only support a maximum of 4 GB of system memory. You can connect more physical memory to the motherboard, but the processor will not be able to use it.
62-bit processors, the modern standard, can address (2^64) memory addresses. This works out to a whopping 16 exabytes of maximum RAM, which is several orders of magnitude higher than the 4GB figure supported by 32-bit processors.
Now, we don’t actually have systems that use or need that much RAM, which is why the current max is set at 128GB for practicality. 128 GB is still more than enough for all modern applications.
4 GB, on the other hand, is weak. A 32-bit processor would have a hard time doing anything other than office work or simple browsing – not only because it wouldn’t have enough processing power (actually it wouldn’t, but we can leave that for a second) – but also because it and would not be able to load the content required to run larger applications into memory at all.
Playing games and using resource-intensive software would simply be out of the question. Here’s how much RAM you really need for gaming in 2023.
Are Intel Core i5 processors 64-bit?
Fortunately, all Core i5 processors, regardless of model, generation or variant, are actually 64-bit processors.
As mentioned earlier, the Core i5 series was launched in 2009. 64-bit was the standard at that time as well. 32-bit processors were impractical even back then, and today it would be hard to find one.
So even if you want to get an older Core i5 processor, rest assured that it is actually built on 64-bit computer architecture and will be able to support more than 4GB of memory. Even the oldest i5 can support 32 Gigs of DDR3 memory.
If you go with an i5 processor, I recommend sticking with 10th gen and above. In other words, I recommend that you go with the i5-10400F as a minimum. This is a powerful 6-core, 12-thread processor that you will be able to find at a very budget-friendly price. Core i5 processors belonging to even older generations will only cost a little less, but lose a ton of performance.