Desktop Processor Integration for Intel® 64 Architecture


Install & Setup




In order to implement Intel® 64 technology, the processor must contain support for that feature. Although most recent boxed Intel® Desktop Processors have support for Intel 64, it is always necessary to check that the processor supports this feature if you intend to implement it.

In order to take advantage of this technology, an entire 64-bit hardware and software solution stack is required. This includes processors, device drivers, operating systems, tools, and applications.

The primary value to users of Intel 64 lies in potential performance improvements achieved by the ability to address greater than 4GB of both virtual and physical memory.

Desktop system requirements

To take advantage of Intel 64, an entire 64-bit hardware and software solution stack is required.

  • CPU
    An Intel® desktop processor with support for Intel 64 is required. Consult the Product Specifications and Comparisons to see which processors support Intel 64. The easiest way to find out if your processor supports Intel 64 is to use the search box in the upper right hand corner of this tool. Simply input the processor number into the search box and it will show you which Intel technologies are supported.
  • Chipset
    A motherboard with the one of the following chipsets is currently required to support Intel 64: Intel® 910, Intel® 915x/925X/XE, Intel® 945x946x/955X/975X, Intel® 965x/963x, Intel® 3 Series Express Chipset, Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset, Intel® 5 Series Express Chipset, Intel® 6 Series Express Chipset, or Intel® 7 Series Chipset.
  • BIOS
    The motherboard BIOS must have support for Intel 64. The processor will not operate in 64-bit mode without an Intel 64-enabled BIOS.
  • Operating system (OS)
    An OS that supports Intel 64 is required. Supported operating systems may include: Windows 7*, Windows Vista*, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition*, Windows 64-bit* client OS release, Red Flag* version 4.1, Novell Linux Desktop 9*, or Red Hat DT 3.0* and higher. Contact your OS vendor for more information on specific release dates and Intel 64 support.
  • Drivers
    Although your OS should come with standard 64-bit drivers, you must also update your hardware drivers with 64-bit enabled drivers to run in 64-bit mode.
  • Applications
    Applications must be coded and compiled to support Intel 64. Contact your software vendor for specific software capabilities.


Standard integration procedures should be followed for installing all of the various system hardware components. Once all the hardware components have been installed correctly, take the following recommended integration steps:

  1. Download and run the latest BIOS update for your motherboard. Some systems may not boot an Intel desktop processor with Intel 64 support if there is not BIOS support for that processor. In this case, you will need to install a processor into the motherboard that the BIOS does support in order to update to the latest BIOS.
  2. Boot the system and install an Intel 64 enabled operating system.
  3. Update system drivers with drivers encoded for Intel 64 support.
  4. Install 32-bit and 64-bit encoded software applications.

An Intel® processor with support for Intel 64 can operate in either 32-bit or 64-bit mode. In all modes, an Intel 64 enabled BIOS is required.

If a 32-bit operating system is installed, the processor will run in 32-bit mode. In this case, 64-bit drivers are not required.

With a 64-bit operating system, the computer will either operate in 64-bit mode or what is called Compatibility Mode. In either mode, all system drivers must be 64-bit. In 64-bit mode, 64-bit and 32-bit applications can be running in the system concurrently. Legacy 32-bit applications will run in Compatibility Mode.

64-bit applications will have new executables not compatible with 32-bit applications. In other words, 64-bit applications generally cannot share libraries with 32-bit executables.

Operating mode requirements

Operating System Drivers Required BIOS Intel® 64 Aware? Application Usage
32-bit OS 32-bit Yes 32-bit
64-bit OS 64-bit mode 64-bit Yes 64-bit
Compatibility Mode 64-bit Yes 32-bit

For more information, visit Intel® 64 Architecture.

THIS INFORMATION IS FOR REFERENCE USE ONLY AND IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITH NO WARRANTIES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, NONINFRINGEMENT, OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. The system vendor builder remains solely responsible for the design, sale and functionality of its product. Please check with the hardware and software product vendors for current and compatibility information regarding specific product models. All products are based on current expectations, and subject to change without notice.

Performance will vary depending on your hardware and software configurations. See Intel® 64 Architecture for more information including details on which processors support Intel 64 or consult with your system vendor for more information.