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Sabah Shariq
Sabah Shariq

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Visual Studio 2022 is 64-bit. What does it mean?


Before we look into what Visual Studio 2022 now 64-bit application first lets look into what does 32-bit or 64-bit means?

When we consider the various Windows versions, we might first think of the Home or Pro editions. While these are indeed different, there's another factor that separates Windows versions which is whether is system 32-bit or 64-bit?

Information in computers is normally represented in bits, a binary sequence of 1 and 0. The more bits you have, the more information you can represent. Specifically, a sequence of n bits can represent 2^n different pieces of information.

Why bits matter?

In computing, there are two types of processors existing, i.e., 32-bit and 64-bit processors. Where the CPU register stores memory addresses, which is how the processor accesses data from RAM. One bit in the register can reference an individual byte in memory. So, this 32-bit and 64-bit processors tell us how much memory a processor can access from a CPU register. For instance,

  • A 32-bit system can address a maximum of 4GB (2^32 possible addresses, or 4,294,967,296 bytes) of RAM
  • A 64-bit system can theoretically reference 16 exabytes (2^64 possible addresses or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes, about 18 billion gigabytes) of RAM.

This is several million times more than an average workstation would need to access. Meaning that a computer can calculate more, faster. And with 64-bit computer, a processor can hold 16 exabytes of memory addresses. (An exabyte is 1,000 petabytes, a petabyte is 1,000 terabytes, and a terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes.)

Advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit:

  • Using 64-bit user can do a lot in multi-tasking
  • Easily switch between various applications without any windows hanging problems.
  • Allows you to access virtual memory per process.

Visual Studio 2022 is 64-bit application:

Visual Studio 2022 is 64-bit application i.e. it is no longer limited to 4GB of memory in the main devenv.exe process. With a 64-bit Visual Studio on Windows, one can open, edit, run, and debug even the biggest and most complex solutions without running out of memory.

Earlier what happen is that even though you downloaded the 64-bit version of Visual Studio and able to create 64-bit application on computer but Visual Studio it self remains 32-bit application. Now, long into the 64-bit computing era, that has finally changed. Till Visual Studio 2019 the application is 32-bit however few of internal components such as diagnostics/debuggers, MSBuild, compilers, designers will take advantage of 64-bit processors if available.

So at the end the main core devenv.exe process is now a 64-bit. It will have much more advantages of using more CPU registers, and taking advantage of more than 4GB of memory.

How to check how if your application running on 64bit or 32 bit?

The devenv.exe file installation location for Visual Studio 2019 Enterprise vs. Visual Studio 2022 Enterprise preview clearly highlights this:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2019\Enterprise\Common7\IDE
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\Enterprise\Common7\IDE

Another way to check is via “Task Manager”. In windows 11 Open the “Task Manager” . Move to the “Details” tab. In architecture column you can find on which architecture the process is running. There you should see the 64bit / 32bit as platform for the devenv.exe

VS Process

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