What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Java?

By | August 11, 2019

In this blog post we will discuss about What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Java? 

The Java language specifications are same for 32-bit and 64-bit platform i.e. int will remain to be 4 bytes signed two’s complement, char will remain single 16-bit Unicode, long will remain 64-bit signed two’s complement, and so on. Hence any pure Java code will not have any differences provided external native calls are not used. All that changes are the amount of addressable memory (good) and the amount of memory per Object (not that good). The size of the reference variables doubled from 32 bit to 64 bits; thus, all the reference variable will take double the size when running on 64-bit JVM.

Theoretically will not have class file differences between code compiled with the 32 bit and 64-bit versions of the same revision of Java.

For 32-bit JVM, the maximum memory is limited to 4GB, the memory limit for 64-bit JVM is very high. We should always keep in mind that more JVM memory may cause larger System wide GC pauses, so the size of JVM should be decided keeping this factor into account.

You should also remember that 64-bit JVM requires more memory compared to 32 JVM for the same application because now each reference starts consuming 64 bits instead of 32 bits i.e. management cost of 64-bit version is higher than the 32-bit version. However, newer JVMs offer object pointer compression techniques which can significantly reduce the space required by 64-bit JVM.

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