The only difference I know is that size of the registers for 64-bit and 32-bit processors are 64 and 32 bits, respectively. Also the addresses are 64 bits in 64 bit processors. Are there any other differences between these two?
x86_64 has more registers than x86, so more work can be done on the CPU rather than constantly fetching bits from RAM. Also, x86_64 guarantees that the CPU supports at least SSE2, so the compiler knows it can optimize for that.
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