Intel 64-bit Processors, will they run 32-bit versions of windows? **lots of points, urgent!!**

I realise this may be a 'schoolboy' question, but I've looked on the net for ages and can't find an answer, can anyone help?!? preferably with a link to a page that confirms the answer.

myself and a few colleagues remember hearing that a major advantage of AMD's 64bit CPU's was that they could run 32-bit OS and apps without needing to 'emulate' whereas the Intel ones couldn't.

Is this still the case? was this only ever the case for desktop processors? (We're looking at this from a server perspective). will a server with a Xeon 64bit processor HAVE to have 64-bit Win Server 2003 installed? or will it run 32bit Server 2003... also, if 32bit apps are run on it, will there be a performance hit (due to emulation) as opposed to running them on a 32-bit processor-based server?

Many thanks for your help! :-)

Kind regards
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Redwulf__53Connect With a Mentor Commented:
ONLY the so-called x64 processors (Pentium 4 and Xeon with T64 extensions, AMD x64). Intel's chip does NOT emulate 32bit; it IS a 32bit CPU with 64bit extensions on top of that. AMD's and Intel's technology are very similar. So your collegues remembered wrong.
You can NOT run 32 bit Windows/apps on the Intel Itanium 64bit processors; this is a completely different hardware platform.

So: your Xeon server can run both 32bit Windows at full speed, or Windows 2003/XP/Vista x64 edition.

32bit applications will run on Windows x64 edition at "normal" speed (=the same as they would run in 32bit Windows). You will only benefit when using x64 applications (like Exchange Server 2007 WHOOOHOOO)

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