16-bit

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

16-bit is a computer hardware device or software program capable of transferring 16 bits of data at a time. For example, early computer processors (e.g., 8088 and 80286) were 16-bit processors, meaning they were capable of working with 16-bit binary numbers (decimal number up to 65,535). Anything larger and the computer would need to break the number into smaller pieces.

Today, 16-bit hardware and software has been replaced by 32-bit and 64-bit alternatives, which give the computer more memory to work with, increasing overall performance.

16-bit with video

When referring to a computer video card or graphics card, 16-bit color or high color refers to the amount of colors capable of being displayed. For example, 16-bit is the same as 65,536 colors.

Examples of 16-bit programs

Below is a listing of different applications shipped with Windows 95 that are 16 bit applications.

  • FreeCell (FREECELL.EXE)
  • Microsoft Hearts Network (MSHEARTS.EXE)
  • Solitaire (SOL.EXE)
  • Character Map (CHARMAP.EXE)
  • Chat (WINCHAT.EXE)
  • Clipboard Viewer (CLIPBRD.EXE)
  • Dialer (DIALER.EXE)
  • Disk Defragmenter (DEFRAG.EXE)
  • DriveSpace (DRVSPACE.EXE)
  • ScanDisk for Windows (SCANDSKW.EXE)
  • System Configuration Editor (SYSEDIT.EXE)
  • Program Manager (PROGMAN.EXE)
  • Windows 95 Tour (TOUR.EXE)
  • Windows Version (WINVER.EXE)
  • Windows Popup (WINPOPUP.EXE)

8-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit, Bit, Hardware terms, Software terms, Video terms