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Old 21st October 2009, 09:16 PM
Flounder Offline
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64 bit vs. 32 bit now. Which is better?

I know when I started using Fedora and Linux in general (c. Fedora Core 4) 64 bit was buggy and problematic for new and even some experienced users. Is that the case now? And how much has it improved?
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  #2  
Old 21st October 2009, 09:33 PM
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You should be fine using 64 bit my brother, but only you can decide if there is anything to be gained by it. There was a fairly recent thread on this (last month or so) that was actually fairly informative for a change. I say try it, what have you got to lose? I use 64 bit Arch on my computers and 32 bit Mint on everyone else's (other than our 2 Vista installs). I really have no preference though, I do not see the astronomical performance increase that others talk about.
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  #3  
Old 30th October 2009, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JN4OldSchool View Post
I really have no preference though, I do not see the astronomical performance increase that others talk about.
I too thought that, and with recent reformattings, had the chance to find out.

This is XP x86 vs XP x64, I've only posted the CPU & 2D comparison as everything else was almost identical between them.

This was run on "Desktop 1" in my sig, overclocked to 3.6Ghz, and only with 2GB RAM at the time, the other 2GB is off for repair.
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  #4  
Old 30th October 2009, 03:52 AM
Dies Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage View Post
I too thought that, and with recent reformattings, had the chance to find out.

This is XP x86 vs XP x64, I've only posted the CPU & 2D comparison as everything else was almost identical between them.

This was run on "Desktop 1" in my sig, overclocked to 3.6Ghz, and only with 2GB RAM at the time, the other 2GB is off for repair.
Your results only seem to confirm what JN said?

There's really only one area where 64 thoroughly spanks 32 and that I'm sure really pads the end result, but I don't think it's an area that has a huge impact on a typical desktop user.

The graphics stuff, is that stuff even relevant really?


Personally, I don't see much of a difference in normal everyday use.
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  #5  
Old 30th October 2009, 01:11 PM
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I'm running 32bit in my Linux at the moment, but OSX is 64bit. I have no real burning desire to go the 64bit route with fedora only because I have 4 gig of ram. Any more ram and I could make a case but for now, I see little benefit for jumping up to 64bit.
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Old 30th October 2009, 01:36 PM
leigh123linux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
I'm running 32bit in my Linux at the moment, but OSX is 64bit. I have no real burning desire to go the 64bit route with fedora only because I have 4 gig of ram. Any more ram and I could make a case but for now, I see little benefit for jumping up to 64bit.

Why would you need more? , I only have 2 gig and my rig hardly uses swap.
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Old 30th October 2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh123linux View Post
Why would you need more? , I only have 2 gig and my rig hardly uses swap.
Not for Linux, I'm completely satisfied. When I'm in OSX, I can make a case for getting more. I typically run one maybe two vmware sessions, Photoshop or Lightroom and I see my page outs climbing.

OSX is more bloated and resource hungry as it is, and throwing vmware into the mix compounds the issue.
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Old 30th October 2009, 01:59 PM
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Even if you had more than 4GB Fedora now uses the 32bit PAE kernel - so amount of dram is not a critical facot to the decision.

I posted remarks wrt running lmbench on same hardware in three different scenarios. On 32bit Fedora, on 64bit Fedora and on 64bit Fedora but running 32bin lmbench binaries (comparibility mode).

The 32bit lmbench bench app running on the 64bit kernel was almost universally same/faster than the 32/32bit kernel, however the difference was not compelling - a few percent.

There were some syscalls where 64bit lmbench was regularly slower than the 32bit case - most file manipulation, tho' not extensive read/writes. But most of the other syscalls were a bit faster in 64bit. Some differences here, but the syscalls were IMO a wash. One exception - when the 64bit benchmark starts a new process with exec it is remarkably faster that the 32bit system.

The place where 64bit shines is when manipulating lots of longer data items, such as floating point in volume. Graphics is one case, but audio encoding and scientific computing. In these cases it's common for 64bit to be ~50% faster (2:3 time ratio), but I have several benchmarks that are 2X and several 3X faster in 64bit ((one is an 'R' statistical analysis for example)). Gcc compiles are marginally faster in 64bit.

Another concern is that the 64bit binaries, on both disk and in memory are considerably larger (~1.5-1.8X IIRC). There is a good argument that 64bit is more memory intensive so switching to 64bit requires more memory and involves more memory accesses vs the same operation on 32bit.

So if you mostly browse, email, chat, use openoffice, w/ the occasional compile, etc there is little motiviation to go to 64bit. You might see a 3-7% type improvement on those item at the cost of perhaps 1.5X the dram footprint. To put that in perspective SELinux takes a 7-12% performance bite, and the LVM takes a 3-4% disk performance bite.

OTOH if you do use some of the compute intensive apps that run much faster in 64bit ... then the cost of DRAM and a little disk is perhaps cheap compared to half the wall-clock time.
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Old 30th October 2009, 02:42 PM
stevea Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh123linux View Post
Why would you need more? , I only have 2 gig and my rig hardly uses swap.
Funny thing Leigh123, I have a company owned laptop w/ 1GB. It boots F11/32-bit and runs nicely for a while but then when I work it hard for a day or so then swaps to death - intolerable.

My personal ancient IBM T42 has 1.5GB (same F11/32bit) and I beat it like a rented mule - I can go weeks without a reboot. It uses some swap, but it never gets painful.

As a point of comparison I have a headless server (NFS, email, dhcp backup) ,running RHEL5.2 and it lives happily in 512MB and is ~180MB shy of swapping.

All systems above run 32bit kernels.
--
I'd wager that 1.5GB DRAM would not make for a happy 64bit kernel desktop system. I imagine your 2GB 64bit is on the edge .. .a few gui-apps away from death by swap
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  #10  
Old 30th October 2009, 03:32 PM
Dan Offline
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The following is strictly subjective, but I do run a lot of graphics based apps. In particular GIMP, Inkscape, Cinepaint, Blender etc in a 3GB 64bit F11 laptop system running at ~2ghz (AMD Turion). My desktop system runs the same apps with a 32bit AMD Athlon XP 3200+ running 2GB at 2.19ghz.

In real world usage, all graphics operations are noticeably faster (about twice as fast) on the slower 64 bit laptop system than comparable operations on the 32 bit desktop. Both are running Nvidia graphics chips with accelerated drivers available through RPMfusion repositories.

The most tangible difference for graphics work, however, turns out not to be one of speed, but a matter of available real estate on the monitor. A 21" Samung wide view compared to 17 inch built-in screen easily shoves most graphics work over onto the slower desktop with a bigger screen. The ideal mix, of course, would be a nice 64 bit desktop with a ton of ram and a mid~high end graphics card. But I haven't won the lottery yet. And for some reason ... I'm rapidly losing all hope of getting a decent size tax refund. <..:'(..>
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  #11  
Old 30th October 2009, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dies View Post
Your results only seem to confirm what JN said?
Yeah I hadn't noticed a difference either, which is why I ran that benchmark, to see if there were performance gains we don't notice. It was more of a "this is what a benchmark says" post just incase JN4 or anyone was interested rather than 64-bit is better/worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dies View Post
The graphics stuff, is that stuff even relevant really?
As others have said I guess it depends, part of the 2D tests are UI responsiveness, and during the test it is hugely visible on one test in particular... the rapid zooming in and out of a web page. Although I can't say I do zoom in/out rapidly very often.
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