64-bit OS world, is it ready yet?
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Thread: 64-bit OS world, is it ready yet?

  1. #1
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    64-bit OS world, is it ready yet?

    Recently did an entire system upgrade, involving an SLI motherboard with a AMD64 processor. I've heard incredible things about the AMD64 native 32-bit processing and have greatly enjoyed it's ability to workhorse with whatever I throw at it. Won't bore you with the specs, just know that it's AMD64 bit.

    However I've heard nothing but bad reviews and experiences of 64-bit OSes. From Gento AMD64 and Debian64 it seems as if the OS itself is wonderfully pre-compiled (or in gentoo's case.. not so much) for 64bit hardware, but a lot of common programs are refusing to run without resorting to a few nasty hacks. Now, as a slackware long-time user, nasty-hacks leave me with that feeling of grimy instability lurking just around the corner. I don't feel like hand-hacking firefox code to run everything but the macromedia program in 64 bit, leaving 32 code for the flash plugin.

    The same seems to apply with Windows 64-bit.

    Which brings me to my question:

    It seems the primary advantage of the 64-bit processors are moreso focused on larger amounts of RAM allocated to program usage (when a singular program uses more than 2 gigs, for instance) versus true program latency and responsiveness. If this is true, then would it be wiser to stick to my tried-and-true 32 bit OSes that have native capability (not emulation or conversion, amd 64 does 32bit natively) and program stability? Or is there additional speed improvements and happy times that I am missing about 64-bit processors?

    Keep in mind that I am focusing moreso on desktop/workstation usage and not mainframe or critical server implimentations.
    \"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.\"
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  2. #2
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    My AMD64 is very happy with FreeBSD/amd64 6.0-STABLE....
    It compiles like there's no tommorow...

    The only thing missing right now is a FreeBSD/amd64 NVidia driver

    It also runs Windows XP 64bit but drivers for the soundcard are still beta so i'm only able to use the front 2 speakers.. Also a lot of hardware I tried, bluetooth, wifi doesn't want to work.. no drivers

    That's the catch if you want the latest and the greatest.. Not all hardware is supported (yet) and software isn't taking full advantage of the hardware.. But that's just a matter of time
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  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    I would agree with Sir Dice

    Recently, hardware has tended to run ahead of software in the desktop environment .

    I think that this is particularly true of 64-bit processors, multiple processors, and graphics cards. I suspect that is because software developers have to keep their eye on the legacy market, which makes up the bulk of what is out there at the moment.

    Also, software companies are probably finding a shortage of people who are skilled with the new hardware technology and capabilities?


  4. #4
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    The simple answer is no.

    Very few things have been optimized for the 64 bit architecture.


    --TH13
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  5. #5
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    Many thanks. I'll stick to 32-bit OSes for now. I'd have to say however that I don't think purchasing 64-bit was a waste. The chip itself is a powerhouse with a multitude of features that were specific to amd64 that I greatly appreciate (such as buffer run overflow checking at the processor level). This just means I'll pre-upgraded for the future
    \"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.\"
    - Charles Darwin

  6. #6
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    I do like my 64 bit desktop..
    But I guess it depends on what you do on it.
    I compile a lot of weird software and I havn't had any major problems at all..

    Also the 64 bit NVidia drivers work great on linux..
    All in all I can't say I've had much trouble with it..
    Especially compared to linux on PPC !!
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  7. #7
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    JinX, what is your experience in items such as Macromedia Flash plugin and similar non-64 bit ready applications in linux? I'd hate to run a 32-bit browser just for media plugins.
    \"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.\"
    - Charles Darwin

  8. #8
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    I don't use flash that much, but when I don want to view some funny flash animation or some other novelty, I'd have to start up a 32 bit firefox..
    firefox32 (in my case)
    It's easy enough to set up and I don't think it's all that bad (I have some 200 megs of 32 bit stuff on there, not just browser with flash, also some wmv codecs etc)..
    As long as the libs are set up correctly (and there are tons of tutorials on that) you can run 64 and 32 simultaniusly..
    For stuff like Wine (or Cedega) it's a bit harder but still doable..

    But yeah if you want all everything to work out of the box you should stick to 32 bit..
    And be sure to mail to Macromedia for a good 64bit linux version !!
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
    When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.

    Get your ass over to SLAYRadio the best station for C64 Remixes !

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