[Wolves] 64/32bit

sparkes sparkes at westmids.biz
Mon Mar 29 10:21:44 BST 2004

On Mon, 29 Mar 2004, Simon Burke wrote:

> Hiya,
> Well its coming to my 20th bday (next mon), anyone interested in a p*ss up
> either this wknd or Monday nite let us know.
I wish I could but I've used up all my time for good behaviour ;-)
> Anyway I'm thinking bout building a new machine but one thing plagues me, is
> it worth getting a 64bit machine yet? I use a 64bit Mac at work and I've
> o'course got a few 32bit machines at home, and tbh I don¹t notice much
> difference other than speed but that inevitable. Is there any noticeable
> difference other than speed??
I doubt you will notice an increase of speed using a 64 bit machine even a
mac ;-)  I've had a 64bit ultra sparc running at 440Mhz for a couple of
years and although it kicks intels butt at those speeds it is not as fast
as my gf's 3.2Ghz pc ;-) It does appear to be faster than an intel p3 600
running debian linux.

Linux pretty much only uses 64bit addressing in the kernel space any way.
User programs are almost always 32 bit.  The extra 32bits are mostly ownly
responsible for quicker usage of diskspace and not really extra speed.
This is why most 64 bit distros contain the majority of the user space
stuff compiled using 32 bits.  You can run 64 bit programs (sparc64
contains two versions of gcc and some libs so compilation is easy) but
they will not normally run any quicker than 32bit ones.

The speed increase you got on macs was probably due to wider busses in
some of the main bottlenecks and not raw extra power.  Macs are pretty
well designed and the architecture is pretty suited to the unix like os
they are using now but is the whole system running 64 bit or just part of


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