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Old 02-27-2007, 10:18 AM   #1
ciden
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Is it possible to upgrade laptop to 64bit processor?


Is it possible to just change my 32bit processor
with a 64bit one?
Or would I have to buy a new box to get to 64bit computing?
 
Old 02-27-2007, 10:39 AM   #2
The Headacher
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First of all I wouldn't count on being able to upgrade CPU at all.. Doing so will probably void your warranty if there still is some, and CPU's for laptops are a lot harder to get. On my older laptops it wasn't possible to remove the CPU at all, since the cpu was soldered on the motherboard.

I very much doubt there are sockets that support both 32 bit and 64 bit processors. If you know what processor and socket is in your box, you could have a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_soc...kets_and_slots
 
Old 02-27-2007, 12:05 PM   #3
ciden
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Thnx buddy.
I got no idea of hardware.
is amd64 x2 good?
 
Old 02-27-2007, 12:12 PM   #4
JimBass
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I love the AMD64 X2 line of processors. I have one in my desktop, and I believe they give the best "bang for the buck" of all the dual core processors.

As stated above however, the chances of having a motherboard that was built for a 32 bit processor also being able to fit and use a 64 bit processor are slim to none. If you're thinking of replacing both the motherboard and processor in your laptop, chances are that would also require a RAM update/upgrade, and by the time you have all the parts, you'll have nearly the same cost as getting a new laptop.

You also aren't likely to see much software in the near future that "requires" a 64 bit processor. I think that will start to happen frequently in 2 or so years, but you won't need one before then.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 02-28-2007, 11:26 PM   #5
ciden
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Is it true that by running 32-bit OS on a 64-bit system,
the performance is only as good as 32-bit system ?

I read somewhere that 64bit processor can access 16 trillion terabytes or so of RAM,
while 32bit can only access upto 4 Gb.
thing is, I havent seen anyone with more than a gig of RAM,
and 64-bit systems r now coming wid 256 to 512 Mb of RAM only.
What's the catch? I have also seen a crawling 64-bit system with 512 Mb RAM.(weird!!!)


And final question:-
I have 448 Mb RAM (system says so)
How much increase in speed can I expect by upgrading to 1 gig.?
 
Old 02-28-2007, 11:35 PM   #6
Penguin of Wonder
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A 64bit processor can in theory use up to 16 exbibytes of RAM. While that sounds good its not feasible. On the same hand the most I've ever seen a motherboard hold (on say newegg.com) is 16G. Personally I'd be more than happy just to have 4G

New computers, even the 64bit ones, only come with 256M and 512M of RAM mainly just to keep the price down.

As far as your "crawling system" with only 512M of RAM. A lot more goes into how "fast" a computer is or feels than how much RAM it has. i.e. the processor speed, what OS is it running, how many programs are running at once, what kind of programs are running, etc.

Depending on what you do on your PC you can probably expect a pretty nice jump in performance. Especially in the multitasking area.

EDIT: Because I don't trust my own memory I went back to newegg and I was right, 16 was the most I had seen. Then I found a desktop motherboard that claims a capacity of 32G. Thats still outrageous in my opinion, but then again who am I?

Last edited by Penguin of Wonder; 02-28-2007 at 11:40 PM.
 
Old 02-28-2007, 11:48 PM   #7
lazlow
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Unless you are doing industrial strength computing (video editing) you will not see much performance increase going from 32bit to 64bit. It will also add headaches (fewer people running 64bit).

64bit systems can handle much larger amounts of ram. They also use 64bit words as opposed to 32bit words, so you need about twice as much ram to run the same thing. If one has 3gb on one's current machine (and running out of memory) one would want to run 64bit (and get a motherboard that will hold at least 8gb ram), otherwise 64bit is a waste.

If one is running out of memory (using swap) on a regular basis one can expect a huge jump in speed. If one is not using swap much, then very little speed change will be seen. If one is going to upgrade consider going to 2gb. I run 2gb of memory and have only two applications (32bit) that run me into swap (pan and klibido). Unless I am running one of those two I never use swap. In todays world I would consider 1gb a minimum (yes, you can "get away" with as little as 256mb). It all depends on what one wants to do.

Lazlow
 
Old 02-28-2007, 11:51 PM   #8
JimBass
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The question about 32/64 bit it true and false. It is true that a 32 bit install on a 64 bit chip will only use 32 bit functionality, making it effectively the same as a 32 bit processor. The false part is any 64 bit processor still a new processor, with high end hertz of processing. Even at 32 bits, a 2.4 Ghz processor will obviously outperform a 1.8 Ghz processor. But yes, if you had 2 identical processors speeds, say both 2.4 Ghz, one was a 64 bit processor and the other a 32 bit, you would see absolutely no difference in performance. All the 64 bit gives is more space, like the name says, 64 bit "chunks" of data vs. 32 bit "chunks". It is a significant difference, and it does improve number crunching.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit) claims a max of 16 exbibytes of ram is the ceiling for the 64 bit processor. The name confused the hell out of me, so I'll list up - kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, then exa. Of course at current time, the largest RAM space that the linux kernel can handle is 64 Gigabytes, and I've yet to get my hands on a server with more than 16 Gb of RAM.

A 64 bit chip doesn't necessarily need anymore RAM to perform than a 32 bit chip does, it simply can handle more. 256 and 512 Mb really isn't enough RAM for a current system, regardless of the OS. Yes you can strip down and still have something that performs well on 128 Mb, but a default install of anything will probably need at least 512 to feel comfortable at present.

We can't quantify what doubling your RAM will do. Are you swapping much? The laptop I'm writing this on only has 256, and it constantly swaps. If I went to 512 it would probably swap much less, and if I went for a gig then it wouldn't at all. Check your swap usage. If it is writing to swap, then more RAM will speed things up since it doesn't have to write and read to the hard disk. I can't put a number on how much though.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 03-01-2007, 12:03 AM   #9
Penguin of Wonder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow
64bit systems can handle much larger amounts of ram. They also use 64bit words as opposed to 32bit words, so you need about twice as much ram to run the same thing. If one has 3gb on one's current machine (and running out of memory) one would want to run 64bit (and get a motherboard that will hold at least 8gb ram), otherwise 64bit is a waste.
Simply not true.
 
Old 03-01-2007, 12:07 AM   #10
lazlow
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Here is a good discussion on 32/64bit (including memory gotchas).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit#32_vs_64_bit

Lazlow
 
Old 03-01-2007, 11:17 AM   #11
ciden
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That was truly very informative.
Guess this should be made sticky.
Will stick to 32 bit for a few more years.
I too have a celeron 2.0 MHz box with 128 Mb RAM running Etch.
Boy, is it slow....


P.S. how to find out how much swap is being used?
 
Old 03-01-2007, 11:20 AM   #12
JimBass
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type top in a terminal. The fourth line down looks like
Code:
Swap:   489940k total,   234612k used,   255328k free,    54536k cached
There are plenty of gui tools too, I just very much prefer the CLI ones.

Peace,
JimBass
 
  


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