[SOLVED] Would it be smarter to install the 32bit version or the 64bit version?
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Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
He may well be imagining it but a friend "cursed me out" (as I understand American say) because I didn't tell him to move to 64 bit sooner. He moved to 64 bit Ubuntu and found that the x-runs and denormal problems he was having with his multi-track mixing were drastically cut and things were much smoother than on 32 bit. I am guessing it's down to supported CPU instructions in the software so if he was running a source-based distro it may not have mattered, but he seemed to think it was noticeably different.
I've ran 64-bit just fine on as little as 1GB of RAM. The misconception I see is the memory footprint issue. Yes 64-bit programs have a larger footprint, but look at the footprint itself. A 64-bit address is going be larger than a 32-bit address naturally, but even if a 32-bit program accesses a 64-bit address, it can only use 32 bits of that address space with the rest wasted.
So really its this, do you want to use the full or partial potential of your system hardware?
Think of it like this. Look at an address space for a 64-bit register. Now put a 32-bit program in that address space to process. You have 32-bits of addressing used but 32-bits wasted. But because it's one address space, no other programs can run in that exact address space, hence it's wasted resources.
Now plug in a 64-bit program into the same addressing space. Nothing is wasted.
So really if you have:
0000-0000-0000-0000 as a 64-bit address
0000-0000 as a 32-bit address
And only one program can occupy on address space such as:
should you run a higher efficiency program or a less efficient program? The answer is simple. You use the higher efficiency program to utilize the maximum potential of your hardware.
Some benchmarks claim 32-bit running on 64-bit runs approximately 1.7x faster, but this is totally a falicy. It's not running faster, it's clearing the addressing spaces faster, but it's unable to utilize certain optimizations 64-bit addresses utilize. A 2.0GHz CPU can only operate a 2.0GHz.
I actually recently upgraded to 64 bit.
I use older laptops so I can pass those down to the kids so before someone knocks my choice of using laptops as servers thats why. I had a Dell Latitude D620 32 bit with 2G RAM and I could run 3-4 virtual guests before running out of steam. For example work sent us all to a citrix class and I wanted to see if I could duplicate the lab at home. I downloaded or used my old technet trials of XP, Windows Server 2003 and Citrix Metaframe. I ran a Domain controller, one Citrix server, one Citrix Web front end and one XP client at the same time. I've also ran various linux distros and had several different Slackware installs any time I wanted to test something out.
I wanted to try out some newer OS's and most are 64 bit only so I realized I need 64 bit hardware. I found a Dell Latitude D630 64bit 2G ram for $100 due to a couple broken USB ports so I grabbed it and installed Slackware 14.1 64bit. Now with virtualbox I can't even get a single guest Linux install to run without killing the performance of the host, there seems to be some major overhead just switching to 64bit.