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Old 03-27-2009, 11:59 AM   #1
RatSquad
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Fedora 64-bit. Is it worth upgrading to?


I am currently running the i386 installation FC 10 on a 2.2G quad core AMD with 4G of ram. The i686 PAE kernel installed by default. As you can imagine, Fedora screams on this box. The system is for personal use, and I do run a few databases and productivity programs. Nothing to heavy duty.

The big question is, would it be worth it to install the 64-bit OS and programs when Fedora 11 comes out? I know, why fix it if it isn't broken.

Thanks.
 
Old 03-27-2009, 12:05 PM   #2
miedward
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The only pressing reason to upgrade to 64-bit is to make use of more than 4 GB of memory. Since 64 bit is still less robust than 32 bit, I don't see any reason for you to upgrade.

If you were planning to start from scratch when upgrading to fedora 11, you could certainly move to 64 bit. If you move to pure 64 bit (as opposed to x86_64) you will likely run into some problems at some point, as many packages are not routinely compiled for 64 bit architectures. In some cases this is because they don't work when compiled that way

Some people claim significant performance improvement, but since you are running with lots of resources as it is, I doubt you would notice much difference.

IMHO, of course
 
Old 03-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #3
amani
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64-bit Fedora is more optimal for 64-bit systems than 32-bit Fedora... that holds even when you have less (<4 GB) RAM. Package-wise there are almost NO differences? ... it has been like that since Fedora 9+

Last edited by amani; 03-31-2009 at 10:42 AM. Reason: grammar
 
Old 03-27-2009, 12:42 PM   #4
Juvecu
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The way I understand it is that a PAE kernel already allows you to have more than 4GB memory in a 32bit environment (correct me if I am wrong?), so changing *just* because of that would be worthless.

I still use 32bit Fedora 10 myself. I did try 64bit Fedora 10 and found that I had trouble with some things not working properly or with a lot of hassle (for me it was Flash and WINE and I can't live without my games.)

You could install the 64bit version on a VM and set things up the way you want it to be and see if it works for you (this is what I intend to do when Fedora 11 is released.) You'll need some VM software that will support a 64bit OS on a 32bit kernel (I think VMware Workstation can do this.)
 
Old 03-27-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatSquad View Post
The i686 PAE kernel installed by default. As you can imagine, Fedora screams on this box. The system is for personal use, and I do run a few databases and productivity programs. Nothing to heavy duty.
I doubt you would notice any performance or functional difference with 64 bit.

Quote:
The big question is, would it be worth it to install the 64-bit OS and programs when Fedora 11 comes out? I know, why fix it if it isn't broken.
I don't know how disruptive the update from Fedora 10 to Fedora 11 is supposed to be.

I just updated Mepis 7 to Mepis 8, and it pretty much requires an install from scratch of the distribution (kernel and packages etc.) to a new partition. (Then I copied various files and settings from the old one).

If the upgrade to Fedora 11 is that disruptive, you may as well switch to 64bit at that time (switching bit size should be no more nor less disruptive that the Mepis 7 to Mepis 8 upgrade I just did). But if there is a smooth automated way to upgrade Fedora 10 to Fedora 11 (that is less disruptive than a switch of bit size would be), you may as well wait until you have a clear reason to switch to 64bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miedward View Post
The only pressing reason to upgrade to 64-bit is to make use of more than 4 GB of memory. Since 64 bit is still less robust than 32 bit
I disagree with both those assertions. The reasons for switching or not switching have nothing to do with memory size within the 1GB to 8GB range (below 1GB there might be memory size reasons to stay 32 and above 8GB there are memory size reasons to switch). I haven't experienced any way in which 64 bit is less robust than 32 bit, and the occasional online claims of that I've read are unconvincing and/or obsolete.

But I still might agree with your suggestion not to switch, even if I don't agree with your reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amani View Post
64-bit Fedora is more optimal for 64-bit systems than 32-bit Fedora... that holds even when you have less (<4 GB) RAM. Package-wise there are almost NO differences? ... it is like that since Fedora 9+
Whether a 64bit kernel is more or less optimal and whether the difference is trivial or significant, depend on the specific programs you use. Likely the difference is trivial.

I'll assume you know more than I do about Fedora packages.

Last edited by johnsfine; 03-27-2009 at 01:03 PM.
 
Old 03-27-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
lazlow
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If you are using a lot of number/memory intensive stuff (handling videos) 64bit can make a HUGE difference. For day in day out tasks (browsing, email, etc) you will see no real difference. I usually draw the line at 2Gb of ram. If you have 2 or more go with 64bit, less go with 32bit. There is a 64bit version of flash so that is really a non issue. If you are using wine with anything that needs 3d support(games) you do have to add the 32bit graphics libs to support it. The PAE 32bit memory extensions do take a pretty good performance hit, mostly on the things that 64bit is optimal for. I ran Fedora from FC4-F10. Tried 64 bit on every version. Starting with F8 I saw no reason to run the 32bit version, by that point there was nothing I could do on 32bit that I could not easily do on 64bit.
 
Old 03-31-2009, 10:32 AM   #7
RatSquad
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Thanks for the replies and comments. Since this is the first box I have had that has the ability to do 64-bit with Linux, I had some concerns. Specifically with hardware compatibility, specifically Wireless networking. Right now, FC 10 has no problem with my RAL WiFi card, and it runs flawlessly. Which goes back to, if it is not broke, why fix it.
 
  


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