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Old 10-23-2005, 12:16 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: Fedora Core (latest version)
Posts: 156

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x86_64 vs i386 performance and problems

I have a amd64 Turion laptop and just got rid of my currect installation of fedora core i386 and replaced it with x86_64 fedora core due to finally finding a wireless driver that worked with ndiswrapper and x86_64.

Before I talk about the performance difference I have to talk about what was problematic.

The first thing that I had a problem with was the Fedora Core Installation. For some reason the installation froze everytime that it said "please insert disc $", even after 3 tries. (the first time I thought it just froze for no reason, apparently this wasnt the case). I did not want to download the DVD so I did an almost minimal install and then added all the packages i wanted later.

On first boot the computer graphics, mouse, and keyboard ran fast so I looked at dmesg and had to turn off APIC. I also had (and still am) having trouble with the synaptic touchpad. It takes me 3-4 tries to highlight text. (putting the cursor over a word, right clicking and draging). For some reason when I right click and drag, the touchpad does not highlight the text. This is very frustrating, and I tried ksynaptics and editing options in kcontrol. Haven't tried editing xorg.conf but have no idea what this option would be. Also when I reboot the computer the computer freezes the second before it is supposed to reboot.

In installing programs, I finall got most of the programs I use installed, but for instance, it took me a while to get wpa_supplicant installed because I couldnt get it installed in 64 bit.

Anyways after all was said and done, everything worked except for the highlighting problem for the touchpad. However x86_64 seemed to run equal to my i386 install of FC4 and in some cases slower.

Start up and shutdown times seem to be exactly the same, so does openning firefox and gimp. Changing settings in Kcontrol seems to take twice as long as it did in i386.

It seems to me as if there is no apparent advantage to running x86_64 bit version of FC.

Has anyone noticed any significant performance increases in x86_64 for their distro?

It seems to me as if x86_64 is not that great for personnel use. Of course benchmarks would be great to see for typical personnel use, however the benchmarks I have read have not had that many great performance increases for personnel use.

The reason why I am asking is that although most everything is working on my notebook right now, the reboot issue, touchpad issue, and the time I have spent solving issues that I did not have in i386 is making me think I should switch back to i386, unless others have had experiences with x86_64 in which for instance the cpu ran cooler, or the computer was noticably faster etc.

What are other peoples experiences and thought on this?
Old 10-23-2005, 05:43 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
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If it feels faster for you to use i386, then I'd use i386.

My personal experience has been that packages that I compile for x86_64 (AMD64 3200+) seem to be somewhat faster than it's equivilent, but I haven't ran i386 installed. I did most of my tests using i386 live CD's which was certainly biased testing, but I just wanted to see if it was worth it too.

If you aren't looking to develop or help develop (provide feedback or whatever) and don't want the frustrations of running and maintaining both i386 and x86_64 applications, I think staying with i386 would be just fine; especially if you aren't personally seeing a difference.



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