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Old 12-02-2019, 02:56 AM   #1
jimbo33051
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32 bit or 64 bit


I am running a HP desktop with a 64 bit processor and a 32 bit system.Which linux version should I use?
 
Old 12-02-2019, 03:01 AM   #2
mrmazda
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64 - unless you are low on RAM, then 32. Opinions vary on the meaning of low on RAM, but IMO it generally means less than somewhere between 1GB and 2GB. You'd be best off getting more RAM and using 64 if you don't have at least 2GB.
 
Old 12-02-2019, 03:27 AM   #3
jsbjsb001
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64bit will be twice as fast as 32bit, because the processor can process 64 bits at a time. So if your machine supports a 64bit processor, then it's really a no brainier. Even if it's only got a small amount of memory by today's standards, it will still be twice as fast.

When I install any Linux distribution on my machine that has both 32bit and 64bit packages/versions, it automatically detects my processor as a 64bit processor and selects the 64bit version.

Also, a lot of the mainstream distributions have dropped their 32bit versions.

Why would you want the 32bit version, if you can install a 64bit version ?
 
Old 12-02-2019, 04:58 AM   #4
mrmazda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbjsb001 View Post
64bit will be twice as fast as 32bit, because the processor can process 64 bits at a time.?
The question is about an HP desktop, not a CPU. Faster, yes, but nowhere near twice as fast for a typical desktop PC. While the CPU, memory bus and PCIe bus may be twice as wide, there are plenty of bottlenecks limiting the difference, particularly for internet use. Twice as fast for an ordinary HP desktop used for email, internet and word processing is fantasy.

A newbie asking this question isn't terribly likely to be doing things where the difference will be noticeable, absent side by side comparison testing.

I've done CPU upgrades from 32 to 64 on PCs that support both several times, and the difference was barely noticeable in every case. Besides that, 64 bit code weighs more. Replace a 32bit OS with another that differs only in bits, or upgrade a 32bit OS with the same OS's 64bit version, and disk freespace will drop plenty noticeably. That creates more work to do. I've read bout situations where 64 bit actually can be slower than 32bit in real world testing.

All that said, 32 bit Linux OS choices are in clearly in decline. 64 is the better choice for most.
 
Old 12-02-2019, 08:27 AM   #5
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
The question is about an HP desktop, not a CPU. Faster, yes, but nowhere near twice as fast for a typical desktop PC.
...
And since when did you become the OP of this thread ?

The question was this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo33051 View Post
I am running a HP desktop with a 64 bit processor and a 32 bit system.Which linux version should I use?
The processor IS the computer - you don't have a computer without one.

I was commenting in relation to the processor - not your post above.
 
Old 12-02-2019, 09:04 AM   #6
fatmac
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I had a system that had a 64bit processor, but everything else was 32bit, so if this is what the computer has, then you can only run a 32bit system.

If, on the other hand, it is a 64bit system, that happens to be running a 32bit O/S, then a 64bit system is likely to be best, as 32bit is being dropped by a number of distros.
 
Old 12-02-2019, 12:42 PM   #7
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
64 - unless you are low on RAM, then 32. Opinions vary on the meaning of low on RAM, but IMO it generally means less than somewhere between 1GB and 2GB. You'd be best off getting more RAM and using 64 if you don't have at least 2GB.
But if you cannot get any more RAM (the motherboard doesn't support it or the machine is that old), normally anything with 3 GB of RAM or below is normally faster in 32-bits (as 64-bit applications use up more RAM, pointers and data are larger).
I, myself, am using 32-bit Slackware on a 4 GB system (with PAE to be able to use all of that 4 GB).
Anything with MORE memory then 4 GB, it IS supported in 32-bit (with PAE), but nowadays you should use a 64-bit version of Linux on it.
 
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:43 PM   #8
Rickkkk
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Hi jimbo33051,

Welcome to LQ.

For all intents and purposes, and with regards to typical real-world usage, the biggest advantage of a 64-bit OS is being able to make use of more than 4GB of RAM. 32-bit systems will be limited to making use of 4GB (minus some overhead, so between 3 and 4 GB). PAE provides some advantages, but limited.

It's math: 2 to the power of 32 bits is 4 GB (rounded off ...). That's it. With 64 bit, you get 2 to the power of 64 .. so .. lots more.

So, rule of thumb, if you have 64-bit hardware with at least 4GB RAM, go with the 64 bit OS. Otherwise, 32.

ehartman had it right above.

Cheers.

Last edited by Rickkkk; 12-02-2019 at 08:44 PM.
 
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:06 AM   #9
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbjsb001 View Post
64bit will be twice as fast as 32bit, because the processor can process 64 bits at a time.
Only when the application is using 64-bit INTEGER arithmatic, with values larger then 2^31 (about 2 * 10^9) or (unsigned) 2^32 (almost 4.3 * 10^9). All integer calculations with values less then that are just as fast as in 32-bits (as they do not exceed the 32 bit limit).
On the other hand memory fetching and storing OF 64-bit values (integers OR pointers) is slower, there are twice as many bytes to be read or stored, Of course that depends on the width of the databus TO RAM too and its speed. And the size of the cache is important too.
 
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:39 PM   #10
kareempharmacist
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If you opt for 32-bit OS then go for Debian Buster as it has longer lifetime. Ubuntu 18.04 32-bit will have its end of life in April 2021. you may also want to have a look at MX Linux and AntiX Linux.
But you didn't give us the model of the desktop and its amount of RAM.
 
Old 12-05-2019, 02:46 PM   #11
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Erm, I has anyone looked into which instructions are available to 64 bit which 32 bit distributions do not use? The cut-off point was a bit undefined but, anythings designated "64 bit" will have instructions not often used in programs compiled for 32 bit arcitechture.
I'll keep repeating tha my friend cursed me for not moving from 32 to 64 back in the old days because, when he did, his machine was faster due to more modern instructions being present.
 
  


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