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Old 10-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #1
Hopelesslylost1
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Question Amd 64/32


My system has a amd 64 cpu my OS for windows is 32 bit.When I get Fedora installed corectly...lol. do I get 64bit sowftware for it? I know one of the linux OS said something about installing a 32 bit on a 64 bit system,Does it matter.Some dude at best buy said the only difference between the 2 was the colors in the graphics.
 
Old 10-23-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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The dude at best buy is at best incompetent and at worst an idiot. Wikipedia has a good description here.

Basically 32-bit programs can run on 64-bit processors with some compatibility layers thrown in. But you won't be fully able to utilize your hardware (especially more than 4GB RAM) unless you run applications optimized for 64-bit processors.

Your distro's repositories should have binary packages optimized for 64-bit in most cases. Some 32-bit things that don't have 64-bit binaries may need to be run in a compatibility mode.

Last edited by pljvaldez; 10-23-2009 at 02:22 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopelesslylost1 View Post
When I get Fedora installed corectly...lol. do I get 64bit sowftware for it?
Better make that decision before you get Fedora installed.

You can run a 32 bit or 64 bit OS on a 64 bit CPU.

You can run 32 bit or 64 bit applications on a 64 bit OS.

You cannot run 64 bit applications on a 32 bit OS even with a 64 bit CPU.

Quote:
Some dude at best buy said the only difference between the 2 was the colors in the graphics.
That's a bit lame, but it might be just an exaggerated way of telling you something that is true.

There might not be any significant difference to you resulting from the choice of 32 bit vs. 64 bit Linux.

It depends on what kind of applications you will run on that system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
Basically 32-bit programs can run on 64-bit processors with some compatibility layers thrown in. But you won't be fully able to utilize your hardware (especially more than 4GB RAM) unless you run applications optimized for 64-bit processors.
Those claims exaggerate the difference.

A 32 bit OS supporting 32 bit applications will run just fine on a 64-bit processor. There is no "compatibility layer" involved at all. It just works.

32 bit applications on a 64 bit OS involve a minor compatibility layer, but not enough to worry about.

A 32 bit OS can use up to 64GB ram. Most Windows 32 bit versions have a license (not technical) restriction to 3 and a fraction GB of ram. Most Linux versions have no license based restrictions on your rights to use your own hardware. There are some technical problems (kernel virtual address space) involved in very large amounts of ram on a 32 bit Linux system. Somewhere between 8GB and 16GB those are likely to become a good reason to select a 64 bit OS instead. But for 8GB or less, I wouldn't worry about that.

Each task on a 32 bit OS can only use up to 3GB of virtual address space. But ordinary users almost never want to run any tasks over 3GB virtual anyway. Having more than 3GB in a computer is useful for file caching and for running several tasks in parallel. Ordinary computer uses don't require more than 3GB for one task.

Of course, if you run any of the unusual tasks that work better with over 3GB virtual, that would be a significant reason to select a 64 bit OS.

For ordinary users, 64 bit applications might be a little faster (or maybe a little slower) and it all adds up to barely detectable.

I would go with 64 bit Linux on the principle of newer and receiving more developer attention and more likely to improve with updates, rather than because I expect it to be noticeably better than 32 bit on day one.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
Hopelesslylost1
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Ok I installed the Ubuntu amd64 OS, Figured I have a 64bit system with 4gb ram may as well use it.And I only have 4gb ram because when I built my computer I hated to see those empty slots on the mobo.At the time I was doing a lot of multi-player gaming.I had a hard time with the dial up thing, messed things up good and proper 12 times...lol.But it's working now.Still have some things to figure out.So far Linux has windows beat three ways from sunday.Thanks for your advice, it really help me out.
 
  


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