64 Bit Mother Board... 32 Bit OS...

Chat about just about anything else

64 Bit Mother Board... 32 Bit OS...

Postby Knuckl3head on Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:52 am

Hello,

Have you ever used a 32 bit OS (Of any kind) and never knew that your motherboard was completely 64 bit? I figured out my motherboard was 64 bit the other day. I was surprised that I wasn't taking full advantage of it.
Knuckl3head
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:16 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: 64 Bit Mother Board... 32 Bit OS...

Postby AlbertP on Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:56 am

32- or 64-bit is a CPU feature, instead of motherboard. And you're fine using 32-bit Mint, if you don't have 4GB RAM or more.
Registered Linux User #528502
Image
Feel free to correct me if I'm trying to write in Spanish, French or German.
AlbertP
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6513
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: 64 Bit Mother Board... 32 Bit OS...

Postby srs5694 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:08 am

I've never done this -- I'm very aware of the issue, and in fact I wrote a piece for Linux Magazine on 64-bit computing back in 2004. I have, though, seen posts from people who haven't realized they have 64-bit hardware. Today, the vast majority of new desktop and laptop PCs have 64-bit x86-64 CPUs. I haven't checked, but I expect that even netbook and tablet computers generally use such CPUs, although some use more exotic designs, such as ARM.

Note that running 64-bit code on an x86-64 CPU is likely to produce a modest speed improvement, at best. IIRC, the typical speed boost is in the range of 10-20%, although some programs don't even see that. Also, 64-bit code is a bit bigger than 32-bit code, so if you have little memory, you may be better off running a 32-bit version of your OS.

One more point: Most computers sold today use UEFI firmware, rather than the older BIOS firmware. This has an important implication with respect to running a 32- vs. a 64-bit OS, because a 64-bit UEFI PC is almost certain to use a 64-bit UEFI implementation, which in turn means that the UEFI features will only be available if you boot a 64-bit OS. If you boot a 32-bit version of Linux on a 64-bit UEFI PC, you won't be able to access the UEFI runtime services. At the moment, the biggest implication of this limitation is that you won't be able to use the efibootmgr utility, which Linux uses to adjust boot loader settings. This isn't a huge deal right now, but you could end up losing out on more features in the future if you run a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit UEFI PC. (Note that some early Intel-based Macs used 64-bit CPUs with 32-bit EFI implementations, so they're an important exception to this rule.)
srs5694
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:42 pm

Re: 64 Bit Mother Board... 32 Bit OS...

Postby Knuckl3head on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:48 am

Wait, UEFI? I have a BIOS... 2010 Laptop.
Knuckl3head
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:16 pm

Re: 64 Bit Mother Board... 32 Bit OS...

Postby AlbertP on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:55 am

Should be fine. It's only very recently that many laptop manufacturers started to use UEFI.
Registered Linux User #528502
Image
Feel free to correct me if I'm trying to write in Spanish, French or German.
AlbertP
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6513
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: The Netherlands


Return to Open chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests